Running With Numbers


I’m BACK!  Today I did two things for the first time.  One, I ran 5km for the first time since the knee operation, and two, I ran with the new Nike+ iPhone app.  What a great morning it was for both events!

DB and I went to his favorite running place – the beach.  I prefer the dunes myself, so we trade off, depending on the weather.  It was low tide, but the sand for some reason was softer than I’ve noticed before, which made for a squishier and more difficult run.  No matter.  I easily finished 5km with lots of energy to spare.  You have no idea how happy that makes me!  The knee felt fine.  The ribs still a little sore (man am I sick of that).  In two weeks I’m running a 5km race in Haarlem and I’ll be really ready for it (and should be faster than today).  Mid-October I have a 8km race and I’m sure, at this rate, I’ll be up for that too.

Now, about the gadgets and numbers.  I’m a self-confessed gadget freak and numbers junky.  My running gadgets have progressed with my running itself.  Here’s the gadget progression:

Nike running watch
Nike+ and iPod nano
Nike+ wristband and iPod of some type (nano or shuffle or iPhone)
iPhone with RunKeeper app (horrible, didn’t work)
Garmin 305
Garmin 405
Nike+ iPhone app

All the above gadgets are still working just fine.  The Nike watch works perfectly after 7 years.  There was no need to continually upgrade gadgets except for my continual need for more and better data and smaller and more clever devices.  Last year you could have seen me running with the Garmin 305 (affectionately known at my house as The Fridge) on one wrist, the Nike+ wristband on the other wrist (because of a challenge with work colleagues), my iPhone for music and a phone if needed, AND a camera for decent photos, AND 5 extra kilos on my body.  Good grief.

As I’ve left gadgets behind, DB has picked them up.  He started using my Nike watch when I bought the Garmin 305.  When I stopped running with my knee problems he started using the 305.  Now that’s his, and I bought the 405.

Today I ran with the Garmin 405 and my iPhone in my pocket, playing music and tracking my run with the new Nike+ app, and 5kg less on the body than last year.  I felt practically lightweight.  I took a couple of photos with my iPhone after the run, and as usual the photos themselves are crap, but I wasn’t packing a real camera.

beach running

How was the Nike iPhone app?  Fantastic!  After the run I started to wonder why I spent 280 euros on a Garmin watch when I get just as much info, and more fun, from this iPhone app!  Damn, why didn’t Nike release this app 3 months ago?  Would have saved me a load of money.

The GPS on the iPhone, combined with the app, worked flawlessly.  This was my main complaint with RunKeeper, which never worked well and which I abandoned pretty quickly.  With the Nike app I got a voice notification of distance and pace every km, which was nice and you obviously don’t get with a watch (only a beep).

While the app gives you the basics of distance, pace, time and mapping, you also get the fun things Nike adds to the experience of running.  From your iPhone itself you can tag your run with weather, type of surface you ran on, your rating of the run (with smiley faces) and notes you can type in.  The app then syncs automatically with the Nike+ web site.  You can see your stats and history and all your Nike+ info directly from your iPhone, or from your computer of course.  When I got home and logged on with my laptop I could see everything I had just done (see top image) plus I set up two goals for myself and joined two challenges (Netherlands provinces competing against each other, and Men vs Women).  Nike+ makes it just so much FUN to use their devices and software.  The Garmin site has just as much info for you, but it’s just not as much FUN, visually or using communities to interact and participate in.

I’ll keep using both devices for the foreseeable future.  Why not?  I’ll take all the stats and maps and challenges and such I can get.

Now that I’m back to regular running again, you, dear reader, will be treated to stories of my running again.  I hope you don’t mind.  And maybe even be inspired to keep at it and not give up.  If I can come back from injuries and carry on, so can you.

2 thoughts on “Running With Numbers

  1. marieke September 12, 2010 / 21:23

    This morning I bought this app for my Iphone! I’m so happy to hear you say it’s working fine. I’ll try it tomorrow. I’m training for a 15 km run in November (it’s madness). Zevenheuvelenloop.

  2. Lou September 13, 2010 / 17:48

    I use my GPS on my mobile phone when I walk my dog..if we manage even 1km I punch
    Well done to you for getting back to it

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