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The Nike iPod System

nikeipodThis week I’m running again after a nearly two year hiatus. What finally motivated me to get off the couch and start running was the Nike+ system. I’ve written my own exercise tracking apps in the past and it required that I manually enter details about each run, then I would write my own visualization apps. After I saw how the Nike iPod thing records and uploads your data with no intervention needed and then spits out nice graphs with goals and group activities, I knew I had to try it. When Nike finally came out with some stability shoes for fat guys like me (the Air Equalon, which I can’t link to in their Flash interface), I pulled the trigger and got the whole setup.

I took my first jog today and it worked great. I like that you can run for a set time, a set distance, or to burn a set number of calories. I also like that your iPod tells you when you’re half done and counts down the minutes as you get close to your goal. I noticed the system reminded me at the same intervals I would have checked my watch myself, so it works really well.

The kicker on the whole Nike+ thing was something I’ve never seen online before: Hatphones. It’s a flexible beanie with embedded headphones and a pocket for a iPod nano complete with a nano wheel cut-out. It’s perfect for winter here in Oregon and I don’t have to have wires running down my shirts. I must admit it’s a bit weird to push on your head when you want to change songs, but otherwise it’s a clever little package.

I’ll post an update in a few months after I’ve used this a while to track my running progress. My hope is to get back up to running 15-20 miles a week and doing 5k and 10k runs for fun. If anyone knows of a nike+ widget I could run on my site to show miles/runs, leave a link in the comments — one of the best motivations to exercise or lose weight is good old public shaming.


  1. Be sure to sign in to, too. Once you enable your account, your workout data will be sent to both the training log, and to… but it won’t import old workouts.
    The Training Log’s graphs aren’t as pretty, but it’ll let you schedule runs, manually enter non-running workout data, vital stats, etc. It’s the Aperture to’s iPhoto.

  2. I received this for Christmas from my mother. Only I have an iPod mini and it only works with the nano. She didn’t understand so now I’m saving for a nano. I also decided not to use Nike shoes. I have seen pouches that go in the laces of shoes that are not Nike.
    One question, is it possible to display your saved data onto your own website from the Nike site or from iTunes? I’d like to show my friends how I’m doing.

  3. Together with another guy, I’ve hacked up a php script that pulls down your run data in an XML file. I’ve got a cron job set to run it once a day. Then there’s an include that displays it on my site. It’s pretty crufty but I’ll send you the code. (PS – Welcome to the MeFi challenge. I have a feeling my days at the top of the leaderboard are over!)

  4. I’ve loved mine. It’s the only thing that’s gotten me off my ass and running again. Did you get some Nike kicks, or are you using a pouch of some sort?

  5. I ran some 300 miles with mine, but last week the sensor stopped working. Perhaps the battery?

  6. Yay! When you get up to speed, come to NYC and run a 10k with us in Cental Park. I’m glad you’re back on the running track and hope you enjoy it. Now tell us: what’s your power song?

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