This 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.