Kathy & I have each been using the Nike+ipod system for our runs lately — 2 gizmos: one that attaches to your running shoe, another that attaches to your nano. It adds some functionality to your ipod during runs — a voice will interject when you’ve run 1K, 2K, 3K — when you’re halfway to your goal distance/time/etc. That by itself is really terrific, although it’s not *as* important for me since I often run inside on treadmills. What’s really cool is that my ipod stores information about my runs and automatically syncs it to the Nike web site:
Keeps track of all sorts of information — the particular view above shows my run totals week-by-week since the end of October, when we started. (One beef I have with the site is that it’s all in Flash — not web native.) You can see that some weeks I did better than others — like the week before Christmas, when things were pretty quiet around the office, as opposed to the week of Christmas, when Mom was here and Sam was a little under the weather.
What I find particularly useful, though, is goal setting. Here’s a goal that I set a couple of weeks ago, to run 75 miles in 4 weeks:
I’m behind a bit — because of the aforementioned Christmas week. I’ll catch up a bunch today, but with my trip to China coming up, I’m betting I’m not quite going to get this one done. It’s okay, though, as I find that the nike+ipod makes me want to run more, to run faster, to perform better. And my runs are getting longer & faster as a result, in measurable ways. (There is a funny counter-effect — the times when I forget to bring your ipod, I’m much less motivated to run hard or far, as I don’t get “credit” — Kathy’s noticed the same thing for her. A related effect, I think, is that I’ve been doing more running compared to lifting weights than previously — again, I think it’s the psychological issue of getting credit.) I also find myself, once I’ve set a goal (of, say 8 miles or a 10K), that even if I’m tired, I generally power through and finish. The other day I mis-entered a run of 2 miles longer than I wanted to run — but instead of stopping when I had intended, I took it as a challenge to run a little bit further.
Anyway, this is turning out to be an extremely useful & fulfilling thing for both Kathy & me. Makes me start thinking about what other parts of our lives will start/continue to be metered. (Kathy & I used something like this called a SportBrain a few years ago, but this is a lot lot better.)