Nike + Running Review

I currently use Nike+ Running to track my runs almost exclusively.  When I started running  I started out using Run Keeper, but I really didn’t like the interface.  My sister suggested Nike+ Running, and I haven’t looked back since.  This app has got most of my runs from the last year and a half in there, so I’m pretty attached to it.  I wanted to review it for you, because it’s always tough to know what to use when you’re first starting out.

Indoor/Outdoor Functionality:  The main reason I love this app so much is because you can use it either on the treadmill or on an outdoor run.  I’ve found that a lot of run tracking apps only work with GPS, so if you’re staying in one place (the treadmill), it doesn’t track your distance.  You can select the orientation of your device (left armband, right armband or handheld) to help it track your movement.  At the end of your run, you can change the recorded distance to match the actual distance on the treadmill, and the app will continue to calibrate to your movement.  Pretty neat!

Nike+ Calibration

Music:  Music is totally integrated into this app.  You can select an album, a playlist, or even use a totally separate music app like Pandora or Rock my Run.  You can also select “Power Songs” to play every so often to give you some extra motivation.

Stats:  The app does a great job of tracking your runs.  Each day’s activity is saved individually, so you can scroll through and look at your distinct runs–pace, distance, time, calories burned etc.  The home screen also gives you a great summary of total distance, total runs, and average pace so you can get a great at-a-glance peek at how you’re doing.

Nike+ Home

Facebook Connectivity:  You can link the app up to your Facebook account to find friends to compete with.  As you can see above, the home screen actually shows where you are in relation to your friends, to give you a little kick in the butt to put in more miles.  And if you link up to FB, you can turn on “Cheers.”  The app will post to Facebook, and anybody who likes or comments on the status will give you an encouraging message (cheer) through the app to help keep you motivated.

Shoe Tracker:  This is yet another of my favorite aspects to this app–you can tell it which shoes you are wearing for a particular run.  This will help you to see how many miles you’ve put on your shoes and allow you to make a more informed decision about when it might be time to retire a pair.  My Nike Frees have almost 300 miles on them (just in the app–there have definitely been a few runs where I didn’t use Nike+), so it’s getting to be about that time for me, which stinks, since running shoes are EXPENSIVE.

Badges and Trophies:  Nike+ Running gives you little badges for certain accomplishments–first 5k, first 10k, fastest mile etc, and stores them with the corresponding runs.  It also lets you know when you beat a previous record.  There are also trophies for milestones like hitting 50k or running so many weeks in a row.  It’s a great way to see your improvement over time, and feel proud of your progress.

Cons:  The biggest con for me going into more serious training is that you can’t get split times for your miles.  I’d like to be able to gauge how I’m doing on longer runs, especially as I begin running outside and will need to regulate my own speed rather than relying on the treadmill.

Also, the distance calibration option for treadmill runs doesn’t always work, meaning I can’t put in my actual distance as opposed to what the app has calculated, so it doesn’t always give me accurate data when I’m looking back later.

Conclusion:  All in all this is a great app, especially if, like me, you do a lot of indoor runs.  It’s easy to use, has a lot of great features, and helps to keep you motivated.

What run tracking apps do you use?

**Please note that I was not asked to write this review, and I was not compensated in any way.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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