Nike+ GPS App for Runners

By March 28, 2011No Comments

Running has always been one of my favorite ways to exercise, but fighting the tedium and solitude on long runs can be daunting for one such as I with my severely ADHD rattled brain. The need for constant stimuli and feedback has made my iPhone just as important to me as my sneakers. While listening to podcasts and new music albums are a must, the Nike+ GPS app for the iPhone has definitely added to the experience.

Nike+ GPS has done several interesting things with mapping that allow me to track and analyze my runs after each workout. Using GPS, my iPhone can tell exactly how fast I’m going, where I’m running, the altitudes I’m climbing, and what my current pace is; information that can all be fed back to me live as I’m struggling to tap out that last mile on my route. It even has a feature that allows syncing with your facebook account so that my friends and family are updated whenever I start and end a run, and allows them to cheer me on mid-run by commenting or “liking” the post the app automatically makes on my facebook wall whenever I start.
The social aspect of the app is taken a step farther on the Nike+ website that stores and displays the history of all your runs. You can plan out your own route in advance or see what other routes runners in your area have come up with, even sharing comments, times, or bragging rights with those trying to beat your pace on a specific course.
The gradient line display on the iPhone also shows you exactly how fast you your pace was during each part of your run; where you stopped for traffic, how much that hill in the middle hurt your time, or how that sprint at the end looks when compared to the rest of your run. Although not accurate enough for discrete analysis, this view is nice as an overall qualitative picture of how your run went and where you have a chance to make some gains on your best time.

On the whole, a very slick approach to socializing my secluded work out routines and providing some great data and interesting, game-like ways to challenge and motivate myself to run faster and farther. Some features I’d love to see added in the future would be a way to let people on facebook know exactly where I am or how fast I’m running at any given moment, or even allow them to personalize the cheers I hear when they comment on my wall. If you have a GPS enabled iPhone and love running, I highly recommend it.