Those of you who have been around this blog for a while (and my deepest thanks goes out to you for your support!) know that I used to post about the Nike+ system a lot. I’ve always been a little compulsive about logging my time and distance information when I’m actively running, but Nike+ took this to a whole new level!
Unfortunately, as much as I liked the idea of the Nike+ system, I stopped using it more than a year ago because the flash-based webpages were just taking FOREVER to load. I’d go to upload a new run, or check out my stats for the month, and it would take several minutes for each page to load — if they ever did load.
In the end, this was actually a small contributing factor in my running decline. It wasn’t close to being the biggest factor, but not being able to monitor my progress the way I had been was a real motivation killer.
I think Nike would want the Nike+ website and their software to be as fast as possible and easy to use as possible, especially considering they teamed Nike+ up with the Apple iPod Nano and Apple has set the bar pretty high when it comes to easy to use software and electronics, but for some reason this has been a low priority for them.
If you want to see some really frustrated customers, visit the Nike+ section of the Get Satisfaction website. They’ve pruned a lot of the older threads — there was one with thousands of upset customers who hated how slow the site was, if I remember correctly — but you can still get a feel for the problems.
In one of the now-deleted threads, a bunch of people suggested the best way to fix the problem was simple: buy a Garmin Forerunner and stop using the Nike system all together.
I agonized over the decision for a long time — it’s a lot money for me — but then at Christmas I noticed Amazon was selling the Garmin Forerunner 305 — which is GPS based and had been highly recommended to me by several runners — for less than $140… so I finally took the plunge and bought one!
I’ve now been using it for four months, and I definitely have some thoughts of what works and what doesn’t work with this watch and Garmin’s website. In another post on another day, I’ll discuss the pros and the cons.
Stay tuned, and keep running!