The Great Debate

So people who start out running always ask the question, “should I buy the Nike+ or the Garmin?” Well, frankly – buy neither and find a good HRM or something else! Today I will bitch about the Nike+ though. I’ve used the piece o’crap since December of 2006 and at first I thought it was the greatest thing since cheese in a can (which is actually gross, but work with me here, ok?). For about $40 CDN, you get a sweet little doohickey that will count down time or distance in your ear as you run, tracks your runs when you synch it back on your computer and then graphs them out in an online account. And that fine piece of man candy Lance Armstrong or kickass chick Paula Radcliffe will come on and congratulate you on PBs every now again. Lurve it. Nike then got hipper as they went along and the community grew, building nifty widgets for web pages and blogs, creating wicked challenges and message boards for people to whine and complain on. It was on the latter that I found out about the issues the system has with respect to tacking on kms with Nike + shoes, which are the shoes I happen to run in. Loverly. So I bought an external attachment for the sensor in the hopes that it would quell the overestimation of the little tracker…but no such luck. We’re still looking at the thing adding anywhere from .2 to .5 on every 5kms run. With 900+kms tracked so far, lord only knows how much of that I’ve actually run and how much is phantom mileage. But this wasn’t all done on one sensor. No, no. My first one gave up the ghost this fall and I bought a new one because I’m so attached to the stupid little thing. But recently it’s been giving me bucket loads of trouble. About 22 mins into each run, WITHOUT FAIL, it will tell me I am no longer running. What. The. Eff. My little feetsies are pounding pavement, my little pal. I don’t know what crack you’ve been smoking but get to tracking my kms again, pronto! And all of my tracked history likes to disappear every now and again. Lance came on the other day to congratulate me on a new PB for the mile…and it was the slowest mile I think I’ve ever run. I looked back at my run history to find it was the first one the sensor had ever tracked yet I’ve been using it since November. Way to go, kiddo! So I don’t know what to tell you, kids. Although the price point seems reasonable for something to track your runs, it really does add up to about the same as some of your fancier options in the end as you NEED a nano to operate the begger, some sort of McGyver device to attach it to your shoe plus the sensor itself and next thing you know you’re up to about 200 buckaroos. But you said you weren’t willing to spend that much for a fancy gadget? You might as well, as it’s going to crap out umpteen times and make you want to tear your hair out. Or maybe that’s just me. Lance: I think I'm breaking up with you. I so win.


Jennifer said...

No way! It tracks phantom mileage? Piece o' shit! Maybe I'm not as good of a runner as it tells me... boo. I haven't been using it for the past little while anyways.

How did you find out about the phantom miles? It's really that faulty?

Amuldoon said...

I'm a Garmin fan myself.. I have the trusty 201, old school yes, but reliable!

To be honest, I don't know how to use half of the features.. I mainly just use it as a watch, and to see how far I've went. The only problem with running in downtown Ottawa is that you can't get a signal near the Parliament Building, the US Embassy etc etc etc


Anonymous said...

HILARIOUS! I was just going to msg you about buying one (I broke down and bought a new ipod today as my last was stolen about a month ago). I think I'll stick with mapmyrun.com and a watch!

Thanks and see you in the gym/on the road soon.

marie said...

Oh, my Garmin is just as fucked as my Nike+.

It's moodier than a woman but when she's not on her rag she's my BFF.

I'll rant about it another day.

Randi said...

"It's moodier than a woman but when she's not on her rag she's my BFF." love it.

It was me it was me! I started the debate (or at least A debate, perhaps this has been an eternal debate or something) I ended up getting neither. Maybe one day, but not the Nike+.

how do you know it's overestimating distance and whatever you're comparing it to isnt' underestimating it?

marie said...

You're one of the people, Randi. I will give you that.

It's a question on the boards every other day though.

It's just this past week the stupid thing has stopped on me a dozen times or so and I'm freakin' sick of it so I thought I'd write a post to end all questions as to which you should buy.

Although I'm sure people will continue to buy it.

I'm usually just plagued with bad luck and everyone else's is probably perfect.

I know Shrunk has never had a problem with hers.

As for the overestimation I think it mainly has to do with everyone having different strides, gaits, what have you and the sensor being based on a general one. You can calibrate it on a 400m track, but it's a matter of finding one available to you, right?

I know several people have the overestimation problem and it's the leading factor as to why I bought my Garmin.

Diet Coke and Zingers said...

See how great it is that I'm a dormant lazy slug? Since I don't run, I never have these sort of problems!

katieo said...

Is it worth a call to some Nike customer service branch somewhere just to let them know they sold you a piece of crap? and that you were once an avid fan but not so much any more with how erratic the tracking has been? Maybe they'd replace it, or the shoes, or give you some kind of compensation. It might be a problem for a lot of people, but maybe not everyone lets them know. (?) Just a thought...

Angie All The Way said...

I've got one whole run tracked on her so far, so I've got nadda to contribute here. But I'm glad I've heard your problems, so that I can be sure to keep a close eye on the distances. I really did want the Garmin, but I don't blame FH for going for this one as a gift since I already had my nano and I'm really just starting out with the running.

Erin said...

I have been curious about the Nike+ and was looking into it. Maybe not so much anymore....I think that I will start saving and buy myself a Garmin for Christmas.

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