I’ve been using my Nike+ SportWatch GPS for a little over a month now. I went with this model mostly for convenience. I had been logging all of my runs on the Nike Plus app on the iPhone and I wanted to keep my running history, so I knew this would sync properly.
After running the Malibu half-marathon, I knew I needed a watch with GPS to track my runs because the GPS on my phone wasn’t very reliable (it only tracked 8 spotty miles instead of the full 13.2 I ran).
While the Nike+ sportswatch is nice, it only tracks my distance, pace and logs calories burned. Once I’m done with my run, I sync it to my Nike Plus account online using the USB cable provided. There, I can access the following:
My Pace and Elevation
I can scroll over the blue and green lines to see what the elevation gain is for each hill and to see the distance and pace. By now, I know how fast I can approach a hill at certain elevation gains. In other words, I know how to pace myself appropriately. (Though I still need to add hill-repeats to my training).
The other thing Nike Plus allows me to see are my splits for each mile. But here’s where I’m a little bit of a stickler… I can’t see my time/pace for anything in between. So if I run 6.5 miles, Nike Plus doesn’t give me my pace or time for that additional half mile. That kind of bothers me.
While it’s a nice, basic watch that gives me my pace and total distance covered, I think I need something that feeds me more data if I’m ever going to take my running seriously and track my results to find areas for improvement.
I’m look at returning the Nike+ Sportswatch and exchanging it for the Garmin Forerunner 410 which will record my time, pace, distance, elevation and heart rate. I need to track my heart rate so that I don’t over-work myself on my tempo runs and recovery runs. If my heart rate is too high, I know I’m working too hard and need to take it a little easy (don’t want to overdo it on a race week). And right now, I’m just sort of guesstimating.
Why the sudden interest in geeking out over this data?
I’m starting to set some running goals for myself. When I first started running, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to accomplish. I just ran because if felt good.
Now, I’ve realized a few things…
- I like running on trails and I’d like to run longer distances on trails, maybe even an ultra (more on that soon).
- I’d like to race and place in a trail race (either for my age group or overall). This includes the 6k’s and 10k – 16k’s. I can cover the distance, and I can run pretty fast but I need to practice on some steep hills, big time.
By studying my heart rate, elevation and pace, I figure I can determine how hard I can work a hill so I know how to approach a course. I’ll learn how to run at certain elevation gains and make up time on the flats of a course.
What are you using to track your runs? What do you keep track of? Do you recommend any particular watch?