The Nike+ watch, sponsored by TomTom, is one of many on the market that calculate pace and distance and that use GPS. So what makes this watch stand out from the competition? (See an earlier STACK review.)
Besides being a good-looking watch that you can wear with any athletic gear and not look out-of-place, it's a great motivating tool. Nike+ forces you to think improvement, because it captures data for each run—date, mileage, pace, calories burned and lap intervals—and presents it to you. Want to see if you went out too fast on a 10-mile run, or if you need to adjust your splits on a 5k? You got it. You can break your runs into mile intervals.
Runners will enjoy tracking their progress on a personal Nike+ web page, which allows you to check your running history and records with the touch of a button.
The GPS feature creates maps and tracks elevation; however, linking to the GPS is a bit time-consuming. The quick-start button, which bypasses the GPS, is an option if you're impatient, running with a group of people or on a treadmill. Without the GPS, you can still see pace and distance, just not your route.
To automatically bring up the Nike+ site when you finish a run, simply unhook the watch band, plug the USB connector into your computer, and sign in to your personal running website. This is where you can set goals, see trends and use social media to connect with other Nike+ users. The site will automatically post to Facebook or Twitter, so you can annoy friends with your running prowess while they sit on their couches watching Dexter.
Two negatives: the Nike website is occasionally slow and clumsy, and the watch itself does not capture your heart rate. However, it will link up with a Polar heart rate strap if you have one.
The Nike+ watch retails for $169.00. It is one of the best running watches on the market. If you like combining running with technology, I would recommend it.
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