Nike+ started out as a relative unknown despite their huge parent company. It was not that long ago that people really didn’t know about it and if you asked someone if they knew what it was they had no idea what you are talking about.
That has all changed.
You can now see Nike+ posts all over Facebook, and their devices all over the streets of the world. According to their own website their members have logged over 376 million miles. That equates to over 15,000 times around the world and nearly 15 million pounds being burned off.
What started as simply a way to track your training has developed into a worldwide community of runners that support each other without ever even knowing the other people’s names. Like so many other social media groups, it is the power of community that makes Nike+ so powerful.
In case you are new to Nike+, there are a few different ways that you can engage in the community.
The first way is through a small attachment to the iPod Nano and a small sensor that you put in or on your shoe. The combination of the two tracks your runs and even gives you audio encouragement letting you know how your training is going. The biggest downside here is that it was, and still is, exclusive to the iPod Nano and not any other MP3 player, even those made by Apple. I have often wondered why they never expanded to the other iPod devices.
There are now numerous other ways you can be a part of the community. All of these other ways still require the small sensor to be placed in or on your shoe.
The simplest is a sportband that is comparable to a watch. This is great if you don’t listen to music but still want your runs to be tracked.
The other option is to sync the Nike+ sensor to either your iPod Touch or iPhone. Both of these devices have built-in support for the Nike+ sensor so all you have to do is sync it up and you are ready to go.
As part of the community you can see the types of runs that other people in your area are doing, and post your own runs to sites like Facebook. This encouragement and sense of community helps to inspire you to run more often and farther. You can even look at the runs of people worldwide.
What I think is one of the coolest features of the community are the challenges. There are numerous challenges created by Nike+ such as challenges between cities to see who can run the most, running 365 miles during one year, and even monthly challenges to see who can run the most in each month.You can also create your own challenges so that you can talk a little trash amongst your friends, which for a competitor like me is great motivation.
Like many people, I really don’t enjoy running despite the fact that I feel so much better when I do. It is communities and devices like Nike+ that make it at least a little more interesting and enjoyable.