May 30, 2006 5:51 PM   Subscribe

I'm really interested in the soon coming iPod+Nike technology: Basically a really high tech way of tracking your running, syncing it with your computer, tracking your progress, interacting with others, etc. However, I'd really kind of like to avoid Nike for it's high prices and other reasons, so does anyone know any other similar high tech products that could help me track my run? Extra points for Mac compatibility.
posted by patr1ck to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The Garmin ForeRunner is a popular GPS choice. The included software is windows only but they do affiliate with a web site called MotionBased that has basic Mac support. About $200 for the basic one.

Polar has a unit that uses the same accelerometer-based tech as the Nike version. The Polar S625X, but it's very pricey ($350) and not very Mac-compatible.

The Nike solution is actually a real bargain in this sector.
posted by smackfu at 6:12 PM on May 30, 2006

Polar stuff rocks. Highly reccomend, especially their wristwatches that do running distance/HRM/bike distance and power... It's a Tri geek's dream.

I have a Nike Triax Elite and it's really awesome. The accelerometer works especially well for trail running where you won't get a GPS signal. GPS for running = stupid; at least in my opinion. It's nice to see where you've run on a map, but in reality, it's rather useless and the coverage is spotty at best. The Nike/Polar accelerometer technology rocks. I'm actually selling my Triax to buy the new iPod kit. It's cheaper and I never use the heartrate strap anyhow.

Splurge on the new Nike kit! or buy my old one off ebay :)
posted by jsteffa at 9:40 PM on May 30, 2006

i will second the forerunner, nice piece of kit.

Is it just nike footwear you are against? if so why dont you just buy the adaptor and cut the needed compartment out of a pair of NB?
posted by moochoo at 1:20 AM on May 31, 2006

I'm currently in the same dilemma of weighing up buying an iPod Nano + Nike Plus (for about £130) or buying a Forerunner 205 (~£110). What are people's thoughts on this?

As far as I can tell, the Forerunner is a better product in terms of running, and its GPS reception is very good. However, I'm a bit concerned that syncing data to Motionbased won't be as good as doing things via iTunes, which by all regards is likely to be incredibly easy. Is Motionbased any good, and is it easy to use?
posted by adrianhon at 3:28 AM on May 31, 2006

I have the Nike MP3 Run, which is a 256MB MP3 player with an integrated accelerometer that speaks your pace and current distance in a nice voice at intervals, at the touch of a button, or both. It would be perfect if it only did HR too. I think it has been discontinued as it was a Nike/Phillips product. I was leary about the voice interface but it's OK; a digital display would probably be a little better but it was on deep discount so I took the plunge. The accelerometer is very accurate right out of the box. I know people with GPS that have had problems around trees or tall buildings.
posted by probablysteve at 4:42 AM on May 31, 2006

adrianhon im selling my forerunner. email me and you can try it out at a discounted rate then shift it on the bay if you dont want it.
posted by moochoo at 5:44 AM on May 31, 2006

the forerunners are all very great, much better than every other i've tried.. if a community is what you also want, i suggest motionbased too.
posted by joshgray at 7:52 AM on May 31, 2006

If you get a Forerunner, get one of the newer models (205 or 305). I have a 201 and while it's a fine device, the GPS reception is poor, IMO. This will obviously vary depending on your location, but the newer models apparently have better GPS receivers. But I lose coverage a lot when I run through High Park. Spring is slightly better when there are no leaves, but in the summer, reception is definitely spotty. Still, it does track my overall distance and pace accurately. It's just the current pace that gets thrown off (and I suppose I shouldn't run staring at my wrist).

I'm not sure if Motionbased has good maps for Canada either... oh, yeah, I guess they do. Here's one of my runs.
posted by GuyZero at 9:07 AM on May 31, 2006

Anybody have any suggestions on places to buy these things in Dublin, Ireland? Any of them, really. I'd prefer local to online, but I'm guessing online is cheaper (I'm looking to start training up for the marathon in October)
posted by antifuse at 3:42 AM on June 8, 2006

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