Nike + iPod or Garmin Forerunner?
September 17, 2006 7:45 PM   Subscribe

I am about to start running in a more serious capacity, which is to say to train for races. I love gadgets, so I am drawn to both of these for various reasons. Which is better, Nike + iPod or the Garmin Forerunner 201?

I enjoy the idea of the Forerunner getting my speed and pace, etc. from GPS. But is the iPod system as accurate? Also, from a cost perspective, the Forerunner is a bit cheaper as I do not currently have an iPod Nano. Currently, I am looking to see how long and how far I'm running but eventually I would also be interested in seeing my pace. Additionally, since my short term goal is a duathlon, if the Forerunner is adept at adjusting for biking I'd like to know that. I know the iPod system won't be any good there.

I am also wondering if the Forerunner 205 is significantly better than the Forerunner 201 such that I should only consider the 205.

So, which should be the object of my technofitness lust right now? The Nike + iPod, the Garmin Forerunner 201 or the Garmin Forerunner 205? Anyone have any experience with these? Thanks in advance!
posted by bDiddy to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Cabel Sasser makes Nike + iPod sound like incredible fun. I'm almost tempted to start running.
posted by evariste at 8:00 PM on September 17, 2006

I'd go for the Forerunner and a cheap MP3 player (unless you can forgo the music, in which case I would just go with the Forerunner. Personally though, I need my music.) The Nike/ iPod option really doesn't seem like anything more than a flashy pedometer. GPS will give you far more information, and can be used in non-running activities as well (you mentioned biking.)

There is also this, which seems pretty cool. Though the form factor might not be ideal for running.
posted by quin at 8:05 PM on September 17, 2006

I sincerely believe in individually fitted running shoes from a dedicated runners shop. nothing is worse than ruining your knees or ankles with some generic shoes that don't really fit your knees.

thus, in spite of being a great fan of everything nike and adidas do, I would sugest you skip this gadget shoe. get some really sound advise from a skilled runner instead.
posted by krautland at 10:01 PM on September 17, 2006

The Forerunner has more features, but the Nike Plus has a community, and that's what makes it amazing. I don't run, but my wife and many of my friends do, and seeing it in action makes me want to try it out myself.

If you'll indulge in a self-link, I wrote a lot more on my blog.
posted by anildash at 10:52 PM on September 17, 2006

Check out MotionBased before you make a decision - I use an Edge 305 regularly and despite the high cost, it's entirely worth the money.
posted by kcm at 11:09 PM on September 17, 2006

If you're going with a Forerunner - from what I hear, the 205 has a much better GPS receiver in it than the 201. I had a Foretrex 201 (same GPS receiver as the Forerunner, I believe, just different software) and I have to say, it was not particularly useful when rollerblading around downtown Toronto. All those big buildings made it VERY hard to get a signal. I've also heard that the 201 isn't great if you're doing a lot of running in the forest.

As for Nike+iPod vs GPS - I'd definitely say go with GPS... not only is it useful for running and the like, but you can also use it for fun things like GeoCaching :)
posted by antifuse at 1:24 AM on September 18, 2006

You can attached the Nike+ widget to ANY running shoe, but it's only good for running (can't use it on a bike, it relies on impact).

Initial reports have it as 'accurate enough' for most, unless you are bothered about that 100th of a mile or so.

Of course you could use GMaps Pedometer (google it) and a stopwatch, that'd give you distance, time and average pace... and be a helluva lot cheaper.

I'm new to running, but will second the advice to get a proper pair of shoes (Asics, Brooks, whatever). But as I have a Nano already, and only want some rough figures (I'm a fun runner essentially) then the Nike+ system will do for me (and I've already ordered the velcro pouches for my shoes to hold the widget.
posted by snowgoon at 1:26 AM on September 18, 2006

As a big fan of not getting mugged, I like the Nike+ velcroed to my Asics and no headphones. More discreet than a big bit of kit on your arm. But I live in Mexico City so YM (before getting robbed) MV.

As for accuracy, I've test run 16 miles on a treadmill and it was just 200 yards out by the end. No experience of GPS.
posted by TrashyRambo at 4:33 AM on September 18, 2006

An in-depth review series of the Nike+, including how to use it without Nike shoes (check the links at the end of that post). Also, FYI, the new Nanos appear to have some issues with the Nike+ kit.
posted by longdaysjourney at 5:04 AM on September 18, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for the input everyone. I've got a Shuffle now for tunes, so I think I'm leaning more towards the Forerunner. All things the same, I think I like being able to dump the data out to a map.

I have a Garmin eTrex, but I think it's too big for me to run with. But I'd use that for geocaching were I to give that a go.

Since I can get a Forerunner 201 for about $100 on Amazon, I think that's going to be the object of my desire for the near future. And I think MotionBased is pretty swell.

I still welcome further input though! I can be easily swayed!
posted by bDiddy at 6:32 AM on September 18, 2006

I have a Forerunner 201 and in the summer it does tend to lose the GPS signal under tree cover. The 205 is supposed to have a much better receiver. I think the Forerunner is absolutely great, but I have never used the Nike/iPod system.

The Forerunner has a great UI that has been well designed. It's really plesant to use, minus the signal dropouts. My only caution is not to stare it it constantly while running outdoors, as you might trip or something. Not that I would know.

Also, it works fine for biking and I think there's a bike mount for the 205. Even if there isn't, wear it on your upper arms and you'll get great reception although you won't be able to read it.
posted by GuyZero at 6:56 AM on September 18, 2006

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