Any alternatives to Nike+ system?
April 16, 2007 9:20 PM   Subscribe

Are there any alternatives to the Nike+ system to use for running?

I am looking for an alternative solution to the Nike+ system. I have a iPod but not an iPod nano. Optimally, I would like something that keeps track of miles ran, can be used with an iPod, and can be synched with a computer to keep track of my progress.
I am not sure if it is even feasible, but if there is something out there that can keep track of where i ran would be awesome. Thanks for any help!
posted by bigcheesegump to Technology (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You probably wouldn't want to use your iPod since it uses a hard drive. All that jarring around might damage it. The nano is solid state so that's probably why they use it.
posted by bigmusic at 9:24 PM on April 16, 2007

a) what bigmusic said:
hard drive + running = very bad things.

b) Here's what the guts look like. If you're the hacker/solderer/circuit-bender type, you could probably rig something up.
posted by chrisamiller at 9:33 PM on April 16, 2007

There are GPS handheld's with built-in MP3 players there days, and they use flash memory, so no worry about shock.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 10:06 PM on April 16, 2007

Response by poster: I had a brain fart about the running with the iPod thing. Basically, I really don't care about the music aspect of the system. I just want a system that can sync with my computer and give me data to track where I have been and other information.
posted by bigcheesegump at 10:08 PM on April 16, 2007

What bigmusic and chrisamiller said. Even if you don't listen to music, the hard drive still has to run to track your miles. So no, not a good idea.
posted by special-k at 10:21 PM on April 16, 2007

I think both Suunto and Garmin make products that would fill your needs.
posted by pdf74 at 10:33 PM on April 16, 2007

Here's a gps tracking system from garmin that's pretty highly rated. The info is downloadable to a PC.
posted by jourman2 at 10:33 PM on April 16, 2007

I have the Forerunner 305, which is just like the 205 linked by jourman2 except with a heart rate monitor. It does what you ask and I am quite happy with it. If you have a Mac, though, I should warn you that the Mac version of the Garmin Training Center software, which you can use to download your runs to your computer, is pretty minimal. This thread, which predates the Mac release of GTC, discusses some other ways to view your data on your Mac, if this is an issue for you.
posted by epugachev at 11:25 PM on April 16, 2007

Yeah, a Garmin Forerunner is probably your best bet if you don't go with the Nike +. Look into the 201 or 301 for cheaper versions of the 205/305 that work almost as well - if you buy them used they can be found significantly cheaper.
posted by btkuhn at 11:32 PM on April 16, 2007

There's no replacement for looking at a topo map & knowing the trails. For city stuff, MS Streets & Trips works well (& google maps can do the same, I'm sure). Even in new places, its only taken me a week or two of steady running to learn the most common mileages I'll be dealing with. Logging roads & trails usually have signpoints and/or trail guides. And when it comes down to it, it doesn't really matter if you miss your 60 mile a week goal by a mile or two. My two (possibly undesired) cents.
posted by devilsbrigade at 2:14 AM on April 17, 2007

I use a Suunto T4. With the foot pod or the GPS pod it can track distance run quite nicely, and with the pc pod, it will interface to my laptop to download data.

I've been using the system for almost 5 months now and log about 20 miles a week with it. It works fabulously.
posted by MarcieAlana at 8:30 AM on April 17, 2007

This isn't a proper answer to the question, but the Nike+ iPod setup has been totally worth it to me. That plus an account is all that keeps me running. You can map your runs with Nike+, although I haven't yet bothered, and I think it's just clicking on the map to create and save a route (as opposed to the ipod magically knowing where you ran). My recommendation would be to spring for the Nano, if that is feasible.
posted by JamesToast at 9:10 AM on April 17, 2007

bigcheesegump, I've also been searching for such a device. (I have every other iPod in existence, so I don't need a Nano -- plus I don't really trust it to accurately measure distance.) In the meantime, using Gmaps Pedometer to figure out just how much distance I covered has been excellent motivation.
posted by roger ackroyd at 7:21 PM on April 17, 2007

I'll second the use of Gmaps Pedometer. I use it along with Cool Running's running log. you get a nice round-up of stats that way.

Admittedly though, the Nano's a lot slicker and I'll probably get one myself sometime in the not too distant future. I just can't see spending the money on the Garmin Forerunner, unfortunately.
posted by soplerfo at 11:56 AM on April 18, 2007

You need a trackstick people.

No music, but Google earth compatible GPS tracking.
posted by DrtyBlvd at 8:20 AM on October 12, 2007

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