I don’t wear a watch. I haven’t worn a real wrist watch since I was a kid and I was learning to tell time. It was a nice white analogue watch that had special hints on each of the numbers that helped you figure out what time it was. It made me feel super smart.
Now I have a new watch: The Nike+ GPS Sportwatch. It also makes me feel kind of smart, and it’s also white. There seems to be a trend here!
The Sportwatch was one of my favourite Christmas gifts this year and I’ve been waiting to write this review until I had sufficient time to test it out. After 6 runs, I feel that I now have enough information to tell you about how awesome it is (like there was any doubt!)
The watch was a breeze to set up. Literally just plug it in, enter some info and voila: ready to run. It is super simple to use and I had absolutely no issue figuring out to work it on run #1. I love that little pod that goes in your shoe. All this time, I had no idea that Nike snuck this little pod holder in all my shoes. It was like opening a treasure chest when I lifted up my insole! Yes, I am easily amused.
For my first couple runs, I think the watch wasn’t calibrated quite right. It said my average pace was well over 6:00/km and my runs on Mapmyrun.com were working out to about .5km longer than what the watch was displaying. It made me feel slow and lethargic but it was oddly motivating. It is possible that I actually was just slower. After two weeks of holiday time, it’s possible my pace was sucking. I did eat a lot. Anyway, this past weekend’s 14km run seemed to be right on track in terms of kilometres and pace so I think we’ve sorted out our first date jitters.
I love how light this watch is. I feel freer without an iPhone strapped to my arm. However, I have to admit, I do miss the motivating cheers that the Nike+ app provides. It can be very encouraging on a long run. It’s nice to have the option of the watch or the app.
This is a random thing, but I love how I can just glance at my wrist and see my time and average pace. It’s so much easier to read than looking at my iPhone strapped to my arm and reading the numbers upside-down. The battery life on the watch is also incredible. I’ve only charged it once since I got it and I’ve logged over 50kms.
One interesting thing the watch has showed me is that I CAN run without music. I didn’t like it at first and carried my clunky old iPod with me, but it died after two songs (it can’t handle the cold) and forced me to run with nothing but the sounds of the great outdoors. It was a little bit of an adjustment, but I really don’t mind it. I feel more in tune with my breathing and my stride and frankly, it’s probably safer – especially in the dark!
When you haven’t run in a few days, run reminders appear on the watch that say things like, “Are we running today?” or “Run with me later?” It’s super encouraging and it always makes me want to get out there – even if it’s -15 and snowing. Think this is a bit creepy? (eeek! It’s watching me!). Don’t worry. You can turn those messages off if you don’t like them. The watch also stores your Nike+ history (up to 50 runs) and keeps tabs on your personal records.
Overall, I love this watch. It’s such a nice addition to my arsenal of running gear. I do think I’ll still use the app on occasion – especially if I need to bring a phone with me. It’s nice to have phone, music and running app all in one device. However, for group runs (where I wouldn’t be listening to music anyway) or shorter runs in the day, the watch is absolutely perfect.
*Nike did not pay me to write this. I just genuinely love this watch.