The Nike Experiment


I love hearing various stories about what works for people’s “wellness” initiative, or what they do to get–and stay–motivated to improve themselves physically. And I’d love to hear or read some other comments from readers, so post your comments away!  

Fundamentally, I do think Nike has it right as, with many things in life, it ultimately rests on “just do it” to a large degree. Yet, there are different ways to do it; it’s one reason why I never laugh at whatever it is that people try in order to get in shape–different things will work for different people (sidebar: at the same time, at a certain point we’ve all got to stop chasing panaceas or fads, pick something, and do it diligently). But for some a treadmill is the answer, others the gym, and others it’s swimming or running or weight lifting or spin class. 

So this article caught my eye because it’s a great story about the impact this little device has had on numerous people. It’s not for everybody, but for some people it will change their life. It’s also been one of the ones in which I’ve had some success in staying on a consistent workout, using metrics and goals to chart my progress. So I’m also a believer. 

A few things that have helped me along my wellness journey (by no means have I figured this thing out, and I’m still a ways off from my goal of 15% bodyfat and there are many many people who are way smarter in this subject arena than I am) have included:

-the iPhone application calorie counter, to help monitor and track behaviors over a period of time and helps with accountability while also finding some of the hidden calories that you might not recognize; consistently checking bodyfat on a monthly basis to chart progress;

-utilizing the South Beach diet to help jump start healthier eating over a period of time (it’s a good long-term eating plan as well though I will make a few deviations for my own personal preferences);

-taking a few tips from others that I come across throughout my reading and observation or hearing stories of success from others (e.g. don’t eat anything three hours before you fall asleep);

-and, finally among a few other things, my Nike +. 

The Nike Experiment: How the Shoe Giant Unleashed the Power of Personal Metrics
On June 6, 2008, Veronica Noone attached a small sensor to her running shoes and headed out the door. She pressed start on her iPod and began keeping track of every step she took. It wasn’t a long run—just 1.67 miles in 18 minutes and 36 seconds, but it was the start of something very big for her.
Since that day, she’s run 95 more times, logging 283.8 miles in about 48 hours on the road. She’s burned 28,672 calories. And her weight, which topped 225 pounds when she was pregnant, has settled in at about 145.
Noone knows all of that thanks to the sensor system, called Nike+. After each run, she can sync her iPod to the Nike+ Web site and get a visual representation of the workout—a single green line. Its length shows how far she’s gone, and the peaks and valleys reflect her speed.

Click here to read the full story.

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4 Replies to “The Nike Experiment”

  1. Personally, I enjoy working out when there is a ball to chase. I perceive there to be a higher purpose than “running around in circles”. 🙂 Therefore, I’m constantly on 1-3 sport teams at a time so I get a couple intense workouts a week.

    When I do run, I like to listen to audio books. It gives me something else to focus on and I feel like I’m being productive. Can you listen to audio books while using Nike+?

  2. Hey James, Great perspective. Thanks for sharing. Re. books, not sure…I need to check out on the audiobooks. With my shorter runs I usually just listen to music, but now w/ Marathon training and these really long runs that can last for hours I’ve been thinking the same thing–I need some food for the mind in addition to the music (though, it’s kinda cool when you run for an hour or two how you can get lost in your thoughts).

  3. Hi Rich,
    It’s amazing how far behind you get by not checking in for 24 hours on facebook! I am an avid trail runner, but started Nike+ in March of 09. I love the fact that it pushes me to do more everytime, When you hit personal best in distance, Lance Armstrong congratulates you! Powered by Univera I have decades left on the trail and to log in Nike+! So what marathon are you training for? See you in Maui next September, and many time in between!

  4. Hi Chris, yeah you basically need to have the Facebook app for your iPhone handy at all times. 🙂 Yeah, as silly as it seems at times, I get so pumped when I hear Lance Armstrong’s voice after one of my runs because I know I just hit a new personal best. I’ve never done any trail running but friends that do it simply rave about it.

    I’m training for the Portland Marathon in early October and my goals are a) finish, and b) in less than four hours; am going to do a half on August 1st in Tacoma as a bit of a prep/gut check for how I’m doing. I’m just trying to get my legs and joints used to the distance at this point…Thanks for the comment, and see you soon.

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