The Running Mann
So there’s a passage in Everyware that states, more or less verbatim, that a good long run is one of those things I could not conceive of being improved by an overlay of real-time informatics. This, mind you, was before the Nike+/iPod sport kit hit the market, and ever since I’ve been wondering if maybe I wasn’t, y’know, wrong.
Only one way to find out, of course. I’m now two weeks into my experiment with Nike+, and my feelings are decidedly mixed. On the one hand, I have unquestionably run more and harder – much more and harder – in this two-week interval than I would have otherwise, and this is almost exclusively due to the fact that the Nike+ site has made my running performance public, social, and therefore competitive vis à vis people I know and care about. The results speak for themselves.
On the other, I fully endorse everything Chris Heathcote says here, and I have a few reservations of my own at the level of experience design.
For one, the voice actors are all wrong, all wrong. The voiceovers (“Turnaround point! Thirty minutes remaining”) are such an intimate presence that any offness registers disproportionately, so it would be a very nice thing indeed to have a wider selection of voices available. Also, while in some sense it’s certainly nice for one’s athletic accomplishments to be recognized, even the incremental ones, it’s a little silly to be congratulated for things like “your longest run ever!” And I especially don’t give a fuhuck when such blandishments are offered by the likes of (Nike shill?) Lance Armstrong.
But these are obviously quibbles. To reiterate my fundamental finding: I’m running more, I’m running harder, I’m having fun with the online challenges (come find me, I’m “speedbird+”), and I’m in better shape. I may have to alter, or at least soften, my judgment on such interventions in the second edition.
Just for shits’n’giggles, I threw on an old Triax C8 heart-rate monitor when I went for today’s six-miler. All I need now is a pair of adidas_1s, and I’ll disappear into a vortex of relational locative biotelemetry every time I head out to the trail.
I wonder if Steve Mann jogs?