Disclaimer: This is a review for the old Nike Plus app before it was updated to the Nike Plus Run Club app. As much as it pains me to say, the new app is horrible and I suggest you don’t upgrade if you haven’t already. Once upgraded, features like the shoe tracking and the old training plans are gone. The old app that this review is about was great and can probably still be found online as an apk, though I am not positive that it will work the same. For now I am going to use my Garmin Connect app for all of my tracking and training needs. Garmin has never let me down.
The Nike + Running app has helped me so much in my training. I would like to share my favorite features of the app with all of you! Here they are in no particular order:
1. Coach – My absolute favorite part of this app is the coach feature. The coach is basically your own personal running trainer. There are four distances to choose from: 5k, 10, Half Marathon, and Marathon. Within those distances there are three experience levels: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. If you have run with the app before, the app recommends an experience level based on your previously tracked runs. After you pick a race distance and an experience level, you pick the date of your upcoming race. The app will then tell you when your training plan will start. The training plan runs right up to your upcoming race, with the last day being race day. Each day in the plan the app tells you what to do during your run, cross training, or rest day. The run days might consist of maintenance runs, speed workouts, recovery runs, and long runs. I will say that The 5k beginning training program might be tough for someone who hasn’t run before. I suggest beginners start with the Couch to 5k app and then progress to the Nike app.
2. Facebook Cheers – For each run you can turn on Facebook cheers. If your app is connected to Facebook and you start a run, the app will post to Facebook and let all of your friends know that you are out running. For every like and comment that the post gets a cheer is sent to your phone. So if you have your sound up or earbuds in you will here the sound of a crowd cheering for you! This can be great motivation on those long runs or hard speed workouts.
3. Map – The map in the app is very detailed. It shows your speed using a color gradient: green for your fastest pace to red for your slowest. This is very helpful to show where you slowed down on your route and what mile fatigue set in, or where you were able to run your fastest.
4. Distance Splits – In addition to the map view you can view a layout of your pace for each mile. It shows your pace each mile, how much you improved each mile, and it highlights your fastest mile. It is very useful to see a quick outline of your entire run.
5. Weather – After you save your run the weather shows up in the details. It shows the temperature and has a little graphic if it was sunny or cloudy out. This is a great training tool because if you go look at a run and see that your pace isn’t what you thought it should be, then look at the weather and that may be why. You should always run slower on the hottest days of the year. Living in Florida, my summer training paces are always worse than the rest of the year, unless I run on a treadmill.
6. Shoe Tracker – The app tracks how many miles you put on your running shoes. You can add multiple shoes and when your run has finished, pick which shoe you were wearing. I love this because it keeps me aware of how much I have used my shoes and when I should look at replacing them. Most running shoes last between 300-500 miles before they should be replaced.
7. Friends – You can add friends that also use the app. This is another great motivator because you are able to see your friends stats and how many miles they ran for the week or month. The app encourages you to try to run more than your friends.
8. Stats – On the profile page all of your stats are listed. I love stats! It is a great motivator because I am always trying to better myself. It lists your furthest and longest runs and your best time for each race distance. It’s great to have your training PRs all in one place. You can also level up, which is fun. Nike has different color levels depending on how many miles you have run with the app.