Couch to 5K
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Anyone use Nike+ or should I get a garmin?

i have seen folk mention Nike+ but I have no idea what it can do. Can anyone enlighten me?

I am also wondering about getting a Garmin ( or something similar) for my birthday/ graduation present but reading mixed reviews so a bit stumped about which to go for. Also is a heart monitor worth getting?

Any thoughts, experiences appreciated.

6 Replies

There is a Nike+ running app that you can ge on both IOS (iPhones) and Andriod (Samsung/HTC). I used the Nike+ app when I was doing C25K and it was really good at tracking my runs and helpful to monitor my progress.

When I graduated I joined my local Parkrun (5km) and found that the Nike+ app was routinely overestimating the distance that I had run. For example I had actually run 5km but the app showed between 5.2km and 5.25km which is quite a big difference and I like my stats to be as accurate as possible.

So I bought a Garmin Forerunner 610, which is more accurate (but no GPS technology is 100%) and has a lot more funtionality. It is a bit expensive though. Garmin have other models which are cheaper and have less functions. If you want a Garmin you shoudl eb able to find one that does what you want it to and that fits your budget.


I'm using Nike+ but am thinking of moving to Garmin. Main reasons... I have Nike+ on my Samsung Galaxy S3 which is massive and pretty cumbersome on my arm. Also don't want to take my phone out on rainy nights as it doesn't react well to rain. As far as I am aware the Garmins are weatherproof. Having used both side by side for a couple of runs, the Nike+ seems to measure anywhere between 4.6 and 4.8k as 5k (according to the Garmin). From what I read, the Garmin is the more accurate. I would believe this as the GPS receiver in most mobile phones will be pretty basic. Also Nike+ seems to drop the signal a lot more (again down to the basic GPS receiver) when doing parkruns where there are trees. Nike+ seems to crash a lot (at least once a run) so I have to open it at home and play around with it til it crashes (usually pretty promptly after opening).

Having said that I do like the layout of the interface of Nike+, you get average pace, distance, and time elapsed on the main screen (the Garmin FR10 only allows 2 of these at a time, although the 110 allows you to view all 3 simultaneously). They are pretty easy to read when bouncing along, although this may be due to the mahoosive screen on the S3. The voice intervals can be useful with time, average pace and distance updates, although I find that I look at the screen myself to get updates, so they aren't absolutely necessary.

If you like having music with you, then a separate mp3 player is necessary, although you can get ones which are the size of a pen nowadays so carrying both still isn't as cumbersome as a mobile phone.

I don't think the heart monitor is absolutely necessary. Usually you can feel when your heart is pounding, you don't need a gadget to tell you! unless you are an absolute stats addict and you need to gather this data, I wouldn't bother.


I've used Nike+ with my iPhone since the beginning but I now use an app called iSmoothrun to record the runs and post my run data to Nike (and runkeeper, daily mile, strava, Dropbox etc...)

If you're happy running with a phone you can add a heart rate monitor to the iPhone which iSmoothrun will work with. I use a Polar H7 although there are others (and the type depends on the model of iPhone).

Personally I find it hard to justify the cost of a GPS phone that doesn't really give me much more than I have plus they're normally made with small buttons in just the right place for right handed people and that's not me.

Good luck with whatever you choose.


I used to use Nike+ on my iPhone but found I was getting too many odd/impossible timings as it wasn't consistently picking up a decent satellite signal. I bought a Garmin 10 a few months ago and it has proved much, much more reliable, so I would definitely recommend it.


Thanks so much to all of you for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate it. I think I will ask for a Garmin as my birthday is next week. Bit more than my usual birthday gift but I think I deserve it.Whether the gift purchaser does or not remains to be seen :)

My next conundrum is whether to go for the FR10 or the 110. The others are a bit too expensive. I don't think I would be that fussed about a heart monitor, I know when I am getting over tired so would probably try it out once or twice then not bother. Will look them both up and see what the differences are. Thanks again.


Nike+ running is free. So if you want to know what it does just download the app and give it a go. There is no music on the garmin 110 so if you like music you would have to carry something to provide it.


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