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Grand Rapids, MI



A place where the average runner can learn and share

Technology as motivation


Technology as motivation, can it work? Just about two years ago I was probably close to 50 pounds over weight. The thought of running was the last thing on my mind. As a self proclaimed tech geek I came across the Nike Plus system. It works with the iPod or better yet alone with the Sport Band. In simple terms the Sport Band or iPod software receives a signal from a chip that is either in the sole of your shoe (Nike Plus ready shoe) or in a pouch that can be used with other shoes. The signal tells the device your pace. The device uses this information to set your distance, calories and time. Simple right? The really great part is the connectivity to the Nike Plus website where you can see your progress, create challenges, create new routes, share socially and much more. When something like this is created, I think it is quick to say it is just  a company that wants to make money, or just a marketing ploy. maybe it is, I can never know Nike's true motivation but I can tell you the effect it has had on me.

I would like to be clear that this is no advertisement for Nike nor am I affiliated with them in any way. In fact many companies have created products like this, Garmin which are much more accurate (GPS location!), Addidas, as well as Polaris. I just happened to come across the Nike Plus via Apple.

I came home from the store and set everything up and jumped on the treadmill A WHOLE 15 Minutes! Sweating and out of breath, I posted my "run" just a little red blip. Little by little I would run and post. Now - not quite two years later, I have lost just about 50 pounds and have ran 2 half marathons and 1 full marathon. I have posted over 1500 miles since recording my runs, and I am setting goals I never would have thought of! From 15 minutes to 26.2 miles! I still can't get over that.

Is it marketing that made me "just do it"? Does it matter? I am in the best shape I have ever been in and my motivation grows with every run. The funny thing is after every run, I jump to the computer to upload and see my reward feeling like a little kid that just came back from the toy store with his new Star Wars action figure...yeah I just said that. Go out and get a device that motivates you, trust me it can change everything.