Lost and Found: How I Recovered A Missing Nike+ Run

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The Case of the Missing Run

I went out for a quick two mile run this weekend, running with my Nike+ Sport Kit as always. When I went to upload my run data, I plugged in my iPod, launched iTunes, and nothing happened. Nothing! iTunes never gave me the “Your run data has been uploaded . . .” message, and my latest run didn’t show up on the Nike+ website. I knew that the run was recorded in my iPod - I could tell by viewing the Totals data listed in the History section of the Nike+iPod menu (Nike+iPod -> History -> Totals) - but no matter what I did, I couldn’t get the run to upload.

I tried the usual tricks: Close and open iTunes, unmount and mount the iPod, relentlessly Google the symptoms. While my Google searches turned up a lot of great tips, nothing seemed to match my particular situation. Thankfully, I was able to learn enough from the troubleshooting steps to resolve my problem and upload the missing run.

How Nike+ Workout Data is Stored

Nike+ workout data is stored in the iPod nano in XML files. They’re deep in a hidden folder called iPod_Control, easily found as long as you’ve enabled disk use on your iPod and you can view hidden folders in your file browser (Explorer on Windows, Macs apparently require a program called inVisibles). All of your workout data can be found by browsing to iPod_Control\Device\Trainer\Workouts\Empeds\<empedId>.

Basic Data Recovery Steps

Most of the recovery instructions I found focused on two folders in the <empedId> folder, \synched and \latest. The data files are named for the date and end time of your run, 2008-05-10 11;27;41.xml for example. Find the missing workout in \synched, copy it over to \latest, open iTunes, and voila, the “lost” run will upload and all of your problems are solved. Sadly, that wasn’t the case for me.

My Unique Problem - Found and Solved

What I found in my \latest folder was a file named .tmp. I opened .tmp with my favorite Windows text editor, Notepad++, and found that I had a file full of good run data. I knew from my research that the file should be named according to the date and end time of the run. I dug into the file and found the date and start time of my workout: <time>2008-05-10T11:06:16-05:00</time>. Then I found the duration: <durationString>21:25</durationString>. A little simple math told me the file should be named “2008-05-10 11;27;41.xml.” I renamed the file, launched iTunes, and my “lost” run was immediately uploaded to Nike+.

Links that Saved the Day

While I wasn’t able to find any troubleshooting steps that addressed my problem specifically, the links below gave me enough good information that I was able to find and recover my missing run. If you’re having similar problems, I suggest checking out the detailed steps in the tutorials below.

From the Apple discussion forums, haplogroupk shares how to re-upload run data. If your iPod dies on you in the middle of your workout, Gabe Anderson show you how to rebuild your run data in his article, “How to Hack Nike+ Run Data.” Gabe’s article was especially helpful in that the instructions are particularly detailed and multiple screenshots are included.

13 Responses to “Lost and Found: How I Recovered A Missing Nike+ Run”

  1. John Parsons Says:

    Thanks to you I was able to rescue a missing run for my very distraught wife. It made her day! Thanks for the great information!

  2. Jeremy Says:

    Hey John,

    Glad that you were able to get some good results out of this post! Thanks for coming by and dropping us a line!

  3. abby Says:

    hi!like you i also had that unique problem of having my latest (and longest one at that! how frustrating!!!) run in tmp file . i followed all your instructions, however, im stuck. after renaming my file according to date and duration plus xml extension, it still remain a tmp file. how do i convert this to purely xml? thanks! from all the way here in asia…

  4. abby Says:

    hi again. re read your blog and now i got it! my latest run and farthest run (9miles in 1hr and 20mins) is finally showing! thanks again.

  5. Frank Says:

    Sounds great and I was able to get to the area explained. Unfortunately my 1/2 marathon in 2 hours flat was lost. There was unfortunately no temp file found. Thanks for the post though. It would have definitely been useful. Keep running.


  6. Jeremy Says:

    @Abby, Glad to hear that you got your run back! What a great run too!

    @Frank: Killer time for that half, man! So sorry to hear that you lost your run. Do a Google search on recovering your run data. There are a lot of resources out there that cover different techniques than the one I used above. Perhaps one of them can help you get that run back. Good luck!

  7. JohnnyPoPo Says:

    Thanks for this. Its bad enough being overweight and getting motivated to workout, and then Nike/Apple decide to not give me credit. This is almost as bad as getting suited up and having a broken treadmill (Happened to me last week). Thanks! JP

  8. Jeremy Says:

    @JohnnyPoPo You’re welcome! Glad that you were able to get your problem straightened out. Keep up the good work. It’s really tough getting motivated, but once you’ve gotten into the habit, it’s much, much easier.

  9. DK Says:

    You ‘da man!!! I have been screwing around with this same problem for 2 hours! The renaming of the .tmp file did the trick. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Jeremy Says:

    @DK Glad this helped you out! I screwed around with this problem for about 2 hours myself. What a pain, huh?

  11. Phil Says:

    Thank you!! Thank you!! At least I recovered this one. When it works it’s great, but when it doesn’t, this Nike+ is downright annoying.

  12. Jeremy Says:


    Glad you were able to recover the run, and thanks for stopping by!

  13. Dave Says:

    Thanks for the post. The exact same thing just happened to me today, but I was able to recover the run (also my longest ever, of course) tracing your steps. Thanks again.

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