Going the Distance

Challenges, Nike+, Running Add a Comment »

Going the DistanceUsually, when I login to my Nike+ account, I view my personal challenges and the 400mToGo challenges. However, the other day I was cruising around some of the other Nike+ content and I came across the Distance Club.

Distance Club Milestones
100MI, 500MI, 1000MI, 2000MI, 3000MI, 4000MI, and 5000MI

The the basic mission of 400mToGo is to appeal to Nike+ runners of all abilities. When I came across the Distance Club, I couldn’t believe the tremendous distances that some of my fellow Nike+ runners had logged. I was especially amazed at how many people have reached the top three milestones:

Milestone: Number of Runners
3000MI: 105
4000MI: 34
5000MI: 14

User ChuckJonard, one of the 14 at the 5000MI milestone, has logged a total of 8,728.13 miles at an average pace of 19 minutes 32 seconds. What an accomplishment! I’ve definitely found my newest source of inspiration. These amazing accomplishments prove, with persistence, patience, dedication, and determination, nothing is impossible.

Milestone Motivation

Running Add a Comment »

One feature I would like Nike to readdress is the way Nike+ rewards runners with certificates on the Nike+ Web site.

Presently, Nike+ e-mails customized achievement awards to Nike+ members when runners reach certain mileage markers. It’s a great idea and a great way to motivate and congratulate runners of all abilities. At the moment however, certificates are only sent out when runners reach the 100, 500, and 1,000 mile milestones.

I ran my first 100 miles with Nike+ on February 6, 2007 and did not complete 500 miles until over 11 months later on January 19, 2008. That means I went almost an entire year without any extra motivation from Nike+, a long time if you are a novice or beginner runner who needs as much motivation as possible.

It would seem a smart move for Nike to maintain the user’s interest in healthy exercise and to keep them coming back to the Nike+ experience. My suggestion would be to distribute certificates every 50 miles instead of at the 100, 500 and 1,000 mile mark. I think this would reach out more to the average runner and typical Nike+ user who may only run or walk approximately 25 miles per month. Knowing that each additional milestone of 50 miles brings with it a certificate of achievement could really help motivate some people to continue running over a longer period of time.

The Weekend Warrior - We Salute You

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It seems the past two weeks have been almost too much to bear, not just for me, but for everyone I’ve spoken to - my co-workers, my parents, the waitress at the bar last night, etc. The weather’s been horrible, work’s been piling up, and there’s definitely some sleep deprivation in there too. Despite all these obstacles, I still find myself running and working out, as do my colleagues, friends and acquaintances.

I’ve been thinking about the dedicated and talented athletes that will soon be participating in the Olympics. They’re the elite of the elite and have dedicated their entire lives to training and preparation. The recognition these athletes and their trainers receive is well deserved - medal or no medal. They made it to the highest level and should be proud.

You know who else should be proud? All of the weekend warriors out there, who, despite having kids, jobs, and other obstacles of life in their way, still lace-up their shoes and step onto the pavement. You might not receive a gold medal or have the national anthem playing for you in front of the entire world, but you’ve accomplished something just as worthwhile. We don’t have all the time in the world to train and may only be able to go running when it’s convenient, but we do what we can when we can. So, the next time you finish a race or just jog around the block, remember that you’ve accomplished a GREAT feat - you’ve stepped up to the challenge.

Champions do not become champions when they win the event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it. The victorious performance itself is merely the demonstration of their championship character. — T. Alan Armstrong

Winning is for Losers

Challenges, Running 3 Comments »

Although I’ve been running regularly for the best part of 16 months now, I hit a point this month where it was really hard to get motivated and go running. A couple of factors influenced this state of mind, including a lack of sleep that consequently left me feeling too tired to run first thing in the morning (my preferred time to run), but also perhaps because I increased my mileage by 36% between December 2007 (69.69 miles) and January 2008 (95.47 miles) in an attempt to win a Nike+ challenge. As experts will attest to, the 36% increase in miles is too much of an increase within one month. The strange thing however, is that it wasn’t physical fatigue I felt this month, but more psychological fatigue. Why do I suddenly not want to go running? Why does the mere thought of running not interest me at the moment? Questions such as these have been running through my head and keeping me lying in bed first thing in the morning instead of embracing the dawn sunrise and getting out there to run.

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