Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Using Social Media during a Run

I've used the old Nike iPod with foot sensor years ago and found attaching that much technology to myself before a run not only time consuming-where the heck did I leave that darn foot pod thingy?! to outright impossible-where does one attach the foot pod to a Vibram five finger shoe? So I ditched that whole thing, although I did like the online community, the cute avatar and seeing my progress build so a few months ago picked up the free Nike+ app for my cellphone. I used it for tracking distance but never really explored the social media features that come with it until a few weeks ago when I saw my brother tracking his runs on Facebook. As someone who works closely with emerging technologies it can be kind of hard to get excited about new technologies that simply capitalize on existing functionality to leverage a new app for my phone. That said...the Nike+ app feature that allows your friends (or anyone if you wish) to cheer you on during a run is one pretty darn cool feature. The customization options of this app is also very attractive to people (like me) who don't necessarily want everyone to know where I ran, how far or how fast but appreciate being cheered on nonetheless. From a sociological perspective I would think a study on the effects on a runner's pace or run duration as a result of their friends/family cheers might be an interesting study as more runners use this app. I say that because I've noticed I tend to stick with a tougher pace longer (or even pick my pace up a notch) than I might have without the little cheer that interrupts my music at random intervals as I run.That alone is pretty awesome and has helped me really nail a few tough speed and hill workouts these past couple of weeks. Nice job Nike!

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