As we teased just the other day, Nike will in fact be selling a Nike+ SportBand—complete with the familiar shoe pebble, not shown—for training without the iPod nano. "Heavens! Why would you ever want to train without an iPod nano?" you ask, aghast. According to my runner friend Rid, who shunned the original Nike+ iPod like it was some kind of performance-enhancing drug, there are good reasons.
Many serious runners don't listen to music. In many cases, they can't, because they train in groups or because their favourite marathon outlaws it. One major running association just put out a blanket ban on music during races—which sucks for Apple (but apparently now, not for Nike). Obviously, you might just own an iPod classic or some other non-compatible iPod, or maybe even a non-Apple product (yes, seriously).
Either way, the non-iPod kit costs US$59, on sale April 10. When you jog, it delivers rudimentary workout info via a monochrome display. When docked, the SportBand is compatible with all the same community-oriented tracking and training software as the earlier Nike+ system, including the new upgraded Nike+ Coach online personal trainer shown and described below.
New Nike+ SportBand Expands the Nike+ Experience to Make Running Even Easier
The Next Innovation in Nike+ Offers a New Way to Connect to the World's Largest Running Club and Lets You Track Your Results to Train for Better Performance in Any Situation
BEAVERTON, Ore. —(Business Wire)— Apr. 2, 2008 This spring brings the next evolution of the Nike+ experience with a new option to help runners run and train. Available April 10th, Nike (NYSE:NKE) launches Nike+ SportBand, allowing runners to get real-time performance feedback during a run, while linking them to the world's largest running club. In addition this spring, http://www.nikeplus.com introduces Nike+ Coach, a new personal coaching tool to help runners go the extra mile and engage like never before in the Nike+ global online running community.
A New Way to Run with Nike+
Nike+ SportBand allows runners to see their distance, pace, time and calories burned when they run, in addition to gaining access to all of the features and tools on nikeplus.com. Designed for runners who choose not to run with music and for those times when you can't use music, the Nike+ SportBand provides all the benefits of Nike+ technology, but opens up the Nike+ experience to a broader audience of runners. Runners who enjoy that extra motivation, or who are music fans, can continue to hear their run details through an iPod nano system.
"Nike+ is all about improving your running experience," said Trevor Edwards, Nike's Vice President of Global Brand and Category Management. "Nike + iPod revolutionized running. Now the Nike+ SportBand gives more choice and allows Nike+ to cover any running situation. It tracks your distance, calories burned and other performance information while providing a simple link to the world's largest running club, when you choose not to or can't run with music."
In the same manner that the Nike + iPod Sport Kit allows shoes to send information to a nano, the Nike+ SportBand is a wristwatch that also monitors a runner's steps. But now a runner can check time, pace, distance and calories burned at a glance of the wrist. The Nike+ SportBand watch face is a detachable LINK that captures all the run data from a sensor located in the runner's Nike+ ready footwear. Once a run is completed, the LINK conveniently plugs into a computer like a USB drive, so data can then be sent to nikeplus.com where a runner's progress is tracked.
By offering runners a second way to track run data and progress, the Nike+ SportBand opens the Nike+ experience to runners across a variety of situations. It gives runners who are part of clubs or running groups a chance to keep track of their run information while on a social run. In competitive situations where minimal equipment is needed, the Nike+ SportBand provides athletes with a simple way of seeing nuances in their performance in real time. The Nike+ SportBand provides a new way to connect to the Nike+ community and reap the benefits of Nike+ technology, when runners choose to run without music.
A Personal Coach For Everyone
Running is only the first part of the Nike+ experience. By using Nike+, runners get an easy, accessible way to connect to the global Nike+ Community at nikeplus.com where they can track their workouts individually or alongside other runners from around the world. The Nike+ website helps runners monitor their running experience with dynamic graphs that compare distance and time between single sessions, as well as weekly and monthly totals.
On April 10th, all Nike+ runners can get access to their own personal online trainer with Nike+ Coach. Nike+ Coach takes online coaching to the next level by empowering runners of all levels with the information and motivation needed to build their own training programs. With Nike+ Coach, beginning and intermediate runners can access existing programs to train for a 5k, 10k, half-marathon or full marathon. For advanced runners, Nike+ Coach will help users build and edit their own training programs. No matter what personal coaching program users choose, runners can also automatically track and share their results.
With Nike+ Coach, every level of runner is accounted for, beginning with walk-to-run programs and progressing to advanced marathons and beyond. Whatever the goal, Nike+ members can join at any pace.
In coming months, teams will be integrated into the Nike+ Coach tool, allowing members to train together as a group, supporting one another and accepting challenges from other teams.
Additional community features at nikeplus.com include the "Challenges" section, one of the site's most popular destinations. Here, runners can push themselves further by initiating or participating in competitions with friends—or complete strangers—to see who can reach the virtual finish line first.
Other newly launched features include motivational tools like a leaderboard that shows how members run in comparison to other runners across the globe, a Google mapping tool that illustrates individual running routes, which can be shared with others, and a runner's blog called "The Forum."
With Nike+, runners never have to train alone again. Nike+ enables footwear to talk to an iPod nano or Nike+ SportBand, giving instant performance information and real-time feedback during a run. Like a personal coach or training partner, Nike+ puts this information at runners' fingertips, in the process creating a Nike+ revolution. As of February, 2008, Nike+ members have run over 50,000,000 miles, logged over 14,000,000 runs and issued over 450,000 challenges. Nike+ has also created the world's largest running club at nikeplus.com, a global running community where Nike+ members can log their run data, track their progress, utilise training tools, and connect with other members all over the world.