Tracking My Progress

I’ve gone out for two runs since my last blog post and both times I have experienced problems with my Nike+ app.

Yesterday’s run was a slightly muddy 6km around Duck Lake and whilst the timings and splits seemed to be ok, when reviewing the pace/route data it appears the route tracking stopped before the third kilometre.  This is something that has happened a handful of times since I started my running challenge in March so it’s not frequent and not too much of an issue if I’m honest.

The problem I encountered on Wednesday night was much more frustrating.

I decided to take on my new “winter darkness” 6km loop for the second time.  And boy, did I attack it!  I covered the first kilometre nearly a minute quicker than my inaugural attempt so had the good foundations of a quick time.  I kept the pace up for the 2nd kilometre and was feeling good physically and my mental attitude was positive and aggressive.  I not only wanted to beat Monday’s time but with a sniff of a personal best 5km time, I wanted that too!

My pace was pleasing but at the 3km mark I was thrown by the update from my Nike+ app: I’d apparently covered the previous kilometre in 3 minutes – that’s 20kph and closer to Steve Naylor pace than my own!

I continued pushing forward and the 4km update continued to perplex saying I’d covered that kilometre in 4 minutes.  Whilst that is a much more achievable pace for me I’m still not sure I was pegging it that quickly.

Clocking up 6km slightly earlier than I expected was good as the rain was beginning to come down harder but left me with some doubt about whether I’d achieved a PB.  I pressed “End Workout” and there was Dirk Nowitzki (the slightly annoying and repetive voice of Nike+) to tell me that I’d secured a 5km PB but I didn’t punch the air just yet.  I jumped in the shower while The Wife booted up the laptop: I need to log on to Nike+ to check my splits and the route information.  I thought I’d improved my PB but certainly not by the 2 minutes that Dirk had suggested.

Much to my disappointment, my post-shower inspection of the data showed a GPS blip at the end of the 3rd and beginning of the 4th kilometres.  This meant it had recorded an additional and erroneous few hundred metres at  a lightning pace which was skewing my overall result.  Dammit!

On closer inspection and looking at the rest of my pace information it’s likely that I did secure a PB, and perhaps close to a 30 second improvement but alas, with the blip there is no way of truly knowing.

So after a colleague recommended Endomondo last night & following a quick consultation with my followers on Twitter I have decided to try out a few alternatives to the Nike Plus app.  Over the next week or two I will be putting Endomondo, RunKeeper and Adidas miCoach through their paces at tracking my paces!  Initial thoughts are they all look fairly similar although Endomondo looks to have some interesting features and miCoach is already trailing the competition after not being able to access the website or get the app started on my iPhone.  Watch this space!

In terms of my running challenge, I have now covered 690km of my planned 800km and have a fundraising total of £745 so far.  The 800km target feels like it is rapidly approaching so I think I will continue to run through to see how far I can run in the original timeframe of 12 months.  If I can continue to raise a quid for every kilometre I’d be more than happy.

My intention has always been to finish my challenge with the Carterton 10k, the race I started the challenge with.  I’m now working on family and friends to try to encourage as many people as possible to join me on the start line and complete the 10 kilometres in whatever time they can.

Once that 800km mark is reached I think it’ll be time to think about what happens next…


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