Racing against myself, the clock, and my running app

Growing up in a family of 4 boys born within a span of 4.5 years, competition was never hard to come by. We all had that urge to win in no matter what we were doing. I learned that even when I wasn’t competing against my brothers, I was competing against myself to be faster, stronger, better so that the next competition against them would be a win.

I’ve taken that competition mentality into my running and running with the Nike+ app has made it easy to make every run mean something. Whether it’s racing against myself, trying to set a new personal best in speed or distance, or just making sure that my overall distance keeps going up, the app is a great motivator. I’m able to track what progress I’m making in cutting my times down, get updates as I run about my distance, time, and pace, and even collect badges and trophies as I pass different milestones.

I have always found that when I get into something, there is no halfway – I’m all in. So the ability to track all of the statistics of my runs and being able to get updates while I’m running make it much easier to pace myself for my runs. It lets me know if I need to slow down to pace myself to get through the run, or to speed up to get back on pace. My favourite page to check on is my personal records to figure out what I need to run to set new personal bests. Personal records

It’s been a while since any of these have changed, but I’m hoping that as I get more comfortable with my distance running again, the bests will be falling with the leaves over the next couple of months. That blank on the “fastest marathon” section is what is really motivating me right now. I’m really hoping that by the end of the year the fastest half marathon and furthest distance are on their way down, though those may have to wait until the spring.

Like most apps the awards start coming fast and furious as you get started and then slow down once you’re addicted. For example: I graduated the yellow level after just 50km, the orange level at 250km, the green at 1000km, but won’t graduate from the blue until 2500km. I guess it wouldn’t have taken long if I kept running 1000+km per year, but that’s a tough pace to maintain with children at home.

You also receive badges for running on specific days like your birthday or holidays (mostly American from what I remember). Running so many times per week, month, or months in a row will also get you recognition.

One of the most motivating things for me though is finding out that one if my friends is running more than I am. That’s almost always enough to get me out the door a couple of times per week, especially if it’s someone that I see our talk to often. Sharing on social media is also quite easy which sparks conversations and keeps you accountable.

I don’t really have anything to compare this app to as it has been the only app that I’ve used, but that also says something about it as I’ve never even thought to download another one.

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