Saturday, July 19, 2008

NIKE+ Calibration

It’s been a while since I started the Nike Plus discussion, but now that I’m back on the horse, it’s time to talk calibration. As discussed previously, whether you’re using a SportBand or a Nano and receiver, calibrating the system is crucial to getting accurate readings.

Essentially what you’re doing is resetting the equation to your particular cadence, so when calibrating it’s crucial that you’re honest with your pace.

Both systems handle this differently, but it’s just a variation of the same theme. First you need to find a measured distance. I feel like the most accurate readings come from a mile. It’s long enough to average out the slight differences in each stride, but not so long that these minute variations are going to cause your actual mileage to deviate. If you can find a track this is ideal. I like to stick to a middle/outside lane to make up for the fact 4 laps is actually short of a mile, and because it will keep your stride more true on the curves. But living in the city that’s not always an option - unless you head down to the East 6th Street Track or up to Riverside Park. My solution is finding a straight Avenue and doing 20 blocks. It’s pretty dead on.

To calibrate using a Nano:
  • From the Nike+ menu select “Settings”

  • Then “Calibrate”

  • Then “Sensor”

  • It will then give you some directions. Press OK.

  • Then it will ask walk or run. Choose “Run”

  • It will ask you to chose a distance. Like I said above I recommend 1 mile, so go to custom and move it to a mile.

  • Run the mile. Press OK, and that’s it. You’re calibrated.

Here’s a great link with pictures of the process.

To calibrate using the SportBand.
  • Run a mile using the band.

  • Bring it home and plug it in.

  • When the SportBand utility pops up hit the “I” icon in the lower right hand corner

  • Click on the Calibration tab

  • Increase or decrease the mileage of your last run to match the actual distance and save it.

That’s it, but anything else you’d need to know you can find here.

It’s all pretty easy but there are some things to note.

If you run 8 minute miles during training but you calibrate it doing 6:40 miles you’re not going to have accurate readings. And it’s the same the other way. So if you calibrate at training pace it’s not going to be accurate during a race.

Other things that effect the calibration are the shoes you’re using. The slight variations in where the senor sits in different models creates deviations that can change the calibration. This is even more so when you’re using a shoe pouch or for non-Nike+ ready shoes. The chip is designed to be in a certain location on the foot, so when you change that by placing it on top of the shoe, or in a pouch where it’s able to move around, those slight variations will lead to less accurate readings.

I hope that’s helpful to anyone looking to dial in their measurements.

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