Posts Tagged ‘running watches’

Runners are lucky we picked a sport that requires little to no equipment. But the equipment you do have — whether it’s a reliable watch or a well-fitting sports bra — should work well. But running shoes, a running watch and running clothes can add up to more than most of us want to spend on things we’ll be sweating in and wear out.

Name brand running clothes don't have to be expensive.

Here are a few tips to help find  functional and fashionable running clothes:

  • Buy pre-owned or wholesale electronics. Whether you want an iPod to run with or a running watch that tells your pace and splits, check out sites like eBay, Amazon and craigslist for used, refurbished or discount electronics.
  • For clothes, try your local thrift shops, the Salvation Army and Goodwill for cute, retro running tees, tanks, shorts and pants. Also check out outlet stores for brands like Nike, Adidas and Puma. Discount stores like Nordstrom Rack offer designer label sportswear for a fraction of the regular cost.
  • Shop the clearance racks. Go to large sports store chains, running stores, mall sports stores and department stores and check out the sale items. Often times the only difference between running shoes on clearance and the rest of the running shoes is the clearance shoes have colors from last season. But most colors never go out of style so you can save and still look good.
  • Don’t forget to check out our reviews for the latest information on the best electronics and running gear.

MSRP: $59.00

Star rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Pros: Easy to use, extra motivation for runs

Cons: Limited display, durability concerns

Runner: Jason Crawford

The Nike+ SportBand comes in a variety of colors.

Runners are always looking for new ways to stay on the cutting edge and keep track of their mileage. The Nike+ SportBand is an attempt by Nike to attract runners who are looking to maintain a mileage log without breaking the bank. The Nike+ SportBand allows runners to track distance, time, pace and calories burned on their runs without having to rely on GPS technology or a smart phone.

The Nike+ SportBand comes out of the box ready to use and is especially easy to set up if you are using Nike+ ready running shoes. You simply place the sensor in your shoe in the handy pouch and put on the SportBand. Press “hold” – the large button on the face of the band – and the small screen will instruct you to begin walking. After a few strides, the monitor will give you the prompt to press the button again to run. While running, the SportBand defaults to total distance but the runner can easily switch the display to show time, pace or calories burned by pressing the button on the side. Upon completion of your run, you simply press and hold the top button again and your stats will flash across the screen.

Once the runner has returned to their home computer, the Nike+ easily connects to a USB port and data is uploaded to a personalized Nike running profile. The Nike+ site offers a fun, easy-to-use way to record your results and connect with other runners. The site can be very motivating for new runners. The Nike+ site tracks simple statistics such as longest run and fastest mile, as well as long-term goals. A novice runner could easily spend hours exploring the different training coach options community bulletin boards available at Nike running.

Overall, the Nike+ system offers an affordable way for runners to track mileage and goals. The system does leave much to be desired for the more experienced runner. The Nike+ system does not manage split times and the lack of a multi-line display forces the runner to toggle between screens if they want to track distance and total time or any of the other  combinations that a runner might be interested in. The system offers no backlighting, which makes training at night challenging. There are also no audio notifications for milestones – a beep notification on each mile completed would be useful. Calibration can also be a drawback, which can range from dead accurate and easy to calibrate to over a quarter mile off per mile and extremely difficult to lock in. Calibration and accuracy may vary greatly depending on several factors, which I have found to be the most frustrating part of owning a Nike+ system. Despite these issues, I found the Nike+ to be a reliable enough system, especially for new or developing runners. More advanced runners might want to look for a system that offers more of the detailed features that would compliment a serious training program.