Nike+ Run Club (NRC) app review: My perfect running partner without my Garmin Forerunner 10

Nike+ Run Club (NRC) app on my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has become my perfect running partner for the last 1.5 month during training. I have tried other running apps like Runtastic, Strava, MapMyRun, Adidas miCoach before I settled for Nike + Run Club app to replace my Garmin Forerunner 10 temporarily.

Well, it all started with my 4 year-relationship with Garmin Forerunner 10 coming to a halt recently - due to the battery life lasting only 3+ hours instead of 5 hours - making me unable to complete a full marathon with it.

In fact, during my Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon 2016 and Kuching Marathon 2016 in August, both times my Garmin Forerunner 10 short changed me at critical hour / min after 35 km. I took my beloved Garmin Forerunner 10 to Garmin Clinic (Aeco Technologies) in Taman Maluri for repair but it would cost me RM 400 just to repair.

While I am still looking for a new GPS watch to buy, I have no choice but to depend on a running app to continue my weekend training. And Nike+ Run Club (NRC) seems to fit my training needs the best out of all the running apps out there.

What I like about Nike+ Run Club (NRC)

1. Music Tied to Run Controls + Power songs

This is definitely my top reason why I go for Nike+ Run Club (NRC) app instead of others: "Music Tied to Run Controls." 

What it means is that when I start the app to run, the music will also automatically start to play according to either Power songs I have pre-selected or all the music in my library. 

For a runner like me who needs music to help me stay focused and motivated, this is definitely my main reason why I fall in love with Nike+ Run Club (NRC) app.

It's simply awesome!!! 

Any complaints? None. Nil. Zero. :)

2. Voice Feedback (Time, Distance, Pace)

As I wear sports armband to run, I can't keep twisting my head to see my smart phone screen for time, distance and pace. :)

Therefore, I have found the voice feedback for Time, Distance and Pace to be extremely helpful!

I usually set at voice over frequency of 1 km so that I would know my time, distance and pace. Oh by the way, I can set the voice over frequency by distance or by time. If by distance, it can be every 0.25 km, every 0.5 km, every 1 km or every 2 km. If by time, it can be very 1 min, every 2 min, every 10 min or every 20 min.

So far, I have tried setting it every 1 km. But today I tried to set it at every 0.5 km, but it didn't work. Sob sob! No voice feedback at all! But once I reset it back to every 1 km, I hear the perfect voice feedback again. I guess it's a little bug? It didn't bother me though. I'm fine with voice over frequency of every 1 km.

Another enhancement I hope to see from Nike+ Run Club (NRC) app is that instead of just Average Pace, perhaps Nike+ Run Club (NRC) app can also measure the speed for each km as well as moving average speed

If these key features can be included in future, that will definitely be at par with my Garmin Forerunner 10's features. Well, at least the information data that I require in running a full marathon :) 

Is there a perfect world out there? Nike, can you hear me and satisfy this little running dude? :)

3. Almost Perfect Data Accuracy in Outdoor Run

I have used Nike+ Run Club (NRC) app to run outdoor together with Garmin Forerunner 10 before. I have found the data to be about 99% accurate most of the times for outdoor running.

This is extremely comforting to know especially if I decide to run my full marathon in future with Nike+ Run Club app. Data accuracy is everything! Wouldn't want to miss by seconds or 1 min. :)

However, during my past 1.5 month of Sunday LSD running,  I found one session to register inaccurate data

As you can see below, for a 12.13 km run, it registered 4 min 37 sec per km pace.  It was absolutely impossible because I have never run at such speed before for the same route. The distance should have been around 10 km instead of 12.13 km.

Why the extra 2 km was registered? Did Nike+ Run Club capture the extra 2 km from some alien? :)  I scratched my head and pulled my hair but still no satisfactory answer. 

This makes me very worried. 

IF Nike+ Run Club (NRC) app registers wrong distance from beginning of a race, I would not be able to track my pace correctly. And this will definitely make a full marathon running very difficult for me.

But for weekend run, this is acceptable. Besides, it only happens once so far.

Captured extra 2km, causing the pace to be below 5min/km. Impossible!

Another data inaccuracy happens when I set to indoor / treadmill mode. How did I find this out? Well, I accidentally set wrongly for today's run. Supposedly I should have switched off the 'indoor/treadmill" mode but it was on. Therefore, today's runs were captured as "indoor running". 

Initially, I didn't notice about wrong setting (from outdoor to indoor/treadmill). But as I ran, the voice feedback told me my average pace was more than 6 min / km.  And I know that I have never run more than 6 min / km pace for same route before. 

Something was wrong I reckon!

True enough - the distance captured by Nike+ Run Club (NRC) app was also short under indoor / treadmill mode. For example, for the 8.5 km run, the accurate distance should have been 1 more km: 9.5 km. No wonder the average pace seemed to be more than 6 min / km pace.

Captured shorter distance under indoor / treadmill mode.
Of course, Nike+ Run Club (NRC) app still has many other wonderful features

  • Track your progress - get all the detail you need - pace, location, distance, elevation, heart rate and mile splits - and greater control over what you see during your run.
  • Get personalized coaching - Nike+ Coach has a customized plan for every one which starts with your goals and fitness level, and adapts as you progress.
  • Run together - easily compare and compete with friends and fellow runners - just hash-tag your distance against specific goals or challenges to see where you stand.
  • Stay motivated - With custom Nike+ Run Club playlists, in-run cheers from friends, and encouragement from elite athletes, you'll have the motivation you need to go a little harder and a little further.

Will I run a full marathon with Nike+ Run Club (NRC) app?

Well, I like to run light, keeping things to minimal as much as possible. 

The thought of carrying a smart phone to run - either in my waist pouch or on my arm with sports armband is never my cup of tea. 

The only thing "heavy" that I am willing to carry is water bottle. ha! ha! :)

With my new GPS watch still no sight and current Garmin Forerunner 10 in critical condition, the next best option seems to be running my next full marathon (2 weeks from now) with Nike+ Run Club (NRC) app on my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.

But I trust that Nike+ Run Cub (NRC) app can deliver despite lacking some features (moving pace, speed per km) I am hoping to have in a race.

Trust in Nike+ Run Club (NRC) - I will. 

And thank you for being my perfect running partner during this "challenging time". :) 

May the force be with you, Nike!

Written on 2016.10.30


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