It is no secret, I really hate running. It is merely convenient. I would much rather play a game of basketball or better yet a game of lacrosse with some friends but doing so would require a lot of coordination with other people’s schedule and getting a court or field available. Not to mention you would then have to drive to the location. With running, I am only dependent on me, I choose the day and time and then it is just the matter of opening up the front door and making my legs alternate steps in a faster than a walk pattern. It is this convenience that actually makes running even less enjoyable. Only having to worry about your schedule and running by yourself is one of the reasons running is such a bore. The motivation isn’t there. If your body tells you that today is just too hectic and “tomorrow” fits into your schedule better, you will usually listen because you are only competing with yourself.
When you are playing a team sport or even an individual sport against an opponent such as tennis, you usually tune out your whiny body about how tired it is until after the play is over and then you tell it to be quiet because another play is starting. With running, it is just you and your body and your body is really loud and persistent about how much better it would be to cut this run in half and go home and watch SportsCenter.
Nike+ allows you to turn running into more of a team and social activity while still maintaining the convenience. It has some cool things in terms of setting goals and tracking your runs but the nice thing that adds a bit more motivation are the Challenges. You can join hundreds of public challenges or you can create your own and try to build up some friendly competition and interaction with some friends and co-workers. Being in a fairly large company with multiple offices can make it difficult to connect with co-workers, especially if they work in a different state or country.
I setup a few challenges on Nike+ and invited my co-workers to run with me. I had a novice entry for those new to running or just wanted to get out there and walk for a bit a few times a week. I created a little more of a competitive challenge that has participants race to 75 miles within a month and then to foster some inter-office pride, I created the iCrossing Office Challenge. The Office Challenge had members represent their office in which every run contributes to the office they belong to and the office with the most miles at the end of every month wins.
There is a nice Twitter like feed that shows the latest runs and by whom as well as a spot to do some Trash Talk or some friendly words of encouragement. I still hate running and my body still tries to make excuses to prevent me from running or to end my run early, but having Nike+ and the social aspect of the challenges allows me to yell back at my body “we need to de-thrown the Dallas Office once and for all”.
So get out there and try it. It works with a number of devices and if you have no friends you can always request me and I will run with you. My Nike+ ID is TeckChavez.