Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Garmin vs. Nike+

Head to Head.

Mano a Mano.

Well, actually it was the Garmin 110 watch on my left wrist and the Nike+ plugged into my iPod Nano on my right arm.

So more like "Mano a Nano..."


Nevertheless, they both made the entire 50k trip with me last Saturday as I ran the McDonald Forest 50k. So let's check the numbers and see which one we trust.

Well, officially the McDonald is a 50k. I'm guessing the course was actually just a touch short, but I can't confirm that, so we'll just say it's 31.4 miles. And what did the competitors say?
Garmin: 30.76 miles
Nike+: 34.23 miles
Yeah, the Nike+ wasn't even close. Admittedly, that isn't the right kind of course for the system it's using - it's better suited to nice, smooth roads and even pace, but it's got to do better than that. The Garmin looked to be a little short, but it matched the race mileage signs perfectly through about 25 miles, so I'm wondering if the course itself was a touch short.

Now, they should both keep time, but I've complained about the Nike+ here before, so let's check.
Garmin: 7:16:19
Nike+: 7:16:23
Close enough. I actually turned off the Garmin first, then the Nike+, so that's probably pretty good.

Garmin: 4115
Nike+: 4993
I don't know how they each figure the calories, but since the Nike+ had me going four extra miles, it's not a surprise that it thinks I burned 800 more calories.

Garmin: 14:11/mile
Nike+: 12:45/mile
Again, the Nike+ thinks I went over 34 miles, so clearly the pace is going to be way faster than the Garmin.

Well, the Nike+ doesn't have elevation readings, but I must mention that the Garmin found 8202 feet of elevation gain on the course, while the race directors said it was 6700 feet. That's a pretty big difference. Is the Garmin off by that much? I hope not, but I don't know for sure.

This is where it gets scary different. The Nike+ is just old technology. That said, it's also around $30, while the Garmin was $200, but here are some screenshots and you can decide for yourself.

If you've got the money, it's not even a contest: the Garmin leaves the Nike+ in the dust.

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