If being a serious runner were easy, everyone would be doing it. We’ve all encountered setbacks when it comes to consistency in our cardio routines, and that’s why Nike Run Club was developed. The ultimate partner in guidance, inspiration, and innovation, the app has been helping people achieve their fitness goals for over a decade.
Originally dubbed Nike+ GPS, Nike Run Club made its way into the fitness tech sector long before it became a $10+ billion industry. It all started in 2010 when the original launch of the iOS download hit the market followed in 2012 by a version for Android devices. Over the years that followed, the app evolved in response to user feedback to introduce features that changed the entire concept of running. From tracking and networking to motivation and more, users can experience it all without paying a dime.
If you find it difficult to mix things up when you hit the road, you’ll appreciate guided, audio-based runs that tell you when to pick up the pace. You even get a boost of verbal motivation from professional athletes like Mo Farah, Shalane Flanagan, and Eliud Kipchoge just to name a few.
We’d recommend the Nike Run Club app for runners of all fitness levels looking for a way to stay connected, discover challenges, and enjoy new ways to stay motivated. The best part is the app does exactly what it says without pressure to signup for a paid version, increasing the motivation for regular use without annoying ad interruptions and other solicitations.
What You Need To Know
The app is free- no strings attached.
Outdoor runs can be tracked using GPS.
Professional coaches provide instruction and motivation to push you further.
Challenges and social networking create a competitive virtual atmosphere.
You can stream your favorite tunes from Spotify and Apple Music.
Getting Started — What Equipment Do You Need?
Nike Run Club gets straight to-the-point. Once you download the app, you can immediately begin your first run without having to go through an extensive setup process. All it asks is your height and weight for the most accurate metrics. Of course, you can go into your settings later and make detailed adjustments at your leisure. Before you take off on that first run, take a moment to enable location services to ensure your data is recorded for future reference. If you’re using an iOS product, it’s also necessary to enable Fitness Tracking.
Nike Run Club allows you to meet your fitness goals without spending a fortune. The app is free, and there’s no need for expensive equipment. As you spend more time exploring the app, you’ll find Nike does a fantastic job allowing you to keep workouts interesting by mixing things up. While you can go on a basic run, setting targets allows you to focus on specific goals like timed runs, long-distance, or speed. A Guided Run comes complete with expert advice and encouragement from top coaches and athletes within the Nike platform with occasional special guest appearances. This allows you to take advantage of various forms of speed play and technique guidance to enhance effectiveness. You can also push your limits with NRC Challenges that allow you to advance toward your goals in three ways:
Individual: Focus on specific time or speed goals.
Community: Exercise as a team with others runners in the NRC community, sometimes while supporting a notable cause.
Custom Challenge: Create your own challenge, and invite friends to join in on the fun.
With so many options, every day presents fun new opportunities so you never find your cardio routine boring, and all you need is your mobile device. A Spotify or Apple Music account comes in handy if you want to enjoy your favorite music during your run.
What to Expect From a Nike Run Club Workout?
Nike Run Club is highly-customizable, allowing you to get exactly what you expect out of each workout. Whether you’re a highly-regimented athlete who knows precisely how you want to workout each day or take a more low-key approach with an openness to new ideas and guidance, this app has something for everyone. No matter your style, features like indoor/outdoor options, auto-pause, and audio feedback are helpful in maximizing efficiency and the collection of accurate data.
Before Your Run
You have the option of accessing Nike Run Club from your mobile device, Apple Watch, or Android Wear watch. Before you take off on your first run, you should take a moment to get things setup to ensure you get the most out of the app based on your needs and preferences.
From your iOS or Android app, tap on the gear icon to explore the following settings:
Audio Feedback for audio updates on distance and duration milestones as well as motivation from friends within your NRC social network
Auto-Pause to ensure the app automatically stops tracking metrics when running stops for the most accurate data possible
Countdown to initiate a timer of three, six, or nine seconds that will signal the start of your run
Orientation to allow the choice of a portrait or landscape view of your screen
Heart Rate monitoring for precision target heart rate training
From your Apple Watch, take a look in Settings to examine your options. These include Indoor/Outdoor, Auto-Pause, Voiceover, Frequency, Cheers, Countdown, Twilight Mode, Celebrations, Unit of Measure, and Schedule a Run. If using an Android Wear watch, you will also go to “Settings” to adjust your options. In addition to the features on Apple Watch, you also have options including Metrics to display current and overall pace, Voiceover for users with speakers, and Heart Rate Monitoring.
During Your Run
Nike Run Club offers several fun features to take advantage of during your run. Mobile device users can enjoy the Photos feature to maximize social engagement by taking a picture to showcase their runs. Screen Lock prevents you from accidentally ending your run and losing all tracking in the process. You can also track distance, duration, pace, and heart rate.
Nike Run Club Workout Types
One of the most notable characteristics of the Nike business model is their delivery of the variety needed to accommodate unique needs. While most of us want to stay healthy, we all have different goals and activities of daily life. Nike makes it easy to cater these specificities with a variety of workout types.
Not everyone is preparing for a competition, and many who are new to fitness aren’t even sure what their current cardio levels are. It can take time to test your limits, decide what kind of runs you enjoy, and learn the type of cardio you’re most likely to adhere to for the long term. Starting off with a Basic Run is a great way to understand these underlying factors so you can advance strategically toward more targeted workouts. Basic runs allow you to run as long or far as you like, all the while tracking your metrics for further analysis you can use to gauge the direction of your next workout.
Runners with a clear goal of how far they want to run will benefit from Distance Runs. Whether you’re preparing for a 5k or have been tracking Basic Runs and recognized trends that have allowed you to create your first goal, this option is a great way to start competing against yourself and building endurance.
Maybe you have a limited period of time to set aside for running. Perhaps you want to push your limits and run for a longer period of time than your last run. There are many situations in which a Duration Run can help you switch things up and push your limits. All you have to do is choose how long you want your run to last, and you’re off.
People who strive with instruction and motivation will love Guided Runs. Even experienced runners can learn a thing or two from Nike coaches and professional athletes as they walk you through a vast array of workout options. You can access Guided Runs on both your mobile device and Apple Watch.
Speed Runs provide endless ways to switch up your training. This is a great tool to use if you enjoy interval training with the Lap feature that learns your targeted intervals for strategic training for HIIT, Fartlek, and other popular forms of speed play. If interval training isn’t your preferred method, you can set up speed goals that help you achieve faster times for progressive workout planning. Speed Runs even allow you to pause your intervals to easily incorporate recovery periods without corrupting accurate data capture.
Many of us need a sense of accountability to stick with a workout plan, and Nike offers fun and competitive Challenges to push yourself, have fun with friends, and engage with an encouraging community. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment when you achieve virtual trophies for bragging rights. While there are many challenges from which to choose, they fall under three primary categories:
Individual Challenges allow you to compete against yourself.
Community Challenges connect you with a global running team for support and fun.
Custom Challenges allow you to set the rules and invite others in on the excitement.
The Nike Run Club provides Training Plans that focus on specific goals to help you prepare the most effectively. For example, the Half Marathon training plan provides a 14-week blueprint to have you race-ready through a mixture of speed runs, long runs, recovery runs, and rest periods. There are also plans geared toward beginners to help build endurance. The options are endless, making it easy to find just the one to meet your goals. You’re even accompanied by professional coaches if you need that added touch.
Nike Run Club Nutrition App
The Nike Run Club app is designed to help you take your cardio training to new heights. Of course, it’s critical you understand how to properly fuel your runs for maximum efficiency. While the NRC app itself doesn’t provide a nutrition component, Nike does provide an excellent resource for you to garner valuable information in their coaching blog. Here, you can read stories, receive professional advice, and strengthen both mind and body. You’ll have endless opportunities to improve on nutrition and so much more. If you need targeted nutrition guidance, you won’t want to miss out on our experience with the popular Noom app.
Our Experience With the Nike Run Club App
As a runner who has competed in a marathon, triathlon, and multiple 5ks, I found the Nike Run Club app to be an excellent resource considering it costs nothing. My favorite aspect of the Nike Run Club app is its versatility. Whether indoors or outdoors, guided or autonomous, speed or distance tracked, there’s a training method to meet just about any preference. I even found new varieties of speed play that I’d never tried before, allowing me to mix things up and prevent my workouts from becoming boring.
The app is easy to use. Yes, there are many features to try, and it takes time to go through everything and explore what the app has to offer. However, the interface is very user-friendly, and there was nothing confusing in terms of how to navigate and employ the various features discussed in this review. All runners are familiar with that added boost of energy you get when your favorite song comes through your headphones, and I love that Nike Run Club allows you to listen to your favorite music through the app with Apple Music and Spotify. You can even open a different app while using NRC to enjoy a podcast or audiobook.
Nike literally has you covered from head to toe. Their shoe tracking system keeps your feet safe from the wear and tear of repetitive pounding on the pavement. You select your brand from Nike’s extensive list of options, and the app tracks your mileage to make sure you know when it’s time for a new pair. From workout variety and entertainment to social engagement, precision tracking, coaching, and so much more, the Nike Run Club app offers incredible value at no charge and is a fantastic tool for any runner to add to their arsenal.
GPS distance tracking
Spotify and Apple Music compatible
Warm-up and cool-down included on all runs
Connect with friends and compete in fun challenges
Excellent overall integration
Some complaints of runs not syncing
Lacks indication of difficulty level of each run
Some complaints of disruptive glitches
Data not always accurate
Is Nike Run Club App Worth It?
At the end of the day, is the Nike Run Club App worth it? Absolutely. You have nothing to lose since the app is completely free of charge. It allows you to take running beyond a mundane form of cardio and unleashes new techniques to keep you on your toes. Best of all, Nike offers the advantage of industry-leading experience. They appreciate the unique features needed to reach a broad audience and cover just about any fitness goal.
If you’re on a budget and looking for an app that treats you like an athlete, keeps you entertained, and equips you with knowledge that’ll make future workouts more and more effective over time, the Nike Run Club app is the perfect companion for runners of all fitness levels. Even advanced athletes can learn new training styles to improve pacing, endurance, speed, and distance. Overall the Nike Run Club app is worth the download if you want to make running a regular and effective part of your fitness routine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much does Nike Run Club cost?
A: Nike Run Club is a free app.
Q: Does Nike Run Club include a leaderboard?
A: Yes, Nike Run Club offers multiple Challenges and encourages group participation. You can even create your own fun competitions to share with your fitness network.
Q: Does Nike Run Club offer coaching?
A: Nike Run Club provides expert coaching and motivation from fitness professionals through Guided Runs.
Q: How do I access Training Plans in the Nike Run Club app?
A: If Nike Run Club Training Plans aren’t showing up, it’s likely you don’t have the latest version of the app downloaded. Check your mobile device to see if there are updates available.
Q: Why am I not seeing my run reflected in my Training Plan?
A: The most common reason why a run is not reflecting in your Training Plan is a failure to initiate the run on your phone when using your fitness watch to track exercise. Runs started on watches won’t be applied to your Training Plan. Once the run is complete, there’s no way to manually add it to your plan later.
Q: Can you delete runs from the Nike Training App?
A: If you want to delete a run due to common issues like failure to reach a goal, interrupted GPS tracking, or having to stop a run early, it’s simple to remove it from your stats from the Activity tab. Go to “History,” select the run you wish to remove, and tap the three dots. From here, you’ll see the option to Remove (iOS) or Delete Run (Android). Remember, once removed, you cannot restore the run, and removal can impact Nike Run Level and/or Achievements.
Q: Does the Nike Run Club App Connect with Apple Health?
A: Yes, you can connect the Nike Run Club app with Apple Health to integrate data like Active Energy, Heart Rate, and Workouts gathered by NRC with Apple Health. There are two ways to connect. During setup, progress past the “What’s New” screen, click “Ok, let’s go,” click “Allow,” and select “Done.” If you choose to make the integration later, access “Privacy” in your phone’s settings. From there, select “Health,” then “Nike Run Club,” and determine the data you wish to integrate.
Q: Does my heart rate monitor connect with the Nike Run Club App?
A: Yes, your heart rate monitor can be connected via Bluetooth on both iOS and Android devices.
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