July 9, 2013

Nike Plus Training plan

As a part of my marathon training, I tried out the Nike NTC Training app. I'm currently following the We Run SF "app" (which is really just a webpage) training plan, on which I've set "Just Finish" as my goal. Here's Week 1 of the training plan:

Monday - Run 3 Miles
Tuesday - NTC Beginner Get Toned Shape + Sculpt
Wednesday - Run 3 Miles
Thursday - NTC 30 Minute Beginner Get Tone Body Flexor
Friday - Run 3 Miles
Saturday - Rest
Sunday - Rest

Seems a little, dare I say it, easy? So I was hoping that the app would provide some difficulty. It's essentially a video, lasting 30-45 minutes depending on the program, and you hit "Begin Workout" for the countdown to begin. There's a large clock, counting down, with another smaller clock below it, which counts down the exercise that you're currently doing. If you have the app on an iPad, it's no different than it would be on a small iPhone screen (though there is an option to "enlarge" it, which just zooms in the picture and doesn't really enhance it).

Unfortunately, it doesn't show you a video of the exercise before you do it.  If you want to see the exercise in action, the countdown pauses as you watch and you have to click "resume" after it finishes. 

Overall, I'm a little annoyed. I don't like the large countdown clock - it makes me anxious and feels like no time has passed at all. Usually I take every measure possible to hide any kind of clock during my workouts. Plus, I was in my apartment and had very little room to move around.

I would like for there to be an option to begin at any point in the workout (i.e. on a certain exercise) and continue from there. For example, about 20 minutes into it, I needed to go and do something else, so I hit "End Workout", thinking I could come back. It credited me with the 20 minutes, but marked it as "incomplete". After I came back, I reopened the app and went back to the specific exercise I was on, but I couldn't resume the entire workout from there - I had to start it from the beginning and wait until it had played for 20 minutes while I went and watched TV. I ended up being so annoyed that I didn't finish it at all! 

I mean, if this is what I'm going to be doing- twice (sometimes three) times a week- instead of running? I'm not sure I like it all that much. And I still can't decide if I think Nike is doing a good job with the PR for the marathon, with all the miscommunication during the raffle, people getting upset, and their website being not a website at all, but a Facebook page. Not to mention the We Run SF app isn't an app at all.

I know I have to cross train while I run - and I will. But I won't lie when I say I'm researching other marathon training programs to compare to my "Just Finish" plan, to see if it's too conservative.

What do you think? Have you run at one of the Nike Marathons before? Do you think only 9 miles in the first week is too conservative for a 15 week training plan? Do you like the NTC Training App?


  1. I've never done one of the nike marathons, but I don't think 9 miles is too conservative. I'm not a huge fan of high mileage training plans. I love the Run Less Run Faster plan. Every workout is hard, but there are a lot fewer of them.

    I've been doing the McMillan Runners Core dvd's lately. They seem easy at the time, but I can feel it the next morning. It's so hard to find a good strength training plan that works well with running!

    1. I think I'm definitely just nervous I won't be able to make it through the marathon on what I might consider as "low" mileage. But that just means I need to make every run count! I'll check out the McMillan Runners Core DVDs- thanks for the suggestion!

  2. You did a good job of describing the app! I like the app, but I haven't needed to stop and start back up like you did. The main reason I like it is because I've found a few workouts that I like and it's on my phone. I hope your marathon training goes well!

    1. It's true that the mobility (hah) of the app is very appealing. I think I was just in a funk yesterday - I'm definitely sore today from what little I did yesterday! So, the app and the exercises themselves probably give great results. :)

  3. I've been using the NTC app for a while now, and I've realized it's best just to hit "Pause workout" if you need to leave and come back. It is a little inconvenient that you have to start at the beginning, but NTC is by far the best workout app I've ever used. If the workouts provided by We run SF aren't challenging enough, definitely try different workouts with varying difficulty and end goal (Get Strong tends to have the hardest workouts). Good luck on your marathon prep! :)

    1. Hi Stephanie! As the marathon training went on, the NTC workouts got progressively harder, and I enjoyed them a lot more. This post was really just my first impressions of the app. Feel free to browse the rest of my marathon training posts by clicking the tab at the top of the page - I finished the marathon on October 20th, and it went great! :)