Friday, May 27, 2011

Nike+SportsWatch GPS Firmware Update: Average Pace!, Improved Instant Pace and Shoe Sensor Calibration

When I updated my Nike+SportsWatch GPS last week I received the following details for a firmware update:

Firmware Update 1.0.11

This update is required for all users of the Nike+ SportWatch GPS and includes the following:

• Adds average pace metric

• Improves instantaneous pace calculation when running with GPS and the Nike+ shoe sensor

• Improves auto-calibration of the Nike+ shoe sensor

• Fixes reset issue when charging with certain USB chargers

• Exits the lap summary screen when a button is pressed

• Fixes issue with calorie display during long workouts

• Additional minor bug fixes

Source: Nike+Connect Firmware Update "Details" when SportsWatch was connected.  

Update 5/30: I have now taken 5 runs with average pace and it seems to work just fine. This essential element makes the NIke+SportsWatch a far more complete running tool. 

Update 6/2: Ran with shoe sensor alone, GPS turned off,  after 5 runs and about 30 miles of shoe sensor and GPS which is how the sensor is supposed to get calibrated. Excellent results 5.93 miles exactly the same as measured by GPS. Previous to the firmware update the shoe sensor got dramatically inaccurate over time from factory default settings. In addition to indoors using the shoe sensor alone should be more accurate on  winding trails and where buildings and mountains can block the GPS signal. Will next test on single track trails.

Instantaneous pace appears far less erratic although I rarely use this metric. 

I am still seeing inconsistencies in GPS track ( takes a 1/4 mile or so to lock on to exact path/road) and heart rate (first 5-10 minutes have all kinds of spikes).

Nice update Nike! 

Now if stats on the smaller upper line could scroll... or one could pick both the smaller upper metric and the lower larger one on auto lap.  I find I am constantly pressing the button to see distance, heart rate and pace when on auto lap as the larger bottom area remains dedicated to the current lap time


Runner Girl said...

I'm downloading the firmware update now and I am really excited/hopeful. The instant pace was killing me and I was about to return my watch, actually. I'm going for a long run tomorrow, so we shall see!

Anonymous said...

1.0.11 is not on my Nike + SportWatch GPS; when plugged into computer now, NIke + Connect doesn't recognize watch; Was running Mac OS 10.6.6 and it still not working with 10.6.7. Mac Users beware?

Sam Winebaum said...

I am on Mac OS X 10.6.7 on an older MacBook. It took a couple of tries for update to take but it worked. First run today with update. Average pace was working and most welcome. Instant pace seemed less erratic but as we were on rolling trails hard to determine if it would be useful I never use instant pace on my Garmin but average pace is key

franck1cancer0 said...

could you quote your source for the firmware update ?
couldn't find an official patch note on the web !

Sam Winebaum said...

@Franck: Nike+Connect Firmware Update Click "Details" when my SportsWatch was connected and message for update appeared

sbarkley said...

Went through the firmware update, but now, intervals don't work. If I program a 20 minute run, 1 minute rest interval, the run interval will cycle off early, say at 3 min 9 sec. If I change the interval, it will still cycle off early, but at a different time point.
Have talked to Nike running, so far no joy.
Thought maybe I could reinstall the firmware, but can't figure out how to do it.

Sam Winebaum said...

@sbarkley. Thanks for posting about intervals. I hadn't tried them since firmware update. I haven't seen a way to "manually" install firmware so it seems Nike will have to fix this for another update. While there is alot which is great about the SportsWatch and in some areas it is improving Nike seems to be rushing and not testing before releasing..

franck1cancer0 said...

I've run since the update and have had no pb what so ever with interval training... that's really weird sam...

Lauren said...

Hey Sam!
Thanks for the review. I just got mine and the instant pace was just terrible!!! I'm pretty consistent at 8:30-9 but the watch had me all over the place at 5:30-15:00mm. Is the average pace the average for the entire run, average for lap? What's the definition? I very much like to run with an instant pace. Not that I keep watching it but when I choose to look I want it accurate! Thanks!!!

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Lauren,
In my experience the instant pace has been and is still useless for running. If you think about it what does instant mean? The watch gets a GPS location every x seconds and there are variations in location accuracy . So the instant would have to be an average of some kind. Haven't tried it on a bike but there it might be more useful as the distances between points are longer due to riding speed. As far as average pace it is average pace for the entire run. I use this all the time. I haven't found a lap average pace which would also be very useful, Garmins have this. You can set your laps relatively short say 1/4 to 1/2 mile to get a more up to minute "pseudo" average pace. I tried this but went back to mile auto laps. I just leave the lap at a mile and glance at my last mile when the lap ends.

Lauren said...

Thanks Sam!!!
I appreciate you taking the time to answer. I was using the Nike+ Sportband prior to the GPS watch. I have great luck with accuracy on it. I know the "instant" would have to be an average between two points but I think it would still help more than the pace it gives now. I'm going to give it a few more runs and see how it goes!

Levi said...

I am just about to buy one, will the watch update automatically when connected to the computer? Is there a software update for the Stopwatch function? and to set the time/date from the clock?
greets from Sweden - Levi

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Levi,
You can now set time and date from watch. Stopwatch works fine. Right now many including me are reporting problems with the auto or any synch to computer. Suddenly surfaced last week. Had been working flawlessly for months now broken. Might have something to do with the new Nike Connect software on computer. Going to stay patient and meanwhile use the iphone app version . Like how you can forget your watch and still track Nike+ site has been nicely updated eliminating the very slow Flash.