iPod nano 6G-1.2; Nike+ kit; Polar HR strap

Discussion in 'iPod' started by ftaok, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. ftaok, Dec 11, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2011

    macrumors 601

    To anyone interested,


    I recently bought the Nike+ Sport kit (footpod and receiver) and a Polar Wearlink+ (Nike+ compatible) for use with my nano 6G. There seems to be a dearth of information on the internet, so I figured I'd just bite the bullet and buy it.

    I had been using the nano without the Nike+ Sport kit for recording my pedometer steps and treadmill runs. I uploaded my stats to both the Nike+Running and Nike+Active websites. Then I suffered an injury to my leg that prevents me to run very much, so I started using the elliptical at the gym. The problem I had was that the iPod doesn't really track elliptical workouts effectively.

    So I bought the Nike+ kit and the Polar strap.


    When you first plug in the Nike+ receiver, you get a few new menu items. In the settings screen for "Fitness", there's a new selection that allows you to set up the footpod, a Nike remote, or the HR strap. It's pretty easy to do.

    When you're ready to do a workout, you get a new selection for a dedicated HR workout. Inexplicably, you have to select "Run" and then the last selection is "Heart Rate". Once you select it, you choose what kind of activity you'll be doing. You can select aerobics, basketball, bicycling, circuit training, elliptical, golf, hiking, jogging, racquet sports, rowing, running, skiing, soccer, stepper, walking, yoga, and other. Select your activity and you're ready to go.

    After you're finished the workout, you can go to sync your activity to the Nike website(s). This is where I've run into some trouble. I figured that the HR workout would load into the Nike+ Active website. I haven't been able to do that. These workouts do, however, sync to the Nike+Running website. You get a nice graph of your workout and also a heart rate along with your average HR. You can also see your calories burned.

    I have a support ticket in the works with Nike in regards to the Nike+Active site. I hope to be able to get these HR workouts onto the Active website. I need the extra Nike Fuel.

    I've attached some pictures showing all of the stuff explained above. I hope this helps answer some questions. I know this would have been helpful for me.

    FT's Nike+ iPod album - Photobucket

    UPDATE - I've since been able to upload the heartrate workouts into the Nike+ Active website. Looks like HR workouts give you 1 Nike Fuel point for every calorie burned.
  2. macrumors newbie

    Thank you for the in-depth write up and pictures. They were really helpful. I just want to ask a couple more questions with regards to the functionality during your workout.

    1. On my older ipod nano, if you pressed the center button it would read back the time remaining and pace. Is there something you can tap on the 6th gen ipod screen that will read back the pace and time? If so, will it also read your current heart rate, or any heart rate information for that matter?

    2. Can you see your current heart rate on the screen during the exercise?

    My training is heavily based off my heart rate, so I'm just trying to get a feel for how helpful this setup is going to be for me.


  3. macrumors 601

    On the 6G, if you single-click the sleep button, it will tell you the time and pace. I haven't run with the HR strap yet (still injured), so I can't say if it'll tell you the HR in addition to the time and pace.

    As for the second question, I believe if you run with the HR strap, it does show your HR (again, I haven't tested this). I have, however, done a few HR-only workouts and the screen does show the HR. Please note that the nano's screen goes to sleep after about 30 seconds. You use the sleep button to wake the screen, so it's not as simple as just glancing at the nano.

    One disappointing thing is that while you can set your HR-only workouts for a particular zone, the nano doesn't audibly warn you if you're above or below. You have to be looking at the screen (there's an arrow telling you if you need to boost up or cool down), but then the screen turns off.
  4. macrumors 601

    Update - Using HR Strap during a run

    This is mainly for foosball ...

    So I was able to start running again, and have had two opportunities to do so. The first time, I ran on an indoor track, but I didn't have the footpod with me. I did have the Nike+ receiver and the Polar HR strap.

    I started a Basic Workout on the nano and ran for 0.5 miles ... just to test my hamstring. Well, the run recorded, but the HR info didn't. Not sure why, since I had done an elliptical workout earlier that day with the HR strap.

    A few days later, I brought my footpod with me to the gym and ran a mile on the track. Again, just a Basic Workout. When I started the workout, it asks for the HR zones (I have that option turned on) and away it went. The nano records all of the running data along with the HR data simultaneously. When you click the sleep button, it gives you the elapsed time, distance, pace, and current HR.

    As far as using this as a HR training device, it's a mixed bag. As I mentioned earlier, even with the HR zone option turned on, there's no audible signal to warn you that you're above or below HR Zone. So you need to look at the screen, but that turns off after 30 seconds, so you constantly have to wake the screen up. Hopefully, a future firmware update can add this.
  5. macrumors newbie

    Does nike+ in nano use the Polar HR to count calories?


    I'm interesting in buying the HR Polar strap. I use elliptical to lose weight, for me at the moment calorie counting is important.

    I've read in some reviews at nike site that nike+ app only use weight to calculate calories, even if you use the HR Polar. Could you please confirm this point? Does nike+ use HR for calculate calories? or just the weight? did you test this?

    I own the nano and a Polar F6. Maybe I have to continue with both.

    Thank you very much
  6. macrumors 601

    I believe that Nike+ uses weight, age, and gender to determine calories burned during a HR workout. It takes your average heart rate and the workout duration and plugs it into this formula.

    Equations for Determination of Calorie Burn if VO2max is Unknown

    Male: ((-55.0969 + (0.6309 x HR) + (0.1988 x W) + (0.2017 x A))/4.184) x 60 x T
    Female: ((-20.4022 + (0.4472 x HR) - (0.1263 x W) + (0.074 x A))/4.184) x 60 x T

    HR = Heart rate (in beats/minute)
    W = Weight (in kilograms)
    A = Age (in years)
    T = Exercise duration time (in hours)​

    HR Calorie Formulas

    I've found that the calories reported on Nike+ is much higher than the calories shown on the elliptical ... which seems right since the elliptical doesn't ask for gender. NOTE - I am male. I guess females would report lower on Nike+ than on the elliptical computer.

    I don't think there's any way to use VO2Max with Nike+. But it's minor, since most folks don't know their VO2Max.

    Also, the nano doesn't show the calories burned during a HR workout. You have to upload to Nike+Running or Nike+Active to get your numbers.

    Lastly, when you do a run with the HR strap, I don't believe that the HR is used for the calorie calc. If calories is more important for you than your running splits and distances, you could choose to do a HR workout and tag it as "Running" to get a more accurate calorie count. But you'll lose all of the mileage and splits.

    Hope this helps. Let me know if you have more questions.

  7. macrumors newbie

    Hi Ftaok,

    You seem to be an expert on this. Please help me how I could solve my problem. I have the 6G nano, the Nike plus receiver in the shoes the dongle (or whatever that is attached to the Nano to receive the signals) and now I have purchased the Polar HR monitor.

    I linked the HR to the nano and turned on the HR zone option. The problem is when I run the nano does not seem to pick up signals from the shoes it only shows the HR. Is it normal? (I have not yet tried to sned the data to Nike+ so maybe distance etc is also there just I did not see it)...

    Obviously, I would like to see everything or at least everything should be recorded. Sorry I forgot to mention that I usually run only.

  8. macrumors 601

    OK, I'm going to assume that your Nike+ receiver and footpod are paired with one another.

    It sounds like you're using the wrong excercise program. If you want to run using the Nike+ footpod, you must choose Run from the first Nike+ menu. This is the one with Walk/Run/History. Then, you must use either Basic, Time, Distance, or Calorie. If you use the Heart Rate workout, it will not pick up the footpod data and only use your heart rate to track calories. You will not get data such as miles, pace, etc when using the Heart Rate workout.

    Hope this solves your problem.
  9. macrumors newbie


    This works now! I had to turn off heart zone training in the settings menu....

  10. macrumors 601

    I'm glad you got it working, but you shouldn't have to turn off the HR Zone feature to get it to work. I run with HR Zones turned on and I am able to get my distance/pace data as well as my HR data. While I will note that HR Zone is a pretty useless feature on the Nano (e.g. no indications whether you're in the zone or not, screen turns off after 1 minute, etc).

    Let me ask you, are you on Firmware 1.2? Apple made changes to the Nike+ "app" with FW 1.2. Perhaps that's where the difference lies.

  11. macrumors newbie

    I am not sure which FW I am using...also I just noticed that running should work without the foot sensor as well....now I am not sure if I am using the foot sensor or the built in one when measuring distance/pace? How could I fogure this out...

    I concur on the HR zone comment....if it does not come along with alarms (preferable spoken) then there is no point in turning this on....
  12. macrumors 601

    The quickest way to check your firmware is to go to Settings>About>Version. Mine says "1.2 Mac" which means I'm on 1.2 Mac formatted.

    As for how to tell if you're using the footpod or the built-in accelerometer ... when you start a footpod run, the screen (and voice-over) will tell you to walk around a bit to activate the sensor. Also, if you're technically inclined, the actual xml files that are generated by the app has a little more data when you use the footpod.

    I'm not sure in regards to earlier firmware versions, but if you use the HR strap, you're compelled to use the footpod. The workout won't start unless it senses the footpod.
  13. macrumors newbie

    Thanks it makes sense...so it is using the footpod then which is good news!
  14. macrumors newbie

    Hi Ftaok!

    If you are still here on this forum, I may have a couple new questions to you!

    1, I run regularly with the Polar HR monitor and using the footsensor. The Ipod is basically working properly and nicely capturing the data collected. However for some reason when I am looking my detailed table on a particular run on the website, while in other cases this info is missing (though the HR data is still captured e.g. I can look into my HR graph as well). Why is this the case? I am now realising that average HR is arguably the most important part to look into.

    2, Also, I would be curious to know how the data collected could somehow be accessed via other means (e.g. excel) as the website is not giving me a great deal of features when it comes to monitoring my progress (e.g. comparison charts with identical distances? etc)

  15. macrumors 601

    I'm not sure what you're referring to, but I have a suspicion that whatever problem you're having is due to the Nike+ website. Nike might make great shoes and gear, but they're horrible with web-services. Hell, Nike+ Active has been down for around 9 months. If they're going to cancel a service like Active, then just let us know.

    Anyways, I'd be willing to bet that your issues with the HR charts are due to the Nike+ website. When they moved from Flash to HTML5, I noticed that the HR graphs weren't as detailed. The data is all there, but the presentation of that data changed.

    All of your workout data is stored on the nano. Getting to the data is quite trivial, provided that you have a moderate amount of PC/Mac savvy.

    I use a Mac, but I think it's easier on the PC ... although I've never tried on a PC since my nano is Mac-formatted.

    On a Mac, plug in the nano with iTunes CLOSED. Wait for the nano to show up on the desktop. Hit CMD-Shift-G for the GoTo dialog box. Enter " /volumes/*****/ipod_control/device/trainer/workouts/empeds/ " into the box, with ***** being your iPod's name. From there, you'll be able to see all of your workouts broken down by "sensor". There should be one for your footpod as well as one for your built-in accelerometer. If you use the pedometer for walking, you'll have a folder for that as well. Inside each sensor's folder, you'll have a "Latest" and a "Synced" folder. Files get moved from Latest to Synced after you use iTunes to sync to Nike+.

    The workouts are stored in XML format and are named according to the start date and time. Keep in mind, the data within the file are in metric format.

    From there, you can figure out what the data means, but if you want better graphs using Excel, then use the data at the bottom of the file. There should be a series of number. There's a set for distance (km), HR, and speed (km/hr). Each data point is the based on 10 seconds. So the first numbers would be the distance covered in the first 10 seconds, the HR at that moment, and the speed at that moment. You can convert to miles and mph if you like. Then just graph it at 10 second intervals and you get nice detailed graphs.

    If you're not an excel wiz, just think about using the Text to Columns command, followed my a Paste Special > values > transpose. It's kinda hard to explain, but if you take the data from an XML file and copy it into Excel, you can do lots of stuff with it.

    Here's some references that may help.



    Sandiway's blog has lots of great posts regarding nike+ and the nano. Worth a browse.
  16. macrumors newbie

    1, Sorry I just did not indicate that I miss the average HR information on the detailed table at Nike+...average HR is given for each unit of distance (km in my case). This information seems to be there on occasions and sometimes it is missing, although HR is captured all along and I can see the graph as well.

    2, Thanks for the helpful hints...I am a PC guy but will try to access the Ipod somehow!

  17. macrumors 601

    It's even easier on a pc. Just read that first link. There are instructions on how to view the file structure on a pc.

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