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November 5, 2010 / ccollinsonjones1

Love running

The 15 days of the Nike Grid are nearly over. I had a little go on it and it was rather fun.

The set up is this: run between designated phone boxes within a postcode. Dial a number and enter your code at each one. Get 10 points for each run. Get more points and all manner of badges for things like late or early runs, running in more than one postcode etc. Watch interesting videos of all this activity going on across London.

Normally, I run just for the joy of it – the rhythmic, meditative state; the chance to explore new places; being outdoors etc. Left to my own devices I’ll meander along at a comfortable pace gazing at trees.

So Nike Grid was the perfect shake up. Because of the shorter distances, and the automated voice telling me that when I put down the phone the clock would start, it got me doing some speed work. I thought I was just slow, but actually I’d got in to the habit of running slowly, and was scared of pushing out of a pace I knew I could keep up for ages. Really giving it some is a lot more fun sometimes.

It also, after a couple of months off due to shin splints, got me back in to my running shoes by encouraging lots of short runs. Next time I can’t convince myself to get out of the house for an hour’s running, I’ll remember to go for 20 minutes and go faster instead.

So if the aim was to remind people how much they love running and to shake up the routine, it worked a treat on me. That said, my participation dwindled when work got a little heavy and the clock change plunged us all in to darkness. 

I wouldn’t want to run like this all the time – the runs are quite short, the N16 routes cover some less than charming roads, and phone boxes have an unsettling odour – but it’s a great game. I’ll do it again next time.

In the mean time, I’m a runner again – a slightly faster one. I’ll be out on the woodland trails during my visit to Kent this weekend, exploring (getting lost).

Thank you Nike.

Watch the videos and see the scores here:

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