It’s the same old, same old isn’t it?  Every time a new year rolls around, the world is filled with promises of people who will make this the year they lose weight, get fit and get healthy - so I’d hate to be the only person, not making that resolution!

It’s more the exercise part I’m keen to focus on though to be honest.  To that end, I’ve decided to purchase the Nike+ add-on for my iPod Nano.  This comprises a little transmitter that fits either inside your shoe (if it’s a Nike+ shoe) or is otherwise attached to your other shoes in some way (most people secure it to their laces in some way).  I was a bit concerned that I would lose this on my first time out so as there are some decent sales on at the moment, I decided to splash out on a new pair of shoes as well.  In for a penny, in for several pounds after all!

The kit also comes with a small receiver which is attached to the bottom of your Nano.  Although it’s quite a simple system, it does most of what you could want.  To start you can either just select a basic programme and start running, or you can set yourself a goal - for example to run a particular distance, or to burn a certain number of calories.  You listen to your normal music as you run, but this is punctuated throughout by notifications that you have reached ceretain points on the way to your goal.

Today, for the first time out I decided to set 3km as my target although I wasn’t sure just how realistic this was!  It doesn’t sound all that far, but believe me it is!

I was pleasantly surprised at how I felt while running the first half, but it got a bit harder on the homeward stretch and I was sure I would have to slow to a walk for some of it.  However, having the voice telling me how far I had to go was a real motivator to keep going and I was extremely pleased that I managed to keep up a gentle jog right to the completion of the route.

Once home, I plugged in my iPod which automatically sends the information on my progress to the Nike+ website.   There, your run is detailed in a graph and as you rack up the runs obviously more and more information is available.  Here you can set yourself even more goals and targets, more longterm ones rather than for single runs.

I’ve decided to set myself the aim of running 150km in 2009.  I have no idea how realistic that is to be honest.  It works out at roughly 12km per month, or 3km a week which hopefully I will manage but no doubt there will be some weeks when I do none whatsoever.

Having the Nike+ badge displayed on the site for all to see will hopefully be a big factor in encouraging me to keep this up.  Plus of course if the sense of achievement following today’s run continues after every run then that will help too!