Since writing my gear review of the Nike+iPod system, I’ve received a couple of e-mails regarding whether to calibrate the chip. I’ve also noticed that it’s one of the top searches that brings people to this site so I thought I’d answer that question here. Sorry for the repeat for those of you who have already received my response regarding this issue. It’s something I should have addressed in that original review, but it slipped my mind.

If you already own the Nike+ system, you’ve probably read the owners manual that comes with it. In the manual it says that there is no need to calibrate your chip, but you can if you want to. This is not true. For female runners it is almost a requirement that you calibrate your chip (unless you have the build of the average-sized man). I’m 5’3″ so with the preset calibrations my Nike+ chip would tell me I ran 5 miles even though I really only ran three. This is because I have a short stride and take way more steps per mile than a 6-foot man would take.

Once you’ve calibrated your Nike+ chip however, it is quite accurate. All you need to do to calibrate the chip is to find a nearby track (or you can use a treadmill, although I don’t recommend it because your stride will be different than it would be on a road). At the main menu you’ll click on Nike+iPod > Settings > Sensor > Calibrate. You can choose any distance to use as your calibration, beginning at a quarter mile. I’d recommend doing a full mile though because you’ll run more consistent on a full mile than you would at a quarter-mile (in which you’d likely run faster and take longer strides). Once you complete the run you click the menu button and you’re all set.

You should also consistently update your weight so you can get an accurate read on the number of calories you’ve burned (if that’s something that’s important to you). Hope this helps!