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Nike, Plus

Jenn and I were honored to be invited to Nike’s 2009 Women’s Media Summit last week in Portland, Ore. After flipping a coin—and our day planners—I was the lucky one who headed to the event. It was two days of fitness fun. Just check out the colorful line of spring apparel.


I heard Olympic athletes talk about their training and how apparel makes a difference on the field. I learned a lot about the research and innovation that goes into the products from passionate employees. A tour of the Nike campus made me both want to work and work out there—the grounds are fabulous and I found myself day dreaming about hitting their Lance Armstrong gym over a lunch hour or walking around their amazing track in the woods to start off my day.


During the event, I, along with other media outlets, got to hear about the design and innovation that goes into each and every product the company makes. Each detail is carefully considered, down to the seam of a sports bra or the tongue of a cross-training shoe. Each Nike representative’s enthusiasm and passion for his or her job was obvious—and contagious. It seemed that almost everyone who talked to us said roughly the same thing: “I have the best job at Nike.” And they really mean it.

We also got a tour of the Nike Sports Research Lab, which shows how much research goes into the products. An environmental chamber can be adjusted for temperature and humidity, so the company can test how apparel works in various climates. A mini basketball court with a high-speed camera is available, so they can slow images down to see exactly what’s happening to the shoes as they support feet on the court. We got to see soccer goalie, Hope Solo, do training drills with high-tech motion sensors attached to various points of her body and see how her movements translated to the computer screen.


The Nike athletes were truly an inspiration. From Olympic soccer player Carli Lloyd—who kicked the winning goal for the U.S to win gold—to triathlete Sarah Reinersten—who has completed the IronMan on a prosthetic leg—each of them had a story to tell. It was lovely to hear that sprinter Sanya Richards hates to run long distances, and that even elite athletes like basketball player Sue Bird want to look good on the court—and doesn’t want any “whack shoes” making her uncomfortable. (Below is Sue on the right, basketball player Candice Wiggins, left.)


Getting an inside look at how hard these ladies train to meet their goals definitely gave me a reminder to push myself just a tad harder in my everyday workouts, even though I’m not necessarily trying to win Olympic gold.

I got to test out my newfound inspiration on Thursday when the group was led through a workout at the Lance Armstrong Gym. In addition to the awesome workout, it gave us the opportunity to try Nike’s new cross-training shoe (more on those in a future post). After a quick warm-up, we were led through some killer floor work, working the rear end, upper body and core with dozens of variations of planks and rear-leg lifts. Adding dozens of lunges—forward, side and turning to the back, while lifting weights—definitely had me feeling it. I’m actually more sore now, two days later, but will try to remember as much of the workout as possible so I can repeat it. I know I’m in good shape, but it’s fun to get put through the paces in an unfamiliar class and rediscover muscles you’d forgotten were there.

Oh, and remember how I’m not a morning workout person nor do I consider myself a runner? I actually got up to run 3 miles with the group at 6:30 a.m. the first morning. Only for Nike. —Erin

Let me know if you have any questions about Nike headquarters. I’ll try to answer in a future post!


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  1. Marcy says:

    OMG How lucky are you! What an awesome opportunity! I *heart* Nike! Did they at least give you some coupon codes or a discount HAHAHAA! Dayum those homies! I swear it costs 25 cents to make their products and costs us $200 *sigh*

  2. Sagan says:

    So cool that you got the chance to do that! I’m very jealous. It’s amazing the difference it makes as to what you wear when you’re working out.

  3. Tri-ing with Twins says:

    I am soooo jealous! How fun was that? I’m a total Nike freak, too. Love their merchandise. Can’t wait to read your blog about the new shoes. 🙂

  4. tfh says:

    Now I’m envying those lucky Nike employees…what a cool track!

  5. Jess says:

    That sounds like a really great time! I’m super jealous!

  6. heidi says:

    Thanks for coming to visit Nike Erin, it was awesome to have you here!

  7. Danica says:

    I am so jealous! 🙂 Glad you had a great time and whoa, that track, gorgeous! That’s somewhat distrubing that I like a track though…

  8. Juliet says:

    You are really lucky! That sounds like an awesome adventure. I can’t believe you got to work out at their gym and in their shoes too! 🙂 Sounds incredible!! Thanks for sharing!

  9. GroundedFitness says:

    Im a giant ball of green envy right now.

    Kelly Turner

  10. Gina says:

    how SWEET is that!
    i dont consider myself a runner AT ALL (i actually wrote about that today!) but i would have ran my booty off in a place like that 😀
    off subject (since you girls have tried and tested everything): what sports bra do you recommend? i would like to prevent bounce-age as much as possible 😀
    have a great night!


  11. Erica says:

    How cool is that? Thats amazing that you got to attend such an interesting event! Glad you enjoyed your time there!

  12. Rosy says:

    That’s really nice. What an experience! Nice post.

  13. Angie says:

    That is so cool! How awesome! And kudos to you for getting up and running!

  14. Metroknow says:

    WOW it sounds like you had a blast. That is great! I went to the Portland Creative Conference last month and listened to one of the researchers/designers describe innovations in shoes. Sounds terribly interesting, eh? Well it actually WAS. 😉 – You would think that they’d figured everything out that there is to figure out – but no…HUGE innovation. Very cool.

    What did you think of our fair city?

  15. Fit Bottomed Girls says:

    Gina: Sports bra varies by “need” and my “needs” are quite, er, small. My suggestion is to be prepared to spend some money to get a good one and definitely try before you buy.

    Metro: LOVED Portland! I’d always wanted to go and this was a great opportunity. It’s a unique and fun city. I’d definitely visit again!

  16. Erika says:

    That is amazing! I am so impressed! (And super jealous!)

  17. Michelle says:

    Can anyone just train there? I’m going to Portland this December and I would loooooove to run on that track! omg!

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