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Zombies. RUN!

Author: Lolly Gautier-Ollerenshaw

Technically today’s post was supposed to be an update on my house renovation following my last update in January. Unfortunately, excepting the last two weeks, things haven’t been great on the weather front which has resulted in delays with the progress of the roof which in itself has had a knock on effect with the rest of the project. I know all very dull. I promise though to have a glorious post with all the nitty gritty detail in the next few weeks.

So you’re probably wondering what the hell the title of this post even means and what if anything it has to do with a supposed post about interiors. I’ll get to the point; it doesn’t. Instead today’s post is all about my newfound love for Zombie running.

Before you think I’ve lost the plot or that you’ve accidentally typed in the wrong website address (you haven’t by the way), I should say that you’re now reading this post as a result of a recent Whatsapp conversation I shared with some of the Rock My Ltd team. I casually mentioned that I had to stop chatting one evening because I was off Zombie running which led to much surprise, confusion and a spot of mirth from the girls and then a demand to tell them exactly what it involved. Apparently, they said, you lot needed to hear all about it too…

It all began fairly recently following a conversation I had at my sister’s hen do a few weeks ago with one of her friends after I was moaning about how boring my current exercise regime was becoming. I was a member of a local Crossfit box prior to Hector’s arrival but since I’ve become a mum attending the classes has become cost-prohibitive and incompatible with my work and Hector’s bedtime schedules.

Nothing else has really hit the spot since. I enjoy yoga but I don’t have the discipline to stick to a daily routine on my lonesome and committing to regular classes isn’t kind on the pocket. I tried pilates but found the regimen didn’t work for me and I loathe team sports. I know! I’m SO antisocial. I’m too lazy to want to go swimming daily as that would mean having to wash and blow dry my hair more often than I’m willing to do and I find ‘going on the bike’ makes my legs super muscly which isn’t something that looks great on my small (read short) frame. I’m also someone that gets bored easily…of exercise that is. Essentially I want to keep fit without feeling like I’m….well keeping fit. If my brain is engaged whilst I’m working out then so much the better.

So when Leanne suggested that I download Zombies. RUN! something clicked. I love running. I find it clears the mind, gives me much needed fresh air and a chance to get out of the house. I especially love pounding the streets in Spring and Summer as it gives me the chance to have a nosy at other peoples’ front gardens and the air is so fragrant and warm too. I do find however that I can get stuck in a rut – running the same routes and sticking to a pace I find comfortable rather than challenging. Not so good.

I figured that giving the app a go wouldn’t hurt, after all the basic level of the app was free and if I didn’t like it then it wouldn’t have cost anything. Suffice to say after one ‘mission’ I was hooked.

The premise is this….

Only a few have survived the zombie epidemic. You are ‘runner 5’ en-route to one of humanity’s last remaining outposts; Abel Township. They need your help to gather supplies (think anything from pants to battery packs), rescue survivors, and defend their home. By walking, running or jogging you are required to complete a series of missions (which you listen to via your headphones) whilst automatically collecting supplies (as you run) to build up the base of Abel Township. Each run equates to one mission completed. The more you run, the more supplies you collect, which I’m told can help to unlock more missions too. So far, so motivating.

The story is narrated to you over the course of your run interspersed with listening to music from your own playlist/s. Essentially a guy ‘radios in’ every so often and shares a bit more of the story which is brilliant at keeping me going at those times when I’m starting to flag.

I’m only half way into season one (there are four in total) which focuses on the player’s arrival and acceptance at Abel Township and introduces you to Abel’s rivalry with New Canton – another larger outpost nearby. So there’s not much I can reveal at this stage but I can say that the storyline is intriguing and that each mission lasts 35 minutes to an hour.

The app can record the distance, time, pace, and calories burned on each mission through your phone’s GPS. I tend to tailor my run depending on how long my mission lasts, opting for more compact faster routes for shorter missions and then slower and longer courses for lengthier ones. Better yet, you can turn on ‘zombie chases’ requiring you to run at least 20% faster in order to outpace them for a short period of time or risk losing your supplies as a distraction to prevent being caught. This is interval training at its best. There aren’t, I should make clear, pretend Zombies jumping out of bushes at you to frighten you as you run past as some of my friends presumed.

I’m curious to see how long I stick with this type of training. What I have noticed so far is that I’m running faster, longer and more regularly as I’m keen to hear how the storyline will develop and I’m not getting bored whilst I plod along. It’s also pretty funny to hear which supplies I’m picking up and listen to the new characters that get introduced in each episode. It doesn’t hurt to hear my stats either as I progress either in terms of how many kilometres I’ve run and how long it’s taken me to do so. It means I can (and do) up the ante if necessary.

I can’t say that the zombies are particularly scary however…. I’ve heard worse from Ste singing in the shower. I’m not complaining though. For now I’ll continue in my missions to save the world and to find out what the hidden twist in the plot ends up being.

Are you with me?

Have any of you tried the app? What do you think? Perhaps you take part in another unusual fitness activity? If so why not tell us all about it…we’re definitely up for trying anything interesting on the keep fit agenda!

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Author: Lolly
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34 thoughts on “Zombies. RUN!

  1. Hooray for Zombie runs! As mentioned on said whatsapp conversation this sounds insane but immense! I really want to give it a go. I try to go running but sadly I’m home alone most evenings due to Edd working away so can’t head out of the house and taking two small children in a buggy is not much fun. I do try to go at the weekends though so next weekend I amy be joining you with the Zombie run….. xx

  2. This sounds like so much fun! I have wanted to try running for a while (like you, I’m awful with group exercises and I hate competitive sports) and this would be right up my street. Definitely going to have to check it out 🙂 xx

    1. Kimberly it’s great because there’s no pressure to run a certain distance nor to run particularly fast (unless you have the Zombie chases enabled) but it does keep you moving. I’m quite competitive if I’m honest – both with myself and others – so the app is particularly good for me in terms of providing me with info so I can beat my previous stats and with the added bonus of being entertained at the same time.

  3. This sounds brilliant! I am just starting to think about taking up running again after having my little girl (she’s 10 months in a few weeks, the thinking stage has been a long one). I am going to download this tonight and dig my trainers out xxx

  4. I love running too though currently I’m on pause whilst pregnant. I did a Zombie evacuation event the Halloween before last which was a 5K obstacle race whilst being chased by actual (or people dressed as) Zombies! You get 3 lives which are tags velcro’d on to a belt which the zombies try and grab as you run round. If you lose all your lives you become ‘infected’ and if you don’t you are a survivor. I started off thinking I wouldn’t really worry about the Zombies and just enjoy the run but at the appearance of the first Zombie I actually screamed and sprinted for my life! It was so much fun! I haven’t tried the Zombie app but it sounds a lot of fun too and it could be just what I need when I’m ready to start training again x

    1. Sophie this sounds insane and immense at the same time! I don’t know how I would feel being chased by actual Zombies at Halloween. How many people took part in the end? Was it utter mayhem?

      1. It started and ended in Allianz park and was really well organised. I think there were a few hundred runners but we set off in waves so it was just chaotic enough to be fun without being total carnage!

  5. This sounds mental!!
    I’m like you with the exercise, but seem to have a never ending list of reasons why I can’t do it (including all of your reasons above!)and yet I still moan about being unfit/having a couple more chins than I would like…..
    I’m off to try a barre class next week and currently don’t have any reasons not too stick at it……but I’m sure I will think of some if it’s really hard!!

    1. Jane it is mental! Would love to hear your thoughts on the barre class – I think Charlotte has just signed up for this recently too!

  6. Oh this is so friggin weird! I just got back from my first zombie run this morning!!! I LOVE it, it’s way better then the normal run with your music blasting as I found I was concentrating on the story and not on how far/how much my legs hurt/how I can no longer breath! I’m not much of a runner but I really enjoyed this morning! Haven’t turned on the chase bit…maybe tomorrow!!!

    1. Lizzie I think you should definitely turn on the chase function. It isn’t scary but it’s good at getting those legs moving! It gives you warnings initially to say that Zombies have been detected and then if you’re not moving fast enough then it will give you an estimate in meters as to how far they are away. I’ve lost supplies once because they were getting too close but admittedly I was running up a hill at the time so couldn’t go any faster.

  7. This sounds brilliant! Downloading as I type. My little girl is 7 months and my legs have really bulked up by all the walking we do… Was considering doing circuits but this sounds waaaaaaay more exciting! Can’t wait to give it a try! X ps feeling your roof pain Lolly – ours been rescheduled now for the summer gah!!!

  8. Ahhhh Maddy roof pain is not good pain! It’s annoying isn’t it! Anyway work out that frustration on those Zombies – let me know how you get on….

  9. Oooh gonna give this a go. Was chased around Birmingham a couple of years ago by zombies and find its a really great motivation to get running! However that run did end up in a zombie nightclub!

    1. Helen there’s a Zombie nightclub in Birmingham?? So how did it work then in terms of running and then going straight to a night out? Were you sweaty or didn’t that really matter?

  10. Love the sound of this as I like run in spring, I might have to give it a try! I’m trying to shift a few pounds before my summer holiday and have just started purposely going back to the gym for this mission. I get bored of exercise easily too and I have a knee problem that often means I just start making real progress in whatever I’m doing and then it flares up and puts me out of action for a few weeks so I need something fairly low impact that works well. I have started doing Body Jam that is a dance based work out and I love it! I started off uncoordinated and going in a different direction to everyone else but a few weeks in I’m now getting the hang of it and have so much fun doing Beyonce style booty shakes.

    1. Claire I initially started as I’ve been trying to shift a few pounds for my sister’s wedding (I’m a bridesmaid) and I’ve noticed a huge difference already. If you wanted to then the app does work on a treadmill as well – personally I like running outdoors because of the change of scenery and the fresh air – but at least if you’re inside you’re in close reach of some help if your knee flares up again.

  11. AMAZING- this was just what I needed! I was contemplating downloading this yesterday and this is the push I was waiting for. Having been a regular runner for years, I have fallen off the bandwagon thanks to a half-marathon related injury and really need something to give me a kick up the bum and get out there again.

    1. Do it Ems! It’s definitely worthwhile downloading from a motivational perspective. You can use it on the treadmill too if you’re worried about your injury…

  12. I’ve just done my first zombie run this morning. I’ve been in a running rut pace wise for a while so I’m hoping that the intervals will help me increase my speed eventually. I had the chase function on and unfortunately lost a supply on my second chase grr. I’m competitive with myself so I’m hoping for some PB’s on strava too as I can leave that on in the background. Looking forward to tomorrow’s run already. X

    1. Kate if you upgrade to the pro version of the app which I did last week then there’s a section devoted purely to interval training. It’s in the ‘missions’ part of the app (next to the home button at the bottom of the screen). There’s three different workouts which you can download that have a mixture of walking, jogging and sprinting. They only last 25 mins in total and I’ve not tried them out yet but I’m intending to have a crack at them in the next week or so. I’ve got to work off the Easter eggs one way or another!! Might be worth having a look at??

      1. Sounds great, I’ve been exploring the app features this afternoon and already thinking about downloading the full version. I will get my 10k under 1 hour with the help of zombies. Told my husband about it today and he is thinking about giving it a go too.

  13. Hehe this sounds brilliantly bonkers! Not sure it’s for me but my husband loves zombies and is looking for something new fitness wise!

    1. By all means Lynn let your husband know – runner 5 is never referred to as either male nor female ..just as runner 5 so it’s really easy to get yourself into the mindset of the character.

  14. I think I have the same fitness mindset (in that I need to be distracted from the fact I’m doing exercise or I get bored!). I got as far as downloading this a while back. Instead I’ve been doing the couch to 5k app with a friend and wondering what to do when we finish it in a few weeks. She’s definitely more steadfast than me, slow and steady whereas I’m a “Yay let’s go! – oh, tired now – ooh look a pretty butterfly! Isn’t it sunny..Let’s stop for coffee!” etc. If she’s away I can’t be held responsible for keeping myself on the straight and narrow! This sounds like a good option for when she’s not around – or when we finish.

    Out of interest – does anyone have any advice on trainer purchasing? I’ve been getting a bit of knee pain and I think my old trainers could do with an update. Obviously it’s quite an individual thing but a sportswear or trainer feature would be very well received!

    1. P.S. On the topic of unusual fitness – I went to my first hula fit class last week. Also good for someone distractible like me as you have to concentrate and you’re learning a skill so I find it more motivating. It was great fun, I highly recommend.

  15. This sounds so fun! I’m definitely going to tell my husband as he likes listening to audio books when running so this will really appeal to him! And I may even have to give it a go myself, well now that it’s light when I’m running in the evening… Might be too much of a wimp in the dark!
    If you are looking for a good yoga channel I can really recommend ‘yoga with adrienne’ she has loads of free videos online that vary in time and experience. I always feel so relaxed afterwards she has that way about her if you know what I mean!x

  16. The ‘Couch to 5km’ app from NHS is also really good. I’ve used it recently to get back into running after an injury and would recommend for any non-zombie fans!

  17. This sounds incredible! I have totally lost my running mojo and haven’t donned my trainers since a horrible half marathon last year…. But this might be just the thing to get me started again! Totally going to investigate x

  18. Hahaha there are many of us runner fives! I’m a bit late to the party but I got to say I love this app so much! Takes some space on your phone but is worth every byte. I’ve tried a dozen different ways to get back on my feet and on the track during the last three years. I used to run a lot but got bored eventually, I always do. This app is something different, this makes me actually want to go out and run. Amazing how that works. One night I for example found myself out running long after midnight because running from zombies was so fun & I just didn’t want to stop. What’s more, I even have to force myself to have rest days nowadays. (Used to never happen.) The only tiny minus I can think of is I also would like the zombie voices to be a bit scarier and maybe a bit different every time. But the amazing storyline makes up for that really. And to be honest I’m quite proud of myself as the hero of the story!

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