Well over a year ago, I downloaded Zombies, Run! a running app that is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. But thankfully this beast is more than just an app attempting to cash in on the current fads—it is actually a fun running app.
Zombies, Run! is primarily a story, where you are the main character, attempting to survive in a zombie apocalypse. The story is divided into missions, each a 1/2 hour or an hour long, depending on your preference. In these missions you collect items, explore abandoned buildings, search for medical research. The story begins with you crash landing in a helicopter headed for Abel Township, one of the last remaining zombie-free havens. After you survive the crash you must make your way to the township, conveniently about three miles away. Oh, and of course you have to run because your crash has attracted the attention of zombies. Who are closing in. Quickly.
The great thing about Zombies, Run! is that it takes your mind off running, and gives you something to think about. Sure, you’re thinking about imaginary zombies (and the rude doctor who says she’ll leave you outside with those flesh-eating zombies if you don’t get the medical records she needs so badly), but at least you’re not thinking about how your legs hurt and your lungs will explode soon if you have to run any further. The plot weaves through your music, keeping your attention just long enough to distract you, and the sporadic picking up of imaginary items (“you picked up a pair of underwear and three cans of food” the robot voice says) always feels like some strange success. The game works for the very reason most people hate running—it combats the mental angle for you.
On Tuesday I decided to try out this app I downloaded forever ago, and I was more than pleasantly surprised. After a successful Monday run, I figured I would just have fun with Zombies, Run and run/walk for the plot line. Thanks to the great pacing and entertaining story, I actually ran further than I’ve ever run—3.4 miles. I completed the mission, and then just kept running. Zombies be damned.
My favorite aspect of the app, which I’m excited and terrified to try out, is the Zombie Chase option. If you turn it on, the app will randomly decide that you are being chased by zombies. If you don’t increase your speed by 20% for one minute, the zombies will get closer, and you will be forced to abandon items to distract them.
I am so excited I downloaded this app. At a cheap $3.99, it’s well worth the investment. Today for Couch to 5K I ran 2.45 miles at a surprising 10:13 pace. This, I’d like to credit to the zombie chase I experienced on Tuesday. If not for the plot, I would have never been able to prove to myself that I could run a 5K, so today’s run was a breeze. Zombies, Run! is a wonderful proof of one’s abilities, and I highly recommend the challenge.
Zombies, Run! is available for iPhone, Android and Windows platforms.