Happy Halloween! I was running yesterday morning with the Fleet Feet half marathon training group and despite the infamous Laurel Hill looming ahead of us on our Chapel Hill route (Tar Heel 10 Milers, you know my pain) I was feeling good. The air was crisp, the leaves underfoot were crunching (we might have gone out of our way to find the crunchiest leaves), and the light was golden and autumnal.
Oh fall running! I think these are some of the most beautiful runs, and some of the more memorable ones, not least because of zombies.
That's right: ZOMBIES.
There's nothing like thinking you're running from zombies to make you pick up the pace and sprint home on a blustery autumn evening. There's nothing like speeding along when you're imagining the walking dead in the rustling leaves behind you. There's nothing like a rush of outrunning an imaginary zombie horde.
And thanks to an app, you don't even have to have a vivid imagination for all this!
I started playing Zombies, Run! in May 2014. With a gamer background and a soft spot for zombies it was the perfect way for me to play with running while I struggled to get into better shape before I started running half marathons. In many ways it's less a game and more a serial audio-based story where you are Runner 5, a delightfully gender-neutral hero of the story. Writer Naomi Alderman, talented voice actors, and others on the Zombies, Run! team have crafted a great running experience that is well worth the small price for content, from a few episodes to a season pass (or two or three!). From an action-packed first episode to numerous supply runs to intriguing, detailed (and decently believable without being off-putting) storylines, it's a great way to stay engaged with running.
I'm pretty spotty about when I run to the app, but I particularly like turning on the "Zombies Chase" feature where sporadically the app will say there are zombies chasing you and you must outrun them. Super-charged adrenaline-rushed interval training? Yes please.
Plus as you run you "pick up" items and can use those items to build up your base in the app UI. I personally turn off the voiceover that says when I pick up an item because I don't like it to interrupt my music or podcast that's playing between the story segments, but the first few times I listened to the app it was fun to hear the different items picked up - axe, sports bra, water, books, etc.
Zombies, Run! even has a Couch to 5K option, which takes it a little easier and works well with walk-run intervals.
So the next time you need a nice rush on your run or you just want a fun (and much more optimistic) alternative to The Walking Dead, check out Zombies, Run!
Note: I have not received any compensation for this post. This is my view and my view alone. I don't recommend something unless I would use or have actually used a product and enjoyed it enough to share it with you.
Is there an app you enjoy using for your runs? Let me know in the comments!