So, I’ve heard a lot about the Zombies, Run! app by Six to Start. It sounded like fun and I finally purchased it a couple of days ago to test out on a maintenance run.
I was not prepared for how awesome this app is.
Zombies, Run! is not just an app that tricks you into your intervals with creepy zombie sounds (zombiance?), it is a fully immersive game with an intricate storyline and characters. Just like the plot driven video games that chronic couch potatoes like myself love, but instead of a manual controller or a keyboard, you are the controller. You play by moving your legs.
I spent several minutes at the beginning trying to use Zombies, Run! with my Spotify app. It did not like this and kept shutting down. (Also, I paused my Map My Run app and forgot to start is again, discovered this, and deleted the workout I had and started over, so I lost like 10 minutes of recorded training – boo!)
So, I had to suck it up and just let Zombies, Run! pipe in my iTunes playlists. The only playlists I have synced to my iPhone are the ones I use for work. As in, all Disney music, all the time. On the one hand, I thought “Alright, it’s not a tragedy, some Disney songs are great to run to!” (“Colors of the Wind”, anyone?!) On the other hand, I thought it was really inappropriate for a zombie soundtrack. But holy crap it upped the ante on both the horror and the comedy! You don’t know terror until you’re being chased by a hoard of zombies and Julie Andrews is singing “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. And after I finished my “mission”, the survivors have their own radio talk show (with your music for the songs). They were having some banter, then dedicated a song to their friend – it ended up being “We’re All In This Together” from High School Musical. I actually laughed out loud. In another section of radio banter, one of the DJays said “I had my first kiss to that last song”. The song in question was the karaoke track to “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes”. I still plan on downloading proper running music, but I highly recommend using Zombies, Run! with inappropriate music, just once!
I ended up going for my run in the park this morning as well.* And holy crap is this app great when you’re in a misty, almost vacant park first thing in the morning. I passed the odd early morning walker and cast them in my head as lone zombies, I passed the statue of a Roman(?) that someone broke the head off of, and bizarre fenced off areas, and, of course the dinosaurs, and it occurred to me how perfect Crystal Palace Park is for a zombie movie. And I ran a mission to get supplies in an overrun hospital through a hedge maze. The mission got so scary and I got so lost that I decided to bail on finding a way to the center of the maze and had to pause the app while I tried to find my way out. And of course, the second I headed to where I thought I’d find the emergency exit, I managed to actually make it to the middle of the maze… victory? My pacing was shite (due to constant diverting and stuff in the maze, and probably to some extent the new terrain) but man it was fun. I may need to do this every freaking morning.
Basic app statistics: Needs iOS 6 or above, the applications page says continued use can really drain battery, but all GPS apps are like that. Price: $/£1.99.** Additional apps in the Zombies, Run! series can run up to £/$7.99, and you can bet that I will be purchasing all of them.
I give this app 10/10. There is a high possibility I will be using it during my actual marathon. In fact, Six to Start really needs to make a Zombies, Run!: 26.2 for runners to use on race day! 😀
*Going for a run in Crystal Palace Park is something that I always tell myself I should do, but never actually do. I tend to get most of my training in on the roads since I’m doing a road race, and most of the time I feel better – and my pace is better – when I’m actually going somewhere, not just running in circles in park paths. But the park is a more visually stimulating place, and I know that I should occasionally try to get some runs in on different terrain to challenge my muscles.
**Yes, USD and GBP number values on price are the same, so British players pay more…