I’m sitting here slightly in shock because yes, that was me who somehow ran 5 kilometers before 9am. And with that final stretch, my Zombies, Run! adventure is at an end – for now. Only took me 6 years.
What is Zombies, Run!?
Essentially, Zombies, Run! is a beginner’s running program along the lines of Couch to 5K, but with added zombies. As you run and walk, various voices narrate the story of a post-apocalyptic world and encourage you to get a shift on when the undead are on your tail. It’s been around for a while, but you can see how it feels very now:
The other big difference from C25K is that you need to be able to run at least a little bit already, as it asks you to do 10 minute runs from the first session. In contrast, Couch to 5K starts with a substantially more manageable 60 seconds of running.
As well as running, Zombies, Run! adds in various leg strengthening exercises such as squats, skips and heel lifts. These also function to make you look like a bit of a twit in the park, so this may be offputting depending on how many shits you give about that sort of thing.
So how come it took me 6 years to finish?
The 10 minute minimum run is the reason why I gave up on this app after two runs in 2015. But it stayed on my phone and as 2021 rolled around I had run out of non-gym ways to exercise. A trot round the park it had to be. This time it was much more doable – probably because my legs are way stronger now thanks to all the weights.
I did 3 runs a week, and finished the ‘mission’ (they use a lot of army-speak in ZR world) in around 8 weeks. I think the part I enjoyed most was being out in my local park first thing in the morning and exploring it in a way I never have before. I saw trees shoot out their first blossoms as they woke up to the spring. I did aeroplane arms when I thought nobody was looking. I found some cool grafitti.
All in all it was an enjoyable experience and a great way to give my fitness a bit of a shake. Now that I have finished Zombies, Run! and can tick off the ‘I can run 5k’ box, what next? Run more? Maybe.
I’m thinking about doing another 30 days of Yoga with Adriene starting in May. The gyms have reopened so I’m back on the weights. I’ve enjoyed my park runs, but what I’d really like to do now is either a Doctor Who running app (Why is that not a thing?) or a crack at Run Disney (currently on hiatus). And the good news is: the Covid didn’t get me and neither did the zombies.