Once upon a time, I was fit – and I mean mega fit. I once ran 63km in a weekend – that’s a half marathon followed by a full marathon (see why in this post here) but since I moved back to the UK things like the weather, not having anywhere nice/secure to run, no running buddies, a gym that I have to be driven to (oh basically just insert any excuse possible here) means my fitness has lapsed seriously.
This came to a head recently when I was asked to run the London 10km as part of a team of health journalists. It’s next weekend and when I thought about it I realised I just wasn’t fit enough to run it in a time I would be happy to publicise in front of other journos. I’ve never been a fast runner, at my fittest my fastest 10km time was 59.59 (you’ve never seen someone run 100m so fast as when that was clicking down) but 64mins would have been normal for me – my calculations were that it would now take me 80 mins.
This appalled me, 10km used to be my easy run….! So I decided something had to be done to get me back into loving exercise, and this is where you guys come in. For the next 30 days, come hell and rainwater I am going to exercise in some way shape or form for at least 30 minutes every single day – and in an attempt to broaden my fitness horizons, and hopefully give you something interesting to read other than my griping on about how my legs hurt, I’m going to try and do as many new things as possible – for me at least – while I do it (this could lead to more than leg aching I’m aware). So, here goes day one….
35 minutes of ZOMBIES RUN!
Download this app to your iphone (or android if you are that way inclined) and, as you run it tells you a story that involves you escaping packs of marauding zombies.
It’s really easy to use, download, set it to whichever playlist on your iphone you’d like it to use music from (I only have one on my mine so that was easy!) and push ‘start mission’. It’s tailored really well for running, the first 10 minutes while you’re warming up set the scene – and it played Lana Del Rey doing it, probably the only slow song on my playlist (not sure if that was co-incidence, but v handy). Then the action heats up – you’re asked to run faster to evade packs of zombies, or pick up essential items that the survivors need to…. ummm…. keep surviving. The commentary’s really good fun – I did laugh out loud a few times – and whenever they shout RUN I did pick up my pace. Interspersed between all of this are tracks from your playlist and I found it really motivating.
My only criticism was I would have liked some shorter bursts of speed – say 20 seconds at a time – so I could really have pushed it. Instead, they tend to last as long as the tracks on your ipod – at the point when the seriously deadly zombie was right behind me, Tiesto’s Adagio for Strings had come on – it’s about nine minutes long. I couldn’t sprint for that long if a real bloody zombie was behind me let alone a fake one. I’m thinking maybe this option is there somewhere and I just need to fiddle about a bit.
Nonetheless I really enjoyed my run today and I did push myself harder than I would normally, I now really want a ‘runner 5’ tee shirt so I can spot other zombie geeks at the gym. Distancewise, I did 4.72km in 34.39 which is a teeny tiny bit tragic I’m aware, but hey, I could have sat in bed reading the papers so I’m going to pat myself on the back and have a shower. Yes, I’m typing this during my cooldown while I’m all motivated, if it’s on here I figure I can’t back out now can I!
You’ll find Zombies, Run! at the App Store – or click this handy link here to their website. And if anyone knows how to make it do shorter intervals, please, let me know
Main visual istockphoto.com© Stefan Schurr