There’s very little that makes me happier than a good run.

I mean, I enjoy weight lifting and doing other cardio exercises for sure… but there’s just something about running that makes me feel like I’m on top of the world.

The other day I got a run in (by myself!) and I was practically dancing afterward.

Plus, it burns mega calories – so there’s that 🙂

Sometimes, though, I’m just not in the mood.  I feel tired, I feel grumpy, and I just don’t feel like doing it, especially on days my son is being a grump, too.  Sometimes getting up the motivation to go outside and slog through a mile or two is too much.  Music helps sometimes, but I also find I get bored by music at times and need something more engaging.

Enter the Zombies Run app.

I love this game.  It’s like an e-book, fitness app, and video game all rolled into one.

The first day I played it, I ran 3-4 miles (versus my normal 1-2) and would have run more if my legs didn’t start seriously hurting (oops!).  I hardly even noticed I’d gone that far because I was so engrossed in the story line.

The story begins with your helicopter crash landing in the middle of the zombie invasion and arriving at Abel Township.  The township uses runners to go out and gather supplies as needed, because they need people who are physically fit to get past the zombies.  Each runner is called by his/her number, and you’re Runner 5.

What I love about the game is it’s easy to get lost in the story line.  It’s not just “woah, zombies, look out!” but an actual, thought-out story that I can’t wait to hear more of. I hear the story has won awards (though I don’t know what awards?), but I totally believe it.  It’s awesome.

The app is also a great way to improve your running ability because of the random zombie chases.  The “Fartlek” style training helps improve your endurance over running at a consistent speed.

Note that in the free version you can turn the chases on or off, but in the paid version, you can choose both the frequency and difficulty.  I have it set to high frequency but low intensity – they happen an average of eight times an hour, but I only need to increase speed 10% each time… Which is still sometimes a little much for me. It’s one of the many reasons it’s totally worth the $2.50 a month it costs (if you pay a year in advance, of course – otherwise it’s $4.99/month.)

The other thing the paid version allows you to do is do as many missions as you’d like, and change how long they last.  So if you want to do a short run, you can reduce the duration to as low as about 20 minutes per mission, or make it last as long as about 50 minutes.  And if that’s not long enough for you (go you!), you can do two missions in a day.  With the free version, you’re limited to I believe one a week.  Whomp whomp.

That being said, if you try the free version and you like it, and it’s keeping you active, $2.50 or so a month is way cheaper than any gym membership you could find.

As far as running with my son, I alternate between running with it playing on speaker and using headphones.  Now that he’s getting a little older and can understand things better, I’ll probably use my headphones more (because mama doesn’t need any extra wake-ups in the middle of the night from nightmares!), but it works either way.

It’s also easy enough to pause when needed so I can grab a truck that’s fallen out of the stroller it give my son a drink 🙂

The only downside is even if you pause the story, it’ll log the entire time you’ve taken.  So if I stop the mission halfway through because we stopped at the library, it’ll log the 20-30 minutes at the library and think I was running at a snail’s pace.  If you’re big on tracking the calories from your run through your app, you’ll be disappointed with that feature… but in my opinion it’s not a huge deal.

(Besides, unless you’re using a heart rate monitor, the calorie count is probably inaccurate anyway – so just do your best!)

Have you ever tried the Zombies Run app?

This. is. awesome. I'm going to have to give Zombies Run a try because it sounds WAY fun!!