I’m running. Oh yes. Thanks to the Zombies…

I have tried a Couch 2 5k running programme 4 or 5 times. The farthest I’ve reached is week 8. Not because I can’t do it – Oh no, I know they work.
But I get bored.

The principle behind it is brilliant – take a non-exercising Couch Potato, plug them into some headphones and into a pair of trainers and get them out the door. Tell them when to walk, and when to run – in tiny baby steps which slowly increase until after a couple of months they’re able to run 5k – and have got the running bug.

It’s a solid training principle, and I can testify from personal experience it absolutely works. The first time I tried it, I finished the first set of 60-second runs gasping for oxygen, scarlet-faced, and testing my pelvic floor to it’s limits. Quite why staggering jelly-legs make you want to wet yourself, I don’t know, but there you have it.

zombies5k-week-2

I’ve used an excitable American “Yeah, you can do it! Come ON!” version with a solid bouncing dance music soundtrack. I’ve used the NHS version with a polite and friendly voiced “that’s it! Excellent work! Keep going!” and bland music choices that did little to motivate me.

But none of the versions I tried really held my attention. You have to repeat the same one three times a week, and it just gets… dull…

But a couple of weeks ago I tried something new. A friend suggested I take a look at the Zombies5k app

ZombiesRun! has been around for a while, and the 5k is the C25k starter version for all us non-runners.

It sounded no worse than any other, so I downloaded it to my phone and thought I’d try again.

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It took me a few days to figure out the music – because this time I get to source my own soundtrack, and once I’d realised that only the Google Play Music player would work with the app, installed it and loaded a playlist, I was all set.

And after the introduction session I was hooked!

Because every day is different. You’re Runner 5, a vital member of one of the last outposts of humanity at Abel Township. During 25 workouts, you’re trained to help find supplies and protect the town from the ever-encroaching horde of the shambling dead, in a story written by award-winning novelist Naomi Alderman.

Everything about Zombies, Run! 5k Training is designed for beginner runners: clear and detailed workout instructions, a gentle learning curve, and importantly, they don’t make any zombies chase you until you’re ready! In fact, I’ve found I’m fitter than I thought and the first couple of weeks haven’t stretched me enough; the 15-second run was ridiculously simple, so I found I’d run the minute’s ‘walk’ too, plus the next 15-second run before slowing for the second walk.

It’s just more fun than “yeah! Come on!”, and the actors are great – and because every day there’s something new, it doesn’t seem to get dull. Plus I choose my own music, so there’s no being inflicted with someone else’s choice!

I get my shoes on, then start the Zombies5k app – whilst the first bit of talking happens I fire up Runkeeper (I like to use that to map my route at the same time), and then head out with the dog.
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In the last two weeks I’ve managed to walk/run for over 3 1/2 hours, and cover over 11 miles. That’s 3hrs more exercise than I would have got otherwise!

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This was Friday’s Run from Runkeeper. Yes, I’m still painfully slow, and spend half the session walking fast – but I don’t care. I’m out there, and I’m doing it, and I can see myself getting faster, going further. It’s working!

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Author: Laura

A 70's child, I’ve been married for a Very Long Time, and appear to have made four children, and collected one large and useless dog along the way. I work, I have four children, I have a dog… ergo, I do not do dusting or ironing. I began LittleStuff back in (gulp) 2004. I like huge mugs of tea. And Coffee. And Cake. And a steaming cone of crispy fresh fluffy chips, smothered in salt and vinegar. #healthyeater When I grow up I am going to be quietly graceful, organised and wear lipstick every day. In the meantime I *may* have a slight butterfly-brain issue.

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