“Zombies, Run” iPhone app – UPDATE

It’s official: this game still rocks. When I first dl’ed it a few weeks ago, I half expected “Zombies, Run” to be a clever idea that didn’t quite deliver more than a one hit spin on exercise motivation. And that was going to be fine with me. I already knew I needed to get more exercise and if “Zombies, Run” just gave me the initial kick to get started, it would have done enough.

It’s done more. The little app has maintained my interest and actually spurred me to exercise longer and more frequently than I’d originally planned. I planned to be doing a “mission” that is 30:00 or so three times a week. Last week for instance, I exerecised six times. I’m also exercising for longer than my original plan. Today, I’m recovering from 46:00 minutes.

In particular the app helps in two key areas. The first problem area for me is that first 5 minutes. The drudgery is in full effect while none of the endorphins have kicked in. Pre-Zombies, this was a time when I frequently would stop. Now there is a thread of narrative interest that keeps me htting the pedals. (OK, so I “cheat” — I’m using an indoor stationary bike instead of actual running.) The other problem area occurs at the end of the workout. There’s an option in the app to select workouts of about 30 minutes or about an hour. 30 minutes are getting a bit too easy for me and though there’s a clear sense of closure when the “mission” in complete, the app switches seamlessly into “radio mode” where I can continue running while listening to DJs from my beloved zombie-ridden town. And most important, I can continue to gather supplies for this beleaguered encampment. That supply-gathering aspect is the game part of the app. Every tin of food or discarded mobile phone that I retrieve helps contribute to my town’s vitality.

And there continues to be some nice serendipitous corelations between the songs in my playlist and the zombie menace. A few that come to mind are:

• “Those are People who Died” by Jim Carroll
• “Be My Frankenstein” by Otis Taylor (the refrain is “Just wanna live another day”)
• “Can’t Get You Out of my Head” by Kylie Minogue (a guilty pleasure — don’t judge me! — but given the zombie context I imagine the undead trying to crack into ones skull to feast on the goo inside.)
• “Crawling from the Wreckage” by Dave Edmunds (especially for the beginning where “Runner 5″ emerges from a crashed helicopter)
• “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” by Johnny Cash (the zombie tie-in is that it was used in the remake of “Dawn of the Dead” as the opening credit sequence, as I recall.)
• “It’s the End of the World as We Know it” by R.E.M.
• “Nemesis” by Shreikback
• “Run to the Hills” by Iron Maiden
• “Survivalism” by Nine Inch Nails

etc.

If I keep this up, I’ll be ready for 5K season in no time. And I’ll have honed a survival skill for the zombie apocalypse.

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