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Monday, 9 May 2016

FITNESS | Zombies 5k

I don't run.

Anyone that knows me will tell you that I really, honestly do not run. When my brother and some friends did a 5k colour run last summer, I spent 95% of it walking and the only few times I did attempt to run, my brother took the p*ss out of how feeble I was.

I couldn't run for more than 30 seconds or so without regretting my decision. And it's not like I'm overweight or super unhealthy, I've just never enjoyed running and have never had that stamina.

This year, I was determined to change this though.

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For the past couple of years, I have been using Zombies, Run which has set me on the right path in terms of general fitness. Because with this app you can run or walk, I'd mostly walk and again, do short bounts of running. But it was very irregular - I'd use the app loads for a month and then the following month I'd use it less and use it just for walking.

In conclusion, I adore Zombies, Run and love to use it for a quick work out and improving my stamina and running in the long run.

But I wanted to get a bit more serious about my running so that I could use Zombies, Run to, well, run the whole time if I wanted to, rather then walk.

So I decided to try one of these couch to 5k apps and naturally, had to choose the one which is kind of a sister app to Zombies, Run from the same company - especially when I saw they were doing a virtual 5K race (which I just missed out on signing up to).

I've now been using the app for two weeks and what a difference it has made. I can now run for around a minute and a half to two minutes (or, in my terms, almost a full song length) and I can do this repeatedly by breaking it up with walking breaks, too.

This may not seem like a big deal but compared to before, it is, to me.

For people who run anyway or have been able to run for longer amounts of time all their lives, it seems so easy.

But for us lazy buggars, it's not. Which is where the general couch to 5k apps come in and, so far, I can vouch for the fact that this one works!

What I love is that it really breaks it up, too. It's not simply pushing yourself for a run on your first go, it really is about the build up and stretches get added in during later weeks, too.

Some of the later sessions include squats, knee lifts, a free form run and stretching. This is great because it feels like an all over work out and that I'm not just improving my stamina, but my health and fitness in general.

The free form runs are where the app really gets you, though. You're encouraged to do whatever you're comfortable with - walking, jogging, slow running, fast running or simply a mix of running and walking like before.

But this is the part that I've found most surprising as I find myself being able to run for longer without getting out of breath or having to stop. Obviously, I can't run for the whole ten minutes. But going from 15 minute bounts to a minute or so on the free form run really gives me that motivation and makes me feel like I'm going somewhere.

The only thing I'm not 100% about is the lack of, erm, zombies. There isn't really a storyline, although this makes sense as it's meant to be an add on or separate to the main Zombies, Run app, so that it doesn't interfere with that storyline.

On one hand it works because there's still that element of running away from zombies, but on the other hand, it's definitely not as immersive as the other one.

Regardless, it's still a hell of a lot more fun then normal couch to 5k apps and I'd recommend it for anyone wanting a boost into getting fit.

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