Since I’ve started running again, I’ve been looking for ways to hold my attention while I do it. When I lived in West Virginia, I had a favorite trail I would frequent and made a game of PR-ing (or beating my personal record). Since I’ve yet to find a close, unpaved running trail without a thousand people on it, I’ve been using my local lake trail or my apartment complex’s treadmills. While I enjoy that I have a lake so close to me with a trail, it’s paved and it is constantly covered in people. At any given moment on a random sunny weekday, you’re going to be dodging actual hordes of people/bikes/strollers. And then there’s the treadmill. Sure, I can sometimes get the one with the TV, but…
So, I’ve been trying to find ways to liven up my running experience. Holy crap, Zombies, Run! does that. It’s an app for your phone that take you through a post-apocalyptic storyline while tracking your movements to allow you to interact with it. You can collect supplies and artifacts while evading zombies. It’s a pretty cool idea, but with a couple of glitches if you don’t precisely follow a certain protocol.
My run started on the treadmill. I powered up the app and started to walk. I’d heard from others that it’s preferable to pace at a walk because you have to move 20% faster to get away from any zombies you might encounter. Since you can switch from GPS to a pedometer tracker, I thought that a treadmill trial would be appropriate.
Wrong. I was immediately caught by zombies. What happens when you are caught is that you drop an item to distract them. Since I’d only gotten two items by this time, I thought it would be best to try the app in real life with the power and magic of GPS.
Then, I learned that you don’t run when they yell for you to run. Instead, you run when the music starts or when you hear warnings. So far, that has worked for me. I need to play with it a little more to figure out the sweet spot. I made the mistake of switching from walking to running too early, resulting in a vision of me going full speed on the trail, running for my f***ing life. I guess that’s the point, right? But since I had just gotten back into running and was really out of shape? Well, I got caught by zombies and had to drop something again.
I’ve been running low on RAM on my iPhone for a while now. Consequently, when I tried to pause it to catch my breath, it didn’t save it where I was. Instead, it skipped to the next part of the mission. I am not quite sure if I picked up an important piece of the game or not because of this. Is this a common glitch?
Other than not knowing when exactly to run or how to save the game properly, I love the idea of this app. I wouldn’t categorize it as a running app — more as a game, or even an interactive audiobook. I think that once I am better attuned to how to use it, it will be a bit better for me. All in all? It’s a fun experience and definitely breaks up the monotony of running for me. I’d recommend it if you have problems with entertainment during a run. I do not recommend it if you intend to be super serious about it.