The Basics of Zombies, Run!
You are Runner 5 of Able Township going on missions in a zombie post-apocalypse world. The app presents an audio story to you in between your favorite music tracks. In the free version of the app, you get the first 3 missions free and 1 free mission each week. For the pro membership at $2.99 monthly or $19.99 annually, you receive access to all the missions (currently 5 seasons or approx 200 missions) and more features like detailed statistics and interval training.
Each run is a mission
When you go for a run, you can choose the length of the “mission” in either time or distance. Distance can be tracked using GPS or you can set a constant speed to calculate approximate distance. You pick your favorite playlist for music. If you are using GPS, you can turn on “Zombie Chases” which will require you to run faster when the audio warns you of incoming zombies. How often this happens and how fast you have to run to escape is customizable.
As you run, you also gather supplies (“You picked up a car battery”). You can turn off those notifications in the settings, but it’s kind of fun at first. After your run, you can use those supplies to build and improve Abel Township, a graphic base-building part of the app. With each run you’ll gain access to new buildings and you’ll earn resources to strengthen your town.
If you’re still running when the story mission finishes, you can set the app to immediately start a new mission or turn to Radio Abel. In Radio Abel, two DJs curate your music list and generally entertain you. They are two of my favorite characters.
There are distance-based race missions and training plans for an advanced 5K or beginner 10K, half, or full marathon. An 8-week 5K beginner plan is available as separate app for $2.
Available only to pro members, air-drop missions allow you to pick a real location on your local map to run to. The mission plays out based on your route to that site. Interval training is also available for pro members.
Another thing you may have seen on my blog, is the app sometimes hosts virtual races. You can register and get a download of the exclusive race mission open during a certain time window (usually a couple of weeks). They mail you a finisher’s medal, among other things. Read my race recap here.
Zombies, Run! Review
The app tells me I’ve spent 5 days in the Zombies, Run! world. The stories are funny, upsetting, sometimes silly, sometimes scary. I’ve run longer than planned when missions weren’t over, jumped out of my skin when a zombie breathed in my ear, and felt the urge to run faster when someone in the story was pleading for help.
I don’t use the app on all my runs, but the app has added something special to the ones I have.
With each season, production value increases and the app improves. It’s fun. It’s a great story, while still allowing me my music and my real-life running adventure. Check it out today.