The Pokémon Go app’s release last weekend got me thinking about fitness apps. There are a bunch of pedometers on the app store, apps that will track how many flights of stairs the user has climbed, games that incorporate running or walking into a storyline and apps that do nothing but play music while you exercise.
There are enough out there with such a variety that it’s worth looking into on whatever kind of phone you have.
I’ve already given an overview on Pokémon Go, and I can’t swing a dead Meowth without hitting someone who could go into more detail anyway.
My personal favorite fitness app is Zombies, Run.
The app is a sort of like a video game set to an exercise routine, in which the user listens to the storyline of a post-apocalyptic world overrun by the undead. Taking the role of the character called Runner Five, the plot progresses as the user unlocks and plays a series of missions, collecting items that can be optionally used to better defend the home base against zombie invasion. Missions can be customized by distance or time duration, depending on the user’s real-life ability and experience. There is also a feature that informs the user if a zombie is nearby, forcing a short sprint workout every so often to avoid losing hard-won in-game items.
The base version of the app is free and uses the phone’s GPS to map each user-created route. Pro membership, which as I wrote this on Tuesday could be purchased for $2.99 a month or at the yearly price of $19.99, allows ad-free missions that can be unlocked at any time, additional training modes, full statistics, further run customization, “unlimited supplies per run and other cool things.”
For both the free and paid versions, the user can listen to music via a streaming app or downloaded to the phone, which I highly recommend so you don’t need to use more data than you need. I’ve found alternative, punk and rock music provides the perfect soundtrack to your very own zombie apocalypse storyline.
And as Jesse Eisenberg said in the 2009 movie “Zombieland,” the first rule of Zombieland is Cardio.
Let’s show those zombies/Pokémon/step counters who’s boss. Warm up well with a light five-minute job followed by dynamic stretches like butt-kicks, high-knees, slow lunges, etc. Today we’ll run for a total of 30 minutes with a two-minute break in the middle. Run wherever you would like to go and as slow as you need to as long as you don’t stop and walk. Take your newly found phone app with you, if you’d like. When you’ve finished, take a long water break before doing another light five-minute jog and static stretches.
We’ll go easy for the next two days. After a warmup identical to yesterday’s, pick a spot on the map a mile away and jog to it, keeping track of how many minutes the run takes to complete — don’t race it, we’re just using the time to help with tomorrow’s workout. If you need a breather at the halfway point, go ahead and take one as long as it’s short. Cool down and stretch, just like yesterday.
Repeat yesterday’s workout, but see if you can beat yesterday’s time. Cool down and stretch.
Repeat Monday’s workout, though it’s not required to run the exact same route. We’ve got to mix it up, right?
Repeat the workout from day 44 and 45, but don’t worry about beating any times as this is a recovery run.
Ready for the Saturday long run? Me neither, but let’s do it anyway. Today we will run 3.107 miles — the exact conversion of a 5k. As always, proper warmup is critical to avoid injury. You may need to walk during some point of this workout, and that’s just fine. Bonus points go to anyone who doesn’t walk at all. Keep track of your time today, as this will be the basis for all the time goals we set until the big race.
Tavin Stucki is the head coach of the Copperview Rec Center youth track and field team, which will be competing in the All-County Championship meet this weekend. Send any comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.