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Zombies, Run! Beginner 10K Training

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

At the start of March, I began one of the new training programs included in Zombies, Run! The Beginner 10K training is for people who have completed 5K and want to increase their stamina and distance. I had been working my way back to 5K, but wasn't quite there yet. Still, I knew I could make it, and since the program started a little less than 5K, I decided to go for it anyway. These are my thoughts on the program.


Incorporated Into the Main App

This was important to me. I've done the Zombies, Run! 5K training, but it's all in a stand alone app, even though the story connects. That means to use it again (which I've considered, since I never did pull off a full 5K run while doing it), I have to give up earning materials and supplies for my base, and I have to let myself fall behind in the story. Not such a big concern when I'm all caught up, but at the time I was looking at this, I was a little behind.

I also don't know if the mission screen listing for the workout expected that day was there the whole time, but that was helpful, in place of hte missing audio cues. (See "Cons" :P)

Based on Distance and Time

This was a big deal for me, as I'd tried a 5to10K training before, but that was based on adding tempo runs to get you to go faster. It appears I have a mental block when it comes to running faster, which I will eventually get over, but didn't in that attempt. It went terribly, and when I say I was getting "back" to running 5K, well, that was when I started having issues.

Looking at this program and just seeing the distance listings, or the time listings, and nothing about pace was what made me give it a go after that previous disastrous attempt.


No Audio Cues

As much as I like that it's incorporated into the main app, I really hated that I couldn't have audio cues. To complete the program properly, I had to rely on other apps to give me my distance and time measurements to ensure I'd done it properly. It also meant I accidentally ran too short one day, because I'd mis-read the distance and didn't notice until everything was stopped. As far as I can see, you can only add one record to the training plan, so even if I'd stopped and started again to complete it, I'd still have that X on my training plan.

I don't know if this is a technical limitation (that they can't give the training plan audio cues as well as the story cues), but it'd be nice if they managed to get this all working together.

Inconsistent Progression

This is another con based on a Pro. I like that they used distance and time, but the mixture of the two made for a very inconstant increase in difficulty every week. For example, my 3km run at the end of week one took me just over twenty minutes. Then two days later I had to do two 20 minutes runs. That meant I was asked to run a distance, and then double it in a two day stretch. The result was weeks with huge jumps in difficulty, instead of a more logical progression. This might just be a personal preference, though.


On the whole, I think the training programs do exactly what they promise: the give guidance for your workouts to take you from 5K to 10K, while still progressing through the Zombies, Run! story lines. That was something I needed, and it got me running 10K, which I had actually started to think I wasn't going to reach.

I intend to give the Intermediate 10K a try, but probably not until I've run my 10K race in July. I know I should work on improving my time before that, but again, there's that mental block, and I want to make sure I can complete the distance. We'll see. If I keep going fairly well in the meantime, I might jump in after all.
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