zombies run

Zombies, Run! How To Motivate Yourself Past The Running Slump

As a self-confessed lazy male that would much sooner spend my spare time sat in my living room in a pair of shorts with the heating turned up whilst I play on my games console, the motivation for going out for a run will always be somewhat of a struggle in a cold dark January.

You wake up its dark, you finish work its dark and the weather seems t consist of being cold, wet and windy and you already know every lyric to every song on your running playlist so without any races booked, what could possibly motivate this ageing gamer to keep on running?

We all know the old clichés that you need to eat less and move more and that running is 99% mental/1% physical so how can we fool the mind into running in a horrible grim British winter?

Step forward the app smartphone app called Zombies, Run!  Which allows you to enter the post-apocalyptic world of Zombies and start running for your life! The story plays out through your headphones, with characters talking directly to you and directing you on your missions. Collect supplies for the other survivors as you run and use them to upgrade your base when you’re back home.

Run through your local high street from Zombies!

You simply attach your running playlist, and then start up the app on your phone as you go for a run, this is where things get interesting because you will hear at intervals in your earphones that zombies are getting closer and the only way to evade them is to run faster. Despite the fact you are running in a busy street, you are bloody running from zombies so somehow find yourself lost in the moment and look like you are running for your life!

The good news is that you are now running faster than your average pace and enjoying it, but the bad news is that to the outside world you look like an absolute nutter.

Being labelled a nutter doesn’t bother me too much and after setting myself a 700K running target for 2014, I need all the help I can get. The fact it has helped me reach 14 runs in January where I usually only manage a handful speaks volumes.

So if you are struggling for motivation after muttering the infamous words “new year, new me” don’t give up, simply try running away from zombies…

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Get Running: Couch to 5K – Week 9

By day I work in a busy IT team at the NEC, which basically means I am deskbound  for at least 8 hours a day and by night I help run a gaming website called This is my Joystick which involves either sat in front of a laptop or in my throne with an Xbox controller in my hands. All of this is great for this self confessed geek but add a lethal combination of alcohol and a love of chocolate and it is no surprise that I found myself weighing 15.5 stone and feeling breathless when climbing stairs or running for my train home.

I also hate the whole gym culture and the many self obsessed characters with heavy hints of narcissism that frequent them, but maybe most of that is in my over-active imagination. Whichever way you look at it, I was out of shape, overweight and heading into the infamous heart attack alley which is never a good thing. However, I found salvation in the Get Running App (couch potato to 5k in 9 weeks) which enabled me to combine my love of technology, photography and music whilst also making me get a little fitter, with the added bonus of also losing a little weight in the process in a cunning move that was very similar to a Jedi mind trick.

I started out 9 weeks ago weighing 15 Stone 5lb struggling to run for sessions that consisted of one minute runs and I’m quite proud to say that as I leave the couch potato to 5k in 9 weeks program, I’m now 14 stone 7lbs and I have finally reached my first target of running 5k in just under 30 minutes.

Slow and steady wins the race...

Slow and steady wins the race…

As my first goal has now been reached, it also time to say goodbye to the Get Running app that made it all possible. I will definitely miss the words of encouragement from Claire telling me to keep going because there are only 30 seconds left but I guess this is the time where I leave the camp and go on a walkabout to fend for myself on a voyage of self discovery or should I say aim for my goal of entering a 10k run.

Before I do though, I thought I would have a little fun with my running and find myself very tempted by the Zombie Running App where you are told to tie your shoes, put on your headphones, and take your first steps outside. You’ve barely covered 100 yards when you hear them. They must be close. You can hear every guttural breath, every rattling groan – they’re everywhere. Zombies. There’s only one thing you can do: Run! It sounds like the perfect antidote to this apocalyptic weather that we are having here in the UK.

The running in the rain novelty is wearing off a little now, and this weeks runs were quite tough which is not made any easier by me carrying a coat along with my work clothes in my rucksack but still managed around 12 miles this week.

With a Bank Holiday weekend upon us, I will try and get out without the handicap of my bag and get some miles under my belt armed only with my trusty Runkeeper app and Spotify running playlist as I begin heading for my next goal of running in a 10k race. Only when this milestone is reached will I refer to myself as a runner, so until then a massive thank you to everyone who made the Get Running App and a fond farewell to the encouraging voice of Claire as I head out for another run.