ZombiesRunAlmost a year ago I talked about a running app called Zombies, Run! I had reservations about writing about a fitness app here on Ideology of Madness and decided to go with our mission statement, “If we geek about it, We speak about it.” It turns out that a lot of people out there in the geek-o-sphere actually liked the app and Paulie started using the Zombies, Run! 5k trainer app.

This may still leave you wondering why I am talking about it now. Two reasons actually. First, The app has just launched season three which begins a new story line picking up where season two left off. Secondly, I noticed that you get lots of review of these types of apps but never get a follow up of how it performs over the long haul. Since I have been using for over a year, I thought it might be nice to fill in this gap.

Zombies, Run! 3 picks up where last season left off story wise. I don’t want to spoil season two for those out there that haven’t finished yet but know that it starts out with bang. When I use it I run with the thirty minute time frame and always end up going into radio mode and was happy to find that this seasons radio mode starts out with a much happier note when compared to the gut-punch that was season 2.

All the same running mechanics are still there for your use. It has two time frames for your routine, thirty minutes and one hour. you get story broken up by whatever playlist you choose before you start. You can turn on interval training by activating zombie chase mode and will be randomly pursued by zombies on your run. There is the airdrop mode that allows you to select a point on the map of your area. You then run to the point and back and it provides a supply style run for you the entire time.

The new part introduced in season three, outside of the story, is interval training and the interface. I mentioned earlier that you can turn on zombie pursuit to introduce interval training. The flaw in this is that it is random. The interval training mode provides specific timed intervals which allows you to ramp up training to build stamina and speed. There are currently three levels of interval training and I am betting that more will be forth coming. The interface itself was cleaned up to provide a more streamlined look as well as more ease of use while running. The home page now shows; how your missions are set up, which mission is next, and does it need downloaded. Everything can be adjusted from the home screen allowing  you to change running music, zombie chase, download mission, or just getting started. Very convenient as before you had to navigate to other screens to do everything.

Having used the app for a year, I have to say that it is damn fine app. I am hesitant to categorize myself as a runner but after looking at my stats on this app I have to accept this appellation. The thing is that this app is what made this possible. There were days when I didn’t want to get up and workout at all and I would at least get out and run to hear the next part of the story. I knew that I could just listen and find out what happened but I didn’t want my run stats to be off. When I was running indoors over the winter, I freaked out a bit about this due to the inability of the gps tracking to get a good idea of distance traveled on the tiny indoor track. The app has plenty of ways to track distance other than gps but they did not provide a map of your run and I hated not having this as well.

The have been many updates made to the app since I picked up and, for the most part, they went smoothly. When things did go pear shaped the customer service was excellent and things were fixed quickly. I also like that it has a base building component. As you run, you collect items for your base. You are then able to build things like farms and housing to increase the size, defense, and morale of your base. The main flaw I’ve found with the app is that you aren’t able to share things with other people and following friends is difficult. When you share your run it pushes a link to twitter and Facebook. The link takes you to the main Zombies, Run! page. I hope that this will change and take you directly to the run that is being shared as well as allowing you to be followed by others using the app. It would be nice if you could then share resources to help those just staring out to build their bases and repair their bases when they haven’t ran in awhile as an incentive.

Zombies, Run! is an excellent app. You can use it for walking or running and get a great story and a good workout. It will also transition with you from novice to experienced runner and help you get better at it as well! The price point for the new season is normally $7.99 and is currently on sale for $5.99 which are both prices I would pay for a novel and this gives you so much more for your money.