Sunday, 10 February 2013

Zombie 5k: Couch to Apocalypse Survivor

This is about Zombies,  Run! 5k training which you can find more about here:

Zombies, Run! 5k Training is an 8-week training program and audio adventure for beginners that’ll improve your fitness so you can run a 5km distance. We give you clear and detailed instructions about when to walk, jog, run and stretch, building up your confidence and stamina over 25 workouts - combined with a gripping story delivered straight to your headphones.

Reviews of the app (both android and ios) can be found at the following links:

This post is really just to share my thoughts and experiences with the app in general as well as any hints and tips I pick up along the way. Please note, as I will explain, nothing on this site should be considered reputable advice and I strongly suggest you google for running forums and exercise sites as well as being sensible and speaking to your doctor before undertaking any serious exercise regime. Other posts will cover how I am feeling and getting on at particular stages of the training. 

From Couch To Pie Shop

I am currently just finishing week five of the 8 week training course. It has taken 6 weeks to get this far, as I will be repeating week 5 it will take at least ten weeks to get all the way through, that is if the zombies don't get me first. 

For background I am approximately thirty-ten and according to my BMI score a big fat bloater. Though when I look in the mirror I see a body like David Hasselhoff's (this makes me cry). AS far as exercise goes I did watch the Olympic Games this year but it made me feel sleepy. I do some walking, I will walk from A to B if there are less than two bus stops between these points

Having done 6 weeks of more exercise than I have ever done before my weight is just the same, my waist line might be thinner and I discovered my shins have muscles going down the front, who knew?

General Advice

Get decent trainers. 

Really. Don't bother starting if you don't have a comfortable pair of trainers that fit snugly and are reasonably well padded on the soles. I start with some cheap ones I got a a 'closing down' Sports Direct sale. Nothing against the shop but the trainers were useless. If I had just wheezed my way up the stairs and had a quick glance at the decent trainers I am sure I would have saved myself a lot of grief. A later trip to another shop and a better pair of trainers made the sessions a much more enjoyable experience.

There are specialist running shops that will observe your running style and fit you with the trainers that suit. They don't look wildly expensive and I am looking forward to treating myself when I finish the training.

Get A Phone Armband (Waterproof)

So your phone can do the GPS thing and track your progress. You can use the accelerometer if you want to run inside but then you would have to imagine all the other people in the gym were brain hungry zoms! I like going out and seeing the strange sights.

Do Heel Lifts All The Time

This may be me and my running style. At the beginning my calves caused me a lot of discomfort. An awful lot. Doing a lot of calf stretches between sessions seems to be helping. At least when I reduced the number of stretches between runs the discomfort came back. There is a lot of advice on the internet, Google away and see what works for you :) Here is what I do:

Also some advice here:

Do It Religiously But Not Too Much

I mostly do every other day, with two days off at the weekend. This does not entirely sync up with what the app tells me but it does not seem to make any difference. Once (I think about week 2) I was feeling like an Adonis and went out two nights in a row; this was not a good move. My lower legs felt like they had been given a kicking by midget ninjas. So don't do that. Also returning to the regime after an extra long break of a few days led to much the same problem. 

Repeat A Week If You Need To

General advice from c25k forums, and the like, suggest repeating a week until you can complete it with a degree of comfort. I chose to repeat week 3 and it did my confidence the world of good.

Notes & Observations

Zombies, Run 5k Lies

There is a huge discrepancy between the distance recorded by RunKeeper and the Zombies, Run! application. Despite using the same GPX data. I have no idea why but ZR tends to add on anything up to several hundred metres.

Anyway that's all for now. Will update this post as and when.

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