How does Zombies, Run! handle distance vs time?
April 20, 2014 8:54 AM   Subscribe

I've been doing the Zombies 5k training, and the only thing I don't totally love is how it handles distance, speed, and time. Runner 5 Mefites, can you tell me how you've found the full grown-up app so that I know what to expect?

In the 5k training plan, for example, when you're told to run back to Abel, it's measured by time rather than distance – if I run fast, I'll have to keep going longer, which acts as a slight disincentive to really pull out all the stops unless I'm at the very end: if I sprint for 500m I'll end up walking, but if I jog gently I'll probably see out the interval. I'm now at the end of week 6 and a couple of weeks from the 5k mark, but it's going well and I've been enjoying training (despite having minimal interest in zombie stories as a thing), and I want to have my next step in place to keep up my routine.

So, does the full app pay any attention to speed and distance, or does it just not matter because the intervals are relative to your own pace anyway?

Also, especially if you've come from Z25k or another C25k type plan, how did you find Zombies, Run as a next step afterwards?
posted by carbide to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Bloody preview blindness - that should be "if I run fast, I'll have to cover a longer distance since the time's the same no matter what speed you're going," in case that's confusing
posted by carbide at 8:56 AM on April 20, 2014

The normal campaign is similar to 5k but a little different. You run for ~30 minutes with 'zombie chases' where you have to speed up for ~1 min or so or the zombies will catch you and take your stuff (it sounds really cool, the moaning gets closer as they do). Its good interval training. And you get points to level up the base. And unlike in 5k, the stories are quite good (Margaret Atwood is in season two!).

However they also have two new modes. In Race mode, there are 6 episodes, two 5k, two 10k and two 20k. In those, the story unfolds after a set distance, rather than a set time, which sounds like what you're looking for.

They also have a new Airdrop mode, which I haven't played with much yet. But basically you pick a place on a map, and you run to it (and optionally, back). Someone who has used it more could tell you, but I think that it's like radio mode, with X hours of events and it just plays through them as needed instead of episodically. But it is distance based instead of time based.
posted by Garm at 9:09 AM on April 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

Developer here! Garm is correct about Race mode and Airdrop mode, and I'd add that in story mode the zombie chases are set relative to your previous average speed, so that you have to increase your pace by 20% in order to outrun them. In practice that means that if you were walking, you need to jog; if you were jogging, you need to run; and if you were running, you need to sprint.
posted by adrianhon at 10:07 AM on April 20, 2014 [12 favorites]

Yeah, in the full app, the standard story missions are all set times, ~30 minutes and ~60 minutes. In the app, 1 story = 1 run, so if you don't finish a story during a run, in your next run, you'll listen to the last few minutes or so and then the mission will end. You'd then be on radio mode for the rest of your run. I'd love some way to be able to separate stories and runs. For example, if I'm doing a 60 minute run but have my stories set to 30 minutes, I'd love to have 2 stories in the 60 minute run. Or, if I get a leftover bit like I mentioned before, it'd be nice if there was an option to just go into the next story without stopping your run and starting a new one.

The variation in story length is likely due to variations in the music you listen to.

Also, I had to shut the zombie chases off, as I could never run fast enough long enough to escape them reliably. It was pretty demotivating.
posted by reddot at 10:39 AM on April 20, 2014

Brilliant, thank you, the flexibility of the different modes sounds really exciting and I'm fully reassured that it's the right next step. I think I'm just skittish about leaving the confines of this training.

adrianhon: thank you for making such a fun and profoundly helpful thing!
posted by carbide at 12:58 PM on April 22, 2014

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