I must confess, the only I usually take with me on a run is a running watch. I seldom take my smartphone or running headphones, as I find running on its own entertaining enough. However, I simply couldn't turn down the opportunity to try Marvel Move, an interactive fitness adventure created by Six to Start, co-creator of Zombies, Run!, ahead of its launch in August 2023.
Featuring Marvel Comics characters like Thor and Loki, the X-Men, Hulk and Doctor Strange, Marvel Move makes you the main character, which I'm sure is appealing to many comic book fans. I grew up reading X-Men comics, and I found Jean Grey and Wolverine fighting mutant-hunting Sentinels alongside me highly entertaining.
Currently, there are three series available in the app, with new episodes featuring new workouts and evolving storylines released each month. These include "Thor and Loki: Trials of the Ten Realms" written by Alex Acks, "X-Men: Age of Orchis" written by Tini Howard, and "The Hulk: Hulkville” written by Matt Wieteska. I very much look forward to Daredevil's storyline coming later this year.
Move with the story
In case you're unfamiliar with the concept, Marvel Move is an immersive storyline-led fitness experience that makes running, jogging or walking – inside or outside, on a treadmill or in a wheelchair – a highly entertaining experience. The story unfolds as you run along, and you also get to earn virtual trophies, helping you stay motivated.
Although listening to the story is entertaining on its own, you can further personalise the experience by adjusting the time or distance of your runs, enabling so-called chases when you want to intensify your workout, and more. You can even enrol in expert-designed 5K, 10K, half-marathon, and marathon training programs.
Speaking of ZRX: Six to Start fully redesigned the app, which is now home to Zombies, Run! as well as Marvel Move, and tons more narrative fitness content such as Venture. I never tried Zombies, Run! before, so I can't tell how much more intuitive the ZRX app is compared to its predecessor, but I found the app intuitive enough to use.
As I mentioned above, I'm a bit of a comic book nerd, at least I used to be, and I'm particularly fond of the X-Men lore. My favourite character has always been Remy Etienne LeBeau, a.k.a. Gambit, who's a very 90s mutant with his purple hues and the ability to charge items – mostly playing cards – with explosive kinetic energy which detonate on impact.
Anyhow, listening to the stories about my childhood favourites certainly filled me with nostalgia, which made me appreciate being part of the story even more. As a somewhat experienced runner, I don't think Marvel Move would help me improve my technique, but that's not what the app is for anyway. The name has the word 'Move' in it, which is an indication that it's aimed at beginner runners, not pros (not like I'm a pro).
You can appreciate the story even if you're an experienced runner, though. Running with Marvel Move also made me curious about Zombies, Run! and other story-based running apps. It's fun to listen to stories tailored to your session, and as long as you have the correct headphones – I recommend the Shokz OpenFit or the Cleer ARC II Sport.
What I liked the most about Marvel Move is that it helped me rekindle some of that lost love I felt due to the lack of exciting movies in the MCU. There is a bit of a lull happening on that front, but thanks to the interactive nature of the app, I successfully re-immersed myself in the Marvel Universe.
Should you try it? If you like comic books and need inspiration to start moving, definitely. You'll be plenty motivated by the stories and the virtual trophies. The customisation options ensure you can adjust the intensity of your workouts as you get more confident in moving around.
The ZRX mobile app from Six to Start is available now for iOS on the App Store and Android on Google Play. You can subscribe to Marvel Move for $7.99 a month or $74.99 a year (saving you $21) with a free one-week trial.