8 great podcasts for long runs

Need a little distraction on your long runs? Try one of these 8 podcasts to keep your thoughts occupied and your feet pounding the streets.

Originally posted on Runner’s World


Long runs provide the perfect opportunity to explore your surroundings, get lost in your thoughts or solve complex mathematical equations (if you’re that way inclined). But for even the most ardent fans of solitude, once you’ve enjoyed the beautiful sounds of nature or listened to your favourite disco mix a thousand times, on long training runs you can start to go a bit bonkers. So, aside from enlisting a running buddy, what’s the best way to pass the time? Listen to our 8 top running podcasts and the miles are guaranteed to disappear beneath your feet.

1. Serial

The podcast that spawned the list you’re about to read, unless you’ve been living under a rock for six months, you’ll have heard of Serial. A real-life amateur sleuth murder investigation, it’s recently gone viral and everyone from long distance runners to Dave next door are currently raving about it. Made by the creators of This American Life, NPR reporter Sarah Koenig takes it upon herself to solve a real-life murder in weekly instalments, which is so compelling you’ll want to keep running until you’ve listened to the whole thing.

2. Marathon talk

Assuming you’re happy to listen to runners talk about running while you’re actually out running, Marathon Talk is the perfect antidote to long run ennui. A free weekly podcast available on iTunes, presenters Martin Yelling and Tom Williams, talk about everything running related to keep you on track.

3. Distraction Pieces

In this weekly podcast available on iTunes, spoken word poet and hip hop artist Scroobius Pip simply chats to interesting people. From Russell Brand to Kate Tempest to Dj Yoda, it’s purely about reigniting the art of conversation. Sometimes dark, twisted, illuminating, political and funny, it’s honest and fun and will definitely keep your legs moving.

4. Comedify

Brought to you by the makers of Spotify, from Spike Milligan to Cheech & Chong, Comedify features 408 hours of funny albums to keep you chuckling on your long runs. The only drawback? If you find yourself bellowing in fits of laughter to yourself while running round the park, your fellow pedestrians will probably think you’re completely nuts. But who cares, you’re the one out running and having all the fun.

5. This American life

For the past 20 years our friends across the pond have been busy producing this weekly hour-long radio programme which has proven to be rather popular around the world. Primarily a journalistic non-fiction podcast, it also features essays, memoirs, field recordings, short fiction, and found footage. Each episode has a theme and includes a variety of mostly true stories featuring everyday people. It’s surprisingly interesting and easy to get lost in, so it’s the perfect companion for long run day.

6. Stuff you should know

If you really must multi-task while you run, you may as well expand your mind at the same time as your muscles and learn something useful. Stuff You Should Know is a free, twice weekly award-winning podcast covering a variety of topics, often using popular culture as a reference. Consistently ranked in the Top 10 on iTunes, it’s pretty nerdy but also rather funny and definitely worth a listen while you work those legs.

7. The Rich Roll Podcast

In his weekly podcast, ultrarunning vegan author Rich Roll discusses all things wellness with a plethora of interesting guest speakers including athletes, doctors, nutritionists, trainers, entrepreneurs and artists. Topics include fitness and endurance, training, nutrition, meditation and more and it’s bound to get you in the mood for a run, or at the very least grow your hair, give up meat and relocate to the wilderness to concentrate on ultra running.

8. Woman’s Hour

This one will probably only appeal to 50 per cent of you, but there’s no law against listening to Women’s Hour if you’re a chap, plus you might just learn a thing or two about how the other half live. The programme consists of reports, interviews and debates on health, education, cultural and political topics aimed at women and mothers and the last 15 minutes are taken up with short-run drama serials. Fascinating, funny and informative, it’s perfect running fuel.

Thank you to our Twitter friends who helped come up with many of these great suggestions. Have you got a great podcast to recommend? If so we’d love to hear from you; either comment below or Tweet us@RunnersworldUK using the hashtag #runpodcast


Leave a Reply