A few months ago, I was in the middle of the Elizabeth Gilbert podcast series “Magic Lessons” that she created along with the release of her book Bog Magic and obsessed. I would listen to it when I went on the couple of walks I take each week and one night was leaving for a run and considered walking instead so I could keep listening. Then I thought that as I enjoyed listening while walking so much, that I might give a whirl when I went for a run. As it turns out I LOVED running to her podcast. I had been recently bored of the music I was running to and had been having pacing problems with music with beats too slow so I wasn’t adding new music in often enough. Podcasts turned out to be the perfect answer. Which was surprising as I never would have thought that I’d enjoy the spoken word to run to, but it’s amazing. I learn things, am completely entertained and find that I actually run faster the to music. I have a dozen or so podcasts on my phone but these are my top 5 that I find myself constantly going through their archives pre-run.
My Top 5 Podcasts for Running:
1. Freakonomics Radio – I love the books so no surprise that I love the podcast. The economist host picks a subject and gives you two perspectives on it via research and interviews and it’s always fascinating. Examples of some of my favorites: The No Tipping Point; Who Needs Handwriting; Why Do People Keep Having Children; Should Every One Be In A Rock Band; Food + Science = Victory!; Meet The Woman Who Says You Can’t Have It All; Aziz Ansari Needs Another Toothbrush; Is It OK For Restaurants to Racially Profile Their Employees?…and so many more. I love them all!
2. Stuff You Should Know – A very close second and the one I’ve been listening to the most recently because I can not help myself. Two guys delve into random subjects and geek out. I adore them and find myself laughing at their banter and tangents while running all the time. Examples of some of my favorites: Nostalgia is not the most toxic impulse; How Makeup Works; Some Really Interesting Cases of Mass Hysteria; How Dark Money Works; How Freak Shows Worked; (Approximately) 10 Things That Vanished Mysteriously; The Duality of Caffeine; The Satanic Panic of the 1980’s; How Lizzie Borden Worked; Great Wall of China;How Dementia Works.
3. Gastro Pod – Oddly I really enjoy listening to people talk about food while I run. I think that is bizarre AF, but whatever works. The hosts research a topic and then bring in guest speakers to pepper their findings. Examples of some of my favorites: The Bitter Truth; The End of The Calorie; The Maple Boom; Grand Theft Food; Caffeine: The World’s Most Popular Drug.
4. America’s Test Kitchen Radio – This one is new to my feed, but I am so excited about the topics that I can’t wait to dive in deep. The subjects are typically behind the scenes with famous chefs from Emeril and Rachel Ray to Aaron Franklin and pop subjects like eating paleo and cutting sugar. I suspect I’ll enjoy it immensely!
5. The Tim Ferris Show – I don’t listen to this one as much as his episodes tend to be really long (1.5 – 2 hours) or really short (17 min) and I prefer and try and fit one podcast into one run. But I was recommended to give this one a go and I have liked what I’ve heard a great deal more than many I have tried so far, so it made my top 5. Consequently, if you are looking for something to enjoy on a longer run, do try out some tim ferris podcasts. You will not be disappointed.
Notable mentions: Inquiring Minds, Stuff To Blow Your Mind, Stuff Mom Never Told You, This American Life, 99% Invisible and Stuff You Missed in History Class.