I always wear earphones and listen to something when I’m exercising. ALWAYS. Sometimes I listen to Pandora radio (using my phone and 3G), but most of the time, I’m listening to podcasts. I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorites for running–podcasts that are interesting enough to hold my attention while I’m in physical distress and the right length.
1. This American Life (NPR)- Isn’t this everyone’s favorite podcast? It’s always at the top of the charts on i-Tunes. The episodes are basically collections of interesting stories based around a theme. I almost always find myself completely captivated and distracted from running while listening. I even forget I’m running sometimes. Isn’t that every runner’s goal at times? Last year they did an episode on Middle School which was so hilarious, and so true. More recently, I enjoyed an episode called “What I Did for Love.” Best for: long, slow runs, ideally in the country
2. Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! (NPR) – Another chart-topper and for good reason. Their tagline is “The Oddly Informative News Quiz”. It’s a game show of sorts, and a hilarious one. They always have a celebrity guest–anyone from authors to actors to past presidents. My favorite episodes include one in which Bill Clinton plays “Not My Job” and has to answer questions about the cartoon My Little Pony and another called “Listener Contestant Moments”. Best for: nighttime runs (I often find myself smiling or laughing out loud while listening).
3. Church Sermons – I am not currently regularly attending a specific church (am working on that), but I do listen to two church sermons a week: Pastor Naeem Fazal from Mosaic Church and Keith Boyer at Crossroads Community Church. Many churches now have services available to download. Best for: easy, relaxing runs.
4. Jillian Michaels – I’ve never been a huge fan of workout videos or The Biggest Loser, and I’m not even trying to lose weight, but I still love Jillian’s podcast. Her topics are always health related and very informative. For example, in a recent podcast she discussed buying organic–when it’s most important, how to prioritize, etc. Best for: any run. I find I can easily tune out and start listening again without being confused.
5. Daily Audio Bible – Sometimes instead of listening to someone talk about God, I just want to listen to God’s words. I don’t listen to this daily (although I do read the Bible almost every day), but I find this to be something soothing to listen to. Best for: tough days.
6. Manic Mommies – This is probably the podcast I have listened to for the longest, and one I look forward to every week. The premise of the podcast sounds silly–it’s just two best friends who are about my age with kids about my son’s age who talk about their daily lives. Often they will have guest interviews. However, after listening for so long I feel like I’ve gotten to know these ladies, who are so down to earth and hysterical. Once I called into the show and my call was on the podcast. I’m practically a celebrity. It’s easy to listen to, it makes me laugh, and the topics are something all moms can relate to. Best for: I listen to this one on the first run of the week (Monday or Tuesday).
7. Radiolab – This is my most recent addition to the podcast line-up. It’s similar to This American Life in a way, but it seems the stories are loosely science-related. I haven’t listened enough to give a thorough evaluation, but I do love what I’ve heard so far. Best for: Saturdays. I’m not sure why.
8. Another Mother Runner – This podcast is similar to Manic Mommies in that it’s two ladies chatting, but these two ladies are runners who discuss all things running (geared towards women). I don’t feel a bond with them like I do with Erin and Kristen on Manic Mommies, but I have learned a lot from listening to this show. Best for: any run.
I have a few more podcasts I listen to regularly that are not long enough to listen to on runs. I’ll share them in a future post!