I find that one of the worst things I can do to my running hobby is get habitual. Always taking the same routes, always running the same milage, always running at the same time of day – all these things are easy ways to kill my desire to lace up my sneakers and go. I know for some runners (or exercisers) routine is key, but for me the way to unlock my inner runner is to mix things up.What I listen to on a run is directly linked to both my pre-run level of excitement and my during-run enjoyment.
As I became a better runner I began to crave an alternative to music, and I turned to audiobooks. These were excellent distractors from the heat and pain, but the length of the novels made it difficult to follow the stories on shorter runs. They worked best as my runs grew longer for my half marathon runs, and I even listened to one on my last half marathon.
Which brings me to my current favorite iPod choice: podcasts. My sweet friend Erin first turned me onto podcasts when I read the blog she wrote to document her half marathon training experience. I downloaded a few she recommended, and I was hooked. Podcasts cover many different topics of interest, come in many different lengths, and the best part is that most of them are totally free!
I’ve become more proficient at finding podcasts I enjoy listening to for my runs, and while I like to choose random topics that catch my interest, I’ve got a few go-tos that you’ll always find on my iPod downloaded and ready for a run.
Probably my favorite, this podcast covers the most random events, people, and situations that have occurred in history.
Favorite Episode: The Princess Who Swallowed a Glass Piano
Obviously a popular and well-talked about podcast (if you’re already a fan you’ll love the SNL skit they did). The series covers the case of accused murderer Adnan Sayed and the details that led to his conviction. The second season has finally arrived – it’s about U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl and the investigation into his 5 year capitivity with the Taliban – and while military-related situations rarely interest me, I find this stoyline well done and fascinating.
Favorite Episode: This series is sequential, be sure to listen to them in order!
Crossway Church produces a podcast of their weekly sermons, and I really enjoy getting a dose of Biblical truth while on my runs. I find the pastor to be very real, down-to-earth, current, and relevant. If you’re looking for something with solid spiritual substance, I highly recommend subscribing. 🙂
Favorite Episode(s): The entire True and Better: series is phenomenal!
I’m new to the Criminal series, but I’m already hooked. Basically, it’s a podcast about crime, and covers all sides of it – the clues, the victims, and of course, the criminals.
Favorite Episode: Episode 1: Animal Instincts
If you enjoy Serial I think you’ll like Mystery Show. I find it to be very similar in style, with a much less serious vibe to the stories covered. I love listening to someone track down the answers to their questions, and that’s exactly what this show is all about… even if the questions are about the origin of a belt buckle. 🙂
Favorite Episode: Case #2: Britney
Another recent find, this series discusses a broad range of topics that settle around a theme, covering things like human nature, current events, essays, and such.
Favorite Episode: Episode 572: Transformers
I find the best part about podcasts is that they keep my runs interesting. When I download a new episode I find I’m more excited and eager to head out, and when I get back I’m not only a little more physically exercised but also mentally exercised as well.
Please let me know if you’ve got any favorites you think I’d enjoy! 🙂
Update – When I shared this post on Facebook, I received a few more podcast recommendations. The two that most interested me were TED Talks and Snap Judgement. I’m looking forward to checking them out, and if I love them I’ll add them in with my other favorites above!