5 Podcasts to Keep You Company on Your Runs

fri5I arrived to the world of podcasts fairly late in the game but since I got an iPhone this entertainment alternative has saved me on many of my long runs! I found my running playlist getting old, and sometimes music was just plain annoying on a long run after an hour or so. On the treadmill I tried to watch TV but it makes me dizzy…which may be my own personal coordination issue, of course.  I feel like I am going to fall off the treadmill when I try!

So I discovered podcasts and can honestly say it has made long, solitary training sessions a lot easier to bear, particularly if I am stuck on a treadmill. We’ve covered podcasts before, but there are such a huge range of them available, on every type of subject you can dream up, whether you are interested in business, commerce, celebrities … you name it, there is a podcast for it!  This is a list of 5 of my favourites:

DISCLAIMER: If you are going to run with earphones or earbuds outside you may be dangerously distracted.  Make sure that you are aware, alert and safe at all times. If you have trouble remaining alert and aware while using a listening device, it’s better to wait until treadmill time than to be a danger to yourself or others!

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk podcasts that will make the miles fly by!

1. Endurance Planet:  This is a must for endurance junkies who like triathlons and ultra running.  Tawnee Prazak‘s voice is now so familiar to me that I almost consider her a running friend! She hosts the podcast and they have various types of broadcasts including, “Ask the Coaches”, “TriNews”, and “Sports Nutrition,” as well as special guests, like the mobility coach Kelly Starrett and Dr Phil Maffetone. Even if you do not subscribe to all of the advice it is interesting to listen to because you get all kinds of perspectives and they’re always well researched.

2. Balanced Bites: I do not eat a purely Paleo diet by any stretch of the imagination, but Liz Wolfe and Diane Sanfillipo have a really great show that gives great cooking and eating tips that happens to be Paleo-centric. They are not fear-mongerers or Paleo prosthelytizers, they just want people to eat good, nourishing food. And if you slip up and eat junk every now and again, it’s all good! They are also pretty funny, and they make the miles tick by quickly.  You feel like you are having a run with your girlfriends when you listen to them!

She totally thinks Jay from Serial is hiding something! Flickr Commons image by Ed Yourdon.

3. Serial:  This was the most downloaded podcast IN HISTORY! Crime, drama, whodunnit, suspense. 12 episodes of absolutely gripping entertainment.  I must confess that I listened to this in my car mostly during my commute because I was scared that it would distract me too much while running to be safe. YOU.MUST.LISTEN.TO.THIS!

4. This American Life: Okay, so it was mentioned in Lemongrass’s podcast post, but as the juggernaut of all podcasts, I can’t skip adding it to my list. Plus, I am not American, I live in South Africa!  And you don’t have to be American to be fascinated by the topics that are discussed in this show. It is a documentary every week. I feel like my brain is growing when I listen to it!

5. Marathon Talk: I don’t know why, but I just think prim and proper British accents make jokes sound so funny!  Marathon Talk was my first podcast, and they have great interviews with international stars. It’s very well established in the UK, they have a very popular website with challenges, and one of the hosts, Martin Yelling, is husband to Liz Yelling, a former UK Olympic marathoner.  They travel around to marathons and are involved in Parkrun, which hosts free, weekly timed 5k runs in countries all over the world!

Do you listen to podcasts on the run? What are some of your favorites?


An ultrarunning gal from sunny South Africa... I'm a mummy of two kiddos under 5, wife, runner (and attorney) from the balmy shores of South Africa. Although I am definitely a mid-packer I have the soul and aspirations of an elite athlete, sadly without the pedigreed legs! But every day I dream and work towards loftier goals... maybe a sub 20 5k to start?

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  1. NPR’s Wait, Wait don’t Tell Me and Car Talk or my absolute favorites. It is hard to run when you’re laughing out loud, though.

    1. I love Radiolab while running! It’s like I’m having a conversation with people much more interesting than I am and I don’t have to feel guilty about not contributing during a tempo!

      1. Ha ha, totally. The only thing I don’t like about it is that there are sometimes very loud and unexpected noises. . .though the extra shot of adrenaline is probably good for my overall pace ; )

  2. I would add invisibility, TED radio hour, start-up, love + radio (their silver dollar episode is one of my all time faves!)

    I binge listened to serial the day I admitted I was injured while I frantically cleaned my house. I still don’t know where I stand 2 months later! Couldn’t quit listening!

  3. My fave is the Dinner Party Download. There’s enough different sections -quirky news headlines, drinks inspired by this day in history, interviews, etiquette questions, and food features- to split up a run into entertaining bits.