Ear Candy – Podcasts on the Run

The debate rages on about whether it is better to run with or without music, but I don’t often hear the two sides squabble because I have my ear buds in. Yep, I’m a diehard iPodder on my runs – be they fast, slow or somewhere in between, it is the rare occasion that I am without my trusty Shuffle.  I will generally even race with mine, being mindful of no headphones rules, of course (read: I take them off for the start/finish but otherwise risk a DQ. What, am I worried about losing my top 3 women spot? Ha!).

For those of us training for fall races (and who isn’t? fall races are the BEST!), September can often signal the beginning of the long run season. I prefer music for my shorter runs, but long runs are a different animal, and for them I like podcasts. This is for two reasons – one, I enjoy listening to stories as the miles tick by and two, I find it easier to run the correct long run pace when listening to people talking, and not rocking out, enticing me to join their dance party by upping my speed. So today I thought I would share a few of my favorite episodes of podcasts I listen to and then open the discussion to hear what some of yours are!

For me, this is the granddaddy of all podcasts. I have been a faithful TAL listener for over 10 years and have listened to most of the episodes I missed from before I was a listener. I have many favorites, but here are three that you can’t go wrong with:

1. Switched At Birth The story of two babies that were accidentally switched at birth told from 4 perspectives – both babies (don’t worry, they were adults when the story was recorded, so you don’t have to interpret baby babble) and both moms. So, so good!

2. The Ghost of Bobby Dunbar The story of a 4 year old boy who disappeared in a Louisiana marsh… a short time later he was found, presumed to be kidnapped. But the plot thickens with the claim of another woman that the child who was found was her boy, not the Dunbar’s. Fascinating story ensues…

3. Prom For anyone whoever went to a prom, will go to a prom, skipped the prom or prefers to keep all their prom experiences confined to watching 80s movies about proms, you will like this. It has something for everyone, including a tornado that hits one!

I’ve mentioned RadioLab in previous posts and I continue to love the way they present science stories with a soft touch.

1. Limits This is an episode I have linked to before – but it is perfect for long runs! One of the segments talks about the limits of the human body, a very timely subject for us all. After listening, I dare you not to start saying “ok, Governor, let’s get moving” as you cajole yourself through tough miles. Although I have now shortened it to “Guv”, cause me and my brain are BFFs.

2. Finding Emilie I seriously cannot get enough of this one. Be prepared for some erratic breathing as you cry and run at the same time. The depth of one man’s love for his lady and the faith he has that he can help her is the stuff of real-life fairy tales. Awesome.

3. Guts Here is something on the lighter side, but not for the faint of heart. My thoughts:  I love Mary Roach and scientists of days gone by were bat-shit crazy! Why oh why would you think it would be a good idea to stick things in a living man’s stomach, then pull them back out (via a hole in his abdomen) to see how digestion works? Ewww! And yet, I still am thankful that someone figured this out.

Seriously love this one, especially since I have forgotten about 90% of the history I learned in school! These two ladies pick a topic for each episode and explore it in a way that makes you want to go back to college and get a history degree.

1. What Happened to the Lost Colony at Roanoke? Scroll down to July 11, 2012 link I cannot listen to any story about settlers of any kind going anywhere new and not think “how were these people so fricking brave??” The mystery of this colony makes the story all that more appealing.

2. The Booth Conspiracy Scroll down to February 8, 2012 I have forgotten so much about the Lincoln assassination (or never knew) that almost this entire story was news to me! Did you know that there were three murders planned that night? Or the standoff that eventually spelled the end of the road for Booth? We sure don’t treat suspects like they did in the old days!

3. Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning in Love Scroll down to February 15, 2012 – Just an old-fashioned love story from a time when father’s ruled the roost. Oh, except these were two of the most eloquent people ever.

I also listen on a regular basis to The Moth, The Adam Carolla Show, Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend, For Cryin’ Out Loud, The Nerdist, Ultrarunner Podcast, All Songs Considered and Making it with Riki Lindhome (one half of the amazing Garfunkel and Oates).

Has anyone tried listening to “books on tape” (how anachronistic!) while running? That is next on my list of things to try.

What about you…

Do you listen to music while running?


What are your favorites? Share ’em below!


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4 responses to “Ear Candy – Podcasts on the Run

  1. beth1446

    Snap Judgement, Savage Love, The State We’re In, Freakonomics Radio, The Splendid Table (always inspires me to cook and makes me hungry). These along with your first 2 are some if my favorites.

  2. Linda Kisiel

    I haven’t downloaded pod casts yet, but i always listen to music. However, i always do the first mile, no music, just me and my thoughts. It gears me up for the day.

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