When I grudgingly inspired myself to run on the treadmill in college or — on the incredibly rare instance — outside, I was never without music. As I actually began to love running, I was surprised to find I enjoyed it much more without a pulsing beat raging through my headphones and began to run without music. Since my running picked up significantly over the winter, I grew used to hearing the sound of my shoes landing on my local Metroparks running trail and embrace the silent cushion of snow.
More recently, however, as my runs increased from 20 minutes to 40 or 50 minutes, I found myself needing a little distraction (?) as the new mileage forced me to run farther and farther from home. I still don’t like music, but I’ve found I really do enjoy podcasts, the radio or the occasional audiobook to keep me going. I use the podcast application on my iPhone to search for new and find my old, go-to podcasts. Here’s what I’ve been listening to while I run:
- This American Life: This American Life is a weekly public radio show broadcast that tells a new stories each week based on a chosen theme. They’re usually true stories about everyday people — the kind not normally covered in the news — and they’re always interesting. One day you’re listening to a family talk about how they were rescued at sea with their little ones, and the next you’re hearing a woman recall how she tracked down her stolen belongings on Craigslist before the police did.
- Run Faster Podcast with Jay Johnson: As you might have read last week, Coach Jay Johnson developed the myrtl routine I do on a weekly basis for strengthening, and his Run Faster Podcast is one of his newest ventures. As you might have guessed, its goal is to help runners run faster, but what makes it special are Jay’s interviewees and their wealth of knowledge. My favorite? Bart Yasso!
- StoryCorps: Storycorps is best described an oral history project! They have stocked and collected more than 50,000 interviews with over 90,000 participants, and do those people have stories to tell… I suggest downloading a few at a time because they can run short, but their diversity in content can be a nice change from whatever you normally listen to.
- Men in Blazers: This is for the soccer fans! I’ve been embracing the English Premiere League and the American MLS for the past year and listening to the Men in Blazers is not only enjoyable, but I pick up a thing or too while laughing along. I also don’t mind the British accents. In their words, “We discuss football. And wear blazers. Usually at the same time. Men in Blazers is driven by the belief that Soccer is America’s Sport of the Future. As it has been since 1972.” Give it a try!
- Audiobooks: This has been my most recent addition and a perfect fix for when I’ve listened to all of my podcasts I hate waiting a whole week for a new episode of This American Life. Audible is a great resource, but I have also been using the OverDrive application on my iPhone to access audiobooks I rent from my local library. Right now I’m listening to Janet Ivanovich’s Takedown Twenty, a guilty-pleasure series that I’ve been reading for many years. I have a Kindle loaded with more serious reads, but who wants to listen to King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa on a run?!
Do you like listening to anything while you run? What are your favorites? I’m also on the search for affordable wireless headphones — do you wear any you love?