Listen While You Run

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:


  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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?


Friday Five: Five Ways to Share the Running Love

I’m excited to link-up with DC area bloggers Courtney at Eat Pray Run DCCynthia at You Signed Up for What?!, and Mar at Mar on the Run again today! This week’s theme is 5 ways to share the running love.

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  1. Encourage a friend to run: Prick others with the running bug! Recruit a new running partner. Find someone else to chat with about your weekly mileage and daily splits. Share that running love in its most purest form by encouraging someone new to run! My enthusiasm for running inspired my father to pick up his running shoes again this spring, and he’s deeply considering running the Navy Air Force Half Marathon alongside me. On a more daily basis, I encourage my boyfriend during his training for this month’s Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon, and I can’t wait to see him cross that finish line. Whether you’re inspiring a new runner or just assuring a veteran that they got this, encouraging your friends to embrace this thing keeps the love flowing.
  2. Share a gift: I don’t know about you, but I’ve been know to be inspired by the occasional material good in the name of running. I recently purchase the Believe Training Journal, and it keeps me accountable to my training (it’s satisfying to write in your workout) while giving me a place to look back on past weeks and check in on my progress. I love looking back now and reading about accomplishing each new mile.
  3. Cheerlead others: It can be easy to compare your training or workouts to others, whether you read about them in their blogs or see it on social media, but we need to remember that we are all in different parts on our running journey. Some of us are just starting out, and others have made progress over a series of years. There are a few who are just speedsters and high mileagers from the start, but we must acknowledge that they are just not normal 🙂 Haha! But in all seriousness, throw a little good juju out in the world. Cheer on each other’s accomplishments, big and small, and you’ll be surprised how good you feel about it too! Kindness and support are easy to give and happily received.
  4. Join a running group: This is something I have not done yet, but it’s on my to-do list to do this spring/summer. I know there are a wealth of groups in Washington, D.C., and I’m sure my boyfriend would be happy if I shared my enthusiasm for running with other similarly-minded people from time to time. I’m sure it’s a also a great way to meet new people in this city!
  5. Don’t go overboard: Finally (and maybe most importantly), it’s good to know when to reign things in. Sure, I support the right to unabashedly love what you love! Why try and hide it? But I can practically see my loved ones’ eyes glaze over when I’m gushing about running for too long. Sometimes it’s good to know when to share and when to talk about something else too! No need to alienate the non-runners in your life.

How do you like to share the running love?