Listening on the Run!

FACT: When running 80 + km’s per week training for a marathon you spend a lot of time running. About half of that time I generally am running with my awesome running partner, Lori, and she is responsible for entertaining me. Luckily she’s pretty chatty and entertaining! What do I do for the other 4 ish hours a week of running? Usually I’m listening to either podcasts or audiobooks. I used to listen to music, but found that it got repetitive, and I really suck at changing up my playlists. Ever since I’ve started listening to podcasts and audiobooks, I have grown to prefer them over music.

I thought that some of you might also enjoy listening to podcasts and/or audiobooks, so here are my pics of the ones I’m most enjoying right now!


1. The Vinyl Café. This is actually a CBC Radio production that I have listened to on and off since I was a kid. It’s hosted by Stuart Mclean, and generally has 3 distinct sections, live music by a (usually) local Canadian performer or band, a listener letter and a story about Dave and Morley and their friends and family. It’s hard to explain why it’s so awesome, except to say that Stuart Mclean is one of the most funny, entertaining story tellers that I’ve ever listened to. The show will make you laugh, cry, and is just heartwarming and entertaining. I cannot recommend it enough.

2. Endurance Planet. This podcast is about all things endurance, with a triathlon, and long distance event focus. They really get down into the science of training and discuss a lot of technical training methods such as Maffetone training. I like the geeky science-ey nature of the podcast, and though they are way more serious in their training than I will ever be, it’s fun to hear about how geeked out you can get!

3. Trail Runner Nation. If you like running trails you really need to check out this podcast! They have a regular trail race feature where they share the details on a trail race, and they also discuss tons of different topics relevant to trail running, including training, the mental game, gear, etc. I really enjoy listening to this one!

4. Another Mother Runner. This one is hit and miss for me, and it really depends on the subject or who their guest is. They’ve interviewed awesome women runners such as Kara Goucher and Katherine Switzer that I’ve really enjoyed, but sometimes it’s also a bit “fluffy” for me. Check it out though, because obviously everyone has different taste and my fluff might be your bread and butter!

5. Two Gomers Run For Their Lives. I admit that this one isn’t going to be for everyone, and I really enjoyed it back in the early days, but have drifted away from them a bit recently. They are two guys that are total gomers, and took up running, starting with training for a half marathon. They are also geeks and like movies, star trek, technology, etc and spend a good amount of time talking about those topics also. If you’re interested in the topic, then it’s entertaining and fun, but sometimes they get on tangents that I’m really not that into. I did really enjoy the first few seasons though, and also enjoy following them on facebook, they seem like really genuinely nice guys and have a good sense of humor.

Audiobooks: I have an Audible membership, which gives me one credit for a new book every month. The app is on my phone, and it’s super easy to buy and download new books. I almost always run with my phone, so it’s super convenient for me!

1. Wild by Cheryl Strayed. This is a book about a woman who discovers herself while embarking on her first hike ever, a more than 1000 mile journey down the Pacific Crest Trail. It is a very enjoyable, tense at times, emotional, funny, story about how she found herself. I LOVED this book and would recommend it to anyone!

2. Bossypants by Tina Fey. Tina Fey is freaking hilarious, and she reads her own autobiography in this audiobook. Even if you are looking for books to read, I would recommend listening to this one because having her be the voice adds a lot to this book. As I said, Tina Fey is hilarious and you should all listen to this book!

3. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. Laura Hillenbrand is the author of the well-known book (movie) SeaBuscuit. This book is about Louise Zamberini, who was a runner, and became a World War II P.O.W. It’s an amazing story of survival, and I learned a lot about the history of WWII that I had not previously known.

4. The Silo series (Wool, Shift, Dust). This started out as a series of short stories, and has become a trilogy of three novels. They are a post-apocalyptic story where humanity is living in Silos below ground. I can’t go into much detail without revealing the mysteries of the story, but I will say that I really love this style of book, and I think this might be my current favorite post-apocalyptic series. So if you like this style, give it a try!

5. The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. What an interesting book this is! It is very “onion-like”, as in it has a lot of layers and just gets more and more interesting as you read (listen). The center character is Alma Whittaker, who was born in 1800 and was the daughter of a poor Englishman become rich Philadelphian, who made his fortune via quinine trade. She becomes a brilliant botanist in an era when women rarely had jobs, let alone in the sciences. It delves into women’s rights, evolutionary theory, religion, adventure, and so much more.

6. The Maze Runner by James Dashner. This is another post-apocalyptic type novel. I downloaded it because I heard that it was going to be released as a movie this year, and generally that means that the book will be at a minimum entertaining. It did not disappoint and I really enjoyed listening to it. It is about a boy, Thomas, who finds himself in a place known as the Glade, where there are 50-60 other teenage boys. They are trying to find a way out by solving a maze. There are monsters who attack them called Grievers. It’s an exciting book that is fast moving, and exciting. It made for a very good listen on the run… and while reviewing it for this post, I’ve learned that there are two sequels called The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure that I’ll be downloading soon!

What do you listen to while you run? Any good book or podcast recommendations?


3 thoughts on “Listening on the Run!

  1. Love this post. I enjoy being entertained by others during runs as well! I’ve listened to a few audio books, mostly during indoor cycling. It’s a great way to make the time go by and you’re constantly listening rather than zoning out (which I do with music). Downside is when you’re really into the story end up adding onto the workout to find out what happens 🙂

    I’ll have to try some of these podcasts out.

    1. I have extended more than a few workouts to finish listening to something! I should have mentioned that the real downside is when you’re listening to something sad and trying not to weep as you run! Or listening to something funny while doing speed work, intervals are much harder when belly laughing.

  2. Lindsay D

    If you want an endless supply of audiobooks, I use the Overdrive app with my Calgary Library card. For $12 per year I get to listen to as many audiobooks as I want, and am almost always listening to one when I run.

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