Learning is but an adjunct to ourself And where we are our learning likewise is: --William Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost, Act IV, Scene 3
“So what do you know about X race? What do you usually put in your drop bag? When do you usually fuel on a long run?”
Running with a group or even just one other person gives us a chance to tap into the community resource and pick each other’s brains. Just like writers love to talk about writing, runners love to swap stories, tips, and gear and race suggestions. In fact, you can’t get some of us to shut up about our personal running loves. Get a runner started about their favorite shoes, and they’ll likely still be talking a mile or two later, myself included. We love to share and, most often, overshare.
And above all, we’re curious. We wouldn’t be in this endless sport of simply putting one foot in front of the other until we can’t any longer and seeing places we never could otherwise if we weren’t. Right now, though, many of us are spending more time running solo as well as spending more time at home.
Discovering new podcasts can help make the time pass and fulfill that curiosity as you’re getting your long run in or even just pulling weeds or cleaning the house. Listening to a running podcast can both educate and entertain, giving you new ideas or workouts to try or introduce you to inspiring people in our sport and everything in between. In this post, I’ll go over 5 of my favorite running podcasts.
1. Science of Ultra Podcast
Don’t let the name scare you off! While the focus is on ultrarunners and training, you can apply many of the principles to any distance or terrain. After all, good running is good running. Hosted by Shawn Bearden, PhD in Exercise Physiology and full Professor of physiology at Idaho State University, the Science of Ultra Podcast, also known as SOUP, started in late 2015 and has gone through several formats but has always included interviews with athletes, coaches, and researchers as well as a Coaches Corner Round Table in 2018-2019 with Ian Sharman, Krissy Moehl, and David Roche. More tailored to the scientific aspect of running, Shawn breaks complex topics down so they are easy to understand. With 124 episodes as of this May and episodes varying from around 10 minutes to a little over an hour, you can find one to fit your interest.
2. Trail Runner Nation
One of the older running podcasts, ultrarunners Don Freeman and Scott Warr established Trail Runner Nation in 2011 and host this grab bag podcast with interviews, playful discussions, and a brand new Bonk/No Bonk feature with the same coaches/ultrarunners as SOUP’s Coaches Corner: Ian Sharman, Krissy Moehl, and David Roche. They feature scientists, physiotherapists, ultrarunners, and coaches to name a few. Irreverent and always willing to get into a good debate, Don and Scott have over 470 episodes on everything from running culture to nutrition and mental discipline and everything in between and will both entertain and educate you. And with detailed episode notes, you can always make sure you don’t miss important information.
3. The Strength Running Podcast
Hosted by USATF certified run coach Jason Fitzgerald from StrengthRunning.com, this podcast obviously focuses on the strength aspect in relation to running performance and injury. He interviews other coaches and athletes, goes over case studies and best practices, and even records some of his coaching calls for the podcast to see the principles in action; as a teacher, the coaching calls are my favorite. The detailed episode notes for each podcast and links add to the information-heavy aspect, which I love. With 140 episodes and counting, there’s lots to catch up on!
The newest of the group and hosted by Head Coach of CTS-Ultrarunning and ultra runner himself Jason Koop. His podcast’s tag line sums it all up: “Chunking the knowledge bombs since 2019.” His podcast features discussions with other running experts, ultrarunners, and coaches. Covering topics from nutrition to when to hike and when to run to overtraining. He injects a bit of fun into information heavy discussions, making it easy to follow along and absorb lots of great training tips. Mindful of the running community, especially in this COVID-19 world, he even adds “shameless small business plugs” for running stores and services in his local area, Colorado Springs.
5. Bluegrass BAMR
Another newer podcast started in spring 2019, this one is local to me and close to my heart. Hosted by Stephanie Boyd, my She Runs This Town chapter leader, Bibrave Pro, and all around bad ass runner, it features interviews with other BAMRS, bad ass mother runners, many of whom I love dearly. It gives me a chance, especially right now, to hear familiar voices and learn more about their journeys and stories. We never know what another is going through, and Stephanie’s podcast lets you have a glimpse into someone else’s challenges, whether it’s living with Bechet’s disease and doing ultras like Abbi Auger or my favorite yoga instructor Joyce’s Colwell’s journey to wellness and trail running. This podcast is one I listen to as soon as it comes out.
With so many races cancelled and more time on our hands, it’s an ideal time to catch up on information, training tips, and workouts to incorporate into your text training cycle or just for company on a run. Slow down, catch up, take what you need, and leave the rest.
What podcasts are your favorites to listen to when running? Share them in the comments below.