Podcasts to Keep You Company While Running

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Dear Readers,

I like to listen to podcasts when I run, and I’m always looking for the next great thing. I asked some folks around the running community for their suggestions.

Des Linden, the 2018 Boston Marathon champ, recommends listening to the podcast “Comedy Bang Bang” while running. “It’s hilariously unpredictable improv that makes the time and miles fly by, plus there’s the extra challenge of trying to hold pace while laughing out loud — best for recovery days,” said Linden, who announced this week that she will be running in both the Olympic Marathon Trials and the Boston Marathon (51 days apart).

If you’re looking to drop into one episode that may have you spitting your drink out of your nose, try episode 211 with Jon Hamm.

The ultramarathoner supreme Dean Karnazes recommends the “Rich Roll Podcast.”

“I always glean wisdom from the conversations and his interviewing style is relaxed and conversational,” he said. “It’s easy to listen to, and entertaining yet valuable at the same time.”

Scott Smith, a pro runner with Northern Arizona Elite, picked “Heaven’s Gate,” which looks at the cult of the same name. “It was a fascinating insight into how truly anyone can unwittingly become susceptible to their allure and how some of our tendencies as runners are a bit, well, cultish,” he said.

Michael Capiraso, chief executive of the New York Road Runners, is a fan of “Bloomberg Business of Sports.” “It covers a great variety of sports from an interesting business angle,” he said. “It’s smart, relevant and entertaining.”

And the actor Luke Kirby, who plays Lenny Bruce on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” said he runs with several podcasts. “Gilbert Gottfried’s ‘Amazing Colossal Podcast’ gives great insight into all things showbiz,” he said. “Gilbert and Frank’s reverence for film and TV history is thorough and infectious.”

He also likes “Kreative Kontrol” with Vish Khanna for its “in-depth interviews with an astounding range of musicians, comedians and authors. Dynamic and hard-to-come-by guests.”

And finally, he said, “The ‘Splendid Table’ podcast really incentivizes those last few miles of a run with its ardor for gastronomy. A really good education in food and custom.”

I posed the same question on Twitter and got a lot of feedback. Here are some popular responses, sorted into categories I made up:

Ask Me Another”

Code Switch

It’s Been a Minute With Sam Sanders

Pop Culture Happy Hour

This American Life

Up First

Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me” Eric Nuzum, author of “Make Noise: A Creator’s Guide to Podcasting and Great Audio Storytelling,” who worked at NPR for more than a decade, said this was the first full show that NPR regularly podcast. “For a year before that, we offered compilations and single segment podcasts,” he said. “At the time, there was a lot of concern that podcasting full shows would kill radio distribution.”


Dr. Death

In the Dark

My Favorite Murder

You Must Remember This” While this series about Hollywood’s first century isn’t always about murder, it comes up a lot. I recommend starting with Episode 44, the first in their series about Charles Manson.

30 for 30

The Daily

Dolly Parton’s America

The Dream

The Joe Rogan Experience

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History

Tom & Lorenzo’s Pop Style Opinion Fest

You’re Wrong About … ”

The Good Place: The Podcast” If you are as obsessed with the NBC series as I am, this podcast is pure delight. I make a rule for myself that I can’t listen to it unless I’m out running.

That’s the strategy Ruth Franklin, author of “Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life,” uses with the podcast “Happier With Gretchen Rubin.” “I’m only allowed to listen to it when I run,” she wrote.

Forward it to your friends, and let them know they can sign up here.