Apparently yesterday, September 30th, was International Podcast Day! I am a huge fan of podcasts, but unfortunately I didn’t have much time to “celebrate” yesterday, I was on a grad school visit, so a day late, I’m going to share with you all my favorite podcasts I listen to while I’m on a run (…or biking, or walking to the train station, in the car, at work on slow days…I listen to a lot of podcasts.) I never used to listen to podcasts while running, I used to just have to listen to music. But as my runs started getting longer, I started to get a little bit bored with just music. I am also one of those runners who always accidentally runs to the pace of the music, so throw in a fast song too early and I’ll burn out at the end.
You’ll notice exactly 0 NPR podcasts on this list. It’s not that I don’t like those podcasts, it’s just that everyone talks about them. When I say “I listen to a lot of podcasts” people usually follow that with “Oh! Do you listen to Radiolab? Invisibilia?” Those are fun, but these 6 podcasts are my real favorites and not as commonly listened to. I hope you’ll check out some of them on your next long run or bike or commute!
1. The Runner’s World Show– Of course, this is probably the most obvious. Someone actually made fun of me for listening to it while cleaning one day and not while running. But it’s too good not to restrict it just to the workout.
Favorite Episode: Episode 7 – Mastering the Mental Game – Interview with Deena Kastor about positivity, as well as another story about the infamous beer mile. (Runner Up: Episode 10 – Air Force Tested)
2. She Explores – A podcast about women in the outdoors. Features interviews and unique perspectives on backpacking and hiking and traveling. It’s good inspiration for outdoor activities when I start to feel some imposter syndrome coming on.
Favorite Episode: Fresh Air on the Job – Celebrating the centenary of the National Park Service through interviews with women who’ve worked for the NPS or US Forest Service as rangers or trail workers. I was so inspired, women like these rangers are my role models. (Runner Up: On Fear #2 – Human Powered Travel)
3. Thinking Sideways – Sometime you all might not know about me is that I’m super into unsolved mysteries. I am fascinated with them, but they sometimes freak me out a little bit, especially when I’m alone on a run. Thinking Sideways alleviates some of that fear because instead of one host reading a story to you (like Lore, which I also love, but can’t listen to on runs) there are three hosts and they’re sometimes a little bit silly. (It’s always the chupacabra…) They cover everything from serial killers to mysterious disappearances to UFO sightings. (I usually stick to the crime/disappearances.)
Favorite Episode: Lost Cosmonauts – Did the Soviet Union send people to space before Yuri Gagarin? This episode on the legends of possible lost space explorers led to a day of work where I did nothing except annoy my coworker with space accident not-fun facts. (Runner Up: The Death of Princess Diana)
4./5. The Liturgists/Ask Science Mike – I put these two together because they share a common host, Science Mike! The Liturgists is also hosted by Michael Gungor and they have guests come in often, including Rachel Held Evans. The Liturgists tackles topics on faith, science, and art, and Ask Science Mike answers audience questions on similar themes. Both are aimed at people who are deconstructing formerly held views, whether it is fundamental Christianity or vehement atheism.
Favorite Episode: Episode 35 – The Cosmic Christ with Richard Rohr – Interview with the theologian on mysticism and what’s been lost from the modern American church. (Runners Up: I couldn’t choose – Spiral Dynamics, Lost and Found Parts 1+2, The End (Eschatology)) All are from The Liturgists, I don’t really have a ‘favorite’ episode of Ask Science Mike because they’re not really based around a theme, but each episode answers a range of questions.
Honorable Mention: Bone Lab Radio – This podcast scored honorable mention because I love it but there are only 5 episodes! And they update infrequently! It’s very exciting when they do but I can’t rely on adding it to my queue for a long run. This, in their own words, is a show about bones, from both the fields of physical anthropology and biology. It’s so good!
Favorite Episode: Episode 2 – Bones Don’t Lie – An interesting episode on its own about skeletonization and what bones can tell us about individuals who lived hundreds or thousands of years ago, but you should listen for the morality story of why you shouldn’t lie on your resume. (Or else you could end up crying in the pouring rain in a field in Mongolia, unable to pitch your tent in the dark.) (Runner Up: Episode 5 – Patella Me a Story)
I’m also always taking suggestions! What are some of your favorite podcasts?