I run for about an hour every morning and occasionally add a short run before my afternoon sessions as well. For whatever reason, a few years ago I stopped wanting to listen to music when I run, but I also didn’t want to ditch listening to something all together. Being one with your footsteps is kind of a cool thing, but it’s not an every day and surrounded-by-traffic kind of thing. So, for the past few years I’ve been listening to podcasts when I run. Here’s a list of the podcasts that have been my favorites over the last three years and my recent favorites:
- My Favorite Murder: This is my current favorite podcast. I love the two hosts who basically just talk shit for the duration of the podcast, but with a “theme” of telling each other their favorite murders. Firstly, I understand that this sounds like a ghastly topic, but the fact is that I’m interested in true-crime and the horrid details that usually creep me out are also the things that bum these women out, so we’re on the same page in terms of how in-depth the descriptions are. I can’t handle listening to 911 calls and I don’t like seeing images of corpses or anything like that. Being a podcast, the images are not there and the hosts don’t describe in gratuitous manner, but there’s also something incredibly satisfying about two women interjecting stories of murder with, “what a piece of shit,” in reference to these killers. I love it and, while the topic is murder, the format is comedy.
- Stuff Mom Never Told You: Also hosted by two women, this podcast delves into topics of women’s history, politics, and social issues. It’s not academic in tone, but there are enough facts that you can bring it up in conversation and know what the hell you’re talking about. Historical figures feature frequently, but there are also great episodes on modern issues, like “women on social media.”
- Stuff You Should Know: These guys are basically my first podcast. I started listening to this show because it was pretty much the first thing I downloaded and, to be fair, it took me a few episodes to get used to the voices. But now I’m a huge fan of Josh and Chuck and totally get into their personalities. They’ve been with me on tons of runs. It’s a similar show to “how stuff works” type shows and covers a broad range of topics, fairly broadly. You won’t get tons of details, but more of a general knowledge on lots of different topics.
- TEDx: This is a bit of a tough one for me because I love the podcast, but they’ve recently changed the host and I am having a hard time listening to the new one. It’s a bummer because the structure of the podcast is great. They take a theme and then use a few different TED talks, as well as an additional interview with one or more of those speakers, to thread the talks together. Themes like, “not giving up,” or “optimism,” or whatever. It’s a good show. I hope I get used to the new host.
- Serial: This is a hugely popular podcast and the only downside is that it is, in fact, serial. So you get a limited number of episodes that you have to wait for and ultimately they conclude and the show is over. I’m more of a never-ending podcast kind of fan, but it’s really well-produced show.
- This American Life: Serial actually came out of this show, as a kind of spin off. It’s part of Chicago Public Radio and so it’s really well researched and produced, and each episode is complete by itself.
- Invisibilia: Another podcast hosted by two women, who think they sound similar to each other but I never had a problem telling them apart; or, if I did confuse them it didn’t matter much. But they cover really interesting topics, like “Becoming Bat Man,” in which blind people can train themselves to utilize a low-key version of echo-location (making clicking sounds with their mouths to navigate their surroundings). It’s a brilliant show. The only downside is that it has “seasons,” which means you have to wait for episodes and then wait longer when each season is over. This is the binge generation, I want it now.
- Death, Sex & Money: This is a podcast on the things we don’t like to talk about, namely topics on the theme of those three things in the title. It’s well-produced and tends to have interesting episodes, although I do occasionally skip them.
- Wrestling Mindset: This show is a high school wrestling coach talking for 20 minutes and opening up the lines to take calls, which there may or may not be any calls coming. It’s very low-production and there is poor sound quality as well as dead air. However, the topic is mental training for wrestlers and I’ve found that almost 100% of it applies to Muay Thai, so I find it very useful. The low production doesn’t bother me, it’s just worth noting.
- The Joe Rogan Experience: This is a podcast that I don’t subscribe to but just cherry pick the episodes I’m interested in. For me, personally, this show is really hit or miss and Rogan himself can come off as really interesting or like a complete idiot – basically, like a person. I don’t like all his guests and I will skip episodes, as well as having to jump about 10 minutes into the episode to skip all his advertisements, sponsors and plugs, but once you know that it’s easy enough to just skip it. I do like that his format is just talking with his guests for upward of 2 hours at a time. You get very natural conversations that way and it can be very interesting; or totally annoying. To each her own. A favorite episode is a recent one with Dan Savage as a guest.
- The Muay Thai Guys/Muay Thai Guy Podcast : I don’t listen to these two podcasts while I’m running, but I do occasionally play an episode while I’m making breakfast and Kevin and I listen together. I like the rapport that Sean and Paul have with each other, we all have love for Muay Thai, and their world is dissimilar enough to mine that it’s an interesting window into the Muay Thai of the US. Sean’s episodes just by himself cover a broad range of topics that are relateable both to beginners and seasoned fighters.
If you guys are interested in podcasts, Emma and I host a monthly cast called “Two Ladies in the Kingdom,” where we try to cover what’s going on in female Muay Thai in Thailand, as well as some of the themes and topics that we’ve been mulling over lately.
Also, the podcast at the top of my list was recommended by someone on Twitter after hearing Emma and me talk about some of the things we were currently listening to. Jackpot! So, if you have a favorite podcast that’s not on this list, please let me know… I run a lot, so the more options, the merrier.