Looking for good podcasts

Hi everyone,

I finally got a new mp3-player yesterday (woooohoooooo!!!) so my days of "naked" running are over. I'm not too much into music so I'm looking for podcasts I can listen to. I read here several times that they help a lot especially if they are boring ;) But of course I'm also interested in interesting podcasts. Does anyone have any recommendations for me? I'm open to a lot of topics so no restrictions in this area.

I have a simple mp3-player so they should be in mp3-files (not sure how itunes work and if they would work for me).

I'm curious to see your suggestions. Thank you all for making my runs more interesting!

PS: If anyone has a good tip for music, it would also be nice :)

PPS: I'm looking for English podcasts but if anyone of you is listening to a great podcast that is in another language (i.e. Spanish, German or Dutch), it might also be interesting for me. Dutch might be a bit tricky as I don't know any Dutch but it's very similar to German so I'd probably get used to it.

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30 Replies

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  • I like Richard herrings Edinburgh fringe podcast. But he can be an acquired taste and not for the easily offended! Radio 4 do lots of comedy ones too. I've only recently started trying podcasts rather than music and I have found they help destract me from over breathing etc! Not boring , but take my mind off things. :-)

  • I've just tried to download some radio 4 podcasts but failed miserably. Don't suppose you could give me a step by step guide ideal for a computer numpty. Probably the biggest Numpty using the computer, apart from my husband. (I told my step daughter that I'd bought him a mobile phone & she replied "What Fisher Price?" Now you have some idea of what you're up against.) :)

  • What computer / portable device are you using? iPhone instructions super easy, others bit longer!

  • It's a Dell laptop & I have the feeling you're going to need more than that. I don't have iPhone, just an MP3 player. I can't find the "my computer" button that I have in work, so not sure how to find out more details to help you help me. Sorry - as I said numpty.

  • Oh lord. Windows 8! This is the BBC web link: bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4

    Then click on the one you like followed by the green box/ arrow. That should get it onto your PC. After that I THINK you should be able to connect your mp2 player and drag the file you downloaded. But I'm not 100% sure. The ease of use is one reason why apple ones are so popular! Sorry!

  • No please don't say sorry Plinth. Thank you for taking the time. I will try this once the ironings out of the way. I may have it ready for tomorrow or at least next week. Thanks again.

  • Plinth, I did it. Thank you. I'm learning all the time. This bodes well. (When I 1st downloaded the couch to 5k I learnt that if you hold the MP3 player upside down & press the fast forward button, you actually fast backward.) :) I'm a happy bunny now but I suppose now I'll have to start the ironing.

  • iTunes is the easiest way (free download from apple.com) but I must admit I've never used it with anything other then Apple products so am not sure how well it integrates with other MP3 players! If you have iTunes then you could find the MP3 downloads in the iTunes podcasts directory in your file manager (it should be in something like Music->iTunes->Podcasts) to drag into your mp3 player, but I'm not sure if that's too confusing?!?!

  • Thank you for this. I have tried to go via iTunes & failed miserably but I'm managing to download from the Radio 4 site now. Fairly happy with this for now as I actually found it hard to run without Laura but I will try this in the future no doubt. Thanks again.

  • No problem! You could maybe also try podbean.com then go to the 'podcasts' menu at the top of the screen for a list of categories - just be aware that you could get lost for days looking at all of the possible options as there are hundreds of podcasts in there!! Each show seems to have a download link which should be similar to how you've been using the BBC website. Happy hunting!

  • Thank you. I know what you mean about getting lost in it. I tend to do that with this forum. I just can't keep up with it & know I miss lots but if I were to keep up with it I'd never get off the couch.

  • Thank you. I know what you mean about getting lost in it. I tend to do that with this forum. I just can't keep up with it & know I miss lots but if I were to keep up with it I'd never get off the couch.

  • Yes you're right, it's easy to procrastinate on things like this!

    I'm struggling to get back into running - I used to be at a stage where I could easily run a half marathon (or two!) every week but I'm now a father to a 20 month old little boy and so for 2 years I haven't really been out running at all, only on the odd occasion, and all my fitness has completely gone!! Getting back into the habit is the thing I'm wrestling with, I still have the aim of running a marathon one day!!!!

  • I listen to a lot of podcasts these are on my current list:

    Arseblog - Arsenal football podcast

    Football Weekly - From the Guardian

    Football Ramble - I think you can see a pattern now...

    Stuff you should know - 2 guys research a random topic and then explain it to you - it is very good.

    Freakonomics - From the same guys who made the 2 books and documentary. It is an economist and journalist who research topics from an economists viewpoint, but with a slight twist. Dont be put off by the economist bit, it is entertaining and informative.

    TED Talks - A vast range of TED talks, most of which are very short. Some of them are very interesting.

    The Bugle - Current affairs comedy, with John Oliver of the Daily Show

    The New Statesman podcast - Weekly current affairs from a left wing perspective

    Politics Weekly - Weekly current affairs from the Guardian

    I don't have time to listen to these every week but I download them all and listen to the ones that sound interesting. I listen to them on my daily commute and my longer runs.

  • Amazed you can listen to The Bugle on a run - I would be put off my running by laughing too much!!! Freakonomics and Stuff You Should Know would be great for a run though.

  • I have only recently began listening to the Bugle and jut by chance I've never listened to it while running, only ever whilst driving. But I'll let you know if it distracts me!

  • I like the infinite monkey cage podcasts. They are science podcasts with a bit of comedy thrown in. They are hosted by Brian Cox and Robin Ince. They also have a guest panel each episode. There are podcasts on everything though, so if you google podcasts for anything you're interested in there's bound to be one.

  • Ooh. Love these too. We went to see the uncaged monkeys a few years ago - it was excellent - and front row so close to Brian!

  • I tried one of the infinite monkey cage podcasts on my run yesterday and it took me to a new PB!!!! Thank you soooo much for giving me this tip, I absolutely love them!

  • Try going on to the BBC podcast web page - they have loads and you can choose by genre: comedy, sport, science etc..

  • Thank you all for your replies! I started with some Radio 4 podcasts and they definitely did their job in distracting me from the efforts of running :) It's way more interesting than running naked all the time!

  • I know you said that you are not much into music but one thing that I found helped me was to create a playlist of music that reminded me of things in my past - people, places, events etc., then while the song plays you can let your mind drift to whatever it reminds you of. Worked for me!

  • I made one playlist with some songs that acutally remind me of some things in the past but unfortunately most of the songs are not "runable". "Always look on the bright side of life" is one of them and I love it to run to this music but I get slower and slower during the course of the song ;) I will give it another try when I found some better "runable" songs. Thanks for the advice!

  • Ha ha I can imagine getting slower during that song - you need to conserve your breath for running rather than doing the whistling bits!!!

    I found that the key was to reeeeeeally let your mind go during the songs and completely forget what your body is doing - that way it doesn't matter if the songs are runnable in the '100 Greatest Running Songs' type of runnable, you just let your legs do what they're doing while your mind drifts elsewhere and forgets about the lactic acid that's building up!!!

    Another good couple of psychological things that I found helps are :-

    1) visualise your run before you do it - if you run in the evening then spend the day thinking about different sections of the run, imagine going down a particular part with it all going really well, no problems with muscle ache or being out of breath etc etc and then try and recall those feelings when you're actually doing it. It's something that (for example) F1 drivers do - they sit on the grid and visualise how they are going to approach the first corner, anticipating anything that might happen and how to deal with it.

    2) extend your run with side routes - if you normally part of your run is just straight down a main road (for example), then instead of running straight down it, take a side street, run up and back down that, then carry on with your normal route - hopefully in your mind you will have only run as far as you normally do down the main road but in reality you will have added on a little detour! I find it helps with adding extra distance and the point at which my brain decides I must be tired is delayed for a short while!

  • I like your ideas a lot! Thank you! I'm already making tiny changes in my route on almost every run as I have to run in a park if I don't want to stop running every few minutes due to traffic lights (that's life in a big city...). I will try your visualising advice on one of my next runs :)

  • I like the Desert Island Disc podcasts with Kirsty Young Over 100 of them on BBC website. Music tracks are shorter because of copyright regs. They last about 35 minutes and this morning I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Sister Wendy Beckett.

  • Oh, I listened to that episode online a while back - it was fascinating. I have yet to try downloading talk podcasts for running with. I might try it though, now I've got some good ideas.

  • Completely agree with the Desert Island Discs recommendation - I just wish some of the song clips were longer!! It's a great show though and you could really lose yourself in someone's life story. There are many more than 100 episodes though as there are separate podcast feeds for various time frames - so it covers '61-65, '66-'70, covering from 1951 all the way up to today so there are literally hundreds!

    Desert Island Discs is actually one of the reviews on my website which reviews a few other podcasts you might like - goodpodcasts.com

    Not on the site yet but related to running are also the new Guardian podcasts on running (beginner & advanced) and the excellent Marathon Talk podcast. You could also try and distract your mind from what your body is doing by listening to stories, either real (Simon Mayo's Confessions, Rob Heeney's People With Stories) or fictional (The Truth, Radio 4 Drama of The Week).

    As for interesting podcasts it depends what interest you(!) but there are shows like Men's Hour (BBC Radio 5), Women's Hour (BBC Radio 4) or History in 28 Minutes.

    I could list plenty of comedy shows but that would probably put you off your stride!!!

  • You've all posted some brilliant suggestions for podcasts! Thanks to all of you for the food for thought! I got a new Android phone yesterday and once I've got my head round the technology I'll be giving it a go!

  • I was inspired by this topic to add a post to my website, hope it helps!!!


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