Talking books v music

I've been running to music since graduating but unless the beat is exactly right I find it a bit awkward and I seem to spend most of the run concentrating on my pace which doesn't make for an enjoyable run. Today I downloaded a talking book (I saw someone else mention it a while ago) and I think it might be the answer for me. Firstly, I didn't worry about pace at all - just ran at what felt comfortable, secondly, it made the time go faster, and thirdly, I've promised myself I'll only listen to this particular book while running and as I am keen to know what happens next it's going to be an added incentive to get out there. As a bonus, today was my fastest run too! Should add that it took me far longer to download the thing and transfer it to my damn iPhone which kept doing stupid things than I spent on the run! Anyone else listen to books? How do you find it compared to music?

14 Replies

  • I'm a fan of speech rather than music too :)

    I'm sure the speed of downloading and transferring will improve with practice ;)

    But every now and then I do the speed podcast - I don't stick exactly to the beat but do get faster when Laura tells me to.

  • I discovered very early on that I find it difficult to run to music. Unless the beat of the music coincides to my natural cadence, it is very offputting. Most so called running music has a beat far too slow for me - I can walk at the same beat as some running music!! :)

    I would also like to have some entertainment for my "long slow runs" and have never tried a talking book. I am thinking that perhaps I would not be able to concentrate on what is being said in the book???

  • Not books but podcasts. I have been especially enjoying Punt PI, exactly 27 minutes of really interesting but slightly humorous cold cases, following the story completely takes my mind off the running. I haven't tried a whole book yet but may very well give it a go. I have also enjoyed R4's Book Club. Much prefer spoken word to music !!

  • I shall be attending a recording of Book Club soon and so, should my question get selected for broadcast, you could be jogging along to the piratical cross-examination of a well known author. I can guarantee that you won't be as chuffed as me if it happens! It's a small old world doncha agree?

  • Sounds like a really good plan to me! There are some brilliant programmes on the radio too, well worth another listen. Things like the Infinite Monkey Cage for one!

    Happy running!

  • I've thought of It but haven't managed to download anything I was interested in for free, I don't have iTunes or iPhone just have mp3 player I didn't want to set up an account anywhere without trying it first . Podcast sound good I might google the punt pi mentioned tomorrow. I need something to zone out too!

  • Due to the nature of my work, which involves quite a lot of travel, I'm quite a big podcast listener. If you let me know what kind of topics interest you I might be able to offer one or two suggestions:-).

  • Radio four podcasts sounds a good idea. I always feel I should be a radio 4 listener - most of my friends are - but somehow I can never get into it! What would you recommend for me? - here's a list of random things I like to help you out! Jane Austen, 'Who do you think you are?', The Killers, autobiographies (esp of women), popular history, holidays in Italy and walking by the sea. (Blimey - that sounds like a lonely hearts ad!)

  • Hi Saffi, As Folkieboater points out - don't neglect to look at World Service podcasts too. I'm going to presume that you know your way around the BBC podcast offering already and know about their Great Lives programme since you like biography:

    For popular history you might like to try the BBC History Magazine podcasts which are an easy listen:

    In case you don't know yet, there is an absolute goldmine of 100000's of free podcasts on the Soundcloud website. There is no quality control so you might have to kiss some frogs to find something you like, but you might find some gems too. I simply entered "Italy" and "Travel" in their search engine and this popped up that might take your fancy:

    Finally for now, you'll have realised that a lot of excellent stuff on BBC iPlayer and websites is listen only and not downloadable, but for about £25 I bought the excellent (and dead simple to use) Applian "Replay Media Capture" software that allows you to record pretty much anything you find on line. Highly recommended if you're a serious "timeshifter" when it comes to listening and viewing. They do a limited-function free trial if you want to suck it and see:

    Hope this helps with your running :-)

  • Thanks for that - almost all new to me. I'll have a good hunt around. Can't wait.

  • I've not listened to music whilst running and to be honest I don't really have any desire to either. I have been toying with the idea of listening to a 'talking book' but, as of yet, I haven't really found anything of interest.

  • Also, some of the best "radio 4" programmes are actually on the World Service overnight. Don't know if they are also podcasts as I don't have enough data allowance to download too many. You learn things you really don't need to know at 3am!!

  • Hi saffi , I've been listening to audio books for a while when running , I do prefer it as I feel more relaxed & like you say it flys by . I'm a member of audible it's a part of amazon , you can get the app for the I phone & it's simple to get the stories . There is a monthly fee £8 but it's got some great listens .

  • I have been using Radio 4 podcasts for my runs. Desert Island discs, its all the talking bits with minimal music because of copyright issues, Friday night comedy, comedy of the week, Rhod Gilbert. I wonder what people think as I pass them either with a very big smile on my face or laughing

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