I’ve spent the past five months feverishly training for the London Marathon, which has definitely been the biggest challenge I’ve ever taken on.
I’m currently stressing a bit about the whole thing being cancelled with the latest Coronavirus scare (especially after Paris Half was cancelled last weekend) but, for now, I’m keeping positive. Last weekend I ran 17km and this weekend I’m taking part in the Surrey Half Marathon and I’m at a point I never thought I’d get to, so everything my end is on track.
The one thing that’s got me through the long runs? Podcasts. Since I started plugging into podcasts during exercise I’ve found it so much more enjoyable and I really don’t know how I would have got here without them. If you’re a diehard music-while-you-run kind of person, I’d recommend giving these podcast gems a go to break up the boredom and keep your interest peaked as you plod along.
1. The High Low
Dolly Alderton (of Everything I Know About Love fame) and Pandora Sykes (contributing editor at ELLE) talk through weekly current affairs news and recommend loads of lovely things to read, watch, and listen to. Warning: This podcast will make you want to buy lots of books you probably can’t afford.
Start: Anywhere, but I’d recommend listening to the most recent episodes first.
Season 1 is literally perfect for marathon runners to-be as Amy Lane (Digital Editor of Women’s Health) talks you through her training journey along with a hoard of running experts and inspirational figures. Season 2 breaks away a bit from the marathon focus so if you’re not training for 26.2 that might be more suitable for the casual runner.
Start: On Series 1 if you’re in marathon training or Series 2 if you’re more of a casual runner.
Another running-focused podcast that will make you feel smug to be in the virtual run club. RunPod is hosted by Jenni Falconer, where she chats to various celebrities about how running changed their lives.
Start: Anywhere. Just pick your favourite celeb.
Pure filthy fun, this cringe-inducing podcast involves three friends dissecting the erotic novel written by one of their fathers. It’s basically read aloud and picked apart in excruciating detail which will keep you in good spirits no matter how long your run might be.
Start: At the beginning. It’s very important to kick off from Series 1, Episode 1 for context.
5. Happy Place
A lovely podcast by Fern Cotton, where she talks to various celebs about how they find joy in their lives. Uplifting and lighthearted, this one is perfect during exercise.
Start: Anywhere you like.
Another uplifting listen from Elizabeth Day (award-winning Journalist and Broadcaster), here she also talks to celebrities and public figures about their less-successful life experiences, and how they overcame failure.
Start: Anywhere. Again, just pick your favourite celebrity episode – Phoebe Waller Bridge’s is excellent.
7. Maybe Baby
Not one that I would have thought I’d enjoy – being one of the least maternal people possible – but it did strike a chord. Here an engaged couple who disagree on wanting children (he does, she doesn’t) discuss the peaks and troughs of parenthood with various famous parents in order to help them make up their minds.
Start: From the beginning, otherwise you’ll probably be a bit lost.
Claudia Winklemn and her mate Professor Tanya Byron (a clinical psychologist) host a candid therapy session with a willing participant. Here, you’ll listen as the interviewee reveals their deepest secrets without judgement.
Start: Anywhere, but it’s not been running for too long so you might as well start at the beginning.
I swear you’ll start each episode feeling unsure about whether you’re going to enjoy this podcast but will be converted within no time. Expect revealing exposés on various aspects of life in America told through interviews and stories.
Start: Anywhere, but with so many episodes on file I’d say you’re best working from most recent, back.
10. What I Know Now
The podcast you wish you’d had when going through that life-shattering breakup. This one’s hosted by Instagrammer Amelia Liana and talks through her experiences of a broken engagement and how she dealt with it.
Start: From the beginning. You need the context here.
Enthusiastic childhood friend of Louis Theroux and actor/comedian/writer, Adam Buxton, interviews celebs on walks through the countryside. He’s a bit rambly and a little bit annoying sometimes but something about this format works.
Instagrammer Callie Thorpe talks to a combination of friends and inspirational figures (mainly made famous by Instagram) about confidence, body positivity, and their experiences online. Super casual and easy to listen to.
Start: From the beginning. This only has one season so you might as well do it properly.
You can’t beat a classic. We all know how this works, Lauren Laverne speaks to high-profile celebrities about what songs have defined their lives and the music they’d take with them if thrust into a Castaway situation.
Start: Definitely anywhere. This really is one where you should only listen to episodes of celebs you care about.
Lovable Johnathan from Netflix’s Queer Eye (let’s face it, he’s the best member of the Fab 5) talks with various activists/experts about a series of subjects. You’ll soon fall in love with him and his beloved cats.
Start: Most recent backwards. There’s a lot to go through here, so you might as well be up to date.
This podcast is not to be taken seriously on any accounts. Two ‘agony aunts’ answer anonymous questions about relationships and provide smutty anti-feminist advice. Absolute filth.
Start: You can go from anywhere, but you’ll get more ‘character development’ if you listen chronologically.
If you have any podcast recommendations for podcasts to run to then please let me know in the comments. I’m always looking for more things to listen to. Hope you find something you love in here, too!