Not feeling a quiet run or workout? Chances are, you’ve tried a podcast or two. According to recent results of Nielsen data, 51 percent of Americans are podcast listeners, and there are now more than 800,000 podcasts available.
But how do you sort through those to find the best running-focused podcasts? We’ve got you covered with the list below. There’s something for everyone here, from laugh-out-loud banter about running, to interviews that explore our deepest motivations to pursue the sport. We’ve done the research for you; just download and enjoy.
If you want to laugh (hard)
A group of hilarious hosts having no-holds-barred chats about a variety of running topics. As host Scott Kummer writes on the website, Ten Junk Miles was born out of a desire to hear “more discussions of bathroom breaks that went wrong, pacer stories from hell, DNF reports, stories of getting lost on the trail and other related matters.”
Try: #29: Janel Jacobsen-Kraus. The hosts go on a 10-mile run with the 100-mile race finisher Jacobsen-Kraus.
For a mind/body/spirit connection
Just listening to Julia Hanlon allows you to breathe more deeply. From 2013 to 2016, Hanlon recorded over 200 episodes with innovators in the mind/body/spirit realm. In 2019, she brought the podcast back, this time focusing exclusively on women in endurance sports. In a phone conversation with Fleet Feet, Hanlon shared her belief that “endurance sports are a metaphor for life. How we show up on the trail is how we show up in our lives.” Committed to telling the stories of women, Hanlon brings contemplation and compassion to every episode.
Try: #221, Lauren Fleshman. Covers mental health during and after a running career, and shaping new goals during life transitions.
For the best conversation of your week
Ethan Newberry brings a deep knowledge of distance running to this podcast, which often books big names in the ultra-running community. As for hosting chops, Newberry’s got it; you simultaneously admire him while also feeling like he could be your friend.
Try: #279, Sean Nakamura, the 4th person to finish The Great Eight (the eight original 100 mile races) in one summer.
If you’re feeling like an imposter
“You can be a runner at any size, shape or age, and I want to show you how,” Jill Angie states on her website. This podcast is geared toward anyone who feels that they don’t fit the mold of a typical runner. It offers motivation and technical strategies for beginners and experienced runners looking to up their game.
Try: #107, All Things 5K Training with Jen Lamplough. Advice on building your endurance for a 5K.
For a fascinating look at the physiology of ultrarunning
Created by Dr. Shawn Bearden, a Ph.D. who runs his own lab, Science of Ultra is for anyone who wonders how a human can run 100 miles. Dr. Bearden says, “The heart of Science of Ultra is the rigorous experiments in exercise physiology performed by leading scientists, the direction they can bring to our sport, and the unwavering pursuit of understanding.”
Try: In an email to Fleet Feet, Dr. Bearden recommended that a new listener “start at the beginning, then listen to all the episodes that are interviews with scientists.”
If you want a “Fresh Air” for runners
Carrie Tollefson, an Olympian and elite middle-distance runner, is so upbeat that you might miss her serious talent for asking sometimes tough, often insightful questions of her guests. Speaking of, she consistently books fellow Olympians and other top-notch guests.
Try: Anthony Famiglietti Interview. An inspiring episode about overcoming challenges with two-time Olympian Anthony Famiglietti.
For any and every trail runner
There’s a reason that TRN is consistently top-ranked among running podcasts. Hosts Scott Warr and Don Freeman know what interests the trail-running community—from beginners to pros—and they deliver.
Try: In an email to Fleet Feet, Warr recommended the episode “Crush every race from 5K to Ultra with Brian MacKenzie.” The founder of Crossfit Endurance talks about how Crossfit training contributes to healthy, sustainable running.
For women who want to feel seen
Host Sarah Bowen Shea and rotating co-hosts offer up women-centered topics that include so much honest talk and witty banter that their audience includes listeners who are neither mothers nor runners. It’s just that relatable.
Try: #371, Weighty Matters Follow-up. A check in with four mother runners on their weight journeys, with insight and advice for nutrition and race training with expert Stephanie Howe Violett.
If you need new training motivation
Jason Fitzgerald began this podcast after a long journey of recovering from a severe ITB injury. If you’re looking for detailed advice from coaches and Olympians alike, this is your podcast.
Try: #48, Elite strength coach Randy Hauer. Nuanced approach to the how and why of runners and strength training.
If you want an infusion of fun in your running
It’s impossible to listen to marathoner Hein without feeling more excited about running afterward; there’s something infectious about her energy. Hein interviews both elite and non-elite runners, and manages to make everyone’s story interesting.
Try: #212, Chris McDougall. A fascinating interview about life’s adventures with the author, journalist and runner.
For anyone considering a marathon
Power couple Angie and Trevor Spencer, who’ve run a combined 78 marathons, recorded their first episode at their kitchen table and quickly built a base of fans who were dreaming about that 26.2. “Our show motivated many runners to believe that they indeed have what it takes to conquer the marathon distance,” Angie told Fleet Feet in an email.
Try: #273, How to Use Suffering to Your Advantage. An interview with Marine Corps veteran and ultrarunner Akshay Nanavati that discusses transforming fear into personal growth.
If you have less than ten minutes
A team of expert coaches answer pertinent running-related questions, in five- to 10-minute segments.
Try: Five Reasons Your Heart Rate Does Not Match Running Efforts
If you think you’ve heard them all
This podcast seems to fly under the radar, but it’s chock full of episodes on an eclectic mix of running topics, well-hosted by Tim Murphy. Whether you’re looking for talk about gear, supplements, carbon footprints, or beer, you might find a fresh take here.
Try: #138, Is CBD BS? A compelling discussion with Dr. Josh Kaplan on whether CBD can have helpful effects on running ailments and performance.
By Susannah Williams. Susannah has been running for fitness since she was 18. A freelance writer based in Raleigh, North Carolina, she uses her running time to think of the next paragraph of an article or the next idea for her creative nonfiction.