One of running’s worst-kept secrets is that of the transformative power of audio. Armed with the right playlist, noise-cancelling headphones and an unshakeable demeanour, any run can transform from a painful plod to a triumphant personal best. That said, even the best playlists can run dry.
Switch cadence to a podcast, however, and you can unlock hours and hours of knowledge, drama, watercooler chat, self-improvement and entertainment from experts and not-so-amateurs alike, with topics ranging from recovery flows to racing tactics and athlete interviews to product drops. Below, we’ve cut through the noise — literally — and assembled eight of the best running podcasts to plug into when you lace up. Happy listening.
Running for Real
Former British elite runner Tina Muir is no stranger to the effort it takes to become a stronger, faster and more confident runner. Her podcast Running for Real examines the very real — and often mundane — struggles of the everyday athlete, from discussing bathroom break tactics to providing real, digestible advice for your next jaunt.
If you’re familiar with fitness-tracking app Strava, then Athletes Unfiltered is for you. The podcast features inspiring, motivating and often unbelievable stories from Strava’s community, told by the athletes that logged the hard miles.
Trained by Nike
Hosted by Ryan Flaherty, senior director of performance at Nike, Trained by Nike is a podcast that’s been described as sitting at “the cutting edge of holistic fitness.” With guests including record-breaking Olympians, elite CrossFit athletes, mindfulness experts and industry-leading scientists, each episode fits nicely into the average 5K run time.
The Rich Roll Podcast
Once a high-flying Los Angeles lawyer, Rich Roll is now a world-class ultrarunner. With a mission “to help empower you to become your best, most authentic self,” The Rich Roll Podcast unpacks health, wellness and fitness topics with expert insight from the brightest minds in the industry, including athletes, scientists doctors and much more besides.
Guardian Science Weekly
Tackling and unpacking a breadth of topics — recent podcast titles include ‘What can astronauts teach us about coping in lockdown?’ and ‘how do we save society?’ — Guardian Science Weekly makes for a welcome change of pace if your podcast playlists are loaded with theoretical pseudo-science. There’s nothing but cold, hard facts here that you can apply to your own life. That it’s not solely focused on running is another issue entirely…
Marathon Training Academy
If you’ve been gearing up to tackle a 26.2 mile race — a marathon, to most — Marathon Training Academy is hosted by running coach Angie Spencer and her husband, Trevor. Expect reams and reams of interviews, training tips and insights into marathons around the world.
Physical Autonomy / GMB Fitness Show
If you’re more about bodyweight training then bicep-blasting, allow GMB Fitness Show Hosts Ryan Hurst, Andy Fossett and Jarlo Ilano to be your new training buddies. In the podcast, the trio uses their collective knowledge of gymnastics, martial arts and physical therapy to make fitness more accessible and, crucially, more fun. Expect to find laughs and actionable fitness advice in equal measure.
The Runner’s World UK Podcast
If there’s anyone that knows about the trails, trials and tribulations of modern running, it’s the team at Runner’s World UK. Hosted by Rick Pearson and Ben Hobson, The Runner’s World UK Podcast features regular guests from the sport’s ecosphere, including Dame Kelly Holmes, Dina Asher Smith and Steve Birkinshaw. Expect new episodes every Tuesday.