5 Podcasts to Run To

At the Austin Marathon Expo this year I had a chance to talk to an awesome older couple who had traveled in to run from out of town. We both remarked that we liked the song that was playing and how it would be a good running song. Then he added something I did not expect, he said, “I don’t listen to music anymore while I run, we have switched to books and podcasts”. The couple lives out in the country and did all of their marathon training on one stretch of road and to “mix things up” they had moved to listening to books and podcasts. I don’t know their names, but they may have changed my life.

Here are 5 Podcasts options to change up your running entertainment.

1. How Did This Get Made?

Have you ever seen a movie so bad that it’s amazing? Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas want to hear about it! We’ll watch it with our funniest friends, and report back to you with the results.

Subscribe to How Did This Get Made?

2. Stuff to Blow Your Mind

Deep in the back of your mind, you’ve always had the feeling that there’s something strange about reality. There is. Join Robert and Joe as they examine neurological quandaries, cosmic mysteries, evolutionary marvels and our transhuman future on Stuff To Blow Your Mind, a podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Subscribe to Stuff to Blow Your Mind

3. Plumbing In The Death Star

In which we ask the important questions in pop culture and dissect fictional universes. Because seriously, who deals with super weapon sanitation and imperial employee agreements? If you’re looking for serious discussions, this isn’t the podcast you’re looking for and we are so sorry about that joke.New episode every Monday!

Subscribe to Plumbing in the Death Star

4. Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me

NPR’s weekly current events quiz. Have a laugh and test your news knowledge while figuring out what’s real and what we’ve made up.

Subscribe to Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me

5. Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History

Dan Carlin’s subjects, varying from the Bronze Age to World War I and beyond, unfold through dramatic readings, during which he speculates on what might have happened in alternate timelines for as long as necessary (four hours!) to tell his story. But just because Carlin plays master of ceremonies on Hardcore History doesn’t mean that the truth suffers. Carlin is a showman, and his performance elevates dry lecture to entertainment. Warning: it is hardcore and can be graphic.

Subscribe to Hardcore History

Remain Active While Giving Your Body a Break

Three activities to remain active while giving your body a break from pounding the pavement

You’ve spent months preparing for the Austin Marathon or half marathon. Early bedtimes turned into early morning runs. Saturday morning long run became progressively longer. Perhaps you’ve gone through a pair of running shoes or two, which means you’ve logged several hundred miles while preparing for 26.2 or 13.1 miles. This could be your first training cycle or it could be your 20th training cycle. Either way, the winter running season is drawing to a close. Below are three inexpensive physical activities you should try so you can remain active and give your ligaments and joints a break. You can still get in a run or two during the week, but switch it up to work your body differently. Watch out, it just might make you a better runner!

  • Take a load off your legs with swimming.

    Swimming – Hop in the pool! The activity most call the complete workout, swimming uses all the muscles in the body, builds strength and endurance, and has minimal impact on ligaments and joints. Take a couple of swim classes at your local Y to remain active and learn about form, technique, and breathing to prevent common swimming injuries. Keep burning calories and strengthen your cardiovascular system with a couple of swims a week. Runners of all skill levels also use the pool to stay in shape while injured and recover from injury.

  • Cycling – Cycling has many similarities to running: works your lower body, strengthens leg muscles, keeps you in shape, and builds the endurance of your cardiovascular system. How cycling is different than running: it has an extremely lower impact on ligaments, joints, and bones (like swimming). You don’t need to own an expensive bike to begin cycling and remain active. Google “spin class” to find a local gym or club offering spin classes in your area. Maybe a friend of yours is selling their bike and you begin commuting to work. Perhaps you can borrow your neighbor’s bike to visit some trails. At the very least, get a bicycle sharing membership (if your city offers one) and explore your surroundings! Pro tip: get a helmet!

    No water needed with a rowing machine.

  • Rowing – Much like cycling, you don’t need your own boat, vessel, shell, or kayak to begin rowing. Whether done as a team in open water or solo at your local gym’s concept2 model d rowing machine, this activity will increase your heart rate, expand your lung capacity, and… you guessed it… decrease the overall stress you’ve put on your body the last few months while running. This is very similar to cycling in that it doesn’t have to be strictly a workout, you can rent kayaks and canoes and explore your city’s waterways with friends, all while getting in a workout!

Give one of these a try, or all three! Or alternatively, check out somewhere like PYC because the idea of playing tennis might excite you more than any of those. Whatever you do, don’t completely give up running, just give up pounding the pavement as hard as you have been. Swimming, cycling, and rowing will give you the results you’re looking for, whether that’s staying in shape, reducing stress, or being able to eat the foods you love. Much like running, find what works best for you, create a schedule, and include friends. Before you know it, running season will return and you’ll venture back the roads. But this time will be different, you’ll have fewer miles on your legs and you’ll still be in great shape.

Cover photo courtesy of Austin Tri Club (they have many helpful swimming and cycling resources).