Taking up running? These podcasts will take you from beginner to expert and you'll learn stuff along the way

Taking up running? These podcasts will take you from beginner to expert and you'll learn stuff along the way


It’s a new year and some of you have probably set goals to get fit. Well done for getting as far as Googling how to get into running, we’re proud of you.

We’re about to make a recommendation that will be obvious to some, but sacrilege to others. How about switching music for podcasts when you embark on your running regime this year?

Music can distract you from your rhythm, plus knowing that every time a song is over you’ve only done three to three-and-a-half minutes of running can be pretty depressing.

Whether you are just starting out or are a seasoned runner, we’ve got the podcast for you.


This phase is about just getting out there. Walk or run, you need to start somewhere.

Spark: This podcast features stories from the public on a different theme every week. The episodes are recorded live in front of an audience and are very short, ranging from between 10 and 15 minutes, so perfect for getting started.

A Point Of View: This podcast from BBC Radio 4 comes out weekly and focuses on a topical issue from the preceding seven days. The episodes are incredibly engaging and only last 10 minutes, but the back catalogue is absolutely huge, meaning it’ll take a fair few runs to get through them.


Well will you look at that? You’ve made it to running more than 15 minutes non-stop! Now it’s time for exploring some mid-length podcasts. These are all 30-45 minutes, perfect for stretching those legs over a longer distance.

Death, Sex and Money: This one discusses all manner of things not usually acceptable around the dinner table. Good job you’ll be out running with no-one else in earshot.

Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History: This podcast takes a look at the past in a slightly different way. For instance, Gladwell reflects on satire and how some people take it more seriously than others.


You are really motoring now and you need a programme to help you push that little bit further. Try these ones on for size – they’ll make you want to keep running to listen more.

Reply All: This podcast attempts to explain weird and wonderful things that happen online. The show’s hosts, Alex Goldman and PJ Vogt, have incredible chemistry and a way of explaining complex topics in an understandable and engaging way.

RadioLab: This American podcast focuses on philosophy and life’s big questions. Don’t just take our word for it – listen to what its fans say…


So by this point, you are a pretty practised runner. This means you are ready for longer podcasts which delve into the depths of a subject.

Whether it’s politics, crime or learning new stuff you’re into, listen to these gems and get so lost that you’ll have run way further than you thought by the end of them.

Tell me something I don’t know: The New York Times is behind this new podcast, which turns the concept of a game show on it’s head. Contestants have to tell the judges something they think they won’t know on a pre-determined topic. Some of the weirder things we’ve learned are that people dying of hypothermia have an urge to dig a hole to die in and that scarlet jellyfish are “immortal”.

Sword and Scale: The most gruesome and terrifying of crimes tales told by a man with a pretty creepy voice, Sword and Scale will open your eyes to the horror that happens in this world. The podcast’s tag line is the worst monsters are real, and boy does it live up to it.

Note: Don’t listen to this one while running alone at night or you’ll end up doing unintended sprint training home!


For a marathon, it’s got to be a series to keep you listening episode after episode on long training runs.

Limetown: Limetown is a fictional podcast which follows a reporter investigating the disappearance of 300 people in Tennessee a decade ago. You’ll be so gripped you won’t want to stop at the 26-mile mark.

Homecoming: There aren’t many podcasts you hear serious celebrities acting in, but this is one of them. David Schwimmer even features in an episode.

An ex-soldier and his therapist lead you down a rabbit hole in this thriller from Gimlet Media. You’ll constantly be guessing what their motives are, distracting you from the pain in your sore old legs.