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3 Podcasts We’re Listening to Right Now

Hit subscribe and then hit the road with these engaging podcasts.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Podcasts are one of the most convenient forms of media out there. Whether you’re on a run, cleaning your house, or driving to work, they give you an opportunity to learn and do at the same time. We sifted through the ever-growing library to find a few podcasts perfect for runners.

Season 5 of TRAINED

Nobody trains for a pandemic. When the novel coronavirus shut down most of the country, even the most elite and renowned experts were forced to stop and figure out a new way of living. During the most recent season of the TRAINED podcast, Ryan Flaherty, Nike’s senior director of performance, called on experts for their insight on what health means now.

What We Learned

There is a true interconnectedness between our bodies and our minds that we can’t get away from. Global crisis shines a spotlight on that. In more than one episode, Flaherty talks about how our fitness goals can and should be framed around feelings rather than data points. Training the voice in your head to give yourself a little grace is just as important as any other form of training.

A Mantra to Hang On To

“Do the best you can with what you have.” Online fitness coach Kelsey Heenan brought up this concept several times throughout the “Staying Fit While Staying Home” episode. It’s a thought we can come back to, not just during pandemics, but anytime in life when we are struggling. Do the best you can with what you have—whether that’s literal equipment, space, or time, or more figuratively, with your current mental or emotional capacity. Do the best you can with what you have.

Worth a Second Listen

The “How Stress Can Make Us Stronger” episode featuring psychologist Angela Duckworth was packed. She covered the basics on her theory of “grit,” the psychology behind why having our plans derailed is such a torment, and why sometimes the best way to deal with our emotions is to turn to physical exercise. “We’re not just brains walking around on a toothpick. We are our bodies,” she says.

Setting a Goal for this Season 

If traditional competition is truly out of the question for the foreseeable future, physical therapist Sue Falsone recommends that this might be the season where we focus on holistically making our bodies better at moving. She gives advice on thoracic, ankle, and hip mobility that can help with overall longevity. When regular workouts resume, check out her tips to avoiding injury in her episode, “Why We Should Focus on Recovery Right Now.”

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SO.MUCH.NEGATIVITY out there right now. Staying away from the news helps (a lot!), but you know what else helps? Finding people who inspire you, challenge you to grow, think differently, do things for others to make them feel welcomed, loved, and appreciated. Social media can be dangerous during this time, and it is easy to get sucked into hours of scrolling. I have been trying hard to use my time on things that help me feel better instead of worse. And that involves seeking out and learning from people you look up to, rather than chasing drama and things that feed our desire for immediate gratification. Enter @alisonmdesir. I adoooreeee her for all she has done for the running community, especially women of color and those who were previously left feeling unwelcome by what was available. Alison started @harlemrun 6 months after she began running. Then she raised over $150,000 for planned parenthood through @run4allwomen and then she took it to the next step to empower womxn who had previously been ignored through Global Womxn Run Collective. They say surround yourself with people smarter than you, better than you, and I was hoping to give this woman a giant hug in person last month as I sucked up her wisdom. But we can all learn from her, and become better because of her. Take a listen on your favorite podcast player or at

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Running for Real

Hosted by Tina Muir, each episode is exactly as the title describes: Real. Muir and her guests talk about the less glamorous moments in running, showing that it’s not all PRs and podiums. Each episode brings its own element of storytelling as Muir gracefully guides the conversation. Muir recently gave birth and is taking maternity leave, but she pre-recorded interviews so the show could still go on—this is one of the best running podcasts that doesn’t happen to touch on the most timely news.

What We Learned

Sometimes it’s important to let go of the results and focus on the process. Katie Arnold, author of Running Home, found this is true in both running and in grieving the death of her father in episode 191. “Your grief leads you out if you’re just present to each moment you’ll eventually come out. I try to do that with my running, which is to be fully present to what I’m doing that day and to keep in mind the larger goal.” She goes on to explain how fixating on results can take you away from yourself.

A Mantra to Hang On To

In episode 193, Muir interviews U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials runner-up Molly Seidel. The conversation mostly surrounds Seidel’s struggle with an eating disorder and the greater issues of body image in women’s sports, but on another level, it is also about a common struggle with identity. Seidel has a couple of quotes that could be useful to anyone feeling like running is all they have sometimes: “I am a person who runs,” and “I am a person beyond this.”

Worth a Second Listen

Muir’s conversation with mental health coach and founder of Harlem Run Alison Désir offers a glimpse into how her advocacy work started, where the running industry is beginning to change, and (more importantly) where it still needs to go. “This is our time,” says Désir, “and what we’re saying isn’t crazy. It’s not unjustified. It’s shining light on what needs to be said.”

Setting a Goal for this Season

Katie Arnold’s episode was aptly titled, “Now is the Time to Develop Your Inner Powerbase.” Arnold reflects on how Tai Chi has helped her continue to look inward and focus on her inner strength and stop comparing herself to runners around her. While the world is still mostly stuck inside, it really is the perfect time to look inward and develop our own inner strength.

Season 2 of Hurdle

Short on time? Some of the best running podcasts aren’t long: Eight-time marathoner and certified personal trainer Emily Abbate hosts Hurdle, a general health and fitness podcast with episodes ranging from 5 to 30 minutes, with the occasional hour-long interview. Season 2 has plenty of great episodes; season 3 is launching July 13.

What We Learned

Everybody wants a better night’s sleep, runners included. When Abbate interviewed clinical psychologist Dr. Brittany Blair, we learned that the biggest key is planning to wake up at the same time every day. “By getting out of bed at the same time every day, your body is going to get sleepy at the same time every night,” says Dr. Blair. She calls it the single most important thing you can do for healthy sleep.

A Mantra to Hang To

“Finding your fast takes patience.” Abbate knows this firsthand. When she started running in 2008 she would run a half mile in 14 minutes. Now she can run a mile in just over six minutes, and she’s cut a full hour from her half-marathon time. Check out the May 19 episode, “How to Become a Faster Runner,” for some speedy tips, but don’t forget that mantra and stay patient.

Setting a Goal for this Season

In her June 19 episode, “I Have to Get Something Off My Chest,” Abbate monologues about (positive) comments she’s been getting about her appearance, with women wanting to know what she’s doing to get so toned. “What’s happening here is bigger than what’s on the outside,” she wants her listeners to know. She goes on to list the hard internal work she’s been putting in (therapy, regular sleep, journaling, intuitive eating), because that should be the real goal.

More of the best running and health podcasts:

Be Well, Sis – A new wellness podcast for Black millennial women hosted by Dr. Cassandre Dunbar.
Give it a listen: Episode 10, Self-Love, Boundaries, and the Power of Your Story

Keeping-Track – Alysia Montaño, Molly Huddle, and Roisin McGettigan cover what’s going on (or not going on) in track and field and other women’s sports.
Give it a listen: Dawn Harper Nelson’s Cinderella Story

Ali on the Run Show – A favorite podcast among many runners, although host Ali Feller takes the conversations far beyond the running scope.
Give it a listen: Shalane Flanagan

I’ll Have Another – Lindsey Hein, marathoner, running coach, and founder of SandyBoy Productions, interviews the best of the best male and female runners.
Give it a listen: Episode 250, Amelia Boone

2 Black Runners – Another new podcast, “produced for the culture, and by the culture” hosted by Joshua and Aaron Potts.
Git it a listen: R.I.P Ahmaud Arbery | We Need to Make this Episode

C Tolle Run – Olympic middle distance runner Carrie Tollefson talks with elite runners and amateur athletes who have stories to tell.
Give it a listen: Paul Shin – 30 Days of Hope




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