Podcasts [updated 5/20/2014]

[update is at end of post]

I love podcasts and that’s primarily what I listen to on my runs these days (music for races, nothing for non-race solo outside runs at this time). I also listen to some on my commute via my iPhone, and some around the house just doing stuff (like my Sunday veggie cookups) or stretching. I’ve tweeted recs in the past, but thought I’d give you the current list in one place. Within the categories, there’s no particular order. If I run with it, I’ve pulled it through iTunes. If I listen around the house, I may just use the podcast’s web site. On my iPhone, I use the Downcast app. I’ve gotten so far behind with my regulars and found new podcasts too – obviously I need to run a lot more miles!

Favorite guests (will listen pretty much no matter what podcast they show up on)

Greg McMillan – used his book YOU (Only Faster) to train for my BQ and plan to use it again. His site also hosts the amazing McMillan Calculator.

Matt Fitzgerald – author of many books and articles. I’ve found the books RUN, The New Rules of Marathon and Half Marathon Nutrition, and Racing Weight (newest edition) helpful.

Tim Noakes – author of the massive tome Lore of Running and more recently, Waterlogged. Interesting guy, researcher, learn a lot from him.

Dean Karnazes – huge fan, loved his books, impressed by his athletic efforts and activism. Waiting to see what he’s doing next.

Chrissie Wellington – again, huge fan… her autobiography was so full of exuberance and enthusiasm. I love what she’s done for others in her public/service life before, during and after triathlon. She is competing in different types of events (Leadville bike race) and works to bring attention to worthwhile causes – like equality for women’s cycling

Mike Wardian – terrific athlete but also all-around good guy, undaunted enthusiasm and positive attitude. He is open about managing his time and how much the support of his family and employer and sponsors mean to him. He’s clear on how important his family is and keeps a great perspective. He manages to be a fantastic ambassador for our sport and do good things for others while competing in (and often winning) jaw-dropping events like the North Pole Marathon, the Costa Rica Challenge…then he will come back home and the next day run a local 5k to support a good cause. He’s also local to me, and I hope to meet him someday.

Bart Yasso – do I even have to explain why I’ll listen to the Mayor of Running anytime, anywhere? I finally was lucky enough to meet him and run with him at a shakeout run at Shamrock, and hang out at a coffee place after. He’s just as nice and great as he seems or you’d imagine.

I’ll listen to most of my favorite marathoners or ultrarunners no matter the podcast. I’m also fascinated by stories of “ordinary” people doing extraordinary things – ultras, cross-country runs for charity, challenges like 52 marathons in a year.

Always (will give these a listen almost no matter the guest or topic)

Marathon Talk – Tom Williams and Martin Yelling, “relentlessly positive” hosts of interesting and useful episodes on – wait for it – all things marathon and some beyond (a bit on Comrades, occasionally some triathlon talk, a little on track/running competitions). They are terrific hosts and have very interesting (sometimes really elite or even icon-level) guests as well as segments on training, and a couple of regularly appearing personalities (Tony/Tony’s Trials, Duncan/Boy on the Run). They have built an international community of listeners who can interact on the web site by rating runs, submitting race times to make the listener podium, chatting during televised races and just having general discussion. They are usually my first listen on my long run.

Endurance Planet – There are multiple podcasts under one umbrella here, with host Tawnee Prazak. My favorites are the ones with Lucho aka Tim Waggoner (Ask the Coach, Ask the Ultrarunner). It’s fantastic to be able to submit questions and hear them answered – I’ve done so many times. The Ask the Doc episodes are usually quite useful. I enjoy most of the Sports Nutrition episodes with Ben Greenfield and other guests as well, though I don’t necessarily agree with or follow all the concepts Ben has talked about. I usually listen to the triathlon and personality/athlete episodes if I have time and the guest is vaguely interesting.

Ultrarunnerpodcast.com – Eric Schranz (formerly with Scotty Sandow, now with Nate Dunn and some other folks co-hosting, like Sarah Lavender Smith recently) interviews name and “regular” ultrarunners and people involved in ultrarunning. They’ve had some fantastic guests and the podcast is a really enjoyable listen. Eric also sends out a daily newsletter (see the site). Way back, you’ll hear hosts including Don Freeman and Scott Warr, who now host Trail Runner Nation. (Disclosure: I guest-edited one of the URP Daily News posts.)

Trail Runner Nation – Don Freeman, Scott Warr and Faith Goss host a variety of guests (some faves of mine are Coach Jimmy Dean Freeman, Ashley Walsh and Sunny Blende) on topics related to trail running and ultra running. The hosts and guests like to have fun, but manage to get information out while being entertaining. The web site has some ability for users to interact with each other, and you can get a “performance enhancing Kokopelli” (temporary tattoo). They also have started to bring in some guest co-hosts, like Coach Sally McRae (she’s fun).

Often (depends on guest, what I’m interested in at the time, how much time I have)

Athlete on Fire – This one is fairly new, I’m not interested in all the athletes, but most of them. The host is pretty good, the format is consistent, and they’re ambitious, putting out multiple podcasts a week. Scott Jones, the host, is enthusiastic and interested in his guests. They’ve had big names Hal Higdon and Dean Karnazes (I’m a fan) on already.

AnotherMotherRunner – This is women (and mom) focused, don’t think most guys will be interested. I’m not a mom, but I’m a fan of Sarah & Dimity and they’ve done a great job creating a community for women runners of all levels. They’re like friends you’d want to chat and laugh with, who you could ask embarrassing questions and confess doubts or odd thoughts/behaviors. Their podcast has primarily female guests, which is nice as some of the others I listen to tend to have more male guests, possibly because the hosts are male or because there are still more men than women in some areas of our sport. One of my favorite eps is their recent interview with Kathrine Switzer.

Competitor Radio – A weekly show with (usually) famous names in endurance sports as guests, hosted by former triathletes Bob Babbitt (who writes the back page of Competitor Group’s Triathlete magazine and co-founded Competitor Publishing) and Paul Huddle.

When I’m not running

TalkUltra – Hosted by Ian Corless (super photographer) with additional ultrarunning names like Karl Meltzer (aka Speedgoat and the “100 miles is not that far” man) sharing some duties, this podcast is kind of a one stop show for ultrarunning news and info. Races, athletes, coaches – you want it, they probably have it. Their web site is hosted off a page on the Marathon Talk site but the podcast is available in iTunes. Note these are ultrarun length (some are 3+ hours)

DFL Ultrarunning – Hosted by Eric Sherman and Mike Saporito of New England’s Trail Animals Running Club. Yes, DFL means what you think. These are also long and really cater to regular (non-elite) and new ultrarunners though they’ve had guests who are elites or names in ultra like Joe Fejes, the Jester, and Joe Uhan. Eric and Mike talk races (this is where I first heard of Across the Years), training, gear, etc. They’re very candid and it’s helpful to me to hear about ultrarunning from people who aren’t at the front of the pack. The associated blog site is new, has some interviews with runners.

Zen and the Art of Triathlon – Hosted by Brett, an impressive athlete in his own right and coach (and husband, dad, guy with day job), this long podcast includes triathletes, coaches and other interesting folks as guests, as well as including a news segment and (my favorite) the Training Log, which is basically a sequence of stream of consciousness snippets of Brett before, during, after training sessions and talking about training for the weeks between podcasts. He also talks about Zen and triathlon, Zen and life (not so much Zen lately, sadly). Pretty upbeat, and he takes questions and is active on twitter. Check out his blog and look at his (annual) IronBaby event – a self-supported triathlon near his house in Texas to raise funds for good causes that help children with medical needs. Brett’s also a hoot to follow on twitter.

Cloud 259 – I found this podcast, hosted by Brenn Jones & Gregg Lemos-Stein, because they were going to England to compete with the Marathon Talk hosts in the Manchester (UK) marathon on April 6th. Focused on distance running (and mostly marathon distance as the hosts started with their goals to break 3:00) they have good guests including Sally Bergesen of Oiselle, Jason Hartman, Alan Culpepper, Ryan Vail…they also discuss their training, running/racing news, a couple of book reviews and miscellaneous topics. I’ve only listened to a few, but am planning to work my way through their archive as I continue to listen to new eps. (They beat the Marathon Talk hosts in Manchester – I’m  hoping for a rematch in a US race!)

Occasionally

Coach Jay Johnson – This is interesting depending on the guest, can be focused on talking to coaches instead of to athletes, but has been useful, and his site is a good resource.

Sadly Running Times radio and podcasts (link is iTunes) with Scott Douglas doesn’t appear to be live anymore but you can still get the old episodes. Interesting guests – runners and coaches. I think I may have listened to most of them by now, many of them are quite short.

In the past I’ve also listened to The Long Run ultrarunning podcast (host Emily in UK and Israel, now in US, can be long) and IMTalk (NZ, long). A new Michigan-based podcast, Endurance Evolution, seems reasonably good, run by an events management company. Occasionally, I’ll go back to the sites (if I didn’t subscribe) to check out the guests – for example, I’ll probably listen to a recent The Long Run ep with Warren Pole.

I’m finding some new podcasts lately, but won’t rec them until I try them out.

One note, just my opinion: there is a dearth of women podcast hosts, especially compared to the percentage of women running races and the growing interest of women around the world in taking part in our sport. Tawnee, Sarah/Dimity, and Emily are the only ones I’ve run across where women are the primary or consistent co-hosts (did find one podcast of two women triathletes chatting, but it’s gone dark). While I do appreciate the podcasts that are adding women as guest hosts or co-hosts, I think the running/endurance sports podcast universe could use some more female hosts. There are opportunities to be seized!


[updated 5/20/2014]

On 5/20/2014, Jeff Gaudette of RunnersConnect accused Matt Johnson of RunnerAcademy of plagiarizing his content. The accusations do not appear to be related to the podcasts each site hosts, but to other content published by RunnerAcademy. I don’t condone plagiarism, so my first instinct was to remove my RunnerAcademy review entirely. However, I am for “innocent until proven guilty”, so I am not sure yet that’s the right thing to do. I don’t have any knowledge of the facts one way or the other other that the link I shared above. I wanted to make you aware of the situation so you can make your own decision. For now, I’ve moved my review of both of their podcasts to this separate section. I may change my decision on leaving the reviews posted as events unfold.

Below is my original text, as published in April 2014, regarding the RunnerAcademy/Everyday Runners and RunnersConnect podcasts.

RunnerAcademy – The description on the web site says “actionable information” and it’s true. The guest is usually a coach, elite athlete or expert, but in addition, the host, Coach Matt Johnson, provides tips and answers questions. Useful, interesting, encouraging. I’d list favorite episodes, but I’d say at least 2/3 of the almost 50 he’s done so far would fall into that category.

Everyday Runners – This is a newer podcast from Matt Johnson of RunnerAcademy in which he talks to regular (non-elite) runners and hears their stories. We can all learn from and be inspired by each other, and this is a nice addition to my collection.

RunnersConnect – Originally hosted by Coach Jeff Gaudette (who owns the business I believe), whose articles you may see on the Competitor running or Active.com web sites. (He also was great at responding to questions via twitter.) Jeff stepped away from hosting, and I stopped listening. They appear to have had more people than just me dropping subscriptions, and they’re making some changes. They have a new host, and I gave it another try (Greg McMillan interview), think it’s improved and I may make it a regular again. Note, on the web site you can see some of these have associated videos, but the audio portion is available as a podcast through iTunes. For most of them the visual doesn’t matter and some may not have visuals at all. The guests are usually coaches or elite athletes. There are good resources on the site, including my go-to calorie calculator.

[end of update]

That’s the end of the list, for now anyway. Have questions about the above or care to share one you’ve found that I might like? Leave me a comment below, tweet me or use the contact me form. Thanks for reading!