Running long? Tune in to an especially addictive series, and you'll have double digits in the bag before you know it. Read on for our best podcast picks for runners.
Radiolab1 of 12
If Invisibilia and This American Life had a baby, its name would be Radiolab. This podcast is perfectly suited for completely losing yourself in a run—and exercising your brain in-step with your body. Radiolab blurs the line that separates science and philosophy with the human experience, consistently leaving the listener both more intelligent and longing for more.
Revisionist History2 of 12
Narrated by the great Malcolm Gladwell, Revisionist History is exactly what its title would suggest—another look and an attempted reinterpretation of an event, person or idea from the past—because, as Gladwell explains, "Sometimes the past deserves a second chance." During season one, Gladwell examined the effectiveness of political comedy, Toyota's uncontrollable acceleration catastrophe, the evolution of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"—and so much more.
Pardon My Take3 of 12
In a sports news cycle dominated by hot takes from ridiculous personalities like Skip Bayless, Stephen A. Smith and Jason Whitlock, listening to commentary and debate about your favorite teams can be a truly maddening experience. Enter Big Cat, PFTCommenter, hosts of the Pardon My Take podcast. The show is 80 percent satire and it requires an adult listener who's "in on the joke" so to speak. If you check those boxes, tune in and laugh your way through a run.
Serial4 of 12
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard of this nationwide phenomenon. Serial tells a single story over the course of many episodes, reminiscent of the old-timey radio shows your grandparents loved. In season one, host Sarah Koenig investigates a relatively unknown murder case from 1999 that will have you wondering, "Did he really do it?" In season two, Sarah is back with the story of Bowe Bergdahl, a former Taliban prisoner and American soldier charged with desertion, who has decided to share his side. But is he telling the truth?
Mystery Show5 of 12
Each week Starlee Kine investigates (and usually solves) a new mystery, but here's the catch: the mystery has to be something that can't be answered via the Internet. So whether it's a lost belt buckle in search of its owner or determining how Britney Spears really feels about a novel she read years ago, Starlee doggedly searches for answers. Upbeat and delightfully distracting, this podcast will make your run fly by.
StartUp6 of 12
Hosted by Alex Blumberg, founder and CEO of Gimlet Media and an NPR alum, StartUp is in the middle of an addictive season two. Throughout the series we follow the ups and downs of a real start-up, the online matchmaking service Dating Ring. The episodes explore everything from concerns over investors to arguments over equity to the intricacies of online dating. For any business-oriented runners, you'll find yourself logging extra miles just to keep listening.
Planet Money7 of 12
Looking to multi-task on your next run? Tune in to NPR's Planet Money to educate yourself on all things financial. The brief 15-20 minute episodes discuss money matters in an easy to understand and entertaining way. And since each episode is so short, this podcast is perfect for warm-ups, cool-downs or days when you only have time for a few miles.
Invisibilia8 of 12
Another NPR powerhouse, this podcast, hosted by Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel, delves into invisible forces—ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions—and how these things affect our lives and behavior. Don't miss the episode "Entanglement," which describes a woman with Mirror Touch Synesthesia, a disorder that causes her to feel what others are feeling. Wonder what it's like for her to watch someone run hill repeats!
TED Radio Hour9 of 12
Guy Raz hosts this podcast series based on TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talks that have been given around the world. Each episode switches back and forth between clips of the TED talk and an in-depth discussion of its ideas. Cue this up during a long run so you'll have plenty of time to ponder all the different ideas presented.
This American Life10 of 12
With nearly 600 episodes, this classic radio show broadcast will keep you entertained throughout your entire training cycle (and beyond). Host Ira Glass discusses topics ranging from celebrities (Frank Sinatra's birthday) to human behavior (regrets and infidelity). Each episode is just about an hour long—perfect for a mid-week run.
The Marathon Show11 of 12
If you want to listen to a podcast about running while you're running, download The Marathon Show, hosted by Eddie McCoy. This podcast centers on all things 26.2: the runners, race directors, medical professionals and everyone else involved. If you've always wondered about what goes on behind the scenes of a huge race production, this podcast's for you. It also features interviews with notable runners and reviews of popular races. Listen to this during taper—it will pump you up for race day.