What to listen to when running – Part 1 – a blog about running with nothing about running in it…


Something that I am fairly interested in is reading about running – and surprisingly little is written about what is good to listen to whilst you are running.  Maybe it’s not that important in the grand scheme of things but it is really important to me for a load of reasons.

The first question is whether to listen to anything at all or not..  If I am doing a race like the Glasgow 10k there is no way I will be listening to anything, I want to soak in the atmosphere and the cool choir at the top of St. Vincent Street, they are awesome.  I will definitely be going earphoneless during the London Marathon, no way I am missing out on any of the atmosphere of the day.  On training runs, parkruns and treadmill runs I will always have some kind of sound in my ears.

The second question is music or speech?  I would go speech every time, it serves as more of a distraction and the wrong type of music can get my wee legs moving too quickly and tire me out too soon!  Although there is a place for music at times.

But anyway, I am a massive podcast and audiobook fan.  They serve as the best distraction ever when out running.  Here are a few of my favourites:


Born to Run by Christopher McDougall – gee this is a great book.  It looks at Ultra Running, explores the physiological and some of the psychological aspects of running and is interspersed with some amazing characters like Jenn Shelton and Cabayo Blanco.  If you can read (or listen) to this book and not go for a run afterwards then there is something wrong.  I would have said that Christopher McDougall is responsible for a lot of the sales of running shoes in the world given the motivational message in his book but he puts forward a very good case for running barefoot…I was almost convinced myself.

Running: A Love Story by Dom Harvey – a book about a middle aged man who suddenly decides to lose weight and get himself fit by running (it could be me but I am 10 year behind him in terms of getting going!).  This again is an inspirational read/listen.  The whole concept of running for a time versus running for enjoyment is explored, again, I couldn’t wait to get my marathon training started once I read this.

Don’t Stop Me Now: 26.2 Tales of a Runner’s Obsession by Vassos Alexander – another late entrant into running, the author easily motivates and makes you want to get your legs moving!  He tells the story of the final 26 mile run leg of an iron man triathlon interspersed with other running stories and contributions from famous names in the running world about how they got started in running and what role running currently plays in their lives.

I really could have mentioned the 3 authors above in my last blog about who had inspired me but I wanted that to be more personal, these 3 men have helped me get out there when I otherwise wouldn’t have bothered, I would really recommend all 3 of their books – thanks a lot for writing them!!


I love podcasts – there, I have said it!  I spend about an hour and a half in the car every day, time that could be spent learning a language or catching up with current affairs, but I regularly use the time to become expert on wrestling, football and trivia.  Here are a few of my favourites.

Quickly Kevin, Will He Score? – 90s football podcast hosted by Josh Widdecombe, one of the funniest things you will hear.  I used to listen in the car but now save the podcast for some of the longer runs I go on, they are the perfect length for a 10k run.  People must think I really love running when I have such a big grin on my face, I am just enjoying the podcast so much though.

Fighting Talk – An old favourite.  A sporting panel show quiz type comedy affair.  Maybe not the best to run with as it makes me laugh too much and interrupts my breathing!  But these are the sort of thing you can listen to again and again.

Flintoff, Savage and the Ping Pong Guy  – I’m not sure how to describe this, part sporting, part philosophical, part comedy, these 3 people talk about all aspects of their lives and there are some quite strong motivational messages, especially from the Ping Pong Guy (Matthew Syed) who is especially interesting, listening to him gives you a belief in yourself and in the world.

Lineker and Baker – The new pod on the block.  Danny Baker has to be my favourite broadcaster ever, when I first discovered his original 606 show it hit me like a sledgehammer, it was my idea of perfection and I would tape them off the radio and listen to them all the time.  Him and Gary Lineker just sit and chat, it’s great!  So simple.  Danny Baker’s autobiographies could have been in the audiobook section of this blog as well but I would have been here forever.  Danny’s thick London accent keeps me going as I train to run around some of his old stomping grounds in April.

So, there we have it, a blog about running but nothing much about running in it!  I am going to do a parkrun tomorrow so I will write about that soon.  I flaming love parkruns!

What do others like to listen to when running anyway?  Anyone got any new ideas?

That’s it,


2 thoughts on “What to listen to when running – Part 1 – a blog about running with nothing about running in it…

  1. Interesting stuff. Have you read Matthew Syed’s book, Bounce? Very good. I don’t run with any sounds as I work in headphones a lot (I’m a transcriber) so want to keep my ears free. I don’t know why people would listen to music in a race, there is so much going on to keep you occupied (plus it’s not allowed under UKA rules) and it does annoy me when I’m marshalling if people can’t hear. My husband loves audio books but they make me sleepy, not sure of the effect when I’m running!


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