My top 5 inspiring podcasts to listen to on your next run
I’ve mentioned a few times that I usually listen to podcasts instead of music when I head out for a run. I find it easier to maintain pace and, by listening to and learning from the motivating stories from a diverse range of guests, I can focus less on the sometimes scary sounding mileage I plan to cover and more on the time I can invest in training my mind and body to advance my own running journey. These podcasts cover a variety of topics within the health and fitness sphere – I’m sure you’ll find them just as inspiring whether you are into running, strength training or overall wellbeing.
This podcast has got to be the top of my list as it was a key influence that encouraged me to click submit on that Paris Marathon application form. Hosted by Amy Hopkinson, Women’s Health Digital Editor, the weekly episodes follow her personal training journey to this year’s Paris Marathon. Having already lost her marathon-running virginity in London in 2018, the series focuses more on her desire to enjoy her training whilst still make the most of it, and she often reiterates that she was training to ‘run’ instead of ‘race’ this year. She discusses a wide variety of aspects incorporated into her training plan, from how to choose a pair of trainers that will see you through a marathon running season, to how to best recover from a long run and avoid injury. Not only is the series full of expert advice, each episode also features a ‘run chat’ with a unique guest sharing their relationship with running – perfect to listen to on your own run. It really makes you feel like you are running together as you can hear the rhythm of their feet hitting the ground as well as your own. Make sure you don’t miss out on the bonus final episode with an extra special guest appearance!
Although slightly less tailored to marathon running, this podcast hosted by Victoria Spence, Tally Rye and Zanna Van Dijk (collectively known as The Girl Gains) is all about fitness, body confidence, eating well and feeling great. What’s not to love? Each of the hosts often share personal insights into struggles that they’ve faced in a world so heavily influenced by diet culture, and how they have managed to shift their focus away from preoccupation with what their bodies look like towards the amazing feats they can achieve. They use their platform to bust fitness myths and encourage everyone to exercise for enjoyment. They also have brilliant guests from varying health and fitness sectors, including Team GB athletes and Strictly Come Dancing stars, and host Vic even discusses her own experience running this year’s London Marathon. Everything these girls say seems so relatable and I love the positivity that radiates through each episode and reminds us that we are all capable of amazing things! I would in particular recommend giving their recent episode featuring Bryony Gordon a listen if you haven’t got time to catch up on all 4 series so far!
Laura Thomas PhD hosts this podcast about overcoming eating disorders and helping people to improve their relationship with food and, in turn, with their physical and mental health. She speaks so frankly that you’ll wonder why the advice she gives never occurred to you before, and I find what she explains about the concept of intuitive eating fascinating. She speaks from a scientific but personal point of view and each episode is almost like listening in to a private therapy session. By hearing other people’s stories about their body dissatisfaction or emotional eating, it helps put my own relationship with food into perspective. Laura’s book Just Eat It is also available to listen to if you are still hungry for more of her advice and anecdotes.
This is a relatively recent release hosted by Alice Liveing. As well as being another extremely relatable figure in the fitness industry herself, she has already had some truly inspirational guests for this podcast. A tear-jerking yet life-affirming episode features the Paralympic athlete Martine Wright – even if you already know her story I would urge you to listen to this episode. Alice also ends each interview with the question: “What does strength look like to you?” The responses given to this question alone are enough to motivate me to keep moving forward even if I’ve already run numerous miles. I love that this podcast draws attention away from linking thinness or perceived beauty with fitness and strength - instead it focuses on the connection between strength and empowerment and pride in your mind and body. It reminds you that you can accomplish so much if you truly set your heart on it.
If you are looking for a podcast geared more specifically and consistently towards running, give this a listen. Originally with just one episode published a month it left a lot to be desired, but thankfully the team have now started releasing weekly updates. The content goes hand in hand with the accompanying magazine, but gives more in-depth discussion of a few articles and features. It also usually kicks off with the hosts discussing their recent or upcoming running adventures – perfect if you are looking for that next race to focus your training towards. If you are still lacking inspiration, have a listen to the double feature London Marathon edition featuring some charity runners’ remarkable stories and plenty of tips for any budding marathon runner.
Happy listening and happy running! Let me know which podcasts have helped you get through a tough run by engaging your mind while you moved your body. There are lots of other great series out there that I enjoy listening to when I get the chance, including Happy Place with Fearne Cotton, and I’m always looking out for new releases too, such as Biceps and Banter hosted by Laura Hoggins. More suggestions are always welcome – knowing I’ve got a new podcast queued up is a fantastic motivator to get me lacing up my trainers!
Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive updates – just enter your email at the bottom of the page. Thank you!