Let me preface this by saying I love podcasts more than any normal personal probably should. I’m currently subscribed to 18 and am mostly caught up on all of them, but I’m constantly listening to back logged episodes.
The reason most of us listen to music while we train is to keep us excited, entertained, motivated and to provide a rhythm for your training. Music gets your body moving, which leads to your heart moving and can elevate your heart rate.
Shortly after I moved to suburban NJ I started listening to podcasts on the train. How Did This Get Made, Stuff You Should Know and season one of Serial were perfect ways to pass the time and make me feel like I was being productive with my idle time. I had heard of people listening to podcasts while working out instead of music and it was a natural transition for me. If I wasn’t done with an episode, I’d keep it going as I hit the weights or cardio machines. When I attended the How to Train for a Triathlon in NYC Panel one of the panelists mentioned that podcasts help keep you focused on the workout and keeping your HR under control. Understandably, your HR is effected by what you hear and if the song gets your blood pumping (like Metallica’s Cyanide), your heart will be pumping as well. Seems obvious right?
This became increasingly important or me after I started this season doing HR based training. More info on my plan to come later, but the idea is to monitor your HR so your training is very targeted toward base building, intervals and recovery. I’m learning more and more about my HR, how to keep it under control and listening to people talk helps me regulate it. I also found that it reminds me of my Team in Training days where I spent my runs talking with my teammates.
Not only do podcasts help keep me entertained while training, some make me want to be a better person. For example, the Nerdist podcast is hosted by Chris Hardwick with Matt Mira and Jonah Ray. It’s conversations (not interviews) with actors, musicians and entertainers about every topic under the sun. If you don’t know much about Chris, he was the host of Singled Out, Talking Dead, @midnight, hosts comedy and stand up shows across the country and is the unofficial king of the SDCC panels (he hosted 11 panels last year). He also talks about him getting sober in his twenties and has a self improvement book called The Nerdist Way helping nerds use the focus that we were born with toward bettering yourself and your career. While I feel like a do a lot between training, commuting, working, blogging and being a wife and friend, Chris does infinitely more than me and motivates me to do more and do everything that I do to the best of my abilities. Who doesn’t want to be motivated more while you’re working out?
Here are my other 17 podcasts that I subscribe to with descriptions pulled from iTunes:
How Did This Get Made: Have you ever seen a movie so bad that it’s amazing? Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas want to hear about it! We’ll watch it with our funniest friends, and report back to you with the results.
Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!: NPR’s weekly current events quiz
This American Life:This American Life is a weekly public radio show, heard by 2.2 million people on more than 500 stations. Another 1.5 million people download the weekly podcast. It is hosted by Ira Glass, produced in collaboration with Chicago Public Media, delivered to stations by PRX The Public Radio Exchange, and has won all of the major broadcasting awards.
Stuff You Should Know: Josh and Chuck explain how anything from genes to the Galapagos works.
The Moth Podcast: Since its launch in 1997, The Moth has presented thousands of true stories, told live and without notes, to standing-room-only crowds worldwide
Lore: Lore is a bi-weekly podcast about the history behind scary stories.
Death, Sex and Money: Death, Sex & Money is a podcast about the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation.
TED Radio Hour: The TED Radio Hour is a journey through fascinating ideas: astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, new ways to think and create
Stuff You Missed in History Class: What’s the story of Louisa May Alcott? Who were some other notable members of the Alcott family? Join Holly and Tracy as they bring you the greatest and strangest Stuff You Missed In History Class in this podcast by HowStuffWorks.com.
The Mortified Podcast: The Mortified Podcast is a storytelling series where adults share the embarrassing things they created as kids– diaries, letters, lyrics & beyond– in front of total strangers.
Serial: Serial is a podcast from the creators of This American Life, hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial unfolds one story – a true story – over the course of a whole season. The show follows the plot and characters wherever they lead, through many surprising twists and turns. Sarah won’t know what happens at the end of the story until she gets there, not long before you get there with her. Each week she’ll bring you the latest chapter, so it’s important to listen in, starting with Episode 1.
Stuff Mom Never Told You: Hosted by Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin, Stuff Mom Never Told You is the audio podcast from HowStuffWorks that gets down to the business of being women from every imaginable angle.
Surprisingly Awesome: A show hosted by Adams Davidson and McKay that reveals the hidden awesomeness in everyday things.
StartUp Podcast: A series about what it’s really like to start a business.
Reply All: A show about the internet, hosted by PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman.
The Stuff of Life: Eavesdrop on experts and researchers as they ponder what makes our world so maddening, so strange and so achingly beautiful. Not to mention ridiculous.
RADIO FREE BURRITO dot COM: Wil Wheaton presents an infrequently-updated podcast with music, stories, and other things which he finds … interesting.
Do you listen to podcasts while you train? What are your favorites that I miss out on? Leave them in the comments!