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Need a way to help the miles pass by? Here's some podcasts to listen to while running
Rather than listening to the same old music or, worse, the same thoughts rattling through my head run after run, podcasts are my go-to distraction to pass the miles on a long run. - photo by Kim Cowart
Warmer weather means more running for me, and while I love a good solo run, my thoughts quickly become boring and obnoxious, even to myself. A better option? Podcasts. A great podcast keeps the mind engaged and distracted while the feet are busy and the legs are burning. Its like having a conversation without having to do any work. Here are a few of my current favorites. Notice: Only a couple are running related.

Satellite Sisters: Five sisters, five personalities, five perspectives. They cover everything from politics to pop culture. Theyve been at the podcasting business longer than most everyone, having started out in radio on NPR in 2000. Lian is a successful writer with two novels in print. Monica is a nurse living in Portland, Oregon. Sheila is the third grade teacher in the group. Monica is the chief marketing officer for Fox International Channels and a frequent globe-trotter. Julie has lived everywhere from Russia to Thailand and enjoys taking girls trips to North Korea and Kazakhstan. They are intelligent women who never take themselves too seriously. As incredibly interesting and diverse as their lives are, they are so relatable. Running with them is like running with the sisters I never had, but always wished for.

Two Gomers Run for Their Lives: Season 1 found the Gomers lacing up their running shoes for the first time in preparation for their first half-marathon. Steven, Gomer 1, recounts his first run completed in khaki shorts and a white cotton T-shirt. Last season found them completing their first triathlon. Throughout the episodes listeners not only get to hear the Gomers triumphs and tragedies as they find their inner athletes, but are entertained with random side trips and conversations about pop culture, movies and life. This show often had me laughing so hard I had to stop running.

Heres the Thing: Host Alec Baldwin snags some of the most fascinating people in the world of entertainment, politics, and art and is able to extract stories from them that inform and illuminate. Stars ranging from Julie Andrews to Herb Alpert to Kristen Wiig have sat opposite Alec and explored and explained their crafts. Just when you think the world knows everything there is to know about someone, Alec finds another hidden corner to explore.

TBTL: Short for Too Beautiful To Live, this show is, I suppose, a male version of the Satellite Sisters. Since 2008, hosts Luke Burbank and Andrew Walsh have produced a daily show delving into current events with occasional guests. Because they embrace a longer format (sometimes closing in on two hours) they are able to dig a little deeper into current issues. While capable of intelligent conversation, again, they dont take themselves too seriously.

Another Mother Runner: The name pretty much sums it up. Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell host this weekly podcast discussing all things running from a womans point-of-view. Despite its name, you dont need to be a mother to relate to the issues they address. One of my favorite episodes is a recap of Dimitys Ironman experience. Brutally honest, emotional and truly inspirational, I found myself adding miles to my run just to see what happened next. Their interviews range from Olympians to everyday moms, covering topics from track workouts to time management. Two moms juggling running, work and motherhood while trying to maintain a sense of humor and balance makes for a very excellent running companion.

So the next time you set out for a long run, pack you GU, grab your water bottle and download a few of these shows to make the miles go by a little faster. Not only will you get a good sweat, but you might even learn a thing or two.