It’s true that music can help boost your running performance, but you would agree that it can get tedious listening to the same songs every day, especially if you’ve not updated your playlist for a while. For days like these, podcasts make the perfect running companions for when you just want to keep your mind engaged with an interesting story. Here are a few well-recommended ones to add to the queue.

TED Radio Hour
Adapted from the excellent TED live talk series, Ted Radio Hour brings you fascinating and insightful speakers on a broad range of topics from global issues. Each episode includes excerpts from the renowned TED stage, where some of the world’s deepest thinkers and innovators are invited to give the 18-minute talk of their lives on a host of topics from world hunger to crowd sourcing innovation. New host Guy Raz interviews the guests and further dissects the speaker’s ideas; posing questions you’d like to hear answered. Co-produced by NPR and TED, it is available on demand in weekly episodes.

Limetown
A fiction thriller from Two-Up Productions, Limetown follows journalist Lia Haddock as she investigates the infamous disappearance of 300 members at a doomed research facility in a Tennessee town. The first episode in this 7-part series begins a decade after the disappearance with the introduction of Lia, whose interest stems from her childhood connection to the town. The plot then unfolds into a multilayered enigma inhabited by the voices of family members of the missing. As addictive as Serial and as well-written as a full-fledged novel, Limetown is a must listen for sci-fi fans, and really, anyone who loves a good story.

The Podcast History of Our World
Rob Monaco is the host and creator of The Podcast History of Our World, a program based on the modest idea of covering all of world’s happenings across history while getting in as many jokes as possible. Starting at the very beginning of time, the show aims to be a complete audio journey of humanity’s collective history from the earliest creation myths to the modern age…eventually. Informative yet funny and with plenty of wit, the show was nominated for Best Educational Show at the 2013 Podcast Awards.

The Dirtbag Diaries
Ideal for long-distance trail runners and adventure junkies in general, The Dirtbag Diaries is a grassroots podcast dedicated to the sometimes serious, often humorous stories from wild places. Broadcasted fortnightly, each episode by writer Fitz Cahall presents new, unfiltered, short stories about interesting people doing their thing in the outdoors, from surfing to big wall climbing. With over 150 episodes, the Dirtbag Diaries is now in its ninth year and has over 3.5 million downloads.

Invisibilia
Co-hosted by Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel from the popular radio programs “This American Life” and “Radiolab,” Invisibilia is about the invisible forces that control human behavior – ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions. The show engagingly interweaves narrative storytelling with scientific research. From how people deal with their deepest, darkest thoughts to the experience of living in a world without fear, the podcast explores the hidden forces that shape our thoughts and actions. The pilot season features six episodes, each about an hour long.

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