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Kim Cowart: Podcasts to run to

Every year I put out a list of my favorite podcasts to run to. I am an admitted podcast junkie. Since I first found the running podcast Phedippidations in 2008, I’ve been hooked listening to others distract me from my own huffing and puffing.

While my first podcast was a running show, recently I’ve found myself drawn to shows that talk about anything but running. Here are a few of my latest favorites.

  1. Pantsuit Politics — I know many are experiencing political fatigue, but I beg you to give this show a try. In a day when political debates are reduced to playground taunts and childish rhetoric, Sarah and Beth bring maturity and thoughtfulness back to the conversation. With one leaning right and one leaning left, they somehow find understanding among the nuances of today’s political hot topics. Call them crazy moderates. I call them fantastic.

2. Awesome Etiquette — Maybe it is the immature political scene that’s making me pine for more respect and kindness, but I love this show about everyday etiquette. Lizzie Post and Daniel Post Senning come from the Emily Post Institute (yes, they are related to etiquette icon Emily Post) to bring civility to the modern-day masses. They tackle traditional topics such as RSVP questions to more modern issues such as social media etiquette. They’re funny, smart, engaging and informative.

3. Decode DC — I know. Another show about politics. I’m a bit of a political junkie, but it’s more important than ever to follow and understand the way our country works, and Decode DC helps me do just that. This show delves into the culture and background of Washington, explaining topics in simple but thorough detail. I have a greater grasp of superdelegates, who they are and why they exist. I more fully understand the pros and cons of the Affordable Care Act. I have a deeper appreciation for those who have bridged the gap between left and right in all facets of government and the public’s role in our country’s success. If you want to understand the American political system, its history and function, this is your show.

4. Two Gomers Run for Their Lives — I have listed this show on every “Favorite Podcast” article for good reason. While it started out as a running podcast, it has become so much more. Steven and Anthony began this show as a way to strengthen their friendship and become healthier in the process. Through the years they’ve attempted everything from their first half marathon to their first triathlon. Their approach is never too serious and always entertaining. Understand that running was the catalyst for this show, but it’s only a portion of their conversation. They are pop culture fans and their topics veer in that direction often. But that’s what I love. We get a glimpse into the obstacles and rewards of the challenges they attempt. Sadly, life is changing and so are they. They plan to finish their show after one more season. Do yourself a favor and sign up for the ride before it’s too late.

5. How to Be Amazing — Michael Ian Black hosts this fascinating show that helps listeners understand the hows and whys behind some of the most interesting celebrities and newsmakers. Find out how Jim Gaffigan found his authentic comedic voice. Discover how A.D. Miles made his way from prop stylist to head writer for "The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon." It’s entertaining, but more importantly inspirational. Give it a listen, then go out and be amazing.

6. Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People — Chris Gethard hosts this one-hour show where each week he tweets out a phone number and answers one random call for a one-on-one conversation. The only rule is the caller must remain completely anonymous. And therein lies the genius of the show. The caller guides the conversation. No judgment. No shame. Just a free forum to get anything and everything off their chest. The caller can hang up at any time, but Chris can not. But no matter where the conversation goes, at the one-hour mark the phone call is automatically disconnected. One of my favorite episodes features a night nurse who just got off her shift and calls to discuss some of her thoughts on life and death. Another caller confesses that he believes his wife no longer loves him and isn’t sure what to do about it. Sometimes shocking, always honest and gripping. A must listen.

Podcasts are the carrot that keeps me running most days, and these will not disappoint. Give them a listen and happy running!

Kim Cowart is a wife, mother, 24-Hour Fitness instructor, marathoner and Alii Sport and Headsweats Ambassador. Follow her running adventures at