I love the long runs. The runs where you lace up, pack a water bottle or hydration pack and set on your way to conquer miles, and miles. They make me feel like a bit of a badass, when I tell people how far I’ve run that day, ‘oh just the 16 mile training run’, or ‘yes I have 20 miles to run this weekend’. These are distances that seemed impossible to me a few years ago, and yet now they are part and parcel of my marathon training cycles.
However, when you have to do the same or similar routes over and over, alone, it can get a bit monotonous.
When I lived in Chiswick, I used to run along the Thames tow path, the perfect long run location. You could increase the mileage to 20+ all without cars, traffic lights or too many other pedestrians, especially if you head out first thing, or are completing your training runs throughout the winter.
Now that we’re in Henley-on-Thames, we are still on the river – exactly one mile door to tow path, as we were in Chiswick (a happy coincidence). However the path doesn’t follow the river fully, and you can find yourself on a small trail in the middle of a field with no-one in sight, pretty incredible. Slightly lonely at times….
That’s where podcasts and my long run fave, audiobooks come in handy.
I have a membership to Audible where I get credits for audiobooks each month. I save them up while I’m not marathon training so that I can buy loads when I am without spending a fortune. I’ve also recently got into wireless headphones so that I don’t get tangled up in the wire or accidentally pull them out when I swing my arms/take a turn too tightly and run into a bush.
I was sent some Motorola Verve Life pairs for my Instagram takeover on their account and after testing them all out, some more successfully than others, I’ve settled on the Verve loop, they have a wire loop that goes around the back of your head with a volume control, plus a microphone for when you’ve finished your run and fancy a bit of a chat on your walk home (or is that just me that does this?!)
In terms of running headphones, it’s crucial that they’re water and sweat proof, which these are, and that they are light and don’t irritate you as you run, which these don’t. Winning.
5 Audiobooks I’m Loving For Long Runs
Amy Schumer – Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo
I literally had to stop on a run the other day to laugh out loud, I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. I really enjoyed parts of this book, however there are parts that I thought were slightly bad taste. Overall, I’d recommend it as a very lighthearted book, which is easy to dip in and out, perfect for picking up every week for your long run. Plus if you zone out a touch while you run (me), or forget to stop it when you arrive home/Starbucks for your post run coffee (me) then you aren’t going to miss crucial bits of the storyline.
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
I love a good plot twist, and this definitely delivers. It’s funny, sad and heartwarming all at once. This is one that you’ll want to pay a little more attention to as you run, however it’s definitely worth a listen.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
If I’d read even a little about what this was about before downloading it after it was recommended on another blog, I probably wouldn’t have started listening to it. The broad topic is about someone trying to end their life (definitely not something I find lighthearted) but surprisingly this book is humorous, touching and easy listening.
How Bad Do You Want It by Matt Fitzgerald
Some audiobooks should not be read by the author, and this is one of them. I don’t know if it is the hardcore Brit in me, but I found his accent very hard to take. However once I started concentrating on what Matt had to say, rather than the way he was saying it, I really appreciated the book. I know a lot of runners have read this book and loved it, and I was keen to give it a go. I haven’t listened to much yet, however I do know that I along with a number of other athletes need to work on their mental strength. This book looks at the idea that strong mental fitness helps us push our boundaries and achieve extreme goals – just what I need for my BQ attempts and marathon training in the future.
I didn’t love this anywhere near as much as ‘Me Before You’ (I also recently watched the film and loved it) however it grew on me. There’s so much hype around a sequel as hotly anticipated as this, and it falls a bit flat…until the love interest comes along – obviously. This fun audiobook is good company for dark, wet miles, and for the more pleasant weather too.
Running like a girl is another good one, inspired me to enter my first marathon 🙂
I’ve been after some wireless headphones for a long time. I have small ears so the 3 or so pairs I’ve tried just don’t fit!
That’s amazing!! I read her book a couple of years ago just after it came out. I think I have quite small ears too, these ones come with different bud size options – I find they stay in very well, even when sweaty and running!
I may need to check out these headphones as I’m so over the tangles! I just downloaded the Amy Schumer one as I agree, this is perfect for running since it doesn’t take much thought. 🙂
Maybe I’ll bring you some as a house guest pressie! 🙂
I’m just now getting it together to train for the Oakland running festival marathon. I tend to do my long walks without any music or anything and use it is time to think. I’m starting to sense they may feel interminable 🙂
It’s audiobook time
Great post, I’ll need to check out some of your recommendations!
Totally agree on the long run, it’s my favourite part of the marathon training programme (and not just for the bragging rights!) – better than speed work any day!
Like you I can’t cope with anything too complicated as I find I’ve drifted off for 20 minutes and totally lost the plot. John Le Carre was a disaster! I like a sports or adventure story instead. Hearing about someone else digging deep and persevering keeps me going when the run gets tough. I loved ‘A Life Without Limits’ by triathlete Chrissy Wellington and ‘The Secret Race’ by Tour de France racer Tyler Hamilton. For easy listens or something a bit silly ‘Is It Just Me’ by Miranda Hart and ‘A Year of Living Danishly’ by Helen Russell (all about how to get more Danish style ‘hygge’ or feel-good happiness) were great. I love a good podcast too.
Just back from my first run in 8 weeks since getting my little pup and moving to Belgium. I hadn’t realised how much I’d missed it!
Amazing thank you for the recommendations! I’ve read A Life Without Limits and The Secret Race and loved them both (think I read them both on long train rides in one sitting!!) Hope the move has gone well!
I love a good audio book when running / walking around. I let you go is a great recommendation.