Books on the Run


I only listened to music when I first started running in 2014. I know I was listening to podcasts (something I've been doing during the workday for years) but for some reason I gravitated towards music. Maybe it was because I was doing Couch to 5K and music was more interruptible than podcasts. Maybe it was because I didn't have as many podcasts to listen to as I do now (currently listening to over 50 podcasts a week). The world may never know because I don't remember. But this post isn't about listening to  music or what I did back when I started running. It's about what I'm doing now.

And now, unless it's an interval workout day where I sing along to the Hamilton soundtrack as much as I can, I listen to audiobooks. And free audiobooks at that, I don't have an Audible subscription. Instead, I get them through my library via an app called "OneClickdigital". It works exactly the same as getting a "real" book from the library, except I go onto the app to check it out (or put it on hold) and it automatically gets returned when the loan expires. Good sometimes (I don't have to remember when it's due and press a return button) but if I wasn't finished I have to go through the process again.

OneClickdigital App on Android
OneClickdigital App on Android

I really enjoy the continuity of picking up where I left off from my last run with audiobooks, unlike podcasts where I can go through a couple of them on a single run spending on their length. And they offer a great escape during my run since I get caught up in the story (but not so much that I risk getting run over by a car).

Currently, I'm listening to Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory. I've found I'm more likely to work my way through a series via audiobook than one-off books (I've been listening to Gregory's series and also the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon). I find myself drawn back to them again and again, probably because I know I've enjoyed past books.

One last part to this ramble on why I save music for interval runs and races is that listening to audiobooks is getting me to actually finish books. I've always been a huge reader but lately I've found myself not really reading a whole lot. Between work, running and being social, there just isn't a lot of time for reading. So, running is doing double duty for me (and I'm hoping to make it through at least 12 books this year thanks to it) by getting me out and finishing books.

My plan through marathon training is to continue to listen to audiobooks for most of my runs (aka work my way through a couple of books in the Outlander series). I might listen to music on my pace runs but, considering my marathon pace is going to be 11 minute miles, I don't know if I'll need that extra motivation music brings me for speed. That's just not what my next training cycle will be about since I'm training for a new distance.

What do you listen to on your runs? Or, are you someone who runs and just listens to the sounds around you?