A Very Long Walk

Last weekend I walked 106km around the Isle of Wight. Yup, you read it right: 106km. In the interests of full disclosure, I did the hike over two days, unlike many people who walked straight through the night. If you read my 2018 Goals post at the beginning of this year, you’ll know that this was one of my four big goals for this year, so I’m really chuffed to have completed it.

So, why did I sign up for this crazy challenge? Well, firstly I’m blaming (in the nicest possible way) the lovely Joanna Penn who first put the idea into my head that signing up for a double ultramarathon would a) be fun, and b) help me become a healthier writer.

But really, I’m just a sucker for a challenge. Plus, I figured it was a good way of getting some external accountability to MAKE me get away from my desk and out walking. I love being outdoors, but I also love my work and being self-employed, there’s always more work to do than hours to do it in! From experience, I know that I’m much more likely to do something if I feel an obligation to someone else. Being part of a team (Team Creatives!) AND raising money for Mind provided the accountability I needed to get out training.

And talking about training…

The Preparation

I think I can safely sum up the weather in Yorkshire for the first part of this year in one word: miserable. Most of my training walks for the Isle of Wight Challenge took place in rain/hail/snow/gales or a combination of all four. I became adept at negotiating muddy coastal paths in force nine gales and jumping from tussock to tussock across moorland bogs.

Most of all, I became good at SUFFERING.

This, I do believe, is an essential skill any budding ultramarathoner should develop.

What I did not train for was walking on hard surfaces (I avoid road walking like the proverbial plague) or in blinding sunshine. And my ‘hot temperature’ training consisted of taking every opportunity I could to spend time in a sauna. (It’s good for recovery, honest…)

And this was where I fell down.

I always tend to opt on the side of pessimism when it comes to weather forecasts (I live in Yorkshire remember), so carefully packed long trousers, fleeces and full waterproofs. Fortunately, my husband loves the sun and added sunglasses and a lightweight baseball cap to my pack. On arrival into Southampton the day before the walk, I was beginning to think I’d overpacked…

Day 1: Chale to Cowes

Isle of Wight ultra

My alarm went off at 5.20am. But it was okay, because I was already awake, checking Jo’s “WAKE UP” message on the team’s WhatsApp group. Bleary-eyed, I got dressed, shovelled some breakfast into my body and tried to remember what I’d forgotten to pack.

Most of the team were staying in Cowes, so we shared a taxi down to the start line at Chale. The sky was completely clear of cloud and even pessimistic me knew we were in for a hot day.

We registered, took a few team selfies and downed a few coffees, then hovered between the start pen and the toilets debating how late to leave the final pee. Finally, we were called to the starting line for the obligatory warmup and then we were off!

It was warm enough at 8am that I started in a t-shirt and the weather only got hotter. (All that cold-weather training went to good use then…) The first 10km passed in a flash with good company and beautiful views along the coast. At the first rest stop, I was amazed to find an array of breakfast pastries and buns on offer, along with bananas, pineapple and melon.

I took a quick break to top up water and give my feet some air while simultaneously eating my bodyweight in cinnamon buns. Feeling refreshed (and slightly heavier) I said goodbye to my fellow Creatives, for the time being at least, and headed out on the next stage of the walk.

It’s probably worth saying that with around 1,700 people taking part in the challenge, the footpaths weren’t exactly quiet. But it was a lovely walk along the coast to a final climb up Tennyson Down. The reward? Beautiful views back across the island and sight of the lunch stop!

I met up with fellow Creative, Guy Windsor at the 21km stop, but after eating his ketogenic lunch (which I’m sure tasted better than it looked *ahem*) he headed off leaving me munching my monster baguette and rubbing some life into my feet.

At this point, my feet were already feeling a little hot and sore – more so that they had done in training at this distance. But I shrugged it off, plugged in my headphones and headed off listening to The Windup Girl. This was a much-needed distraction as the next section of the walk involved a lot of road walking.


And mud. Did I mention the mud?

We’d all had a message the previous evening warning us that part of the walk was muddy and recommending that we wore hiking boots as opposed to shiny white trainers. When I go to the 30km mark, I saw what they meant. But it was okay because I had trained for mud! With the aid of my walking poles, a few handy trees and a minor detour into a neighbouring field, I managed to make it through the mud unscathed and on to the 35km checkpoint.

At which point, I discovered I had a blister.

Just one? Yes, just one (at this point). But I hadn’t prepared for blisters. I have done a lot of walking in my time, including long, multi-day walks in the boots I was wearing and had NEVER had a blister from walking. I knew the arches of my feet would be sore, I thought I might have hip pain, but I honestly didn’t think I would suffer from blisters.

But I dug some three-year-old Compeed out of my first aid kit and tried to mould it around my big toe. Then, after checking that I was past the worst of the mud, I changed into the trainers that my husband had kindly brought out to me, swallowed some painkillers and set out on the final leg of the day.

In front of me at this point was Guy and, in front of him, super-speedy Nicole Burnham, who was running and was therefore waaaay ahead of me at this point. Which was lucky, as she messaged back to say the worst of the mud was still to come.

I looked down at my nice clean trainers and sent a message to my husband asking if he’d be able to bring my boots back…

Unfortunately, he’d just cycled back to our B&B, but he agreed to turn around and come back out to meet me further along the route. (As an aside, my husband cycled 70-80km each of the two days I was walking to support me and bring me changes of footwear and socks. Yes, he is a legend. That’s why I married him.) It turned out that the boots were a life-saver. Because the mud wasn’t just mud, it was a swamp.

And there was no way around it.

I slithered along with my walking poles in the manner of a confused baby giraffe, trying my best to both stay upright and not let the mud creep over the top of my boots. Somehow, I managed to achieve both, unlike the unlucky person whose shoe was sucked down into a swampy grave. And after that, it was just a case of hobbling on toward the finish line.

Or rather, the halfway stop.

It was at this point I was VERY glad I wasn’t doing the full distance in one go. My feet were sore, I could feel more blisters developing and my hips were protesting. It was getting dark by the time I arrived at Cowes, twelve and a half hours after setting out, and I was grateful to eat a good meal of cottage pie and pasta and hobble slowly back to my B&B for the night.

Day 2: Cowes to Chale

Final view to finish

My alarm went off at 4.30am. Despite being strongly tempted to roll over and go back to sleep, the thought of another day of pain was just too tempting to resist and I got up and hobbled down the stairs to force some breakfast down.

Some of the team had finished their intended distances the day before and a few others had to cut their walk short due to injury, so it was just Nicole and me who made our way to the Day 2 start line.

A few hours of sleep and some feet-up time meant I was feeling a lot better than the night before. My legs ached a bit and my feet were sore, but I’d taped my blisters up as well as I could and was pretty resolved to do whatever it took to keep walking.

I managed to walk fast enough over the first kilometre to make the first ferry across the Medina to East Cowes. That was the last I saw of Nicole who had her running shoes on and finished hours ahead of me. (Well done, Nicole!) I knew the first part of the day would be road walking and was prepared for it. I actually quite enjoyed this section of the walk: the fresh, early morning air, quiet road and solitude provided a nice opportunity for reflection.

What I wasn’t expecting was that almost the entire day would be spent walking on roads or hard-surfaced paths. In retrospect, this was probably a good thing, as I almost certainly wouldn’t have signed up if I’d known this before the start. There were some interesting detours down private roads and past big houses (there are some VERY nice houses on the Isle of Wight), but my feet were definitely feeling it by the time I climbed the hill up to Bembridge Down and reached the lunch rest stop.

By this point, I was hobbling despite the painkillers and just about managed to load up my plate with pizza and fajitas (yum!) before collapsing into a chair. I was hot, most of me hurt and I had more blisters. Fortunately, my husband wasn’t expecting much in the way of conversation and dutifully re-filled my water bottles and scavenged me Haribo while I ate and tried to massage life back into my feet. I thought about how nice it would be to stop walking at this point and go for a swim in the sea…

But I didn’t seriously consider stopping.

I knew I could keep going. After all, I was good at suffering.

By this point in the event, there were a handful of other walkers who I kept bumping into. Typically, I’d overtake them, then they’d get ahead of me when I stopped to rest or rub my feet, and we’d play this leapfrog game, smiling and exchanging the same comments. It went something like this:

“How you doing?”

“Oh, not too bad. You?”

“Yeah, great. Not too far now.”

“No, keep going. We’re getting there!”

Liars, the lot of us.

Or perhaps we’re just British…

It’s well known that during ultramarathons and long-distance walks, you’ll have a personal low point. Mine occurred on the next stage of the walk, along the long (concrete) path through Sandown and Shanklin. There were so many PEOPLE for one thing. And NOISE. And the smell of greasy fish and chips and public toilets.

I hobbled into the final rest stop and just wanted it to be over.

And then, I got my second wind.

I’m not sure whether it was the transition from road to winding footpath, the solitude and views, or the Fleetwood Mac album my husband had downloaded onto my phone, but I was ON FIRE!

(I actually think it was the music. The power of Go Your Own Way to keep me going was literally incredible. Please don’t judge me for my taste in music.)

I stormed along the path, apologising as I overtook fellow walkers and trying my best not to sing out loud when other people were in the vicinity. As I overtook one of my fellow leap-froggers for the final time, I heard him mutter to his friend, “that girl is on a mission!”.

And I was. I had the finish line in my sights and nothing was going to stop me. Apart from the views. I had to stop and admire the views. The organisers had definitely saved the best part of the walk to last. But as I topped the final hill and looked down on the flags fluttering by the finish tent, I knew I would make it.

The last few kilometres passed in a blur. I nearly ran up the finish funnel, but I figured that might be a bit too enthusiastic. Kudos to the finish team, who somehow managed to retain formidable levels of enthusiasm and excitement as every finisher approached the 106km mark.

And then, I was there. I stepped over the finish line, got handed my finisher’s medal and a cup of champagne (well, cava), and followed my nose to the lasagne stand.

106km. Done.

Never again.

(Well, until the next challenge comes along…)

Congratulations to all my fellow Creatives – Joanna Penn, Nicole Burnham, Guy Windsor, Jane Steen and DJ MacKinnon – on your amazing achievements. And thank you for all your support, particularly on the second day. May we meet again in less blister-filled times. Thanks especially to Jo for bringing us all together, to my husband for patiently looking after me, and to all my friends and family who sponsored me and gave me the motivation to walk on through the pain.

Why I Haven’t Been Around + Goals Update

Yorkshire Dales walk

Well, hello there! If you keep an eye on my blog, then you may have noticed that I’ve been posting less recently. For this, I apologise, but I wanted to give an explanation. You see, the last year has been pretty busy. I know, I know, everyone is busy all of the time. But sometimes, when you’re so busy that you struggle to see how you can to get through the next day let alone the next week, and you’re constantly falling behind on your ever-extending to-do list, it’s hard to prioritise what’s really important in life.

In the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a number of clients writing on some fascinating topics. I’ve also been working hard at growing the author side of my business: I’ve published one full-length novel (with a second coming soon in June), two novelettes and two novellas. I’ve also organised a wedding and started co-hosting a podcast.

When I look back on it, I’ve achieved a lot. But it has come at a price, and that has been my outdoor time. It’s ironic that, by writing about outdoor activities and adventure, I’ve actually ended up spending less time doing them myself. I suspect I’m not the only writer and entrepreneur to have fallen into this trap…

So, I decided on some changes. I will be continuing with my client work – no change there. (If you need a hand with copywriting or content marketing, get in touch!) And I’ll still be blogging, but not every week. I’ll post something as and when I have something I really want to write about and share with you. This will still probably be once or twice a month – I’m not disappearing completely!

I’m also going to be consolidating my social media channels in an effort to rationalise my social media addiction. I currently have two Twitter accounts, one for the author side of my business, and one for the outdoor copywriting side. Moving forward, I’m only going to be using this one, but I’ll be chatting about everything. The outdoors and writing about the outdoors is as much a part of me as writing novels or podcasting, so why should I try and tear myself in two?

Update on my goals for 2018

At the beginning of the year, I posted my outdoor goals for 2018. Whenever you’re setting goals, I always think it’s worth reviewing them every couple of months. Life changes, what we are able to do changes and, perhaps most importantly, what we want to do sometimes changes.

Ironically, given everything I’ve talked about above, my main aim for 2018 was to spend more time outdoors. I’m pretty sure I’ve achieved this, though based on the end of last year, I was working from a pretty low benchmark!

The main thing that’s forced me to spend more time outside is the Isle of Wight Challenge. In a week and a half, I’ll be walking 104 km around the Isle of Wight (over two days). I’m pretty sure this is the toughest challenge I’ve set myself, and I’ve been training hard for it. Many of my weekends over the past few months have been spent walking, come rain or shine. And until recently, there has been very little shine and rather a lot of rain, hail and snow.

I’m feeling reasonably well prepared for the walk. Or at least, as prepared as I can feel. (I don’t think you ever really feel ready for challenges like this.) I’m raising money for Mind, a mental health charity here in the UK, which is been a huge motivator to get out and train even when the weather has been, quite frankly, miserable. If you’d like to sponsor me, you can do so here.

My second goal of the year was to hike the John Muir Trail. My husband and I had planned to do this for our honeymoon. We may have underestimated the logistical challenge this presented… I also discovered while doing all these long walks, that while I LOVE walking, I don’t really love having to go out walking for 8 hours in the rain. We’ve also both found that we’ve missed climbing. Really missed it. With work commitments and busy lives, there’s just not the time to do everything and because I’ve been spending every weekend training for the Isle of Wight Challenge, this has meant we’ve done next to no climbing.

So, we changed our plan! We’re still planning on going out to the States, but we’re hoping to do a month long climbing trip later in the year. We haven’t been on a climbing holiday for ages so I’m really looking forward to this. 😀 I’m also looking forward to getting some strength back and exploring more of the crags around where we live.

This will also finally force me to face head-on my incapacitating fear of falling. I haven’t quite figured out how best to do this yet, but I’m working on it. More on that another time…

I would love to be a superwoman who is able to do it all, but I’m gradually coming to realise that I’m not. We all have different pressures on our lives and time and have to prioritise what’s most important to us. And if there’s one thing I know, it’s that being outdoors is important to me.

Why Spending Time Outdoors Can Help You Sleep


Of all the things I enjoy doing, sometimes I think I love sleeping the most. Which is strange, because it’s also one of the things that I most resent doing. I constantly wish that I didn’t need to sleep quite so much, so I’d have more hours in the day to do more “productive” pursuits.

It seems I’m not alone. Many of us wish that we could get by on less sleep. But then there’s the other side of the coin: the insomniacs who would LOVE to be able to get eight straight hours a night. And, on occasion, I’ve experienced that side of sleep too, usually when feeling anxious and stressed about something. There’s nothing more frustrating than being desperately tired and exhausted, but unable to sleep.

And make no bones about it, sleep is essential to life. If we don’t get enough sleep, there are many potential side effects, all of them bad. Our bodies need time to recover and our brains need time to rest. There is a long history of the use of sleep deprivation as a form of torture and tests on animals have led scientists to believe that prolonged sleep deprivation could be fatal.

On a less macabre note, the amount of sleep you get affects your productivity and relationships. If I don’t get enough sleep then I can be grumpy, irritable and generally not very fun to be around. Compare that to the morning after I get a full night’s sleep and I’m a different person.

But it’s not just the amount of sleep you get, but the quality. I’ve noticed a couple of common factors in my own sleep patterns that determine whether or not I get a great night’s sleep. For example, I’ll usually sleep well if:

  • I’m sleeping in our campervan.
  • I’m camping (usually but not always).
  • I’ve spent the day outdoors, particularly if I’ve done a long walk or run. But an evening’s run in the fresh air can often have the same effect.
  • I’ve been reading for a while before bed (unless it’s a really exciting book!).

Conversely, there are a number of triggers which pretty much guarantee me a poor night’s sleep, which include:

  • Too much sugar before bed.
  • Working on the computer late at night.
  • Watching scary movies or thrillers in the evening. Basically, anything that gets your pulse racing or makes you think too much. (Yes, this does make me a very frustrating person to watch Netflix with.)
  • Checking my phone religiously before bed.

These revelations are nothing new and simply corroborate what many studies have demonstrated about good quality sleep. But do I always follow these guidelines? Of course, I don’t. I’m human. My life isn’t just one ballgame where I can go hiking each day, get to bed early every night and never worry about anything. I have work to do, deadlines to meet and occasional bouts of anxiety to deal with. I am even writing this late in the evening (though I promise I’m going to stop soon).

Perhaps it’s a classic case of knowing exactly what I need to do to fix something but struggling to have the disciple to implement it. Probably something to do with my Obliger tendencies

Why Being Outdoors Helps Us Sleep

So, anecdotal evidence aside, what is it about being outdoors that helps us sleep well? There’s been a fair bit of research done on this topic. Here’s a summary of the main points and some of my own thoughts:

  1. Exercising outdoors first thing in the morning boosts our body’s natural sleep rhythm. The daylight activates the light-sensitive tissue in our eyes, encouraging the brain to produce melatonin (the hormone that makes us sleepy) earlier in the evening. If you struggle to sleep, then experts recommend exercising in the morning rather than the evening, particularly just before bedtime.
  2. Sleeping outdoors for a week (without smartphones!) has been shown to reset our biological clock to a more natural wake and sleep cycle, meaning we go to bed earlier and sleep for longer. When it’s cold and dark, our bodies naturally tell us to sleep, and when the sun comes up and it starts getting warmer, our brain tells us to get up. It takes us back to the days before central heating, electric lighting and Netflix, when our lives were much more affected by changing seasons. But if you don’t have a week, even a weekend spent camping can have a positive benefit. As if we needed an excuse…
  3. Sleep is often the first casualty of too much time spent in front of a screen. Presuming you don’t go hiking with your head buried in your phone, this makes time spent outdoors a form of digital detox. Which, most people agree, is a good thing to do every now and then.
  4. Another trigger for a poor night’s sleep is stress and worry. Spending time outdoors has been proven to lower stress levels and help reduce depression and anxiety, leaving us more relaxed and better able to sleep.
  5. Finally, there’s the simple fact that if you’ve been active outdoors all day, you’ll be pretty knackered, physically and mentally, and ready for a good rest. Plus, if you’re sleeping outdoors, there isn’t much else to do once it gets dark!

How To Sleep Better at Night

That’s all very well, but realistically, most of us can’t spend all day every day outdoors. So for those of us with busy lives, how can we help ourselves sleep better at night?

Firstly, you don’t have to spend long outdoors to reap the benefits. I find that even a half hour or forty-five-minute run can be enough to tire me out and get me ready for bed. Rather than going to the gym in the evening, try going for a run or a boot camp session outdoors instead. And if you find that exercising in the evening wakes you up rather than sending you to sleep, see if you can switch your training sessions to the morning.

Switch off in the evening. Don’t go for your evening run, only to come home and spend two hours in front of your computer or mobile phone. You’ll undo all the good work you’ve put into helping you sleep. (And yes, this is the guilty voice of experience talking…) Try and schedule your day so that all you need do after exercising is have some dinner and relax, perhaps by reading a book or spending time with your family.

If you always have a hundred thoughts jostling for attention in your head, then try meditation or yoga before bed. It can take a bit of discipline (particularly with meditation!) but switching off your mind before bed will certainly help you drop off to sleep quickly. I often use the Down Dog app on my phone to do a short, gentle yoga session in the evening. It helps me relax, stretch out my muscles after a day’s work and wind down from the day,

There are lots of different views out there on whether there’s a link between sugar and sleep. Some people say sugar before bed will keep you awake, others say it’s a myth. Chances are, like many things, it’s down to the individual. What I do know is, if I have a lot of sugar in the evening it will almost always stop me sleeping or leave me feeling groggy the next day. I love puddings, so this makes me pretty sad. But I think on balance, I love my sleep more. So while I may sometimes give in on the rare occasion I eat out, generally I’ll try and limits my portion size on puddings, have home-made puddings that contain less sugar or (shock horror!) have no pudding at all.

You don’t need to camp out for a weekend or a week to adjust your body clock to be more in tune with nature. It just takes a bit more of that dreaded word, discipline! At home, there are many distractions that can stop you going to bed early: household chores, television, socialising or even work. But there’s a reason why we tend to feel more awake in the summer when evenings are longer, and sleepier in the winter when evenings are short and dark. Rather than beating yourself up about wanting to go to bed early in the winter, why not listen to your body and let it tell you when to go to bed, and when to get up? (Though that doesn’t give you an excuse to be late for work just because it doesn’t get light until 8 o’clock in the morning!)

I think I’ll always slightly resent needing a good eight or nine hours sleep a night to be able to function properly when other people seem to do just fine with six or seven hours sleep. But I also feel grateful that most of the time I can have that much sleep. I have a warm house, a cosy duvet to snuggle up in and a husband to warm my feet on. I’m in a much better position than many people out there.

We all have different requirements and different struggles with sleep. But we owe it to ourselves to give our bodies and brains the rest and recovery time they deserve.

Why I Love the British Coast in Winter

Bamburgh castle

This weekend, I decided that I love being by the sea in winter, and being in the mountains in summer. You’re probably thinking that sounds quite strange. Don’t I want to be in both places in summer and tucked up in a blanket with a hot chocolate and a book in winter? Well yes… and no*. You see, despite it being rather wintery outside (for once there is actually a scattering of snow to accompany the doomsday headlines of a Siberian arctic blast hitting the UK), I still want to be outside.

But don’t most people want to go to the seaside in summer? You know, when it’s actually warm enough to bathe in the sea and sit around in a t-shirt building sand castles? Well, yes. Which is one of the reasons I’d rather go to the beach in winter. The same beaches that are full of people in summer are barren, windswept places to be in winter.

I’ve just come back from a long weekend in Northumberland. I walked for miles and miles along stunning sandy beaches and rocky coastline and saw only a handful of people. The wind blew me along, hail occasionally battered my face and it was bitterly cold. Dark clouds hung ominously low in the sky, the sea crashed against the rocks and sunlight fought its way through the chinks in the clouds to shine spotlights on the landscape. It was so beautiful it almost hurt.

And, though the British weather is notoriously fickle, you don’t get the same experience of the coastline on a balmy summer’s day. That feeling of being bound up with the elements, of bearing witness to the force and power of nature as the waves smash into the coastline and the wind whips the sand into a hissing snake that winds its way around your shoes. It’s the way the sky and sea change their mood within hours or even minutes. It’s the exhilaration of not just witnessing nature but being part of it.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had some wonderful days out in the hills in winter. When crisp snow blankets the ground and the sun shines down from a blue, calm sky, it can be amazing. But I’ve also frozen my butt off on a number of occasions and had the odd winter climbing experience where I’ve been very grateful to get down to a hot shower. Because when the weather turns, it’s not so fun. The mountains in winter are beautiful, but they’re also a dangerous place.

Of course, anywhere can be dangerous if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nature is a wild and unpredictable beast and that’s part of what makes it so magical. I rarely venture into the sea and have a very healthy respect for the ocean. And while I’m more at home in the mountains, this means I’m better able to judge when it’s going to be an enjoyable day to head to the heights and when it makes more sense to stay at home.

But what if you could put the best bits of both worlds together? If you could stand with a beautiful coastline on one side and towering mountains on the other. Do such places exist? (Is that a rhetorical question?)

Yes, they do. (And yes, it was.) Places such as the northwest coast of Scotland, the Isle of Skye and parts of north Wales. And these are some of my favourite places in the world.

Red Point Beach

*Just for reference, curled up with a hot chocolate and a good book is one of my absolute favourite places to be in winter. After I’ve exhausted myself on a good run outside of course. 😉

The 7 Podcasts That’ll Make You Love Long Runs


Your choice of listening material when running is a very personal thing. Some people prefer to leave the headphones at home and embrace the sounds of nature during their runs. Others need a good fast beat to help them keep their pace up. And some people look to podcasts to provide a distraction from the pain and hard work of running.

I fall somewhere between the first and third camps. On some days, particularly when it’s sunny outside and the birds are singing, I just feel like running in silence. But when the weather is a bit grim and I’ve got a long run ahead, I generally turn to podcasts to help keep my spirits up and make the miles go past faster.

I’ve got a half marathon coming up this weekend (the Northumberland Endurancelife if anyone’s interested) and my husband is already prepping his podcast list for his ultra run. If you’re looking for some new inspiration, here are some of my favourite podcasts to help make long runs fun. But a word of warning: you may find some of them so addictive that you won’t want to stop…

If You’ve Got an Ultra Coming Up: Limetown

I was struggling to find a podcast that was as gripping, well-produced and addictive as Serial. Then I found Limetown. Although it’s a fictional story, the investigative journalism style makes it feel more like a true-crime podcast.

The story itself – the disappearance of 300 people from a model town in Tennessee – is intriguing and each plot twist pulls you deeper into the story. Once you’ve started, you won’t want to stop listening so download all the episodes and plan a three-hour run.

For Binge Listening: Serial

If you haven’t listened to the award-winning podcast, Serial, then you’ve probably been hiding under a rock for the past few years. But if that’s the case then great! You’ve got all the fun to look forward to.

Serial is a non-fiction podcast that investigates the murder of Hae Min Lee in 1999 and the subsequent conviction of her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed. It’s easy to forget when you listen to the serialised narrative that this is a real story, with real people involved, and that there may not be a happy ending.

It’s a gripping show and the best news is, once you finished season one you can move onto season two which is a whole different story. Hours of entertainment to keep your legs moving.

To Get You Through Long Runs: The Tim Ferris Show

Tim Ferris interviews the great and good from all walks of life in a show that was seemingly devised for long runs. Episodes frequently exceed two hours in length making it a great choice for long workouts. Although it’s branded as a business podcast, the interviews are wide-ranging and cover many aspects of lifestyle, productivity and work.

For Inspiration: The Tough Girl Podcast

If your legs need some inspiration to keep running, then the Tough Girl Podcast will provide. Host Sarah Williams interviews women who are pushing the boundaries in their outdoor adventure challenges. From epic adventurers to Olympic athletes, this show will make you realise how many endurance challenges there are in the world and what it takes to complete them.

Be warned: if you listen to too many episodes then you may find yourself dreaming up your own challenge to escape the regularity of day-to-day life.

To Learn Something New: Crypto News Podcast

Okay, this is a bit of a cheeky entry as I co-host the podcast! (But hey, it’s my blog, so I can give it a shout-out, right?) If you’re bamboozled by bitcoin and confused about cryptocurrency, but feel like it’s something you should know more about, then join two crypto newbies as we navigate our way through the world of cryptocurrency.

Each week we talk through some of the top crypto news stories to find out what’s hot (or not) in the crypto world. Download the 12 boot camp episodes to get a simple overview of what Bitcoin, cryptocurrency and the blockchain are all about and finish your run better informed than when you started.

For a Quick Fix: The Other Stories

If you’re looking for a short fiction podcast with a nod to the dark side, then check out this podcast from the team at Hawk and Cleaver. The stories cover the genres of horror, sci-fi and thrillers, and will leave you with a definite chill down your spine. The episodes are generally between 10 and 20 minutes long so enjoy them on a quick lunchtime run or stack up a few for a longer session.

If You Enjoyed Limetown: Rabbits

Like Limetown, Rabbits is a fictional podcast presented in a true-crime style. And if you thought the events narrated in Limetown were weird, then Rabbits takes things to a whole new level.

Rabbits is the story of the search by the podcast host, Carly, for her missing friend, Yumiko, who she believes disappeared because of her participation in a mysterious alternate reality game known only as “Rabbits”.

The first couple of episodes are a little slow going, with a lot of backstory and information on video game culture and alternate reality. But after that, the story quickly picks up pace and the plot twists come thick and fast as the suspense builds. The ending is as weird as weird can be, and personally, I found it not quite satisfying, but don’t let me put you off. Rabbits will make you forget your tired legs and burning lungs while you listen to find out what happens next.

What are your favourite podcasts? Let me know in the comments below or get in touch on Twitter – I’m looking for some new shows to listen to!