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  • Writer's pictureJack Mullaney

20 Podcasts I Enjoyed in 2020

Earlier this month, Spotify offered users a look at their listener data for the year.

At that point, I had spent over 36,000 minutes listening to podcasts in 2020.

Don't get me wrong. That's not really a statistic to brag about. It's more to say that when I sat down to create a list of podcasts I enjoyed this year, there was a lot to choose from. And yet, I also realize I barely scratched the surface of all that's out there.

So take this list for what you will. If nothing else, perhaps it will allow you to discover new sources of entertainment.

I've grouped the list into four classifications: Track & Field/Running, Other Sports, Coaching, and Lifestyle. That said, some of these podcasts transcend those boundaries, and could be included in multiple categories. Let's just say I did my best.

Okay, here we go.

Track & Field/Running:

Beneath the Grandstand with Ryan Fenton & Alex Lohr

Recommended Episodes: Yellow Jersey or Olympic 1500 Gold? With Michael Woods (Ep. 25); Des Linden Says - "Stop Doomscrolling! Go Run!" (Ep. 23); NBA VP and former cop Frank Ross on pain felt around the country as a result of death of George Floyd (Ep. 11); The story of boutique running brand Tracksmith (Ep. 9)

ALTIS Series: 1 Track Mind

Recommended Episodes: Coach Amy Deem (Ep. 13); Coach Joey Woody (Ep. 5); Coach Yvonne Wade (Ep. 4)

Athletics LLC

Recommended Episodes: Honestly, all of them. But if you need a place to start, I loved What's Wrong with Cross Country? (Ep. 8); What's in that Cup?! (Ep. 11); and Villains or Heroes??? (Ep. 31).

The Morning Shakeout with Mario Fraioli

Recommended Episodes: Sara Hall (Ep. 123); Mike Smith (Ep. 109); Mary Cain (Ep. 114); Liam Boylan-Pett (Ep. 107)

Running Rivals

Recommended Episodes: Kevin Hanson (Ep. 32); Diljeet Taylor (Ep. 24); Justyn Knight (Ep. 16); Aliphine Tuliamuk (Ep. 7)

Honorable Mentions: Sit and Kick; Gill Athletics Connections Podcast; For The Long Run; Meeting of the Unknowing Minds (soon to be called "Off Track" I think); The CITIUS MAG podcast

Other Sports:

The Right Time with Bomani Jones

Recommended Episodes: Again, all of them. This was probably my favorite podcast I discovered this year. Bomani is sharp as a tack, and I love (most of) his takes on the happenings in the world of sports. That said, the episode with Vinnie Goodwill from Nov 19 and the one entitled We are United from August 4 provide a good taste of Bomani's style.

The Old Man and the Three with JJ Redick and Tommy Alter

Recommended Episodes: Matthew McConaughey feat. A'ja Wilson (Ep. 26); Steve Nash (Ep. 14); Stacey Abrams (Ep. 2)

Just Women's Sports, Hosted by Kelley O'Hara

Recommended Episodes: Nneka Ogwumike (Ep. 12); Nastia Liukin (Ep. 18); Allyson Felix (Ep. 11)

The Edge: Houston Astros

Recommended Episodes: All of them. This is a six-part documentary series by Ben Reiter, author of Astroball: The New Way to Win It All. Reiter dives into the Astros cheating scandal, and goes back to figure out how, despite all the inside access he had to the team, their sign stealing slipped under his nose.

The Curious Competitor with Connor Carrick

Recommended Episodes: Blake Bolden (S3 Ep. 7); Dr. Marc Bubbs (S2 Ep. 13); Ian Happ (S2, Ep. 14); Meghan Chayka (S2 Ep. 9)

Honorable Mentions: Whistleblower; Bloodsport (from BBC Radio 4); ESPN Daily; Bloomberg Business of Sport


Flying Coach with Steve Kerr and Pete Carroll

Recommended Episodes: Buying into Analytics and The Advantage of the Multisport Athlete with Dave Roberts; Gregg Popovich on America in 2020, the Leadership Void, and What Needs to Change; Doc Rivers on Player Empowerment, Growing Up the Son of a Chicago Cop, Where Our Country Is Going, and the NBA's Return

GAINcast with Vern Gambetta

Recommended Episodes: Prepare for the game with Eddie Jones (Ep. 204); Speed reserve with Gareth Sandford (Ep. 203); Repetition without repetition with Grace Golden (Ep. 197); Finding true talent with Paula Jardine (Ep. 189); The green zone with Stephen Seiler (Ep. 188); Training teams with Lachlan Penfold (Ep. 184); From data to speed with Matt Rhea (Ep. 183)

Where Others Won’t with Cody Royle

Recommended Episodes: John Herdman - The Tough Stuff Series - Volume 1; Tony Granato - The Craft of Coaching (Part II); Michael Lepp - The Go Fast Business


Recommended Episodes: Dr John Berardi - Matching Your Diet to Your Life; Dr Kevin Elko - How to Create a Language of Winning; Dina Asher-Smith - Want to Go Fast? Be Patient

HMMR Media Podcast

Recommended Episodes: Rethinking rehab with Donie Fox; Warming up better with Johnny Parkes; Water the bamboo with Travis Knight; The shark tank with Mike Potenza

Honorable Mentions: The Just Fly Performance Podcast; Pacey Performance Podcast; Leave Your Mark with Scott Livingston


The Rich Roll Podcast

Recommended Episodes: Darin Olien is Down to Earth; Apolo Ohno on The Weight of Gold; John Lewis + John Salley Are Black in America; What Nick Butter Learned Running A Marathon In Every Single Country; Lindsay Crouse Is Changing The Game For Women's Sports; Lauren Fleshman Is Empowering Women Athletes; Kelly McGonigal Wants You To Fall In Love With Movement

The Tim Ferriss Show

Recommended Episodes: #480: Dax Shepard on the Craft of Podcasting, Favorite Books, and Dancing With Your Demons; #476: Seth Godin on The Game of Life, The Value of Hacks, and Overcoming Anxiety; #444: Hugh Jackman on Best Decisions, Daily Routines, The 85% Rule, Favorite Exercises, Mind Training, and Much More

Unlocking Us with Brené Brown

Recommended Episodes: President Obama on Leadership, Family and Service; Dr. Vivek Murthy on loneliness and connection

Finding Mastery with Dr. Michael Gervais

Recommended Episodes: Tianna Bartoletta on Why Conquering Oneself is the Only True Victory; Jill Ellis on The Pressure of Coaching the U.S. women's national soccer team; Shea Serrano on Why It All Comes Down to Grit; Kelley O'Hara on Responding to Adversity - On and Off The Field; Sage Steele on Choosing Happiness; Dan Quinn on What It Takes to Lead an NFL Franchise; Tony Blauer on The Art of Managing Fear

The Daily Stoic Podcast with Ryan Holiday

Recommended Episodes: ESPN's Wright Thompson On What Makes Us Great … And Human; How to Bounce Back - Coach Eric Musselman; Danica Patrick - Trailblazing Pro Racer On Pushing Limits Everywhere; ESPN's Paul Kix - How Anyone Can Change Everything; Ask Daily Stoic: Ryan and Anne Applebaum Ask How Does a Stoic Resist Tyranny; Ask Daily Stoic: Ryan and UT Basketball Coach Shaka Smart Talk Self-Control and Using Your Time Wisely; Ask Daily Stoic: Ryan and Cal Newport Discuss Staying Productive in a Pandemic and How to Maintain Focus; Ask Daily Stoic: Ryan and NBA Legend Pau Gasol Talk Books, Basketball, and Stoicism

Honorable Mentions: Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard; The Michelle Obama Podcast; The Drive with Peter Attia; The Learning Leader Show with Ryan Hawk; The North Star Podcast with David Perell; Revisionist History, hosted by Malcolm Gladwell

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