Podcasts on Garmin CIQ – with RUNCASTS

If you are the proud owner of a new Garmin music-enabled sports watch then you probably bought it to listen to music. I have the Forerunner 945 but you might instead have the Forerunner 645M or the Forerunner 245M.

Those of you who have heard of Deezer and who have an account with them will probably use that. The rest of us will use Spotify and bemoan the lack of Google Play or Apple Music support, or maybe even use music from our personal music collection – aka CDs and, possibly, illegally downloaded stuff (you naughty people).

Yet there are a significant number of us who have listened to the occasional podcast and, perhaps, want to listen to some more running-focussed ones as we run.

Sure you can probably use Spotify to listen to podcasts but wouldn’t it be nice if there was a run-focussed Garmin CIQ podcast app?

You’ve guessed it.

Welcome to Runcasts. It’s not new and has already had over 16,000 downloads, so it sort-of mostly works. Unsurprisingly, you have to create an account, choose some podcasts, download and sync the CIQ app, and then sync the podcasts themselves. After you’ve used RUNCASTS a few times, you have to pay the monthly fee to get the features you probably really want. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

First up you’ll notice the 3/5 ranking when you search for RUNCASTS on the CIQ app store. That 3/5 ranking is made up of a lot of 1/5 rankings as well as 5/5 rankings and there seems to be some issues with syncing (I didn’t find any) but also low rankings from people who want free stuff that they place a value on (because they invest their time in it) and yet don’t want to stump up to pay for the guy’s time who made the stuff which entertains them as they run. I freely admit to being one of those people sometimes but not all the time.

The paid-for features offer HD quality, auto-sync over WiFi and a larger queue of podcasts. I don’t think the high-quality feature is a particular issue as the sound quality was good enough for me, and you can manually get around the auto-sync requirement easily enough. But, from my perspective, it’s handy to have a larger queue. Would I pay $5/mo for that?…probably not.


Nevertheless, the free version fits happily enough into all the usual CIQ places and you will find it on your Garmin Express’s list of apps or, for the more enlightened amongst you, you will find it in the Connect IQ app store. Here you can see that there are no particular settings you make to the CIQ app itself as all PODCAST selections are made on the Runcasts’ online platform.



There are, perhaps surprisingly, a lot of running PODCASTS to chose from ranging from vendor podcasts through to those by elite athletes. You might even find the occasional running gadget podcast from your second-favourite sports gadgeteer (OK, I know what you’re going to say…it’s Monday…be nice to me).

Here you can see one of the podcasts showing in the online platform. As you choose new ones to listen to and add them to your queue, it’s a good idea to flag up the ones you don’t want to listen to any more by marking them as PLAYED/’already listened to’. You can also subscribe to the RSS feed for that particular podcast and, I would assume, that new ones are automatically sync’s to your watch as they are created and published by the author in question.

I decided to download today’s post from your second favourite sports tech gadgeteer and the sync over my good WiFi connection took less than a minute.

My Jabra elite 65t active earbuds were whipped out of their charging case and everything was playing a few seconds later.

Time for a run with my Garmin Podcasts via Runcasts.

More info: runcasts

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4 thoughts on “Podcasts on Garmin CIQ – with RUNCASTS

  1. This whole side-loading horror show is exactly why I’m waiting for Apple Watch Series 5 (or whatever they call it this year). Everything will work. I’ll hopefully (if NZ gets eSim sorted in time, which they should on my provider) have streaming Apple Music, painless Apple Pay, the ability to run proper apps…all of it.

    The one thing I won’t likely have is IM or 100k ultra length battery life. I’ll keep my Spartan Ultra for some events, but my daily training is about to go Apple all the way. Even the Mighty + Spotify + Bose SoundSport Free combo is a pain in the backside when you just want to get out the door.

      • Sadly, I think I’m in the same boat. What I really want is a native Audible app. I like to listen to audio books on long runs, or really any run. I need distraction from the fact I’m running. I’ve tried Runcast, and it does work. I’ve even cracked the DRM on Audible’s files, built a podcast server out of a Raspberry Pi, and used Runcast to subscribe so I could sync audiobooks to my Fenix 5x Plus. The main goal here is to be able to jump back 30 seconds at a time, which Runcast supports and Garmin’s built-in music player does not. But honestly, this is way to much work just to listen to an audio book. As much as I like my Garmin, I’m very tempted by an Apple Watch because it just works. But I do hate that battery life and the screen. I want the screen from my Garmin on the Apple Watch with a multi day battery and I’d be a very happy man. ***sigh***

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