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  • Writer's pictureMiriam Diaz-Gilbert

Thinking About Starting A Podcast?: Meet These Podcasters, Learn How They Got Started, and What Keeps Them Podcasting




According to PodcastPage, there are over three million podcasts in the US. More than 80 million listeners tune in. I’m one of them. I enjoy a smorgasbord of podcasts about the news, art, public radio, writing, books, religion, healthcare, medicine, ultrarunning, and more.


I’ve always been intrigued by podcasters and what goes into creating and hosting a podcast. They work hard to inspire listeners, to support and promote their guests, and to grow their audience participation and engagement. 


I recently conducted an interview survey via Google Forms of seven podcasters from the US, Canada, and the UK. They shared their thoughts and experiences about how they came up with the name of their podcast, their motivation for creating a podcast, the best thing about being a podcaster, the challenges podcasting brings, what they have learned about themselves, advice they have for anyone thinking about starting a podcast, and more.


All of their podcasts fall under the sports genre of podcasting, including but not limited to running, health and fitness, and endurance sports. I have been honored to be a guest on these fun, informative, educational, and inspiring podcasts, and tune in to learn and be inspired by other guests.


Like A Bigfoot


Chris Ward, a father and a middle school science teacher, is the host of Like A Bigfoot. Exploration and adventure was the inspiration for the name of this podcast. “The podcast is about adventure. When I first started trail running in southern Virginia, I would tell my wife, “I’m heading out to run through the woods, like a bigfoot.”  


Taking a break from his teaching position to be a stay-at-home dad to his three-year-old daughter and a newborn at the time, took Chris on a new path. “Teaching is such a creative outlet for me and I knew I was going to feel an empty space. So I decided to fill it with another creative outlet.”


Seven years later, Chris has uploaded over 370 interviews with endurance athletes, hikers, adventurers, ultrarunners, filmmakers, and authors. Chris adds, “Most of my audience is people who are interested in adventure—trail runners and hikers. The goal is to spread the passion for adventure to folks who might still be struggling to find comfort outside their comfort zones.”


To help folks take on new challenges, Like a Bigfoot guests are “all sorts of people experiencing adventure—professional explorers and athletes to very everyday folks who have had epiphanies about life through high experiences.”


Professional explorers and everyday folks have rowed across the oceans, run 200-mile races, traversed the Iditarod, and more have explored “the rewards of adventure.” They share things about themselves, such as “passion, resilience, the power of creativity, processing grief and loss, consistency, and confidence that you can handle anything that life throws your way.” 


Like life with its challenges, podcasting can be an adventure that comes with its challenges, too. For Chris, figuring out the logistics on the best time to record a guest interview is a challenge but a task he’s handle well as evident in the over 370 episodes to date.


As for his advice to anyone thinking about starting a podcast, Chris offers the following. “Do it! Make a commitment and be consistent. You won’t produce the greatest podcast episode your very first time.” He adds, “There is power in pushing “publish” and improving slightly with each episode.”


Now a father of three girls in elementary school, and with the support of his wife, Chris juggles podcasting and life well by waking up early. “I do most of the editing and intro and outro at 4am before anyone in the house is getting ready for the day.” 


Run Yogi Diaries


Santosh Shiva reserves his podcasting duties for the weekends to chat with endurance athletes and experts in wellbeing. Santosh started Run Yogi Diaries in 2020 during the pandemic and gave it its name. Santosh explains, “Run symbolizes endurance and yoga means union with universal consciousness." What motivated him to start a podcast was to “tell stories of transformation through endurance events.”


Santosh’s audience are people interested in wellness and fitness. Although he meets “amazing people” on his podcast, which you can also find on his YouTube Channel, he points out that podcasting comes with the challenges of “post-production and marketing.” 


Running For Your Life


A part-time manager of a real-estate brokerage, newcomer to podcasting Barry Karch was motivated to start his podcast when he “rediscovered the joy of running after a twenty-year hiatus and wanted to share the great pleasure of running later in life.”


His podcast is about "outrunning Father Time, about how running keeps you young in heart, mind, and body.”


The audience for Running for Your Life is masters runners. His guests are “motivating, inspiring people who either run or provide helpful information related to running and health.”


While post-production and marketing are not challenges, Barry finds “infrequent feedback” from his audience a challenge as a podcaster. “I would love more interaction.” But this small challenge does not deter Barry from enjoying podcasting because he meets interesting people that motivate him. 


If you’re thinking about starting a podcast, Barry offers sensible advice. “Just do it. Don’t think about it and procrastinate. Your show will evolve over time as you find your voice and figure out what your show is about. Be prepared for slow growth and go in with no expectations.” 


Barry adds that podcasting “let’s you be creative.”


Martha Runs the World 


Martha Hughes started Martha Runs the World, also the name of her website, in 2019. “I love running and talking about running.” Her audience is “runners of all shapes, sizes, and experience, with an edge towards slower or beginning runners.” 


A call center rep for an urgent care clinic, Martha adds, “The hours of my job are a little odd, but it gives me time to run and do my podcast. It all works somehow.” 


The best thing about being a podcaster for Martha— "I get to say what I want and in the process meet some really cool people.” The most challenging thing about podcasting? “The technology is sometimes tricky. Sometimes gear breaks.” 


But podcasting has taught Martha that she’s “a fast learner in technology” and that "there is always something about running to learn.”


Martha cautions that podcasting is “harder than you think” and “it will cost you more money than you think." Martha advises to “do lots of research.” Nonetheless, “podcasting is wonderful. Listen to advice, but don’t take it all. Be yourself. Prepare ahead of time."


Photo: Dan LeFebvre on Unsplash


The Runners Resource Podcast


Michael Nielsen, host of The Runners Resource Podcast, recently celebrated his 100th episode. His love for running inspired him to start a podcast. “Podcasting is a great media…I knew I could use this form of media to talk about the one thing that I love the most—running."


The Runners Resource aims to help him answer questions runners might have about nutrition, training, mindset, and more. Michael’s audience is “the everyday runner. The runner who is staring. The runner who trains everyday, has a job, has a family, has a life outside but is still passionate about the sport.” Michael adds, “I’ve had the privilege of interviewing a wide variety of runners from former sports professionals turned runners, elite runners, and

everyday runners.”


Time management and recording a few episodes ahead of time help Michael “to keep up with reaching out to other runners or guests.” Michael, who is a married, a father, an employee for the Ministry of Transportation in Ontario, and a runner, adds, “I usually spend most Sunday nights editing to make sure I have an episode come out Monday morning.” 


Podcasting is challenging. According to Michael, most podcasters last five or less episodes. “It takes a lot of commitment to stay active.” Michael’s advice to anyone thinking about starting a podcast is to “find a niche you can talk about forever, don’t focus too much on technology" but “build a good habit of staying consistent with recording episode after episode,” and find a “routine that works for you.” 


The Rise Resolute Podcast


The name of Gina Meyer’s podcast —The Rise Resolute Podcast—was inspired by her profession as a physical therapist and her desire “to help listeners resolute and rise.” Through her podcast, Gina "wants to build connection and increase our ability to see the gift in the struggles we face in life.”


Gina’s audience and guests are women between the ages of thirty and sixty. Her guests are “mostly female athletes and runners but also strong, diverse women.” Her podcast is her “passion project.”


If you’re thinking about hosting your own podcast, Gina's advice centers on what you need to know about recording, editing, and hosting your podcast episodes, and scheduling technology. Gina points to Audacity, the free software used for recording, editing, and producing podcasts, and to Buzzsprout, the cloud-based podcast hosting service, which offers free and paid plans to help produce and publish podcasts across the various streaming platforms. To schedule your guests, make use of Calendly, a free online appointment scheduling software.


While scheduling a time that works best for her and her guests can be challenging, the best thing about Gina’s life as a podcaster is “connecting with so many women.” She adds, “I love hearing people’s stories and connecting in a meaningful way.” And at times, she cries with her guests.


Tough Girl Podcast


Another podcast devoted to female athletes is Tough Girl Podcast. Host Sarah Williams’s motivation for starting her podcast was “to increase the amount of female role models in media, especially in relation to adventure and physical challenges.” Sarah adds, “I wanted to hear more women’s stories, especially in relation to the subjects that I was passionate about and interested in, such as travel, adventure, and pushing one’s limits.”


Sarah’s podcast reaches women worldwide. Her guests are “adventurous women of all ages, shapes, and sizes from around the world.” The women engage in cold exploring, ultrarunning, cycling, and research. These women are committed to physical adventures and challenges.


Her worldwide audience is “incredible women… inspired by adventure and want to learn top tips and advice they can apply to their own lives.” 


Sarah is a full-time podcaster based in the UK. She also undertakes her own personal physical challenges “I do a lot of traveling.” In between she produces batches of interviews for the Tough Girl Podcast. “I preload content before traveling for a few months at a time. She also takes on speaking gigs and runs workshops on her travels. (At the time of this publication, Sarah was on day thirteen of day thirty-two of her hike on the Camino de Santiago in Spain).


In the nine years she’s been podcasting, Sarah has uploaded over 700 episodes. But one of the biggest challenges about podcasting for Sarah is being able to interview all of the guests she wants to interview. “I have a wait list of over two years.”


All her years of podcasting have taught her a few things. “I really think it’s made me a better listener. It’s probably taught me to be patient and to keep showing up, to keep doing the interviews, to keep putting out content. It will get discovered. It will get found.”


If you want to start a podcast, Sarah suggests you keep the following in mind, “Don’t overthink it. Don’t worry too much about the equipment. Commit to doing at least six episodes. And be very clear in the beginning whether it is a hobby or if you want to try to monetize in the future.” 


Thinking About Starting a Podcast in the Future?


If you haven't already, I encourage you you tune in to these podcasts and get inspired. These podcasters, from newcomers to seasoned podcasters, offer insight, good advice, and encouragement, interview inspiring guests, and show that age is not a factor. Creativity comes in all ages. Along with the theme of creativity, commitment, consistency, and getting out of your comfort zone are key in podcasting, not unlike other challenges we might take on in life.


Chris Ward captures podcasting and the life of a podcaster in this way—"This passion project has opened up so many opportunities that I never thought would be possible. There's magic in simply following a path with no expectations where it will lead you. Hey...that's adventure, ain't it!"


Michael Nielsen adds, "The best thing about life as a podcaster is being able to connect with your guests. I have made some amazing friendships with my guests."


Want to be one of the 5 million podcasts in the world? Let your podcasting adventure begin! I have to tell you, I'm definitely inspired to seriously consider starting a podcast. My son Sebastian, who tells me "you love to talk," has been encouraging me to start a podcast for years. And now that I'm retired, I just might.


And if I start a podcast, I have amazing podcasters to turn to for more advice, guidance, and inspiration. How about you? Are you now inspired and thinking about starting a podcast?


©2024


I am grateful to have been able to talk about my book on many of these podcasts. You can learn more about my book and order a copy here.



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