Podcast: Episode 13 with Simon Freeman



“I think a degree of paranoia is a good thing—again, whether it’s running or business, it keeps you on your toes. Julie and I literally couldn’t work out why this magazine that we were imagining didn’t exist. Because we didn’t think that we could possibly have come up with something that no one else had thought of, so we just assumed that the reason it didn’t exist is that people had sort of tried it and figured out that it would never work, and we were going to find out ourselves that it wasn’t going to work. The reality is that there’s been quite a few moments when we thought ‘this is utter madness’…but the last 4 to 5 issues we’ve hit a sort of form and it feels like it’s gaining momentum so the hard work is starting to pay off.”

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Thrilled to welcome Simon Freeman to the podcast this week. He is the co-founder and editor of Like the Wind, a quarterly UK-based running magazine that ships to 32 countries worldwide. LTW, which just published its 15th issue, explores why we run—not how we run—through modern design, stunning photography and illustrations, and diverse storytelling that celebrates the spirit of running: road, trail, track, or wherever interesting things are happening in the sport.

Freeman, who launched Like the Wind in 2014 along with his wife Julie, also runs the Freestak, a digital marketing and communications agency that helps brands in running, cycling, triathlon and outdoors connect with their target audiences.

In this episode we dive into the origins of the magazine and why he and Julie decided to launch a print publication in the digital age. We also discuss how it gets decided which stories and artwork end up in the magazine, how LTW continues to sustain itself for the foreseeable future, and the current state of the running media landscape in general. Finally, we talk about how the marketing skills he uses at Freestak have influenced the magazine’s growth, what’s exciting him in running right now, and much, much more.

Related links, references, and resources:

— Follow Simon on TwitterInstagram, and Strava.

— Check out Like the Wind magazine’s website. Follow LTW on Twitter and Instagram.

— Simon announcing the launch of Like the Wind on his own blog in 2014. “For quite a few years now, I have wondered why there isn’t a running magazine celebrating the wonder of our sport,” he wrote at the time. “Something that features stories and images that inspire, move and motivate. The antithesis of the ‘burn fat’ or ‘train less, get faster’ articles that seem to make up so much of the specialist running titles nowadays.”

Here’s a look inside Issue 15 of LTW, which came out in March. It takes a dive into the sport’s impact on mental health, features an excerpt from mountain queen Emelie Forsberg’s upcoming book, Sky Runner, explores the philosophical side of running, and much more.

Provoke The Stoke: “Glance across the shelves of your local newsagents and you’ll see a pile of running magazines. The vast majority of them attempt to breakdown this incredible activity of ours into a complicated marriage of science and cutting-edge equipment,” the blog RunTramp wrote in 2014. “Like the Wind, however, feels like it’s come from a different universe. What the Freeman’s and the Like the Wind family of contributors are attempting to highlight is the simple beauty of the act of running and that’s commendable.”

This episode of the morning shakeout podcast was edited by John Isaac at BaresRecords.com.

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