Tough Girl Podcast

The Tough Girl Podcast is all about inspiring and motivating YOU! I will be interviewing inspirational women from around the world, who’ve faced and overcome difficult challenges and situations, they will share their story, their knowledge and provide advice and essential tips for you to overcome your own personal challenges. Please check out the Tough Girl Challenges website - and follow on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts







All Episodes
Now displaying: August, 2018
Aug 28, 2018

“Inspired by Tough Girl Challenges. I finally made the decision to go on my big adventure - facing a fear of solo cycling to ride 1009 miles via the three peaks - ad I'm so glad I did” 

During this podcast we learn more about Janine’s journey into fitness from running the London marathon to training for her first ironman, we learn why she started her blog and where she hopes to take it in the future. 

Janine shares more about her own personal fears, the anxiety she has dealt with and why she has struggled to write about her most recent challenge. 

Show notes

  • Living in Bristol
  • Spending 15 years working in marketing, but now working as a freelance writer
  • Not growing up sporty and discovering running in her twenties
  • Her running journey and signing up for the London Marathon in 2008
  • Running it in 2009 due to an injury
  • Joining a running club and how it took her to the next level
  • Making the transition over to triathlon
  • Dealing with injury over a year and a half and the impact on her life
  • Getting her first bike
  • Starting her blog
  • Being inspired by Chrisse Wellington and why the message to ‘Pay it forward’ stuck with her
  • Signing up for her first Ironman and why she was terrified and excited in equal measure
  • Dealing with her own personal fears and anxiety
  • The Ironman Bible 
  • Hitting walls in training and hiring an ironman coach for the final 6 months
  • Starting a new job and breaking up with her boyfriend
  • Chaining her nutrition and feeling supported in her journey
  • Dealing with her anxiety
  • IronMan Bolton in 2015 — the rain, the hills, the highpoint, the low points & transitions!
  • Recovery and feeling like a new women after the race
  • The ironman swagger
  • Doing her first ultra, qualifying for Team GB (age group)
  • Taking on bigger and bigger challenges and deciding to tackle her next fear  - heights via the 3 Peaks Challenge
  • Dealing with her fears of isolation and wanting to be alone, but being scared 
  • How meeting Anna McNuff changed the direction of her life
  • Why her big idea got shelved
  • Following her heart and doing what made her happy
  • Wanting to cycle from Lands End to John O’Groats (LEJOG)
  • Telling 3 people your plans
  • Deciding to quit her job and go back to being a freelancer
  • Dealing with the negative feedback and how she coped with it 
  • The Adventure Queens 
  • Feeling the isolation kicking in
  • What’s she’s learnt from doing this solo challenge
  • Celebrating the finish!
  • The blog and how’s it evolved over time
  • The women who have inspired her on the blog
  • The LEJOG Blog….. maybe a book!
  • Final words of advice 
  • Dealing with the adventure blues


Social Media


Triathlove started life in 2014 as a training blog for my first ironman, but quickly became a place for Janine to share the stories of inspiring women she met along the way, who swim, cycle and run.

Instagram @missjanineelizabeth 

Twitter @janinedoggett  

Aug 21, 2018

For the past 4 years, Terra has been walking solo and unsupported around Australia. On the 2nd May 2018 Terra became the first woman to walk the 17,000kms + to complete this challenge.

Throughout the last 20 to 30 years having the freedom to roam has helped Terra in many ways including physical and mental health, self-awareness and peace. 

During this podcast, Terra shares more about the challenges she has faced, why she has kept motivated and what she has learned from pushing her body to the limits. 

Terra talks very frankly about her life and the journey she has been on, she also provides top tips and advice on why and how you should start your next challenge.

Terra is currently staying put for a short time, while she writes a book and prepares for her next challenge!

In November this year, Terra will be starting her next challenge which is to cycle tour around Australia! She expects this will take her about 2 years to achieve! 


** Please note we do talk about mental health issues from depression, PTSD, and attempted suicide**

Show notes

  • Being based in Adelaide and writing a book
  • Who is Terra? 
  • Starting wandering from a young age and allowing nature to teach her and guide her
  • Moving to the Snowy Mountains in 1988
  • Having confidence in herself
  • Heading over New Zealand at 19 on a theatre trip and becoming addicted to travel
  • Getting the idea to walk around the Australia. Being inspired as a 12 years old by Robyn Davidson’s book - Tracks
  • Dealing with mental health issues, from depression to PTSD and hospitalised after attempting to take her own life in 2010
  • The Happy Walk - walking the first 1600 km for suicide prevention
  • Not being able to cope any longer and reaching out for help
  • Using nature as therapy and being scared of medication
  • Writing down the highlights in her life and noticing they were all adventure.
  • Giving herself 2 years to get ready to walk Australia and figuring out how to do it alone
  • Not letting the fear in
  • Money and how she paid for the challenge, and why she turned to crowd funding towards the end
  • Planning to walk for 7 years originally and having to change her plan
  • Deciding to start with Tasmania (10 week, 1250 km)
  • Stopping to have tumours removed and then waiting for the next season to start walking again
  • Mental health during her trip and loving the solitude that it provided
  • Dealing with flashbacks and relapses during the trip
  • The physically scary moments and getting to meet incredible people along the way
  • How her body coped on the roads while following a vegan diet
  • Bulking up between each section
  • The next expedition! Roam for Eva - starting in September 17th and finish in November 2020
  • Writing a book at the moment - a collection of short adventure stories
  • Using Patreon to fund her next adventure 
  • Being stubborn when she wants to do something
  • Being diagnosed with Aspergers later on in life
  • What she’s learnt most from this experience and why it’s about going with the flow
  • Advice for other women who want to take on a big challenge
  • Dealing with the question - ‘Are you scared?


Social media


Website -

Instagram - @terraroams  

Support Terra with her next challenge & sign up to be a patron



Aug 14, 2018

Katy Willings is the Mongol Derby Chief, and erstwhile Chief of Adventures at The Adventurists.  Based in Bristol, UK, she was a junior international dressage rider in her teens.  She rode in the inaugural Mongol Derby, the world's longest horse race, in 2009, sparking a later endurance riding career which saw her compete up to 120kms internationally, and became a full-time Adventurist in 2010, working on the Derby, and later the Ice Run, Icarus Trophy and Monkey Run. 

In the course of producing high profile events for the Adventurists she has ridden vintage Russian motorcycles in -30 (and got the damn things started in -40 when no-one else could), wrangled with customs in far-flung places to get equipment and people in country, managed local and international teams to deliver logistically complex and culturally significant goods and services.  And learned to fly a paramotor.  Kind of.  She finally did her motorcycle test in May 2018 (5 years late then) and will be taking to the open road, legally, this summer.  

She has ambitions to cycle the iron curtain, to fly her paramotor over Victoria Falls, to ride from New York to Buenos Aires as Aime Schiffely once did.  In the meantime she'll be wielding a clipboard and a satellite phone in her spiritual home of Mongolia this summer, and manning the airwaves during the Mongol Derby (it's live now!) in the operations room.  

She declares herself to be utterly devoid of talent, and proof that talent is no barrier to doing whatever the hell you want.  One day she will ride at Grand Prix and further prove this.  She has worked with horses in Europe, Mongolia and Malawi, and men and machines in Morocco, Siberia, Sierra Leone.  She has had as much adventure putting on the adventures, as the participants have had taking part.  Oftentimes, a great deal more. 

Show notes

  • Moving to Bristol in 2010
  • Struggling to call herself an adventurer
  • Spending most of her life on a horse
  • Happening on adventure by accident after losing her best friend in 2008
  • Fighting to make the world less boring
  • Being 25 and living in London and living for the weekend
  • The Rickshaw Run how it came about and why she decided to do it
  • What is it and how you plan for it!
  • Starting with a New Years Eve Party then 2 weeks to get to the finish line!
  • Being 40Km from the finish line and rolling the rickshaw…. 
  • Driving to the finish line and finishing the race
  • Being lucky to walk away from the crash
  • First hearing about the Mongol Darby!
  • A healing, a closure, and a change in attitude about herself
  • Being a glorious amateur!
  • What adventure means to Katy
  • Applying for the Mongol Darby and being placed on the reserve list
  • Not being able to let it go and also not being able to commit to the challenge 
  • Having 10 weeks to prepare and having to change her expectations for the race
  • Running, cycling and riding horses to build up endurance and to be as fit as possible
  • Loving history and reading up on the historically and cultural aspects of the race
  • Was the race even possible? Could it be done?
  • Dealing with the unknowns
  • Becoming friends with her fellow competitors
  • The structure of the race, and what it was like on a daily basis ‘glorious isolation’
  • Riding 1000km over 9 days…
  • How completing the race changed the direction of her life 
  • What she’s leant from working at the Adventurists
  • The difficulties of making money from adventure
  • Getting the flying bug and what the next challenge is going to be
  • Her plan to cycle the Iron Curtain
  • Advice to fill your life with adventure and why it’s ok to do things for pleasure
  • Her side hustle in Mongolia - Morindoo


Social Media

Insta (Katy) - @willingskaya

Insta (Morindoo) - @morindooadventures


Website - Morindoo -

Website - The Mongol Derby -


Twitter - Katy - @KatyAdvntrists

Twitter - Mongol Derby - @mongolderbylive



Feeling inspired week after week? 

You can do 3 easy things to help me continue to grow the podcast!

  1. Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, so you won’t miss a single episode
  2. If you’re loving the podcast, please leave a 5-star review on iTunes! I read every single comment!
  3. Share the podcast with your friends, especially if you think it could help them, and spread the #ToughGirlPodcast love. 

Your support helps me continue to grow the podcast and do inspiring things in this space! Already done all 3? You’re a rockstar! Thank you!

Want to do more?

Please become a Patron and donate a small fixed amount every month to help fund the runnings costs. 



Aug 7, 2018

Nicola "Nicky" Spinks is a 51 year old, British long distance runner, specialising in fell running,

Nicky has over 16 years' experience of fell and ultra running, successfully completing ten 24 hour Rounds holding the record for the Ladies Lakeland 24 hour round with 64 Peaks in 23.15 hours. She also held the Ladies records for all three UK rounds; BG 18.06, Paddy 19.02 and Ramsay 19.39. 

In 2016 she broke the record for the Double Bob Graham finishing in 45.30 hours. 

In racing she prefers long mountainous fell races such as 10 Peaks Extreme winning outright and current course record holder, the Ultra Tour Mont Blanc (11th & 16th) , E’Chappee Belle (2nd),  Grand Raid Pyrenees (1st twice) and Grand Raid Re-Union (4th).  

Nicky has set women's records for the major fell running challenges including, The Ramsay Round, the Paddy Buckley Round and the Bob Graham Round! She is also the holder of the overall record for the double Bob Graham Round.

Show notes

  • Who is Nicky Spinks?
  • A farmer & a fell runner
  • Growing up on a farm with 6 kids and running everywhere
  • Going from the farm to working in an office in the city for 7 years
  • Meeting her husband!
  • Deciding to take her running more seriously 
  • 2001 - running with a friend and doing her first 10K
  • Joining a running club and finding a passion for fell running & doing her first 20 mile run
  • Being a competitive person and using races for training.
  • What the Bob Graham round is?
  • Heading back up to Scotland for training
  • Her 10 year journey in running and why she doesn’t rush things
  • Enjoying 100 mile races and being happy with her performance
  • The biggest challenge she’s had to face - cancer
  • 2006 being diagnosed with breast cancer
  • Dealing with the emotions and how she handle it and why she applied her training to cancer
  • Celebrating more in her life
  • Getting back into running after surgery
  • Giving her brain a break from the cancer by running
  • Diet and food
  • Preparing mentally for the Double Ramsey
  • Getting through the low points and how she gets out of them
  • Dealing with the heat and leg cramps (after 4 hours!)
  • Strategy for the race 
  • Being her own coach and creating her own training plan
  • Never wanting to quit
  • Knowing she was going to complete the double!
  • Sleep deprivation…
  • How she recovers
  • Would she go back & try to do it faster?!
  • The next race….
  • Advice and tips for women who want to take their running to the next level
  • Blogging since 2006
  • Working as a running coach and how it works
  • Final words of advice

Social Media

Website - 

Twitter - @NickySpinks