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
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Jan 10, 2017

Stephanie is a 34 year old Canadian human rights lawyer who discovered ultra running eight years ago.

After completing a year in Afghanistan with the UN in 2013, she took a job in South Sudan in 2014 assisting people who were displaced by violence, which required her to live in a tent in very basic conditions. That same year, she started a charity called Free to Run, which provides opportunities for women and girls to get involved in sports in conflict-affected communities. They have now been operating for two years in Afghanistan across three different provinces and have a refugee program in Hong Kong.  Recently, she finished two years in Gaza working for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and is now based in Geneva, where she’s enjoying being able to access the mountains again.

Over the last eight years, she’s competed in eight 250 km self-supported footraces. The Tor des Geants, a 338km mountain race in Italy, remains her passion. In 2015 she completed the shorted course and went back in 2016 to finish what she started!

During this podcast we learn more about Stephanie, her journey into fitness and how she came to love running ultra’s.

Show notes

  • About Stephanie
  • Growing up in Canada and not being sporty at all!
  • Going to university and trying out for the rowing team
  • Being let down by her first marathon and not having that life changing experience
  • Getting the confidence to try a new sport
  • Her first Marathon in Alaska!
  • Climbing Kilimanjaro and loving the feeling of being outside
  • Her first ultra race in Vietnam and coming 2nd!
  • Dealing with the challenges which come up during an ultra race and why she goes for the unstructured approach to training.
  • The Tor des Geants, a 338km mountain race in Italy - the race that really pushed her to her limits
  • 150 hr to finish the race - deciding to forgo sleep and only sleeping for 2.5hrs throughout the 4 days
  • Drinking straight olive oil in order to keep the body going
  • The terrible, soul crushing low points she had to deal with during the race
  • Training for the Tor des Geants while living in Palestine
  • Free to Run  - What it is and how it came about
  • Developing mix gender sports in Afghanistan
  • The power of the ripple effect and why you can make a difference
  • Plans for the future both for, Free to Run and her own personal challenges


Blog -

twitter - @runningcase  

free to run - 

twitter - @FreeToRunNGO  


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. 

You can listen to the Tough Girl Podcast on the go via iTunes, Soundcloud & Stitcher!

Jan 3, 2017

Ali went along to the Women’s Adventure Expo in October 2015 where she picked up a leaflet about the Tough Girl Podcast, and by May 2016, she was pedaling her old Alpinestars mountain bike on a 767-mile, 13-day adventure from South Wales to Chamonix. At the age of 41 she had found something exciting to give her a new focus, after forcibly retiring from sport due to old knee injuries. The ride to Chamonix took Ali to mental and physical places that she had never been before, and she climbed almost the height of Everest on her way. This journey was significantly longer than her first bike packing adventure, which took her on the Whitehaven to Sunderland Coast2Coast route back in 1995 on the same bike.

Ali is a Sport Psychology Coach and works with individuals and groups to teach them how to implement sport psychology strategies into their training, event and competition programmes. Since her bike ride to Chamonix, she has itchy feet and is making plans for a new bike packing adventure.

Show notes

  • When Ali & I first connected at the Women In Adventure Sports EXPO in Bristol
  • Finding out more about Ali and how she came to become a sports psychologist coach
  • Growing up sports and wanting to try anything and everything
  • Getting into hockey and starting to break into the National League squad
  • Trying to prove it to her body that she could do things, even after two knee injuries and who she tried overcoming the mental barriers she’d created
  • Dealing with further set backs & losing her identity as a sports woman and as an athlete
  • Deciding to get a bike and do the coast to coast challenge
  • Going from being part of a team to being an individual doing a challenge
  • How life can get in the way!
  • Taking part in the game show - ‘Total Wipeout’ in Argentina - Google Season 1 - Episode 2 to see Ali wipeout!!!
  • Rebellion and why its played apart of her life
  • How she made the decision to cycle from South Wales to Chamonix
  • Starting to secretly plan and having to tell her partner what she wanted to do
  • When the challenge all started to become real!
  • Training for the challenge at age 41 and starting from a low fitness level and doing what she could when she could
  • Getting to the start line and what normally stops people from getting to this point
  • Tips to help you to overcome your own negative thoughts and why you can find your own evidence of what you’ve done before
  • Break your challenge down into smaller and more manageable chunks
  • Day 1 of the adventure!
  • Dealing with the challenges along the way and being outside her comfort zone
  • When Ali started to think she wasn’t able to finish the challenge - what kept her going and why pausing helped her
  • The good moments - the unexpected times 
  • Advice and top tips for you to go after your own personal challenge


Learn more about Ali - by visiting her blog and her website 

Ali is on twitter @alimahoney74  @ithinksport 


Support the tough girl podcast and become a Patron!!! More information about the other tough girls I have interviewed is available on 

Jan 1, 2017

7 Women - 7 Challenges came about back in October 2016 after discussions and feedback from the Tough Girl Tribe. It was decided as well as having inspirational interviews with the women who were the elite and the best of the best. I also wanted to connect and share the stores of; everyday women, real women, ordinary women, who are out their living full lives and saying yes to challenges and adventures. This would be a way to learn more about members of the Tribe and how they go about achieving their goals. 

I asked the tribe to put themselves forward with their challenges and goals for 2017 and we then took a public vote to shortlist potential women who we would be interviewing for the podcast. 

There were so many amazing entires it was a really difficult process to narrow it down and only select only 7! I’ve tried to be as fair as possible and have gone for a mixture of challenges and ages.

On a side note, expect more interviews with member of the tribe on the Tough Girl Podcast EXTRA which comes out on an adhoc basis every Thursday at 7am UK time. 

Lets meet the 7 women!


Georgie Akin Smith is doing 12 CHALLENGES IN 12 MONTHS! 

Georgie is 26 years old, living and working as a marketing manager in London. She loves being fit, active and getting outside as much as she can. Georgie has set herself 12 challenges which scare and excite her in equal measure and are all new things she hasn't tried before. She is booked in to to the Windsor Duathlon, the Engadin Cross Country Ski Marathon in Switzerland, as well as the London Marathon and the Mallorca 312! This is just an example of some of the challenges she will be completing in 2017!

Rae Red is a new runner going after her first Ultra!

In the late summer of 2016 after a fairly sustained period of life being crappy Rae was looking for something to help her with her own mental health. She started to consider running, but there were a whole host of reason to not start; she lives in a bad area, it’s not safe, she commutes for 4 hours a day so doesn't have time, she's not a runner, she has tight leg muscles, it’s too cold, it’s raining, it’s too hot....  

Rae saw an article on ultra running and that was it, she signed up for the Dig Deep Ultra (30 miles). We will be following Rae on this journey to complete her first ultra! 



Gemma Smith is off to climb Kilimanjaro and also plans to climb both the Matterhorn and the Eiger!

Almost two years ago she had a moment where she decided it's not worth being that person that says, 'that sounds fun but I could never do that'. Because of this change in attitude she started to believe she could do it.

This resulted in a life changing trip to Everest Base Camp in 2015 which was booked on a complete whim! Even since then, subsequent trips have been booked which have included summiting Mont Blanc in June 2016 and Mt Toukbal in the High Atlas Mountains in late 2016.



Rachel Wise is taking a gap year with her husband and 3 daughters and heading off to travel the world! 

The plan is to leave in August 2017 flying from Geneva to LA. Where they  will do a road trip across the States from the West coast to the East coast. From there they will head down to the Caribbean and be based in St Lucia. In November they will fly to Sri Lanka for a couple of months. Then it's onto South East Asia where they plan to spend a chunk of time in Indonesia. They are also planning to head to New Zealand for a few weeks to see the family before going onto Fiji for two months. After that its time to head back to Switzerland via LA in the Summer of 2018. 


Laura Try - Rowing 1,800 miles around the coast of Great Britain, followed by rowing crossing the Atlantic in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge!

Laura is 34 years old and lives in Brentwood, Essex. She works as a Personal Trainer and Event Organiser. In June and July 2017 Laura will taking part in the Rannoch GB Challenge, which invovles rowing 1,800 miles around the coast of Great Britain with a team of 5.  The challenge will take place over 8 weeks and they will be raising money for the RNLI. On competing that, she plans to take part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in December. She will be raising money for Centrepoint, the UK's largest charity for homeless 16-25 year olds.


Jen Dykxhorn will be biking the iconic LEJOG - Lands End to John O'Groats, across the UK!

Jen is a coffee-drinking, bicycle-loving, nature-loving, ukulele playing, adventure-seeking wanderer!  She is a 30-year-old Canadian living (mostly) in London, UK while working on her PhD in psychiatric epidemiology. 

In the summer of 2017, Jen will be biking the iconic LEJOG - with her sister. They will be leaving (approx) August 21st and be arriving in the north of Scotland around the 5th of September. Along the way, they will be wild camping (in home-sewn bivy sacks!). To finish off the adventure, they will be completing the Coast to Coast adventure race, and have signed up to do the "expert" course (all 105 miles of biking, trail running, and kayaking in one day).


Jo Jo Rogers at 52 will be training and racing in an effort to be selected for the US 50km National Team!

Jo Jo is a passionate runner and she loves to train. She is out running every day, sometimes twice a day! For Jo Jo this is an opportunity to share her story but more so to encourage other women to get out there and go after their dreams, no matter their age.



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. 


Dec 29, 2016

I try not to look back, I want to live in the present. I don’t want my past to dictate my future and I don’t want to have regrets. However, every once in a while it’s important to look back, if only to see how far we’ve come and to appreciate the journey we’ve been on. This year has been a journey, a massive learning curve. I’ve made mistakes, failed and also faced & overcome challenges.

During this podcast I'll share more of my thoughts and answer a few questions about 2016 as well as sharing more of my plans for 2017!

I talked about Blinkist - Blinkist is a way to consume good quality information fast.

Blinkist has done all the hard work for you. They’ve read the books and have made a summary for you with the key pieces of information. There's so much content out there. How can you read it all? You can’t!! But with Blinkist you'll be making the best use of your time. 

Books I'd recommend to read on Blinkist

  • The Slight Edge -  Jeff Olson
  • Awaken the Giant Within – Tony Robbins
  • The 4 Hour Work Week – Tim Ferris
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey
  • Girlboss – Sophia Amoruso
  • Lean In – Sheryl Sandberg
  • Year of Yes – Shonda Rhimes


You can listen to the Tough Girl Podcast on the go via iTunes, Soundcloud & Stitcher!


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. 


Dec 27, 2016

Elise started running in January 2013, on the back of a New Year’s resolution to run a half marathon, but she soon started to wonder how far she could run!  On November 1st 2015 she set off to run around the British coast. In August 2016, after 301 days, Elise returned to Greenwich having ran 5000 miles. 

She ran self-supported, carrying all of her kit on her back, including camping equipment, and is the youngest person and only female to have completed this challenge.

This adventure wasn’t about mile splits or Garmin stats. It wasn’t about being the fastest or the most athletic. It was about using running as a mode of transport by which to really explore both Elise’s home country and her own capabilities. The end result was a a great big British adventure, featuring a lot of cake and a terrible fear of cows.

Show notes

  • Getting to know Elise - what it was like growing up, not being sporty and being known as the girl who would always skip PE lessons. 
  • Starting running in January 2013 on the back of a New Years resolution!
  • Her running journey from her first half marathon to running the coast of Britain and how she found her love for running, eventually! 
  • Trekking to Everest Base Camp and realising how much she enjoyed spending time outside
  • How the challenge of running around the coast came about and how it suddenly became very real!
  • Planning or not planning… 
  • What her parents thought when she told them her plans! 
  • November 1st - the start day!!
  • The challenges she faced on the way including her fear of animals and how it got worse and worse as her challenge went on
  • The people she met along the way and why they helped to made the trip
  • Her favourite part of the coast line, when she wanted to quit and why she didn’t 
  • The two week rule!
  • Getting to the finish line!
  • Top tips and advice for you to go on your own adventure 


Social Media Links

Visit her website here! Like her Facebook page & say hi to Elise on twitter @elisecdowning 

Elise was raising money for Young Minds and Beyond Food to donate to these charities click here: -

Learn more about the Tough Girl Podcast by visiting 

You can become a personal patron of the Tough Girl Podcast by clicking here!

Dec 20, 2016

Polly learned to fly when she was 50 years old and after qualifying, she went on to complete numerous flying challenges in order to raise funds for the charity - Flying Scholarships for the Disabled.

In 2001 Polly completed a lateral solo circumnavigation of the world. At 59 years old on May 6, 2003, Polly took off from Birmingham airport seeking to become the first pilot to complete a solo flight around the world via both Poles in a single-engine aircraft!

During this podcast we learn more about Polly, where her love of flying came from and why she doesn’t let fear stop her from going after her dreams. She shares personal stories and how she trained for over two years to prepare for this incredible journey. Now aged 72, Polly is still challenging herself and wants to encourage you to challenge yourself and to go after those dreams. It’s time to stop with the excuses and start believing in yourself. 

Thank you to the Patrons and Supporters of the Tough Girl Podcast who have allowed me to produce this content. Your continued support is much appreciated.

To become a sponsor - Learn more here

Show notes

  • Being brought up in Devonshire and spending time on the beach and in the hills
  • Her adventures started when she was 45 years old and did a sponsored sky dive for charity!
  • Heading off to Australia and having her first flying lesson aged 50
  • Remembering her first gliding experience and why it always stayed with her
  • Doing 240 sky dives and why she loves a challenge
  • Her faith and how it helps her 
  • Why you have to make the effort and not sit back and wait for things to happen
  • Her progression into flying
  • Her first flying lesson and her first solo flight!
  • Her newest challenge - Donkey training!
  • Keeping calm and why it saved her life
  • How one comment changed her life!
  • Deciding to fly over the North Atlantic to America!
  • Flying Scholarships for Disabled People
  • Her first around the world challenge
  • When she learned from her first trip and why preparation was so important
  • Survival training!
  • Her engine stopping…..while flying over the poles
  • Why fear is an important part of life
  • Dealing with an intruder
  • Finishing her challenges and feeling let down at the end
  • Why you have to keep looking forward and not looking back
  • Her proudest moment
  • Why you shouldn’t give up on your dreams!


Book -  Wings Around The World: The Exhilarating Story of One Woman's Epic Flight from the North Pole to Antarctica 


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. 

Next week we have Elise Downing coming on the Tough Girl Podcast to share her story of running 5,000 miles around the coast of Britain!

Dec 13, 2016

Amelia Boone is 33 years old, working as an attorney in California while also competing as pretty much a full time OCR athlete (Obstacle Course Racer). Since the sport's inception, she’s arguably the world's most decorated obstacle racer amassing more than 30 victories and 50 podiums! 

Career highlights include:

  • 3x winner of the World's Toughest Mudder (2012, 2014, 2015)
  • Spartan Race World Champion 2013
  • Spartan Race Points Series Champion (2013 & 2015)
  • 3x Death Race Finisher (Winter 2012, Summer 2012, Summer 2013)

“I’m not the strongest. I’m not the fastest. But I’m really good at suffering.” – Amelia Boone

Show notes

  • Moving from Chicago to California and the benefits which came from it
  • Getting Amelia to introduce herself 
  • Being a full time attorney and also a full time obstacle course racer
  • Being sporty at school, but not being a typical runner
  • Getting to spend time outside, playing team sports such as softball, and soccer
  • Being good at everything but not the best at anything
  • Why she thinks she's successful at endurance events
  • Using the gym while at college and at law school to help deal with stress
  • Learning about Tough Mudder and deciding to give it a go
  • Her first Tough Mudder - going back and reliving the memories!
  • Why she loved it and why she decided to do another one
  • Trying to do her pull up and why the “funky money obstacle” was her big challenge
  • Why you have to go after your first pull up!!
  • Her most impulsive decision in her life and why she signing up for a 24hr Tough Mudder  - The Worlds First!
  • Looking for meaning and try to find a new challenge
  • Using cross fit to develop strength
  • Being one of the 13th finishers to finish the race out of 900 people
  • Having to break through the ice & being the coldest she’d ever been and why this low point was also a high point and life changing for her!
  • Why it’s a race but it’s still about the community
  • Learning mental resilience and why it can be easy to get over whelmed by the size and length of the race
  • Mental tips and tricks to get through the tough times
  • Her favourite song which got her around the 2012 Tough Mudder Race!
  • How the number of women entering races has changed over the years and why women should enter the longer races
  • What’s she learned from running races and how she’s been able to apply it to her life
  • Trying to get balance in her life!
  • Waking up at 4 - 4.30 am!!!
  • Coping with injury over the past year
  • Why you have to find a new normal
  • Losing her identity and going through a period of trying to work out who she was
  • What she would like to see happen in 2017
  • Dealing with the pressure she places on herself
  • Words of advice & top tips

Learn more about Amelia by visiting her website!

Say hi to Amelia once you've listened to this episode on twitter! @ameliaboone I'm @_TOUGH_GIRL


Support the Tough Girl Podcast and become a PATRON!!! Your financial support makes a big contribution to the running costs of the podcast - Please check out Patreon to see what goals I'm working towards and what rewards you can get for being a Patron!


Dec 8, 2016

I was looking for a new challenge and boxing was one of those challenges, I’d wanted to do for ages, but I’d never got around to it!

After the Olympics in 2012 there’s been a huge surge in women taking up boxing for fitness. I’d done boxing before but I’d never stepping into the ring!

After 8 weeks of training I got my opportunity and in front of 600 people at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool I had my first fight!!

During this podcast I share more about me, my story and how I got to where I am now. I also answer all of your questions about boxing; from training, to mental strategies, what it was like punching someone and getting punched and what music I choose to enter the ring to!

I hope you enjoy this episode and the different format!



I was raising money for Cancer Research to donate - CLICK HERE!

To watch a small clip of the flight - CLICK HERE!



Ultra White Collar Boxing (UWCB)

Aspire Combat Sports Academy

Underground Training Station


Social Media!

Follow me on Twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL & Instagram @toughgirlchallenges


Sponsor the Tough Girl Podcast! CLICK HERE!!

Dec 6, 2016

Alison North is a married mother to two girls, (We interviewed her older daughter Lorna from “Queen of the Mile” last week on the podcast!), she’s also a business women, and can now call herself an ultra runner!

During this episode we learn more about Alison, what drives her and why she decided to put her trainers on at 64 and start running. 

We learn more about her mental resilience and why she wants to encourage more women and men to take up fitness when they hit their sixties.

Its never to late to start but its always too late to wait! #66notout

Show notes

  • Growing up in Aberdeen
  • Having children late for her generation
  • Being an older mother and how it kept her fit
  • Having the support of her husband and how it helped her work life balance
  • Growing up as a healthy family 
  • Getting the mothers perspective on daughters going off on adventures
  • Why she decided to take up running again at 64
  • Deciding to do the a 100K Race - The Race to the Stones!
  • How her walking progressed to running and how she amazed herself!
  • Dealing with the negative comments about her age when she decided to do this challenge
  • Being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998
  • What drives her to want to prove people wrong
  • Why you need to “pull yourself into yourself”
  • The two types of women in their sixties who run
  • Why you need to squat and why you need to have strong legs
  • What the race to the stones is - and why its a good starter race
  • What cut off times are
  • Race tactics and her strategy
  • The importance of good socks and shoes
  • Feeling stronger and better at 80km than she did at 50km
  • What she’s learned while ultra running and why its the distance for her
  • Starting to plateau and why she needed to change her training 
  • How running has impacted on her life - for positive and negative reasons
  • Learning to burn fat more efficiently, but still having carbs
  • On line communities
  • Advice for women who do want to take up running!
  • Raising money for Charing Cross Hospital and why its so important

Say hi to Alison on Twitter @alison8north    


Charity - Friends of Charing Cross Hospital

To become a Patron on the Tough Girl Podcast - CLICK HERE!!


Dec 1, 2016

Whether it is working out to lose weight, training towards a marathon or playing team sport, keeping your body fuelled is a vital part of producing the best results.

And when it comes to understanding the science behind eating healthily and nutritionally to support an active lifestyle, not many people have more expertise than University of Bath-based sports nutritionist Renee McGregor.

Renee is a qualified Dietitian and she says, "I'm passionate about nutrition and enjoy making the science simple and practical to follow; no fads, no feelings of deprivation, just sensible dietary solutions.”

Show notes

  • Renee introduces herself and shares more about her experiences
  • Woking with the women & mens fencing & basketball wheelchair teams
  • Heading over to Rio to support the teams. What’s its like over there and dealing with the difficult conditions such as the heat and lack of good quality food
  • Getting balance with the athletes and how to help them with distractions
  • Why its not about #cleanfood and why its more important to use food as fuel
  • Stress, food and the importance of building mental resilience from a young age
  • Rituals with food and how it can lead to extreme behaviour
  • Eating disorders with a focus on athletes
  • Periods and how missing more than three periods in a row can impact on bone health
  • Why women should talk about periods more and why its important from a health point of view
  • How to get the balance between periods, health, and performance
  • Positively Primal: Finding Health and Happiness in a Hectic World By Emma Woolf
  • Why its important to listen to your body!
  • Should you be on the pill? Should you merge your pill?
  • Why common sense is still so important 
  • Why balance and moderation is important and why it can be difficult to do
  • Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable
  • How you can lose the ability to moderate consumption and what to do about it
  • Advice for women who think things have gone too far and why they may need to dial it back
  • Why you should seek help
  • Final worlds of advice and why you need to be kind to yourself!


Learn more about Renee by visiting her website and following her on twitter @mcgregor_renee 

Listen to Renee when she first came on the Tough Girl Podcast - HERE


If you want to win a copy of Renee book - then please like The Tough Girl Challenges Facebook Page and comment on why you should win the book! (I have 6 books to give away!) Deadline 4th December! Winners will be announced on Monday 5th December - through the FB page.


Follow me on Instagram @toughgirlchallenges

To be kept unto date on Tough Girl Challenges - Come and follow the Facebook page. Click here

Join the Tough Girl Tribe - A closed Face Book group specifically for you to connect with the other listeners of the Tough Girl Podcast!! 


Become a patron of the Tough Girl Podcast and donate through Patreon! From $2 to $5 per month!!

Nov 29, 2016

Lorna North is the founder of Queen of the Mile, a platform for those who share the joys of road cycling and running with a particular focus on making these sports less intimidating and more accessible to women. The idea came about when she bought her first road bike and couldn’t find any personal insight on how to get started. As a professional writer anyway, she decided to build a resource to fill this gap and share first-hand experiences of the cycling and running challenges she and the community were embarking on. Lorna’s approach is not about being the fastest but about pushing your own limits, having fun with it and seeing every mile as a victory.

Show notes

  • Getting to know Lorna, what it was like growing up in London and finding her first passion - Gymnastics
  • Why she decided to give it up
  • Why running came next and what she loved about it
  • Spending 4 years abroad, traveling around Africa and Asia and what she learned from it and why it empowered her
  • Returning to the corporate lifestyle and why she decided to train for her first Marathon
  • Hitting the wall at mile 20 and what was going through her head as she struggled around the marathon courses
  • Why she felt disappointed in herself.
  • The dreaded questions that everyone asks when you talk about marathon running…
  • Having to take a break after the marathon and why she decided to get into cycling!
  • Turning 30!
  • Getting on her bike and going through a baptism of fire!
  • Looking back at her previous challenges and which ones stand out for her - most notably cycling from London to Paris in 24hrs with Challenge Sophie!
  • Getting through the dark moments and what kept her going
  • Her first Ultra - 100k Race to the Stones - what happened and what she learned on the way
  • Dealing with DNF (Did Not Finish)
  • 2016 and what’s been happening!
  • Cycling 220 miles from Manchester to London - and how she coped physically and mentally
  • Coping with “bonking”, dealing with nutrition and how to mange her food needs while completing ultra distances
  • Plans for 2017

Learn more about Lorna by visiting her blog -

Lorna is on twitter @QueenOfTheMile I'm on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL

Next week we will be speaking to Lorna’s Mum - Alison “Ace” North as she shares more about taking up running in her sixties and how she went from running 5K to a 100K ultra race!

Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss out of future episodes!  Visit to be inspired by the other women who have been on the Tough Girl Podcast.

To become a patron of the tough girl podcast - click here!

Nov 22, 2016

Rachel is a 44 year old, Special Needs PE Teacher who loves sports and has represented Team GB at Triathlon. This is her story of how she knew something was wrong with her, but no one would listen. Eventually she stopped talking about it. She was then diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2014. During the podcast we talk about how she handled the news, and how she coped with her diagnoses. What kept her positive through the challenges she faced, from emergency operations, to only being able to sit up in bed for five minutes at a time. Rachel has fought her way back to health and fitness and inspired many along the way with her story. 

Show notes

  • Where her love of sport came from and why a teacher inspired her at 11 years old to become a PE teacher
  • Quitting hockey and changing over to football
  • The changes she has seen in girls sports and why it’s changed so much over the years
  • Why she decided to leave football and try a new sport at 40 years old
  • Wanting to make the GB Triathlon Team
  • Her first triathlon, on a borrowed bike!
  • Her first Ironman, where she trained herself and just did what she thought should be doing
  • What you need to do to qualify for Team GB 
  • Racing in Budapest & coming 9th in her first World Championships!
  • How her lifestyle changed going forward
  • Where her determination and focus comes from
  • Starting to have dream like episodes and having issues with her eyes
  • Being told she had a brain tumour and how she handled it
  • How quickly things moved forward
  • Why her surgeon encouraged her to exercise
  • How she remained positive during the diagnosis
  • How she came to start writing her book and why writing gave her relief
  • Having the first operation
  • Getting out in time for Christmas
  • Needing to go in for an emergency operation
  • Why she needed to ask the hard questions
  • How she got herself out of the darkness
  • Why she looked at her recovery like training
  • Having to start again 
  • What she’s learned most from the whole experience
  • Heading off to Geneva 7 months later and making the most of the event
  • Getting a Gluiness World Record! Running the London Marathon in a Hippo Costume!
  • Raising money for Brain Tumour Support
  • Why she named her book - The Butterfly Within

Learn more about what the Brain Tumour Support charity does by visiting their website.

Rachel is also on Twitter @TheRachelBown


Thank you for listening to the Tough Girl Podcast - Make sure to subscribe and check out the website for more info 


Nov 15, 2016

Yorkshire born Lauren did all the normal things that are expected, she did her GCSEs, her A’Levels and headed of to University. After graduating instead of following a safe career path she decided on a different route and in 2013 she and a friend set off to row the Atlantic Ocean.

It was a challenge like no other. During this podcast we learn the reasons behind her row, how she dealt with the catalogue of errors that happened on the row and why she went back in 2015 to row it again.

Lauren is a 2x World Record Holder for rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, she’s also survived “The Island” with Bear Grylls.


  • Who is Lauren & how she describes herself
  • Taking up rowing in her 2nd year at university
  • How the death of her close friend, Elle from cervical cancer at 23 years old changed the direction of her life and how she choose to live her life
  • Having 100 days to prepare for the ocean row
  • The journey across the Atlantic Ocean; the highs, the lows, the errors & the mistakes made along the way 
  • Being on the boat for 75 days and deciding not to give up and trying to find anyway to fix the boat to make it work
  • Getting rescued and ended up in Canada!
  • After four and half months, finally arriving back in the UK and trying to fit back into normality
  • Dealing with the depression blues after the challenge and feeling very lost
  • What she learnt most about herself from going through this experience
  • Deciding what do to next
  • Applying for “The Island” with Bear Grylls!
  • Getting to the island and being stranded with 14 other women for 6 weeks
  • Finding out she was the youngest women on the island
  • What she learnt most on the island from; friendships, to who she was as a person and being able to stay positive in negative situations. 
  • Going 11 days without any food and how she coped
  • The highlights and making friends for life
  • Having the confidence to go after her dream of rowing across the Atlantic
  • How she changed and how she struggled to relate to her friends and family
  • Dealing with her biggest fear that she could fail again, and not knowing how she would be able to come back from that
  • Not sleeping 3 months before the race and lying awake at night
  • What drives her to do what she does and the mission to inspire younger girls to get outside to get active and to play sports
  • Dealing with the sexism while rowing across the ocean, having people bet against them an how they used it to drive them forward
  • The mental preparation involved and why she made it sounds as unglamorous as possible!
  • Why they decided to head down South at the star of the race
  • Winning two World Records for being the youngest and fastest female rowers across the ocean
  • Getting her Antigua holiday finally!
  • Her future plans and why she wants to keep on testing the boundaries

Learn more about Lauren and her adventures by visiting her website

You can follow Lauren on twitter @MortonLauren  

Nov 10, 2016

Erin Bastian is a sea kayak explorer like no other. Adventure is her life. She’s embarked on many expeditions, trying to achieve the impossible and as a result is continually having to raise the bar.

From an early age Erin was drawn to exploring the dramatic coastlines around her hometown, Cornwall, where she was able to connect with nature and gain a unique perspective of the cliffs. At the age of 15, Erin started working in the outdoor industry and has since become a qualified Sea Kayak Coach, which has allowed her to work during the summer season and organise epic adventures in the off-season to the likes of Patagonia, Peru, Nepal, Norway, Tanzania, Mexico and Sardinia.

One of Erin’s latest expeditions was to Patagonia where she and two others embarked on a 33-day self supported kayaking adventure. Paddling through the wilds of this remote region they dealt with extreme weather, discovered glaciers, fought against strong tidal currents and navigated through a maze of canals. During this episode we learn more about Erin, and the extraordinary challenges’ she’s embarked on!

Show notes

  • Growing up in Cornwall by the sea
  • Taking advantage or the opportunities available to her
  • Finding her passion at a young age
  • Feeling powerful playing sports
  • How Erin progressed on her journey and how work experienced helped her to take the next steps
  • Leaving school and trying to decide what was going to be next
  • Her first big solo challenge!
  • Why she picked Sardinia - a massive 850
  • Dealing with the biggest storm in 30 years! 
  • Planner or not a planner?
  • Only doing 750km and why she felt like a failure and why it was the making of her
  • What Erin has learned from her first expedition that she’s been able to apply to her own life and future expeditions
  • Heading to Patagonia and taking it to the next level - why she went for bigger and better!
  • Learning more about the journey! The start and being dropped off in the middle of nowhere!
  • Being committed to the 800Km journey and having to step up
  • Day to day living and the highlights from the journey
  • The W Trek
  • Adjusting back to normality after the challenge
  • Her new mission and going on an expedition with girls!
  • Changing peoples perceptions & #RethinkImpossible
  • Her next challenge the GR20!
  • Being nominated for the World Paddle Awards!
  • Living in Chamonix for the Ski Season and being able to use it for training for GR20

VOTE for Erin by clicking HERE!

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Nov 8, 2016

Of French, Swiss and Filipino descent, Christine Amour-Levar is a true citizen of the world, she grew up between Manila, Paris and Tokyo and is currently based in Singapore, where she lives with her husband and four children.

She is one of the founding partners of Women On A Mission, a non-profit organisation that combines challenging expeditionary travel to remote locations around the world with the support of humanitarian causes. 

Christine recently received the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World Award that recognises Filipina women who are influencing the face of leadership in the global workplace, having reached status for outstanding work in their respective fields, and who are recognised for their leadership, achievement and contributions to society, female mentorship and legacy.

"Have the courage to define success on your own terms. Your uniqueness in your power."


-Christine is Introduces herself and shares more about growing up and living a very international lifestyle

-How sports have always played a part of her life; especially swimming, basketball, tennis & soccer

-Working for Nike and how sport continued to play a huge part of her life

-Trying to get the balance in her life between; work, family, fitness and having a social life

-Having a career break while having her first child and going back to school to follow a creative dream

-Moving to Singapore & setting up her own business and a non-profit - “Women on a Mission”

-Dealing with guilt and how she copes with those feelings

-Her love of trekking which started in Switzerland and how her passion grew when she was older and why she turned to the mountains for strength after her divorce 

-Why she keeps going back to the Himalayas and why Nepal holds a special place for her

-More about Valerie Boffin, Women for Women International and how that let to her becoming a founding partner of “Women on a Mission”

-Their first trek to Everest Base Camp & getting to stay the night at base camp

-Trekking to Siberia to experience what daily life is like for the nomadic Nenets reindeer herders

-Dealing with the difference in extreme temperatures - going from 30 degrees to - 40!

-What she learned most from this experience

-What’s next for Women on a Mission 

-Writing her book - The Smart Girl’s Handbook to Being Mummylicious,


Website - Links 

Don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode! x

Nov 3, 2016

This week we’re going back to catch up with Amy to see what’s she’s been up to since we last spoke in August 2015! Which is a lot! 

Amy is a massive runner and her passionate has always been to inspire other people. Her latest challenge has been the biggest and hardest challenge she’s ever take on, dealing with blisters, tiredness, and exhaustion. We talk to Amy about her determination, her stubbornness and achieving a NEW Gluiness World Record! 

Amy has also been travelling to Ecuador to film a new TV show called “On the Run” and we discuss the next challenge she’d like to take on, which would be another world first!


Show notes

-Catching up with Amy Hughes (53 Marathons in 53 Days Raising £53,000!)

-How Amy came up with her next challenge

-Why saying her challenge out loud and making her challenge public helped her to achieve it

-Coping with the pressure of the challenge

-Why Amy kept her planning simple and why I’m the opposite!

-Why different things work for different people

-Being in the middle of the Trafford Centre feeling like she was in a goldfish bowl

-Seeing Amy on the treadmill in the Trafford Centre

-Being a zombie!

-Going back to Day 1 - still feeling fresh and feeling relief at starting

-Getting 3 hrs behind on the first day and having to play catch up for the rest of the week

-Breaking down on Day 2 after 20 hours of running

-Dealing with the lows throughout the challenge

-Keeping track of the miles

-Mental games and tricks to keep going through the pain and tiredness - Plus her motivational mantra!


“I am Fearless, I am Strong, Don’t Stop”


-Why she had to keep on upping her running game

-Sleeping for 2/3 hours per day and spending the rest of the time running

-Moments from the challenge that stand out - for good and bad reasons!

-Blasting out really fast 5Ks towards the end

-The final 12K to do, and knowing it was possible to break the record


-How her feet coped….

-Heading to Ecuador to film “On the Run” 

-What’s going to be the next challenge?!

-Any ideas for Amy?! Get in contact on twitter @AmyHughes53 or visit her website 


Learn more - visit - 


Don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode!



Nov 1, 2016

The Marathon des Sables (MDS) is known as the toughest footrace on earth, where competitors carry everything required to survive on their back for the week, except the water they collect en route and tent they share with seven strangers.  Temperatures can reach up to 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit). 

Selina run over 2,000 miles in training and added a further two official marathons to her total of nine.  She'd never run an ultra-marathon before so the fourth day, which is typically over 90KM long, was both a mental and physical challenge!

Selina ran the race to raise money for Women for Women International, which provides life, business and vocational skills to women in countries affected by conflict. 

Women and girls suffer disproportionately from high rates of rape, violence and extreme poverty during times of conflict.  In modern war, it is shocking that it is more dangerous to be a woman than it is a soldier. 

Women for Women International is making a difference in these women's lives, by empowering them with skills which can turn their despair to hope, and engaging men as allies by teaching them about issues which negatively impact women.





  • Learning more about Selina her background and why she say’s she’s not a sporty person 

  • How she got into running at age 30

  • Running the London Marathon followed by the Paris Marathon two weeks later

  • Raising money for charity and why her charitable focus has started to lean more towards women’s charities

  • How reading “Half the Sky” made her think more about her own life

  • Women for Women International (WfWI)

  • The Marathon des Sables - why she decided to pick this as a challenge!

  • How much time she gave herself to prepare

  • Being scared of applying for the race and what changed her mind

  • Thinking she’d missed her opportunity

  • How she went about preparing for MDS

  • Picking Rory Coleman as her trainer & his top 3 pieces of advice

  • How she managed to fit her training in and why discipline was important

  • What her training week looked like

  • Why you should give yourself permission to do something for you every day

  • Getting the children involved! 

  • Her fears before the race

  • The power of belief

  • Her secret dream of getting in the top 10 women

  • Her race strategy and why she kept it simple 

  • Her mantra - “Run if you can, walk if you need to”

  • Dealing with the low points during the race and how the power of positive thinking pushed her through

  • Feet!!

  • Her highlight from MDS

  • Would she race it again?

  • What she learned most from doing the MDS 


Charities - Women for Women International (WfWI) & Aidha 


Oct 25, 2016

Jill changed the direction of her life when she decided to move to Alaska to follow her heart. After have her heart broken she recovered while riding in the 2009 Tour Divide — a 2,745-mile mountain bike race along the Continental Divide from Banff, Alberta, to Antelope Wells, New Mexico.

In 2014 Jill completed in the Freedom Challenge, a 1,400-mile mountain bike race across South Africa. Following on from that race, Jill went on to set a new women's fastest human-powered time while riding her bike across Alaska in the 2016 Iditarod Trail Invitational. 

During the podcast we discuss the why, we discuss the motivation and we discuss her fears and how she still battles them everyday.

Show notes

  • Getting to know Jill
  • Why she moved to Alaska
  • Finding out about the Iditarod trail - 350-mile winter bike race from Knik, Alaska
  • 100-mile winter bike race
  • What she learned while racing and how she found it empowering
  • Growing up timid, being cautious and not wanting to take risk
  • How she changed the direction of her life after her race
  • Being more confident and more being more willing to take on bigger challenges
  • The next big challenge!
  • Learning how to be self reliant
  • Being constantly scared and having to talk herself down and how she uses the power of mantra! 


“Be Brave - Be Strong”


  • The 2009 Tour Divide — a 2,745-mile mountain bike race along the Continental Divide from Banff, Alberta, to Antelope Wells, New Mexico
  • Dealing with a break-up, being demotivated before the start
  • Dealing with bad weather, mud and facing near death experiences
  • What drove her and why she had to keep on going
  • Getting herself physically ready and why she took leave from her job to prepare
  • Day to day life on the trail from cycling for 14 to 18 hr days, and camping at night
  • Having doubts she would finish the race
  • Her top tips for recovery
  • Rediscovering who she was and what she was capable of
  • Racing the Freedom Trail and how it came about
  • Seeing what this whole running thing was about!
  • Meeting a new man and the special races they’ve done together
  • Why really successful people are drawn to endurance sports
  • Goals for the future and taking on a 1000 mile race!
  • Starting weight lifting and how its helps her in training and in the race
  • Struggling with confidence and self belief and trying to understand where that comes from
  • Why its ok to have fear
  • Her goals and plans for the future

Learn more about Jill be visiting her blog or follow her on twitter @AlaskaJill


Oct 18, 2016

Corey is an American living the expat lifestyle in London. She started blogging in 2011 “Learning Patience” and has documented her adventures in cooking, running, traveling, and all things expat. 

I’ll also be giving an update about the Tough Girl Tribe and what’s in store for 2017!

Show notes

  • Struggling to deal with patience
  • Learning a little more about Corey
  • Dealing with a foot injury
  • Being diagnosed as a diabetic
  • Differences between the types of diabetics
  • Growing up and hating running
  • How running has changed her life
  • Starting with virtual races and moving onto trail marathons to relay races
  • Being diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes and how it impacted on her life
  • Why her goal was to just get running again
  • Trying to learn patience!
  • Recovery from injury and not taking no for an answer
  • Dealing with the worst year of her life and why she tries to be as positive as she can
  • Top tips for patience
  • How meeting her husband taught her about positivity and why she only hangs out with positive people
  • Her plans for the future
  • Getting into climbing and heading over to Austria!
  • Travelling
  • Final words of advice and why you should soak up all the happiness you can

Learn more about Corey by visiting her website and following her on twitter @CoreyLearn

To see more episodes of the tough girl podcast check out - 

Oct 11, 2016

Cathy grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, as a child she was not sporty and labelled herself as an academic. As a shy person, she embraced rock climbing at university and during this podcast we learn more about Cathy, her drive, and how she went onto become the fist women to climb Mount Everest from both sides.

Show notes

  • What it was like growing up in South Africa
  • Being terrible at sport at young age and labelling herself as “academic & square”
  • Why she loved rock climbing and how her passion progressed
  • As an introvert and shy girl growing up, rock climbing allowed her to develop her social skills while also using her mind to solve climbing problems 
  • How she ended up getting on the South African Team to go and climb Everest & why it was never a goal for her
  • Being inspired by Arlene Blum - Annapurna: A Woman's Place
  • Trying to find the opportunity to climb big mountains!
  • What she learnt whilst being on and around Mount Everest
  • Knowing she was going to make it to the top and the boost it gave to her confidence
  • Why she has always been careful on the mountains and why you can be to careful
  • What she learnt about failure from the expedition
  • Dealing with the negative media coverage and coming home to people who had opinions about her and every decision she made while on the mountain
  • Finding the opportunity in the mess
  • Being more prepared to try things
  • Being process driven, rather than goal driven
  • Attempting a new route on one of the world’s top 10 mountains – the Mazeno Ridge on Nanga Parbat
  • The different challenges and adventures that have impacted her the most
  • Dealing with risk - in high stress environments and how’s she applied what she’s learned in the mountains to every day life
  • Why she likes to try new things! From skiing down 6,000 metre peaks, to dog sledding in the Arctic!
  • Waiting for the stars to align & having patience!
  • Shout out to Alistair Humphrys and his Micro Adventures
  • Money, finding the right partners & serendipity! 
  • Why she thinks of life like a journey
  • Her next challenge!


Visit her website!

Cathy is on twitter @CathyODowd - I’m also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL


Oct 6, 2016

Here is a raw and unedited interview I did with Ali, where we discuss some of the big challenges I’ve faced in my life, from deciding to leave my job, coping with summit night on Mount Kilimanjaro, to training for and running the Marathon des Sables this April.

Ali will also be writing a blog post about our interview and this will be available on

Helping to raise awareness for Women’s Sport Week - organised by Women in Sport#WSW2016


Show notes

  • Discussing the challenges of writing a book!
  • More about me, my background and how I ended up leaving my job
  • Why I decided to leave my job
  • Having to deal with change
  • Why I felt so lost when I didn’t have a job
  • How I decided on what I wanted to do next
  • Why I needed to get away from friends and family to help me decide what I wanted to do next
  • Coming up with Tough Girl Challenge and what it’s goal is
  • Where my mental strength comes from
  • Summit night on Kilimanjaro
  • Why you have a choice over your attitude
  • The power of “self-talk” - "you can either be your own best coach, or your own worst enemy"
  • How the Marathon des Sables came about
  • The responses of friends and family when I told them about the race.
  • Why you have to be careful of who you spend time with
  • Dealing with fear before the race
  • How I took training to an extreme level
  • Thinking I was mentally weak!
  • Being told by a Doctor that I couldn’t do the MDS in 2015
  • What I learned from all the negative experiences
  • Building my physical strength and mental strength up
  • Trying to get balance in training
  • The power of visualisation, and why I always thought about crossing the finish line
  • Creating my own certificate of achievement!
  • Being overwhelmed by trying to pack everything
  • Trying to stay calm and why yoga helped me
  • Dealing with the long stage during the marathon. Running 52 miles in a day.
  • The benefits of breaking down challenges into smaller chunks
  • Why the final stretch on the long day was so, so hard!
  • Why I thought I could keep on going
  • Coping with pain
  • The final day, and just being over the whole race
  • Why gratitude can play an important part of mental strength 
  • Seeing the finish line and how I was feeling!
  • The anti climax of finishing the race
  • Why it was all about the journey and what I learned along on the way
  • Crying at Euston Train Station
  • What’s next for me and why I struggle when I don’t have a goal
  • Stepping into the boxing ring
  • Why you have to know your reason


Learn more about 

Learn more about - Women’s Sport Week

Follow along on twitter #WSW2016


Oct 4, 2016

Kat is originally from Melbourne, she spent 7 years living in Tokyo before moving to London. After a knee operation she was forced to forget about running and sports and walking was the only activity she could do. So far her quest has taken her all over the world, on epic walks, from the Camino’s, the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage, as well as numerous short walks in the UK. Most recently she has completed the Pacific Crest Trail which stretches from Mexico to Canada!

During the podcast Kat shares her story, she shares top tips and advice and why she believes anyone can get out there and go for a walk!

Show notes

  • Kat introduces herself and shares more of her story
  • Moving from Melbourne, to Japan, to Toronto to London
  • Why she became a walker
  • What is was like making the decision to move to Japan
  • Falling in love with Japan and living there for 7 years!
  • Climbing Mount Fuji and why she did it every year 
  • The meaning of “Henro" 
  • Deciding to quit her job in 2013 and head off to do the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage
  • Dealing with typhoons, snakes & centipedes
  • The reason she started her blog - Following the Arrows
  • Why you don’t need to speak Japanese to do the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage
  • The enlightenment, prayers and ritual you could choose to follow at each temple
  • Doing it on a budget
  • The highlights and the challenges she faced
  • Getting to the final temple number 88 and the final challenge she had to overcome
  • The Camino Route and why it’s such a special pilgrimage
  • Walking the PCT - Pacific Crest Trail in 2015
  • How it came about and how she had to face her fears
  • Doing the research and getting mentally prepared
  • Dealing with injury just months before the PCT
  • Advice and tips for planning and preparation
  • Getting through the low points while on the PCT
  • How she copes when she finishes a challenge
  • Why her trail name was, “Hummingbird”
  • What future walks she would like to do
  • Words of advice for wannabe walkers


Read more on Kat’s Blog - Following the Arrows 

Check out for more info!

Sep 27, 2016

Emily shares more of her remarkable story of how she first entered the world of cycling and how it changed her, how she grew to love it and how it took her on adventures all over the world.

Emily is a master story teller, and during this podcast we get to go with her, to experience the highlights and learn from her mistakes along the way. This is a very open and revealing interview, Emily talks about depression, dealing with failure and why she’s so passionate about encouraging more women to enter the world of cycling. 


  • Emily introduces herself and shares a little more about who she is
  • Why she ends up talking about danger a lot!
  • Why she found cycling in London empowering
  • Becoming a cycle courier and what it was like
  • Learning on the job and why she wanted to do a winter on the bike so she could call herself a proper ‘cycle courier’
  • Deciding she wanted to do a bigger cycling challenge & being inspired by Alastair Humphreys 
  • Realising she could take on a bigger trip and having the courage to do so 
  • What she learnt most while planning her round the world trip and why next time she wouldn’t plan as much
  • Remembering the day she set off and what she was feeling
  • The highlights!
  • Surviving the Turkish winter and why she remembers it as one of the best times of her life!
  • Why she’s still trying to work out what drives her and motivates her
  • How she knew it was right to finish the cycle and head home at the end of Asia and not continue
  • Dealing with the adventure blues and being clinically depressed for a year
  • Postponing the rest of her cycle until 2015 and why it was hard to give up on the dream but why she knows it was the best thing for her
  • Going back to being a cycle courier and why it helped her recovery
  • In 2014 - Turning her blog into a book! 
  • Setting off from Anchorage on the 2nd January 2015
  • Dealing with fear while heading off into the great unknown
  • The magical encounters that happened on the way
  • Camping at -40!
  • Dealing with the loneliness & isolation
  • What she’s learnt about herself while on these trips
  • What the Transcontinental Race across Europe is and why she wanted to cycle it
  • Becoming obsessed with sleep - but not allowing herself to sleep…dealing with chest pains and ending up in hospital
  • Winning the women category in the Transcontinental Race 2016!!
  • What can we do to encourage more women to enter long distance cycling races?
  • The Adventure Syndicate - What its aims our and why it was started
  • Emily’s next challenge!


Visit Emily’s website!

Say hi to Emily on twitter! @emilychappell 


Sep 20, 2016

Some of the amazing challenges Juliana has done…


World Cycle 2012

On July 23 2012, Juliana Buhring set out from Naples, Italy to make the first women’s world record for fastest circumnavigation by bicycle. On December 22, 2012, she re-entered Naples with a total time of 152 days including flight transfers and 144 actual days peddled.


Transcontinental Race 2013 

In 2013, Juliana participated in the inaugural Transcontinental Race, the toughest unsupported race across Europe starting in London and ending in Istanbul, crossing the high cols of the Alps. Juliana was the only woman in the race, finishing in 12 days and placing 9th overall.


Trans AM Race 2014

In June 2014, Juliana raced the inaugural Trans Am Bike Race. Starting in Astoria, Oregon, and finishing in Yorktown, Virginia, the race is 4,322 miles long, with 67,000 metres of total altitude. Buhring finished the race in 20 days and 23 hours, winning first place in the women’s category & 4th place overall.


The Race Across America 2016

The Race Across America (RAAM) is one the most respected and longest running endurance sports events in the world. Racers must traverse 3000 miles across 12 states and climb over 170,000 vertical feet. This will be Juliana’s first supported ultra-cycling race and she is keen to discover how much further she can push herself within this category.



-Where Juliana is living at the moment and why she love Naples

-Going back to when Juliana was growing up and what life was like for her growing up in a cult

-Learning how to ride a bike at 30 and making the decision to cycle around the world

-Dealing with tragedy and the death of her soulmate and how she struggled to bounce back

-Deciding on the ultimate adventure of cycling around the world and finding out that no women had done this challenge before

-Starting to train for the challenge and deciding on which bike to use & what route to take

-Advice for listeners on how to get through the darkness and into the light

-What Juliana’s learnt about inner strength and how you can get stronger - “if you’re going through hell keep on going”

-Why you need to have a purpose and a reason to wake up in the morning. 

-Her world cycle trip & what she experienced along the way and why she changed on the journey

-Running out of money, almost having to give up and what kept her on the road

-Human kindness while on the road and how the most incredible moments came after the hardest points on the way

-How cycling changed her life and why she didn't want to go back to teaching

-Being invited on the transcontinental race across Europe in 2013 and being the only women in the race!

-What’s she learnt about the “mind body connection" and how she’s applied it to endurance sports and also to her life

-Trying to find the balance in her life

-Following a ketogenic diet to reduce inflammation

-Being the only female in a very male dominated world and how she’s started to see this change

-Dealing with accusations of cheating and how she responded to it

-Advice for women who are competing with the men at all levels and why she just focuses on herself and why knowing your why is so important

-The Race Across America (RAAM) - everything you need to know and why Juliana decided to do this race

-Her next challenge - heading off to Australia to race!

-Changing her diet to fat burning and the benefits she’s had from that

-Her advice for women who may be scared or afraid of travelling alone


You can learn more about Juliana by visiting her website 

Support her on Facebook 

Say hi to Juliana on twitter @JulianaBuhring  


Sep 15, 2016


-Where Jo is at the moment

-Getting back out to Everest in March 

-Why she didn’t want what happened last year to stop her from living her life

-Reflecting back on what happened and why she found it cathartic 

-Climbing two, 6,000 metre peaks before Everest

-Getting back on the mountain and feeling right at home in her tent

-Getting blessed before the climb and why its important to follow this tradition

-Learning more about the atmosphere on the mountain after the earthquake the previous year

-Why you shouldn’t be 100% reliant on your climbing sherpa the whole way

-Why you need to have experience when climbing Everest and the ability to get yourself out of problems that can happen on the mountain 

-Jo summit attempt 

-Dealing with feelings of frustration while on the mountain


“Choose your mood!”


 “Its about attitude not altitude!”


-why you need to conserve your energy on the down days

-How Jo kept herself entertained while having to wait at camps

-Dealing with low points & wanting to walk off the mountain

-Feeling calm on the final push

-Having to deal with slower climbers in front and how she handled it 

-Trying to keep awake and warm on the mountain

-Coping with her fear of heights and having to keep it together on a windy high ridge

-Why reaching the summit was a massive anti-climax 

-Learning to appreciate what she’s achieved and dealing with the post trip blues

-Having more self belief in herself and what she’s learnt most about herself from climbing Everest

-Why she wants to climb more 8,000 metre peaks

-Questions from the tribe!

-Find out what’s next for Jo!



Take a listen to the first Tough Girl Podcast episode with Jo! Click here!

Check out Jo’s Blog - 

Follow Jo on twitter @29029feet  & on Facebook!



Check out - Place2Be & Support4Sherpas



Come & join us at the Women In Adventure Expo in Bristol 8th October! Get your ticket before the 30th September!


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