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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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!


Sep 13, 2016

In Summer 2015 Jessica did a thru-hike and hiked the full length of the Appalachian Trail all 2189.2 miles! 

During this podcast Jessica shares with us, more about her journey, the highs, the low points, what she learned on the way and why she loves being outdoors!

If you’ve ever wanted to go on a long distance hike - take a listen to this episode to learn more!


  • The Appalachian Trail
  • Where the idea came from
  • The steps she took to get to the start of the trail
  • Telling her friends and family about her dream to hike the Appalachian Trail
  • Dealing with fears
  • Why you sometimes have to do things on your own
  • Why she set her start date for March 29th
  • Research & planning - especially around what gear to take!
  • Where you can save some money on gear
  • What’s it like being on the start line!
  • Trying to figure out things as she went
  • Getting her trail name!
  • Being challenged on the trail and the hardest things she faced
  • Being alone on the trail and taking the time to figure things out
  • Money and the costs involved
  • Having run in’s with wildlife & dealing with bears!
  • Why you shouldn’t really plan your hike!
  • Vlogging & blogging while on the trail
  • What to do about water while walking
  • What she learnt most while on the trail
  • Getting to the end of the hike 
  • Finishing the hike, dealing with the aftermath and what her next steps were
  • Going for the Triple Crown in hiking!
  • More details about her book - Take A Thru-Hike: Dixie's How-To-Guide for Hiking the Appalachian Trail!


Read Jessica’s book!

Check out her blog 

Follow her on twitter @HomemadeWL

Watch her videos & subscribe to her Youtube channel here!

A massive thank you to everyone who has become a patron! You too can support the Tough Girl Podcast from $2 to $5 per month!  CLICK HERE!

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

Sep 8, 2016

Myself and Emma Timmis headed off to run Hadrian’s Wall at the end of August and I wanted to share more of the story with you. So whilst I was away I thought about what the best way to do this was. 

Although my interviews are very informal and relaxed they do take me a long time to edit. At the moment I don’t have the capacity to edit two full podcast episodes a week. So instead, as a compromise I thought I’d upload a raw, unedited conversation of what my previous guests have been up to since we last spoke. 

So in essence…..Tough Girl Extra is an extra podcast episode that will be happening on an adhoc basic, it’s going to be released on a Thursday #ToughGirlThursday at 7am UK time.

This is a new style for me and I would love to get your feedback. Please do let me know what you think. You can either comment below, send me an e-mail ( or send me a DM on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL

I hope you enjoy!



  • What Tough Girl Extra is!
  • Catching up with Emma Timmis & what’s she's been up to since we last spoke in August 2015
  • The costs of her three months Dolomites trip
  • What the Australian Alpine Walking Track is and why she decided to do it
  • Loneliness, hallucinating, and getting lost and seeing a side of Australia that she didn’t know existed
  • Carrying half her body weight in her pack!
  • Her 2 month adventure in Malawi
  • Planning our Hadrian’s Wall trip & how it all came about
  • Our training or lack of training for the challenge!
  • Why you don’t necessarily need to do a huge amount of planning for challenges
  • Having support verses doing independent challenges
  • What we took! (You can also watch my packing video on Youtube)
  • Deciding which way to run - East to West or West to East
  • Starting at Wallsend on the west coast and why it was the best decision
  • Day 1 memories!
  • Camping at Robin Hood Inn for 2 nights for £5 per night!
  • The tent getting flooded!!
  • Day 2 challenges 
  • Navigation on Hadrian’s Wall Path
  • Toilet talk!!
  • What we forgot to take with us!
  • Camping along the route or not?
  • Day packs and what we carried while we ran including the spot tracker
  • Answering questions from the Tribe
  • Poles or no poles - that's the question!
  • Emma’s next challenge!


Watch our daily vlogs from our Hadrian’s Wall adventure on youtube 


Check out Emma’s Website Here 

To listen to the previous episode with Emma Timmis - CLICK HERE



A massive thank you to everyone who has become a patron! You too can support the Tough Girl Podcast from $2 to $5 per month!  CLICK HERE!


Future Events!

7th October - Tough Girl Tribe Social, Bristol

8th October - Women in Adventure Expo, Bristol

22nd - 23rd October - Yestival (I'm going to be speaking!!! Come along and say hi!)



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


Sep 6, 2016

Jenna has competed in rollerblading events since she was 8 years old. During that time she has amassed a lifetime of awards while competing across the globe in televised and major international events.  Jenna turned professional at age 12 which made her the youngest female skater in the world to ever turn pro! 


  • Growing up in a single parent family
  • Getting her first pair of skates and falling in love
  • Being told that skating wasn’t for girls and not being allowed in the skate park
  • When her competitive career really started
  • Her first competition being the only girl and getting last place
  • Having the judges ignore her while she skated, all because she was a girl
  • What motived her to get better and what motivated her to become a world champion skater
  • Where her determination comes from and who’s inspired her on the way
  • Starting to compete internationally at 11 years old and competing at the European Championships
  • Bouncing back from setbacks and going back to her 2nd European Championships and winning Gold!
  • Becoming a professional skater at 12 years old and breaking a world record by becoming the youngest professional skater ever!
  • Why she likes proving people wrong 
  • Why hard work does pay off!
  • Creating bigger and bigger goals and going for gold at the world championships
  • The challenges she faces while being a professional, trying to study while being a professional. Dealing with setbacks as a result of injury
  • Going backwards in the world ranking every year for 6 years and how the gold medal was slipping further and further away
  • Losing the feeling in her arm, and then losing the feeling in her feet and face
  • Being diagnosed with MS a disease of the central nervous system right before the world championships and why she almost gave up
  • Standing on the podium as world champion and why it was a dream come true
  • Why visualisation has played a huge role in her life as well as focusing on her mindset and being able to block out the negativity
  • Why you need to just focus on what you can control -

“control the controllable"

  • Dealing with fear and why you have to have believe in yourself - there is no room for any doubt
  • Making the decision to retire and deciding on a new path working with young people 
  • What she’s learnt from her professional skating career that you’ll be able to apply to your life
  • Her next big goal - Wheels Extreme - which aims to improve the lives of young people
  • Why you should stick to what you are passionate about 

Visit Jenna's Website!


On twitter? Come say hi to Jenna @Jenna_Downing I’m also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL


A massive thank you to everyone who has become a patron! You too can support the Tough Girl Podcast from $2 to $5 per month!  CLICK HERE!

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


Thank you for listening!! 

Sarah xx

Aug 30, 2016

In 2010 Lowri was the sole finisher of The 6633 Ultra, which is a notoriously difficult 350 mile non-stop footraces held in the Arctic over 8 days. In doing so, she became the 6th person to cross the finish line.

As well as running, Lowri has travelled the world, seen the Titanic at the bottom of the ocean, raced in the 3 Peaks Yacht Race as well as being the Welsh Governments #YearofAdventure Ambassador!


  • Lowri introduces herself and tells everyone a little bit more about her background
  • Growing up in Wales and where she gets her stubbornness from
  • How her first passion was music and she dreamt of being a classical singer
  • Changing her path to becoming a TV presenter and going on to become an adventurer 
  • Being one of only 80 people in the world to see the wreck of the Titanic
  • Being told at 18 that she would never run again, and what the impact was on the rest of her life
  • Her mental strength, where it comes from and the race that pushed her to breaking point
  • Why it’s important to have belief in yourself, and how to deal with insecurities
  • Why she is always the most prepared person on the start line
  • Why you have to be determined, why you have to work hard and why you will get to your destination in the end
  • Thinking she wasn’t going to make it out of the jungle after being bitten by a swarm of hornets  


“Glory is not by never falling, but in the way we rise when we do fall”


  • After her body gave up while running in the jungle her mind took over and it was a spiritual moment for her which she has carried with her since
  • Why she believes all women can do whatever they want
  • How she prepared physically for the jungle ultra and what she learn’t over the 18 months training 
  • Going from running 40 miles a week to running 100 miles a week with a15kg backpack
  • What she did for mental training!
  • Getting the balance right while training and running such huge distances
  • Being told she may need a pace maker as she has a genetic heart condition and how she’s changed her way of training
  • Fitting in training with having a young family
  • Why failure can make the successes so much sweeter
  • Risk & fear, and how this has changed over the years with having a family 
  • Coping with the extreme cold when it’s -72 with the wind chill & why she would love to go back to the Arctic
  • Being the sole finisher of The 6633 Ultra in 2010 which made her the 6th person in the world to finish 
  • Her sprint home from mile 100 & why distances are all relative and why you need to break races down into chunks
  • Her next challenge and what she’d like to do in the future
  • Final words of advice on why the hardest thing is having to face your fear
  • Extra Bonus content at the end re the 3 Peaks Yacht Race!


Keep up to date with Lowri and her adventures by visiting her website

On twitter? Come say hi to Lowri @_LowriMorgan I’m also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL


A massive thank you to everyone who has become a patron! You too can support the Tough Girl Podcast from $2 to $5 per month!  CLICK HERE!


Future Events!

27th - 31st August - Emma & Sarah - Hadrians Wall Adventure - Follow along on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!

1st - 4th September - Base Camp Festival, Peak District

8th October - Women in Adventure Expo, Bristol


Take a listen to these related podcast episodes…


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

Thank you!! xx


Aug 23, 2016


  • Getting to know a little more about Richelle and why she calls herself a 30-something, normal girls who has an adventurous spirit & why she loves the outdoors
  • Deciding at 21 years old to travel around South America solo & what she learnt about herself while travelling
  • Her experience of the Inca Trail; the trials, the tribulations, the challenges she faced and what she learnt from the experience and why that advice still holds true for today
  • Developing her mental strength  
  • Experiencing Machu Picchu and being surrounded by Inca history
  • The reasons for signing up for Everest Base Camp and why she’s up for having experiences around the world
  • Training for Everest Base Camp and how being plus sized made her anxious being the trip
  • Body image and how it can impact on what you do, or don’t do
  • The impact on her normal life and why it’s “screwed up her sense of normal”
  • Her business - “Escaping your Comfort Zone” - How it came about and why it took her a 5,000 mile trip on a bicycle before she started it
  • Why it’s not about weight loss - but rather making friends and having fun!
  • Why you’re not broken and you don’t need to be fixed
  • Deciding to head off to cycle 5,000 miles from Canada to Mexico!!
  • Why she decided to stop comparing herself to others and why she stopped doing it and why you should to
  • Getting through the tough days on the road!
  • Failure and why it doesn’t exist as long as your still learning
  • Future challenges & goals 

Follow Escaping Your Comfort Zone on Facebook or check out their website!


A massive thank you to everyone who has become a patron! You too can support the Tough Girl Podcast from $2 to $5 per month!  CLICK HERE!


Future Events 2016!

27th - 31st August - Emma & Sarah - Hadrians Wall Adventure

1st - 4th September - Base Camp Festival, Peak District

8th October - Women in Adventure Expo, Bristol


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


Aug 16, 2016


  • Lucy introduces herself and why she decided to join the Royal Navy as a Warfare Officer 
  • Her first introduction to boxing and why she loved it from the start
  • Being the only female boxer on board and training with the guys
  • Why women’s boxing was banned and she wasn’t allowed to compete at the Navy Championships
  • Having the ban on women boxing being over-turned and her first fight for the Women’s National Finals
  • Handling the negativity that comes from being a female boxer
  • Remembering back to her first time of getting into the ring to fight
  • Why the nerves disappear as soon as the bell goes
  • Fighting at the The National Championships and what she learnt from losing
  • How failure has helped her in her career
  • Understanding more about weight categories and why it does matter
  • Getting female boxers into the olympics and how it happened in London 2012
  • Having to retire from the GB Squad and why the Olympics was bitter sweet 
  • Deciding on which weight category to go for and how she made the decision
  • The impact on her life and how she continued to train to be on the GB squad
  • Retiring from boxing and why she had to listen to her body
  • Looking back over the past few years and what she learnt from that time period
  • Advice for women about boxing and why you should go for it!
  • The women boxers at Rio and the rumours about the weight category changing for Tokyo 2020
  • Starting a boxing club -  Poseidon 

Lucy’s Blog - 

Come and say hi to me on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL


A massive thank you to everyone who has become a patron! You too can support the Tough Girl Podcast from $2 to $5 per month!  CLICK HERE!


Future Events!

20th August - Tough Girl Tribe Trip to Snowdonia

27th - 31st August - Emma & Sarah - Hadrians Wall Adventure

1st - 4th September - Base Camp Festival, Peak District


Take a listen to these related podcast episodes…

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

Visit for more information!

Aug 9, 2016

Maggie was always in trouble before she found rugby at age 14. During this podcast we learn more about Maggie, her rugby career and how playing rugby gave her a new found confidence and changed the direction of her life.

Maggie retired in 2014 after winning the Rugby World Cup, before that she’d represented her country an impressive 74 times! Scored 28 tries, and helped England win a record breaking 7 consecutive Six Nations crowns. Maggie is an ambassador for the “Spirit of Rugby” program as well as being a regular commentator on live rugby matches for Sky Sports & the BBC.  


-An update on what’s been happening in women rugby over in Rio

-Why Maggie is visiting my home town….Liverpool as an ambassador for Spirit of Rugby

-How Maggie first got into rugby and what’s it like being in the field and dealing with the big tackles

-How rugby impacted on her confidence at a young age 

-Why having someone believe in her made all the difference in her rugby career

-The importance of having visible role models in the media and how they inspired her 

-Setting her first BIG goal at 14 to play rugby for England

-Wearing the England shirt and playing on the international stage for the first time and how she approached that challenge

-Dealing with pressure and why you treat pressure as a privilege 

-How to keep a winning mindset going

-Dealing with failure and the process they had to go through to come out on the other side even stronger

-Having the difficult conversations in order to improve the team

-Winning the BBC - Sports Personality Team of the Year

-Why Maggie is known as “Maggie the Machine”!

-What Maggie has learnt from playing rugby and why she decided to retire after the World Cup in 2014

-Trying out athletics and wanting to make it to Rio

-How women’s rugby has changed over the years and why you should give rugby a go!!


Maggie is on twitter @MaggieAlphonsi  I’m also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL


A massive thank you to everyone who has become a patron! You too can support the Tough Girl Podcast from $2 to $5 per month!  CLICK HERE!


Future Events!

12th - 14th August - Adventure Travel Film Festival, London

20th August - Tough Girl Tribe Trip to Snowdonia

27th - 31st August - Emma & Sarah - Hadrian's Wall Adventure!

1st - 4th September - Base Camp Festival, Peak District


Take a listen to these related podcast episodes…


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

Aug 2, 2016

In 2012, Lizzie decided to take a career break and she spent nine months eco-adventuring in remote locations all over the world. She hiked through the Yunnan and Sichuan provinces of south west China before travelling to Mongolia!

Shortly after returning to the UK in 2013 she was unexpectedly diagnosed with cancer which re-defined her and, ultimately, gave her a new sense of purpose.


  • Growing up in Tenerife, being sporty and loving the outdoors from a young age
  • Being surrounded by inspirational people at work and how it encouraged her to take a career break
  • Spending time in Russia, China & Mongolia & the challenges she faced on a daily basis
  • How plastic pollution first came to her attention 
  • Travelling by train on the Trans-Siberian railway - being offered chicken feet & vodka!
  • Dealing with vulnerability while travelling in Mongolia & learning how to take a step back from situations and assess them
  • Heading back to the UK and dealing with the reality of being diagnosed with cancer at twenty five, and how it impacted the direction of her life
  • How she learned to focus on the short term goals and milestones 
  • What she said to herself while she was lying in the hospital bed
  • Quitting her job, not having a plan and why you can never have a plan
  • Friends, family, nature and how her values changed
  • Why she started paddle boarding as a way of restoring her health and fitness
  • How the #SuperSUPEngland challenge came about
  • Why she decided to take matters into her own hand to help people understand the scale of plastic pollution in our waterways
  • The challenges she faced on the waterways and how she kept on going during the tough days
  • Having great adventures in the UK & working as an Ordnance Survey Champion!
  • What she’s learnt from her paddle boarding experience


Learn more about Lizzie by visiting her website & following her on twitter @Lizzo010

Support - Water Aid & Water Trek


Help the Tough Girl Podcast get to 100,000 downloads by 4th August 2016! - Tell your friends about the Tough Girl Podcast!!! Share these inspirational stories!


A massive thank you to everyone who has become a patron! You too can support the Tough Girl Podcast from $2 to $5 per month!  CLICK HERE!




6th August - Tough Girl Tribe Trip to Snowdonia

10th August - Make it Happen - Networking Evening for Ambitious Women 

12th - 14th August - Adventure Travel Film Festival, London

20th August - Tough Girl Tribe Trip to Snowdonia

1st - 4th September - Base Camp Festival, Peak District


Take a listen to these related podcast episodes…

  • Emily Penn (Skipper, ocean advocate and artist dedicated to studying environmental challenges in the most remote parts of our planet)
  • Lois Pryce (Adventure Travel Film Festival)
  • Belinda Kirk (Base Camp Festival)
  • Sarah Outen (One of the speakers at Base Camp Festival)
  • Emma Timmis (My running companion for Hadrian's’ Wall)



Jul 26, 2016

Renee McGregor is a leading sports and eating disorder specialist dietitian.  She is accredited by the Health and Care Professions Council, the Sports and Exercise Nutrition Register, and is a member of the BDA’s Sports Nutrition Specialist Group.

With over 15 years' experience working in nutrition, Renee works with elite athletes, coaches and sport science teams to provide nutritional strategies to enhance sport performance and manage eating disorders.

She is the author of the best-selling book Training Food, which went straight to number one in Amazon's Fitness Training category in April 2015.

Renee is a regular contributor to health and fitness publications such as BBC Food, Triathlon 220 and Outdoor Fitness.  Renee speaks at nutrition conferences across the globe, and was recently keynote speaker at the Sports Performance Conference at The University of Bath, and the Bone Health and Stress Fracture Conference at the Institute of Sport Exercise & Health.

Show notes

  • What’s the difference between a dietician and a nutritionist and why it matters
  • Where her passion for food, diet & nutrition came from
  • How she developed her career and why it was important for her to continue her education while she had young children
  • Growing up in an Asian family and her relationship with food, and how family impacted on it
  • How the message around healthy eating has got everyone confused about what to eat
  • Getting your nutrition right while training and how you can do this with a family
  • Body image and why we shouldn’t all be trying to achieve just one body type
  • Having young daughters and being a role model to them
  • Why your attitude is so important
  • The biggest myths that need to be debunked! Do carbs make you fat? - True or False?
  • Lets talk about sugar…. 
  • How much protein do you need?
  • Health bloggers…..
  • Being diagnosed with an auto immune disease and the impact its had on her life
  • How’s best to recovery after a training session - is it a protein shake or a steak?
  • Supplements and why you should be taking Vitamin D every day
  • Training Food: Get the Fuel You Need to Achieve Your Goals - Before, During and After Exercise


Renee Website 

@mcgregor_renee I’m also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL

Help the Tough Girl Podcast get to 100,000 downloads by 4th August 2016! - Tell your friends about the Tough Girl Podcast!!! Share these inspirational stories!

A massive thank you to everyone who has become a patron! You too can support the Tough Girl Podcast from $2 to $5 per month!  CLICK HERE!



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Jul 19, 2016

Ann has dominated long-distance running for nearly two decades. During her career which spanned over 20 years, she’s broken 20 world records in distances ranging from 40 to 100 miles, qualified three times in the marathon for the US Olympic trials, won the Western States 100 14 times, and set a course record at the Leadville 100 that has stood for more than 20 years.

Ann now lives a quieter life in the country, in this podcast we get to go back in time to learn more about Ann and how she first got into running, why she’s so passionate about the sport and why she ensures she’s having fun!

Show notes

  • Ann introduces herself in her own words
  • How Ann first got her start into running
  • Running her first six minute mile!
  • Going back to high school when girls were not meant to run
  • Dealing with failure at a young age and how it motivated her to perform
  • Why hard work pays off 
  • Why being able to solve problems can make you a better ultra runner
  • 6 weeks to train for her first 50 mile race at 25 years old and getting to meet her running idol 
  • Dealing with self doubt and how it motivates her to try harder 
  • Messing up her training by doing too much and how it took failure at Western States for Ann to learn from all her mistakes
  • A brief history of Western States
  • The Leadville 100 and dealing with pain and tiredness
  • Why you need your own mantras when running 
  • The Ps in ultra running - Positive, Planning, Preparing, Pacing, Problem solving, Progressing
  • Trying to stay in the moment and living in the now
  • Her race strategy and why pacing was key
  • Winning Comrades Marathon by 2 mins!
  • Dealing with the loss of her mum and being a mentor for the runners she coaches
  • Final words of advice for potential ultra runners


Ann Trason - Website

Help the Tough Girl Podcast get to 100,000 downloads by 4th August 2016! - Tell your friends about the Tough Girl Podcast!!! Share these inspirational stories!

A massive thank you to everyone who has become a patron! You too can support the Tough Girl Podcast from $2 to $5 per month!  CLICK HERE!

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Jul 12, 2016

Emily is an oceans advocate, skipper and artist; a graduate of Cambridge University with a degree in Architecture; and Director of global organisation Pangaea Explorations.

She is the youngest and only female recipient of Yachtmaster of the Year, awarded by HRH Princess Royal after rounding the planet on the record-breaking biofuelled boat, Earthrace; spending 6 months living on a tiny Tongan island organising the largest ever community led cleanup; and discovering previously unknown oceanic gyres – huge areas of marine plastic pollution accumulation.

Her organisation, Pangaea Explorations, specialises in enabling scientists, filmmakers and everyday people to explore the most remote parts of our planet to collect data on global issues and develop solutions to the challenges facing today’s society.

Show notes

  • Emily introduces herself and shares more about what she does and why she loves the ocean
  • Joining the boat “Earthrace”  at 21 and having the opportunity to travel the world.
  • What Emily learnt about herself while traveling at such a young age and how it changed the direction of her life
  • What the ocean taught her about living in the moment and why you need to reacts and respond to your external circumstances. 
  • Explaining the role of ocean advocate and what she does to create positive change 
  • Heading out to Tonga to help educate the people, work with the local government, and arranging a massive clean up of the coast line
  • The Pangaea Exploration
  • Studying the plastic pollution of the oceans and how micro plastics are impacting on the planet
  • Exploring Greenland by sailing along the North West Passage & seeing the raw beauty of the Arctic 
  • Becoming a skipper and what she’s learnt about leadership from the role
  • Her first big trans-atlantic crossing & the challenges she faced and overcame
  • Feeling like a fraud and faking it till you make it
  • Exploring Mindsets & why a shift in thinking can change the world
  • Exploring the Mississippi 
  • Questions to ask yourself in order to find out your values
  • Finding out what’s next for Emily and why she heading back to land


Links for Emily!

Emily Penn Website 

Emily Penn twitter @EmilyPenn 

Instagram @MissEmilyPenn 

Emily Penn on Facebook 

Pangaea Exploration 


Come say hi to me on twitter -  I’m @_TOUGH_GIRL

Help the Tough Girl Podcast get to 100,000 downloads by 4th August 2016! - Tell your friends about the Tough Girl Podcast!!! Share these inspirational stories!

A massive thank you to everyone who has become a patron! You too can support the Tough Girl Podcast from $2 to $5 per month!  CLICK HERE!

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Jul 5, 2016

Belinda has worked on numerous major international expeditions over the last 22 years; as a diver, field biologist, expedition leader, expedition manager, and award winning adventure film-maker. 

She founded Explorers Connect with the belief, “there is an explorer in everyone and adventure is one of the best things in life”. Her goals are to; inspire and support the adventure community through collaboration and connections.

Show notes

  • Having a wild childhood and growing up feral on a small island
  • How the Duke of Edinburgh Award changed the direction of her life
  • Making the decision when she was 18 years old to spend a year working and traveling in Africa
  • Dealing with the challenges that Africa threw her way and why she decided to continue travelling
  • Why heading off to Africa on her own was the best decision she ever made
  • Leadership skills and what makes a good leader
  • Her rowing challenge around Great Britain and getting a Guinness World Record at the same time
  • Why she decided on this rowing challenge and why she needed to do something that she could fail at
  • Why she set up Explorers Connect
  • Advice about money and funding for expeditions
  • The adventure industry and how it has changed over the years 
  • Why women are changing the adventure industry slowly and what you can do to help to keep the momentum going
  • Final words of advice to inspire you to go on your own adventure and why you need to start now!!!



Say hi to Belinda on twitter @ExplorersTweet - I’m also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL


Help the Tough Girl Podcast get to 100,000 downloads by 4th August 2016! - Tell your friends about the Tough Girl Podcast!!! Share these inspirational stories!



Jun 28, 2016


The Explorers’ Grand Slam is the ultimate adventure challenge that involves climbing the world’s highest peaks on each of the seven continents as well as trekking to the geographic North and South poles.

Masha began her Explorers' Grand Slam challenge in October 2015 she has now scaled the world’s highest peaks on each of the seven continents – Everest (Asia), Kilimanjaro (Africa), Vinson Massif (Antarctica), Aconcagua (South America), Carstensz Pyramid (Australasia), Mt. Elbrus (Europe) and Denali (North America) as well as trekked to the geographic North and South poles.

The extraordinary demands of the challenge mean she's been pushed to the edge of her physical endurance and mental resilience. She's spent over a 100 days in a tent and spent three weeks trekking on skis to the North and South Poles in -40C weather and exposed herself to the “death zone” – the high altitude above 8,000 where there is not enough oxygen for humans to breathe.

Only two other people have completed the Explorers' Grand Slam challenge (including the two poles) in under a year and just 45 in total. The previous female world record title holder was Vanessa O’Brien who completed the record in 11 months. Masha did it in 8 months!

Show notes

  • Early years and growing up and not being athletic!
  • Falling in love with the mountains and getting that sense of achievement from adventure
  • What the Explorers’ Grand Slam is and how it came about
  • Negotiating time with the family to make time for the challenge
  • Remembering back to taking the first step of the challenge
  • The importance of having a sounding board
  • What aspect of the challenge worried her the most and why
  • Getting fit and building up her endurance
  • Starting the Explorers Grand Slam with climbing Kilimanjaro in 24 hours
  • Everest and attempting the summit
  • Dealing with fragility and how it became a story about grit
  • Teaming up with Lydia Bradey and deciding to climb or not with the potential for 50 mph winds on the way
  • What they had to do, to remain safe on the mountain. 
  • Knowing your limits and why you need to put things into perspective 
  • Getting off Everest and why that can be the riskiest part
  • Grit & Rock the charity, how it came about and why its so important for young women
  • What Masha learned most about herself throughout this experience. 
  • What her children thought about her adventure and how its changed her children
Check out the Grit & Rock Website for more info! 

A massive thank you to everyone who has become a patron! You too can support the Tough Girl Podcast from $2 to $5 per month!  CLICK HERE!

You can listen to the Tough Girl Podcast on iTunesSoundcloud & Stitcher!

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

Jun 21, 2016

Love running? Do you want to take it to the next level? Fancy doing an ultra marathon? 

Listen to Ellie as she shares her running journey from PE lessons in Dundee, her first half marathon, before moving over to Canada and starting to run to meet new people.

She’s gone on to win some of the most famous ultra races in the world, some of her race highlight include:-

-Comrades Marathon (89km) 1st place, South Africa. (2014, 6:18:15, downhill course) 

-Western States 100 mile Endurance Run Course Record, California, USA. (2012, 16:47:19)

-Comrades 89km 2nd place, South Africa.  (2012, 6:08:24, downhill course)

-IAU World 100km Champion, Gibraltar (2010, 7:29:05) and Doha, Qatar (2014, 7:30:48)


Show notes

  • Learning more about her childhood and being sporty at a young age. 
  • Where it all started with the Great North Run at 21 years old
  • The journey of how she made a career out of running
  • Getting her first sponsorship in 2008 and how that helped with accountability
  • Joining a more competitive running club.
  • Making the transition from running the marathon to her first 50K
  • Why having fun is so important while running
  • Her running goals and how they impact on her races and her race strategy going forward
  • Representing Great Britain and wanting to be the best she can be
  • Her physical preparation and training back in 2010 and how it has changed over the years
  • How ultra racing has changed and become more popular over the past few years
  • Learning more about Comrades Marathon held in South Africa each year and why its such a special race. 
  • Her first Western States and it being her first 100 mile race
  • Racing 950km in 2012 and being on a total roll with regards to wining races all over the world.
  • Dealing with injury
  • Her mental preparation for Comrades when she went back in 2014
  • Why having a running coach is a good idea
  • Her top tips for taking those first steps into running an ultra


You can learn more about Ellie by visiting her website or following her on Facebook.
Jun 14, 2016

Anna is based in London and back in the day she represented Great Britain at rowing, but after ‘retiring’ in her mid twenties, she started a “normal" job but the desire for adventure never left her.

In 2013 she set out to cycle 11,000 miles through each and every state of the USA, and most recently she became the first person to run the whole length of New Zealand. Along the Te Araroa trail. She ran it solo and unsupported, stopping off to speak to over 4,000 school children on the way. 

Show notes 

-Anna share more about her background and what it was like growing up in the McNuff Family!

-What it was like being the daughter of two Olympians

-Why she wanted to be an Olympian

-Representing Great Britain in rowing and making the decision to stop.

-Losing her sense of identity and deciding who she was and what she wanted to do next

-Entering the corporate world & being excited by it!

-Trying to fit adventures in around her work

-2013 - The urge for adventure became too much and she decided to scratch the itch!!

-Why you always have a choice!

-Making sacrifices to make her dream happen

-The highlights from cycling America - from Alaska, to the National Parks

-The challenges she faced during her cycle and how she overcame them. 

-Coping with her emotions - The Snowball, The Doubtress, The Dream Dumpers

-The post adventure blues & how to deal with them

-Running the full length of New Zealand and how the challenge came about

-Her mental and physical preparation for the challenge - Making herself ‘bomb proof’!

-What she learnt most about her brain while out running 


-Her “cheerleaders” only day!!!

-Why it was important for her to speak to children along the way to share her story with the goals of getting them excited about the planet.

-Advice around failure and why it’s about perception and perspective.

-Anna shares her mission for kids & adults

-Her future challenge - An exclusive on the Tough Girl Podcast!!!


Anna is 100% passionate about the positive impact adventure and sports can have on the lives of young people. Anna uses her human powered journeys as a platform to inspire and motivate children, to get outside, and get exploring the world they live in. 


To learn more about Anna visit her website Anna is also on twitter @AnnaMcNuff - Give her a shout out once you’ve listened to this episode!


A massive thank you to everyone who has become a patron! You too can support the Tough Girl Podcast from as little as $2 to $5 per month!  CLICK HERE!


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


Jun 7, 2016

This episode has been sponsored by Four Athletics - for a 20% discount use the promo code ToughGirl20!

Jules is currently based in the UAE, she was the first female to start an adventure & travel company in the Middle East. After climbing her first mountain when she was 40, she decided to create Mountain High. For the past 13 years, she has been leading expeditions around the world, writing books, and giving motivational talks.

During this podcast Jules talks about the following:-

  • Jules introduces herself and tells us how Mountain High came about
  • Climbing her first mountain when she turned 40 and how it changed the direction of her life. 
  • Why age is a lifestyle and not just a number
  • Her 40th birthday and the importance of “Zero Limit Birthdays”
  • Why climbing mountains can be a great metaphor for life
  • The “mountain high” moment and how it took her a year to gain the courage to start her company
  • Trekking to base camp at Everest
  • Advice and tips around courage and why courage is like a muscle you need to exercise and use on a regular basis.
  • Why you have to know your - WHY!!
  • Her first Arctic Expedition with 18 other women and what she learnt about her place in the world.
  • Training a team of breast cancer survivors for a dragon boat race
  • Visiting Tibet and being at high altitude.
  • The success factor and the psychology of success
  • The way of the Warrior!
  • Tips & advice for starting off in meditation.
  • Jules shares more about her daily routine and her rituals to help her achieve her goals.
  • The Power of Three - Her mind, body & spirit.
  • Dealing with FEAR - False Evidence Appearing Real - What are your fears?
  • Writing her first book - Moving Mountains Discover the Mountain in You

To learn more about Jules - Please visit her personal website or her company website.

Jules is also on twitter @mountainhighme


A massive thank you to everyone who has become a patron! You too can support the Tough Girl Podcast from as little as $2 to $5 per month!  CLICK HERE!


You can listen to the Tough Girl Podcast on iTunesSoundcloud & Stitcher!


Thank you to Four Athletics for their sponsorship!

May 31, 2016


Let me introduce you to Nikki Kimball!!

Nikki has had a phenomenal running career and she is a living legend in the world of Ultra running. She has been a member of the US 100K Team from 2001 to 2006, she has won the Western States 100 in 2004, 2006 and 2007. She has also won the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc in 2007 and the Marathon de Sables in 2014! 

During this podcast we discuss; how she got into running, ultra running, dealing with pain and depression. Nikki also provides advice and tips to help you with your own personal challenges, whether that’s running or dealing with depression.

Show notes
  • Nikki shares about her childhood and how she was a skier first, before transitioning into running
  • Not feeling like a runner because of body image issues
  • Accidentally running her first ultra!
  • The race that scared her the most - Running the Long Trail in Vermont - A very technical, challenging 272 miles! 
  • Learning more about the off shoot of ultra running - Fastest Known Time running and the 3 ways you can do it. 
  • The physical training she does for ultra & the logic behind it
  • Dealing with the pain, and her top tips for embracing the pain and using it to your advantage
  • How to get the balance right between doing enough training without getting over trained. 
  • Tips for recovery after a hard training session or a 100 mile race. Why she’s advocating for recovery lounges.
  • What she eats while training, and racing and why she made the transition from vegetarian to a meat eater! 
  • Why she changed  from High Carb:Low Fat to Low Carb:High Fat
  • Her Marathon des Sables experience in 2014 and why she wasn’t in the right frame of mind before the race
  • Why she won’t race where the prize money isn’t equal for men and women
  • Living with depression from a young age and how it’s impacted on her life.
  • Trying to come off medication and not being able to succeed and how’s she combined exercise with medication to help her.
  • Talking about depression and the steps she took to get help and why she’s talking about her own experiences.
  • Being part of the documentary “Finding Traction” that followed her journey running the fastest known time on Vermont’s Long Trail (272 miles) – 5 days, 7 hrs, 42min
  • Advice and tips for women who want to take up running.
  • Discussing her favourite race and the reasons why!
  • Talking about her race strategies,which involve having fun and being relaxed!
  • Trainers - being sponsored and the number of trainers she goes through!!!
  • The ultimate race & challenge she would like to do!

Connect with Nikki on Facebook you can also like - Tough Girl Challenges on Facebook !

Listen to this episodes on iTunesSoundcloud or Stitcher! Don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode!


May 24, 2016

Show notes

  • Sally shares how she first got into sailing and the pathway shetook to get to the Olympics in Beijing
  • Sailing at university and how she moved from being a new memberof the crew to leading the team
  • Deciding to become a professional sailor and how she followedher passion
  • What was involved in the 6 year campaign of getting to theOlympics. How she kept motivated over the years  
  • The type of sailing she was doing and how it works in scoringfor the Olympics
  • What she’s learnt about teamwork from sailing as part ofcrews
  • Heading over to China, and dealing with the differentchallenges before the games even started.
  • What happened in the the final medal race
  • The learning Sally took away from that experience
  • Taking a break from sailing and getting over the sense offailure and loss
  • “The hardest sailing you will ever do” being a member of thefirst all female team for SCA in the Volvo OceanRace 
  • What it was like being out on the boat; the day to day routine,working for 4 hrs on, 4 hrs off, dealing with the pressure ofracing while out at sea and keeping the focus on driving the boatforward
  • Learning as much as they could while sailing, and dealing withthe highs and lows while out at sea
  • Dealing with set backs, never giving up and fighting all theway to the finish line
  • The training they needed to do, to get as fit and strong aspossible before the race starts.
  • Getting respect from the guys for the job they were doing
  • The reasons behind the MagentaProject and what their aims are
  • The challenges going forward especially around gainingsponsorship 
  • Why you should give sailing a go!
“Thank you for showing girls and women around the worldthat we can accomplish anything and to dream big. Your perservence,drive and commitment to this gruelling competition is inspiring.” Billie Jean King 

The MagentaProject - aims to increase the participation of women atthe highest level of sailing and promote inclusion, diversity andpositive female role models in society at large.

The Tough Girl Blog was highly commended at the UK Blog Awards2016! 

Check out the Tough Girl blog to learn more about theinspirational women on the Tough Girl Podcast

May 17, 2016

In 2003 Lois decided she’d had enough of working at the BBC and decided to leave it all behind to take a trip on her motorcycle. She headed to Alaska and started the twenty-thousand miles journey  down to the southern most tip of South America. This was the start of many epic adventures. 

During this podcast Lois shares the reasons behind the decisions she’s made, the highs, the lows, what she’s learnt on the way and why everyone should take a trip and go travelling.

Show notes

-Lois introduces herself and shares more of her story; how being a bored 29 year old, passing her motorcycle test and having itchy feed led to the adventure of a lifetime

-Deciding to make a big change in her life and how you can make that change

-Deciding to get her motorcycle licence and why she decided this was the way to see the world

-Planning and preparing for the 20,000 mile ride

-Dealing with FEAR - your own and others

-Why you do need to modify your behaviour and apply common sense to situations

-Crossing the border from California into Mexico

-Having a goal to keep you focused and something to aim for

-The challenges she faced while out on the road; crashes, breaking down, getting lost!

-What she learnt about herself while travelling

-Her feelings on getting to the end of the trip 

-Taking on Africa - “The greatest motorcycle challenge in the world!”

-Why it’s always about the people the meet

-The logistic of travelling - Map reading, GPS systems, getting lost in big cities!

-Why she decided to go to Iran

-Her top tips for women who want to go travelling or go on an adventure!

Say hi to Lois on twitter @LoisPryce - I’m also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL

Lois co-founded The Adventure Travel Film Festival with her husband. This will be happening in the UK on the 12-14th August - You can get your tickets HERE!

May 10, 2016

Julie Creffield is a women on a mission. She wants to get One Million women in the UK active and running. She’s focused on the women who don’t get any support, the women who may feel they’re too fat, too overweight, and too curvy to do exercise. 

Julie has been providing people wrong over the years, she was told by a doctor she was “too fat to run” she wasn’t -  she went on to run a marathon. 

People have been telling her all her life she’s too fat to do things, she decided enough was enough. Just because you weren’t slim or you don’t fit the stereotypical image of what a women should look like doesn’t mean you can’t do exercise and Julie’s proof of this.

No matter your size, you’ll be able to relate to Julie and the message she’s spreading.

Show notes

  • How the blog idea came about, and how its developed as Julie has grown more comfortable in her own skin
  • Going back to start and finding out more about Julie and what drives and motivates her
  • Getting the wake up call, when a child shouted “Run Fatty Run”
  • Not having the confidence to join a running club, and being embarrassed about running outside.
  • The far off dream of running a marathon…
  • The discrimination of women based on their size. The judgement women are constantly under and why it can be easier to not run
  • Why larger women need to be more visible. Why women of all sizes can get outside and run
  • Her take on running clubs, but why they don’t necessarily work for working mothers with children.
  • How being a part of a running club can help you become part of a community and can help with accountability.
  • One Big Fat Run - A virtual 5K that takes place on the last Sunday of every month
  • Why it’s about the participation at the end of the day!
  • Her experience of running the London Marathon and what she learnt most about herself 
  • Top tips for women who want to get out there and start running. 
  • Her program; from couch to 5K and why its not just about the distance, but also about facing fears, creating new habits and becoming a runner.
  • Facing individuals personal fears; from being seen in public, telling your partner you want to run, wearing lycra, to getting fitted for trainers for the first time.
  • How running has changed her habits for the better
  • The Brighton Marathon & why the race stands out for her
  • Dealing with race pressure and how she learnt to cope with it
  • Why she’s not concerned about loosing weight anymore - and why for her its about living a healthy and happy life at any size.
  • Why its about living in the NOW!
  • Confidence and why you need to understand your WHY!
  • Richard Branson’s Virgin Business Competition - VOOM!
  • Her mission - to get 1 Million overweight women in the UK running! 
  • Final words of advice and why you need to learn to trust yourself and make your own decisions - Put Health & Happiness at the forefront of your life.

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Help to spread the word about the Tough Girl Podcast!

May 3, 2016

Tanith is your normal everyday women, she has her own business on the Wirral, she is a mother and at 44 had never been a runner. 

That all changed on May 9th….. 

Learn more about Tanith’s story and be inspired to take on your own personal challenge.

Show Notes
  • Tanith introduces herself and shares why she wanted to do the ultimate running challenge - The London Marathon
  • The importance of having a bucket list, the power of visualisation and how you can make any idea happen.
  • Her first running experience, running her first mile and how she had no idea what she was doing!
  • How she broke it down and started to take small steps in order to accomplish this massive goal she’d set herself
  • Telling the world she was running the London Marathon when she didn’t even have a place!
  • Doing it on her own and what she learnt on the way, taking advice from running forums, an app and why she decided to keep it really simple
“If you want to get good at something you have to keep doing it”
  • Being a fitness instructor, but not really being fit. Drinking, smoking and how she’d never really embracing the fitness way of life
  • How running started to help change her social patterns, and how running changed her habits for the better
  • Completing her first half marathon and celebrating with a beer and a fag and thinking she was now an athlete!
  • Why park runs are fantastic, whether your running at the front or the back!
  • Why it’s not about the time - A mile is still a mile no matter how long it takes you!
  • The mental battle of getting through her first half marathon and how this helped her to plan for the London Marathon
  • Starting to get serious in January 2016 and the barriers she had to overcome; chronic fatigue, having an underachieve thyroid, bad knees, posture problems, a tilted pelvis, and her glutes not working!
  • The thoughts running through her head before the marathon and the pressure she was putting on herself
  • Marathon day and what she learned! The wall, lead legs, counting back from 300, why she didn’t care about the time, crossing the line, getting her medal & loving protein shakes!
  • Her top tips to take you from the couch to running a marathon!

If you want to run the London Marathon in 2017 you can apply through the ballot between the 2nd - 6th May - CLICK HERE!

Sponsor Tanith - CLICK HERE! Tanith is raising money for Claire House Children's Hospital which offers respite and care to children and young people with life limiting medical conditions, as well as support for the entire family.

You can accomplish any challenge you set your mind to. What challenge are you going to accomplish this month?! Let me know - send me a tweet @_TOUGH_GIRL

Become a Patron! Support the Tough Girl Podcast - CLICK HERE!



You can listen to the Tough Girl Podcast on the go via iTunesSoundcloud & Stitcher!

Apr 26, 2016

The Marathon des Sables is one of the ultimate multi-stage endurance races in the world. It consists of running six marathons in six days across the Sahara desert. It’s been around for over 30 years and according to the Discover Channel has the reputation of being “one of the hardest footraces on earth”. It’s brutal, it's challenging and according to pretty much everyone I speak to, a crazy race to do!

During this podcast I will share my journey of the challenges I faced on getting to the start line and running the toughest footrace on earth!


  • Introduction from Saira
  • The MDS and when the seed got planted 
  • The start of the journey in September 2014
  • Preparation for the race - How I changed my fitness routine and diet
  • Weight lifting and how it changed my body
  • Starting to feel tired, lethargic, aching legs, no energy…..over training
  • My low point - not having the energy to get out of bed
  • My body failing me & being so disappointed in myself
  • Dealing with candida and having to drastically change my diet
  • Having to postpone the MDS until April 2016
  • Working with a Personal Trainer - Jack Clover from JC Performance
  • Why its so important you listen to your body
  • The importance of being specific with your training and not just training for training sake
  • Heading to Australia for endurance training
  • Dealing with issues during training such as a broken little toe!
  • What I learned from training in the heat
  • What a typical week of training looked like
  • Kit & equipment (You can also watch videos on the Tough Girl - YouTube Channel for more info)
  • Top tips for preparing your feet and why it’s so important
  • Dealing with the nerves before the race, and why its important to be relaxed!
  • Getting the hair right for the race!
  • Travelling to the start of the race & what it was like out in the desert
  • The importance of receiving e-mails and the extra motivation they provided  - THANK YOU to everyone who wrote to me!!
  • Cut off times and why you need to stay a head of the camels!
  • Why it was important for me to run my own race. We also discuss the high points, the low points and handling day 4, the long day (80K - 52 miles)
  • How I used gratitude in the race and why I found the finish of the race a bit of a let down
  • Why I wouldn’t race the MDS again and what I’ve got coming up next
  • My top tips for the MDS & dealing with pressure from the race
  • Some final fun questions and what made me emotional after the race!

If you listen to this episode before the 29th April - You can vote for me to be your role model with Panache!

Become a Patron! Support the Tough Girl Podcast - CLICK HERE!

Special thank you to Saira Khan for being an awesome host of the Tough Girl Podcast!

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