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 26, 2016

In today’s podcast we catch up with Susie Cheetham who’s a professional triathlete and came 6th at the Iron Man World Championships in 2015. 

Susie provides advice, top tips and tactics for all aspects of the race from the the swim, cycle, run and how to make the transitions work best for you. 

Susie shares her first experience of fitness  at a young age and how by deciding to join a running club, it's changed the whole direction of her life.

We also discuss the following:-

  • The importance of trying new sports and seeing what works for you. 
  • Getting back to basics - what’s involved in a Half Ironman and how her first experience went. 
  • Discussing some of the myths that surround an Ironman - from drinking coke on the run to it being boring! 
  • How to choose what advice to listen to and what advice to ignore.
  • Learning to take confidence in the decisions you make - for triathlons and for life.
  • The high points for Susie during an Ironman, as well as the low points and how she deals with them. From punctures on the side of the road to receiving a time penalty for dangerous riding.
  • How your mental attitude can change throughout the course and how having the right attitude can impact on your race.
  • Susie shares her tips on mental toughness preparation especially in the toughest races like Kona.  
  • How to cope when your mind takes you to dark place during the race. 
  • Advice, tactics and top tips for the open water swim for both experienced swimmers and novice swimmers. 
  • Pacing lines, overtaking and tactics for the cycle part of the race
  • How you can have the best transition for you!
  • Advice and tips for the run section and why being comfortable is so important for having your best race.
  • Learn more about the Iron Nun and why age is just a number! 

You can learn more about Susie by visiting her website, and she's also on Twitter @SusieCheetham 

Are you training for a triathlon? Want to learn more? Then listen to Helen Russell (World Champion Duathlete & Triathlete) and Gale Bernhardt (USA Olympic Triathlon Team & Olympic Cycling Coach) on the Tough Girl Podcast!

Come and say hello to me on twitter! @_TOUGH_GIRL

If you’ve enjoyed this episode then please tell a friend and share on your social media. Help to spread the word about the Tough Girl Podcast!

To keep unto date on how my training for the Marathon des Sables is going visit 

Jan 19, 2016

Arry hated sports, hating being active and was completely turned off exercise from a young age. At school she came up with every excuse under the sun not to get active! 

But what changed? 

What led her to take up running and to eventually taking on the challenge of being the first person to run around the perimeter of Wales via the newly opened Coastal Path and Offas Dyke. 

What were her motivations and the reasons behind the challenge? 

During this podcast we learn more about Arry and how she's inspired others to get into sports and fitness. How’s she's battled grief, anxiety, depression and haters - people who still say she ‘doesn’t look like a runner’. 

Arry’s a remarkable women, who has a fantastic story to share.

During this podcast you’ll be inspired and motivated as well as picking up loads of top tips and advice about undertaking a challenge and getting outside of your comfort zone. 

What are you waiting for! It’s time to listen to Arry’s story. 

We also talk about the following:

  • What The Dragon Run 1027 is and how it came about
  • Why she was able to set up the challenge and able to do it even with the odds stacked against her. e.g. never having run more than 13 miles before and never running off road before!
  • Getting help and support from Elite Ultra Runners - Matt Calaghan, Phil Rosenstein, Dean Karnzes (Ultra Marathon Man)
  • The preparation and planning that went into the event and why she focused more on the mental side. She provides top tips for running as well as how to make the change from road running to trail running. 
  • How she approached the training and why getting up at 3 am to train became the norm. 
  • Getting to the start line and her feelings on that day, followed by her first psychological battle which happened on day 2 and how she handled it.
  • How she coped with injury on the way and why she wasn’t going to let it stop her.
  • Dealing with grief, and why she couldn’t put it off anymore and why day 15 still haunts her and how she learned to process her emotions in a different way or else she wasn’t going to be able to carry on.

This is one inspiring story and to learn more about the Dragon Run and to be kept unto date with Arry’s next challenge - Check out her blog!

You can say hi to Arry on twitter @dragonrun1027  and say hi to me @_TOUGH_GIRL. We're both on Facebook as well! Click the Dragon Run 1027 &  Tough Girl Challenges - to follow & support!

Arry's goal was to raise £25K for Velindre Cancer Centre and Gozo CCU Foundation. The fundraising continues! You can support by clicking HERE! 


Jan 12, 2016

Kathryn is an author of three books as well as producing and directing her debut documentary film: HALF THE ROAD: The passion, pitfalls & power of women’s professional cycling.

During this podcast we discuss a variety of different topics from the books she's written, why she’s so passionate about road cycling, as well as women’s equality in sports and her plans for the future. 

We also discuss the following:

  • Why she decided to take up the sport of triathlon before moving over into road cycling at the age of 31.
  • Landing her first professional contract for cycling at age 36.
  • How one assignment from ESPN changed the direction of her life forever. 
  • Attempting a variety of different Olympic Sports from modern pentathlon, open water swimming, to team handball.
  • We talk about racing on the road and the different tactics involved from the peloton - to what it is, how it works as well as tactics for mountain climbs
  • Her career highlight bringing parity to women’s professional road cycling, starting with getting women racing Le Tour Entier during the Tour de France.
  • Explaining why women are still not allowed to race in the Tour de France.
  • We discuss her powerful documentary film - Half the Road - Which is not just about cycling but also equality.
  • “Why we are all capable of change” and why we need to be the ones asking for and making that change.
  • The three books she’s written and how they represent her collective journey she's taken over the years.
  • What life is like as a pro racer and her plans for her 5th and final year. She gives an insight into her training and how she tailors it specifically to suit her and her age.
  • We discuss why rest and recovery are so important and why you're only as good as your rest. 
  • Why women continue to get better and better with age, especially for endurance events- and why age is just a number!
  • She shares with us her future goals and challenges for 2016 and why giving yourself permission to be happy and living in the moment is so important.



Learn more about  - Half the Road by visiting the website

Learn more about Kathryn -

Come and say hi on twitter!! 

 @KathrynBertine @halftheroad @_TOUGH_GIRL

You can listen to the Tough Girl Podcast via iTunesSoundcloud or Stitcher

Please take a minute to subscribe and to leave a review in iTunes!

New Episodes every Tuesday at 7 am. #ToughGirlTuesday

Have a fantastic week! Sarah x

Jan 5, 2016

Happy New Year and Welcome to 2016!

I’m so excited to kick off the New Year with this awesome podcast episode which is bound to inspire and motivate you. 

Today we’ll be talking to Annie Ross from eXerK. She set out in 2015 to complete 52 challenges in 52 weeks in an attempt to encourage busy people in and around London (maybe even the world) to make time for the things they care about – whatever it may be.

Annie has a full time job working in banking, but she was sick and tired of the lack of exercise in her life. In December 2014 she decided to make a change and she started the eXerK project on the 1st January 2015. 

During this podcast we discuss:

  • What the eXerK project is and how it came about
  • Why she kept her plans flexible and wasn’t rigid in her planning
  • Why she felt empowered by this idea and her first challenge to kick of 2015!
  • The types of challenges she decided to do from physical challenges to exploring more of London
  • Why having balance in your life is so important and just being busy is not a sign of productivity
  • How she maintained her motivation during the year
  • The challenges that pushed her, physically, mentally and the one that got away
  • Her advice about staring off with challenges and why you should start small
  • Her “walk and talk” and why she loves getting outside 
  • Taking eXerK over to Europe and how she fitted challenges and adventure into long weekends
  • Her two final challenges and how she ended the year with a dance!
  • Her plans for 2016 and a few final words of wisdom that she shares about what she’s learned over the past 52 weeks
“Go on – set your goals, carve out time, be determined and just get on with it”

Other Links

Project Awesome -  is a FREE fitness movement in London that gets you out of bed and into shape.

Social Media

You can check out all of the challenges that Annie has completed in 2015 on her website  - you can also follow her on Twitter @exerkyourself 

I’m also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL come and say hi! If you’ve enjoyed please take 2 mins to write a review on iTunes and share with your friends!

I’ll be back next Tuesday for another awesome - Tough Girl Podcast episode at 7 am UK Time!

You can listen on iTunesSoundcloud or Stitcher!


Dec 31, 2015

Milly started running purely for fitness and health, it was a means to an end and she’d go out, pounding the road and the pavement but never enjoying it. But that all changed when she went off road running. 

Running no longer felt like a chore or just a means to keep fit. She found a real passion and love for it. 

Milly shares her story and talks about making the change to off road running and how she went from running a 10 mile fell race to a 53 km ultra race in the Alps. 

During this podcast Milly also talks about:

  • What fell racing is, the different types of races and how to classify them
  • Navigating with a compass, following other runners and planning your own route
  • Why fell running is more of a thinking race
  • Why she decided to go down the ultra running route and the most impulsive thing she's ever done!
  • The challenges she faced during training, from over training, to injury and training for the mountains while living in the city
  • The mental preparation and strategies she used to prepare for her race 
  • How she coped with self doubt especially during the training period
  • Dealing with the concerns of other people
  • Why “time on your feet” is so important
  • What she was feeling while stood on the start line and what happened during the race including her first mental battle at 15 miles
  • Thinking more strategically during the race and what drove her on
  • How doing her pre-race preparation of the race route helped her to finish strong
  • Why she started writing a blog about running and how she wants other women to be inspired
  • Future challenges for 2016 
  • Her ultimate running race and top tips for running off the road

Thank you so much for listening to the 30th Episode of the Tough Girl Podcast!

I can’t believe how far the Tough Girl Podcast has come since I started on Tuesday 4th August (Tough Girl Tuesday!) If you haven’t already please do go back and check out the earlier episodes, you’ll be inspired by polar explorers, swimmers, mountain climbers and ocean rowers! Which will give you the inspiration you need to set your 2016 goals! 

I’ll be sharing mine on the Tough Girl Blog! I’d love to hear what goals you’ve set for yourself? 


The Fell Runners Association - FRA 

The OCC Race - Orsiere, Champex and Chamonix 

The UTMB - Ultra Trail Mount Blanc  

Milly’s Blog Milly’s Vlog  

A short reading from Jeff Spiers - How to Succeed in Life & Happiness


Social Media Links

Twitter - @_TOUGH_GIRL  @MillyVoiceRuns

Instagram - @toughgirlchallenges  @MillyVoiceRuns


Dec 29, 2015

“The MDS is a magical race and I can honestly say that the two times I have run it (2012 + 2015), it has been a life changing experience in different respects. Whether you look at it as a fun holiday, a race, a trek or an adventure that has been on your bucket list for 20+ years you probably won't be disappointed. It can be as hard as you want it to be (or harder!) and it will likely test your physical and mental strength to the limits. The sun is ruthless, the terrain is brutal, the scenery is quite something and you will make friends for life.”

During this podcast we discuss a variety of topics, from how she got into ultra running, how the focus of her life changed, and how she trained for an event like the MDS. Elisabet, has a great story and shares some of the challenges she’s faced and overcome. Providing top tips and advice which will motivate and inspire you! 

Discussion points:

  • After you’ve run a marathon - what’s next?
  • How personal events impacted on her and made her really reflect on what she wanted to do with her life 
  • The reason behind signing up for the Marathon des Sables
  • Going through tough times with her husband and why having the MDS as a goal helped them to move forward and to look to the future
  • Explaining what the MDS is, what’s involved; from the distance, to the type of race, and how it works with regards to kit, preparation and daily routines
  • Her goal for the 2012 race along with training tips 
  • The myths of MDS and setting them straight
  • Why walking the race can be harder than running, and why you need to adapt your pace to the race you're doing
  • Highlights from the race, and what it was like doing the race with her husband
  • How the MDS consumed her mind and why she had go back in 2015
  • The differences between the 2012 and 2015 race
  • Building ultra endurance and how it can take time to develop
  • Why planning is so important!
  • Tips for adapting to the heat of the desert and coping with the mental and physical pains
  • How she keeps her mind occupied while running
  • How it works with navigation and map reading during the race and her 3 Top Tips for race goers
  • Why having a coach is so important to helping you progress in running



Tempted to enter the Marathon des Sables? - Click Here 

Check out - My Race Kit  Website.

Jack Clover can be reached via JC Performance 


Social Media Links

Twitter - ME!  @_TOUGH_GIRL  Elizabet - @UltraRunEli  

Instagram - @toughgirlchallenges


Dec 24, 2015

Susie started running later on in life, she used to be a single mother, who loved drinking and smoking, but running had a profound effect on her and after doing one half marathon that was it, she was hooked. Two years later she was entering and running ultra marathons. 

 During this podcast we discuss:

-Her first race and what happened before, during and after

-How she swapped her bad habits for good ones

-Joining a running club and connecting with other runners

-Two races went on her bucket list- the Boston Marathon and the Marathon des Sables

-Advice for listeners who want to make a change in their life

-Why its never to late and age is irrelevant

-Her first ever Marathon - Running the Paris Marathon and why she had a terrible time!

-Do you need a training plan for a race? 

-Why listening to your body is so important

-How she fits in her training around having a daughter and a full time job

-How she didn’t make excuses, she made it happen 

-How she trains and why she loves hill training!

-Make a “run date” and get out of the door!

-Her first Ultra race - Around the Island - 72 miles over two days

-The low points and the hight points and what she learned about herself

-How to train your mind and how to have the right mindset - Be arrogant and believe in yourself!

-How Susie met her husband and the connection between twitter, running and the MdS

-What happened during the MDS 2015

-Her top tips for the MDS

-Her next Big Challenge in the Jungle - The Jungle Ultra! Plus many more - 2016 is going to be a busy year.


You can follow Susie on Twitter @Susie__Chan. I’m also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL.

Send us a tweet once you've listened to this episode!

You can listen on iTunes -  Soundcloud - Stitcher
Dec 22, 2015


During this episodes we chat with Mimi Anderson, who describes herself as a wife, mother and grandmother, who likes to run. We get to share in some of Mimi many challenges, from racing in some of the most extreme environments on the planet, from the heat of the desert to the bitter cold of the Arctic. She shares her experiences, the hights the lows, and what she learnt from the races. She provides advice and tips and will inspire you to put your trainers on and go for a run!

During this podcast we also discuss the following:

  • Why she decided to start running & when she called herself a runner for the first time
  • Making the change from the treadmill to running outside
  • The 6633 Ultra Race - A 350 mile non stop, self sufficient race in the Arctic.
  • Training for the event and having a plan for the race
  • What it was like being in that environment
  • Coping with being on her own during the race - and getting away from it all
  • Coping with the cold and dealing with temperatures of -70!
  • Why you don't want to sweat in the Arctic
  • The highs and the lows and how she dealt with them and what got her through her darkest moments
  • Achieving her goal of winning the 6633 Ultra Race
  • The importance of having a race plan, doing your research and being prepared 
  • Her 2008 challenge - Going for the Female World Record - JOGLE 
  • How she learned from failure and how she became stronger as a result
  • The challenges she faced; from having her body swell up, being hit by a car, and being stopped by the police!
  • Recovery after big races - her 3 top tips!
  • Why quality training is so much better than just training for the sake of training 
  • Learning more about the Double Badwater Race and what its like running in extremely hot temperatures
  • Tips and advice for running in the heat
  • What makes Mimi so determined
  • The ultra running community

For more inspirational stories from women overcoming challenges go and check out the Tough Girls on the Tough Girl Podcast at

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Tough Girl Podcast for more fantastic episodes!

Coming up next - Ultra runner and Blogger - Susie Chan.

Dec 17, 2015

Nat is a lover of endurance events, and anything to do with the outdoors! She loves being fit and active and during this podcast she shares with us some of the events she's participated in, from being involved in adventure races to  completing Ironman's and ultra endurances races in extreme conditions. 

She also discusses why she decided to join the army and what military life was like while training at Sandhurst. She shares top tips and advice which you'll be able to implement in your life.

Topics discussed during the podcast:

-What Adventure Racing is and what to expect during a race

-Tips for making decisions when tired and sleep deprived, and how she's learned from previous mistakes

-Why communication and teamwork is so important during race conditions

-How her journey into ultra events started and why she decided to do the 6633 Ultra Race - A 350 mile footrace in the Canadian Arctic!

-How she trained both mentally and physically for the 6633 Ultra Race

-Why it’s important to break your big goals down into smaller chunks and make it more manageable

-27hrs into the race, things changed and why Nat needed to split away from Nics and carry on, on her own

-How her race progressed over the next 5 days and the importance of having routines 

-Having a sense of humour failure and how she managed to get through this and keep on going

-What’s involved in an Ironman and how she ran 2 Ironman's just 13 days apart

-Facing her ultimate fear…..the water

-Learn more about the Ice Maidens Challenge in 2017 and why the Ice-Factor is so important


For more inspirational stories from women overcoming challenges. Check out the Tough Girls on the Tough Girl Podcast at

Next week I'll be talking to Mimi Anderson and Susie Chan

You can listen to The Tough Girl Podcast on iTunesSoundcloud and Stitcher.


Dec 15, 2015

During this podcast we get to cover a whole host of different topics! From why Nics decided to join the British Army and what its like being a female in a male dominated environment. How sports at a young age from athletics to skiing encouraged her to try triathlons at university which led to her completing an Ironman!

Nics also touches on the following topics:

-The difference between Alpine skiing and Nordic skiing

-The Bolton Ironman in 2012 and coping with the unexpected heatwave

-Trying to get the balance right between training and studying

-How she combined her fitness with studying to become a doctor

-Mental preparation for the Ironman

-Getting help with training and training programmes

-The Winter World Triathlon Championships

-Doing a Nordic Ski Season 

-Top tips for running on snow

-Coping with the cold!

-The 6633 Ultra Race - One of the toughest races in the world. Held in the Arctic!

-Her concerns before the race

-150km Ultra race in Lapland, Finland

-Coping with sleep deprivation and the thoughts running through her head

-How she overcame challenges during the race, when everything was starting to go wrong!

-What happened on the 6633 ultra race and why she was ashamed 

-Her next challenge - Ex Ice Maiden - The first all Female British Team to cross Antarctica via the route Felicity Aston did solo.


Social Media

Follow the Ex Ice Maiden Challenge via their website, on twitter @exicemaiden or Facebook



For more inspirational stories from women overcoming challenges go and check out the Tough Girls on the Tough Girl Podcast at

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Tough Girl Podcast for more fantastic episodes!


Dec 10, 2015

British polar explorer Felicity Aston MBE became the first woman in 2012 to ski alone across Antarctica. It was a journey of 1744km that took 59 days to complete and which gave her a place in the book of Guinness World Records. During this podcast Felicity shares her experiences of how she prepared both mentally and physically for this journey. 

Felicity also talks about the following:

-What first got Felicity interested in Polar Exploration

-How she coped with preparing for her first expedition

-Being 19 and heading off to the unknown for the first time

-Tips on building self confidence 

-How to retain your femininity in a male dominated environment

-How to cope with criticism

-Staying true to yourself

-Her first job… moving to the Antarctica for 2.5 years!

-Why she decided to ski across Antarctica

-What skills she needed to develop before setting off on this challenge

-What it felt like at the very start, when she was suddenly alone on the Antarctica coast

-Preparation for being alone

-Mental hygiene

-Why its about where your heads at, and not the physical challenge

-What Felicity took away from the challenge and has used going forward

-Making progress & moving forward

-Keeping focused

-How not to get overwhelmed by your goals

-What a typical day on the ice was like

-Why routines are so important & how you can apply them to your life

-Returning to life in the real world

-Being present and being in the moment

-The next challenges Felicity faced

-Top tips for dealing with the cold

-Felicity’s Books:- Alone in AntarcticaCall of the White: Taking the World to the South PoleChasing Winter: A Journey to the Pole of Cold

-The Queens Polar Medal

Social Media

Felicity is on twitter @Felicity_Aston

Her website is

For more inspirational stories from women overcoming challenges go and check out the Tough Girls on the Tough Girl Podcast at

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Tough Girl Podcast for more fantastic episodes. Next week we have two more inspiration women. Nics Wetherill and Nat Taylor. 


Dec 8, 2015

In this podcast we talk about:

  • How Megan first got into Judo and what she loves about it.
  • Taking it to the next step and deciding to train full time
  • How Judo built her internal self confidence
  • Why she wants to be the best in the world
  • Jumping from a green belt to a black belt at 15 years old
  • The grading route verses the competitive route
  • Coping with being diagnosed with OCD at a young age
  • How her OCD impacted on her Judo
  • Competing at the Cadet Europeans 
  • How it works at Judo competitions
  • The four main ways you can win in Judo
  • The struggle to win and perform at a junior level
  • How she needed to change her judo style to become a better athlete
  • Keeping the faith and not giving up when she wasn’t getting the results
  • Preparation for the Commonwealth Games
  • “The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday”
  • Why you need to focus on YOU!
  • Facing her nemesis! - Sally Conway in the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games 2014
  • Getting over her own mental block of being able to beat Sally
  • Do you attack or defend - what are the pro/cons?
  • Why the right decisions are sometimes the hardest
  • Why she dedicated her Gold Medal to her coach - Don Werner
  • The tactics she thinks about when she steps onto the mat
  • Why you should go and give judo a try!
  • Surviving the arm bar from Ronda Rousey!
  • Her future….. UFC fighter or teacher?

Give a shout out to Megan on Twitter @megs_feltcher1

For more inspirational stories from women overcoming challenges go and check out the Tough Girls on the Tough Girl Podcast at

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Tough Girl Podcast for more fantastic episodes.

On Thursday I’ll be speaking with Arctic Explorer, Felicity Aston MBE about her Guinness World Record, when she became the first women to ski alone across Antarctic in 2012. 

Dec 3, 2015

During this podcast we speak with Rachel Gibson a mum of two from the Wirral, UK. Rachel shares her experience of the Spartan races from competing and placing at the Manchester Spartan Race and her journey to the Spartan World Championships in America.

In this podcast we talk about:

  • Getting back into fitness after children
  • Why the Spartan Sprint races appealed to her
  • What to expect at a Spartan Race from the obstacles to the atmosphere
  • What happens when you fail an obstacle
  • Why the Spartan spear throw isn’t as easy as it looks
  • Top tips for rope climbs
  • What happens after you win a “Spartan Coin”
  • Advice for balancing training with work and having children
  • Why you should always read the small print for races
  • Dealing with the brand new Spartan course
  • What it felt like at the start of the race & the Spartan chant
  • The obstacles that challenged Rachel and pushed her to her limits
  • Coping with the ice cold water during the swim
  • Hitting the wall and still moving forward
  • Future challenges
  • Raising money for Cancer Research
  • Why you should just - Go For It!!!

For more inspirational stories from women overcoming challenges go and check out the Tough Girls on the Tough Girl Podcast at


Fancy doing a Spartan Race? Click here!

Want to train with the best? Come and check out the Underground Training Station!

Are you tough enough? Try the original OCR race - Tough Guy!

Want to donate to Cancer Research? Click here! 

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Tough Girl Podcast for more fantastic episodes. Next Tuesday I’m speaking with Judo Commonwealth Champion - Megan Fletcher who shares her story of how she got the gold! 

On Thursday I’ll be speaking with, Arctic Explorer, Felicity Aston MBE about her Guinness World Record. 

Dec 1, 2015

This week on the Tough Girl Podcast we talk to Sarah Outen where she discussed her journey from London all the way around the northern hemisphere and back to London by rowing, kayaking and cycling. In order to do this Sarah had to overcome a variety of challenges. She’s endured extreme conditions in remote environments, often being alone for months at a time. 

A typhoon during the North Pacific crossing forced a mid Ocean rescue from her rowing boat in 2012 and a hurricane on the Atlantic this summer forced a pre-emptive evacuation after 143 days at sea. She has also kayaked some of the most treacherous waterways in the world and cycled across North America during one of the harshest Winters on record.

After 4.5 years and over 25,000 miles, Sarah has made it back home, arriving back on midday on the 3rd November 2015.

Sarah shares the following on the podcast:

  • Her background and what’s inspired her to achieve what she’s achieved
  • Becoming the first woman to row across the Indian ocean
  • Turning her dream into a reality
  • Persevering through the most treacherous conditions
  • A typical day cycling from Europe to Asia
  • How to overcome bad conditions 
  • Her highlights and low points
  • Her best memories and highlights from the trip.
  • The people she met 
  • Celebrating the milestones
  • The most terrifying experience on her journey
  • The healing process after a traumatic experience
  • Tips for coping with isolation
  • Dealing with challenge and change
  • What she learned about herself on this journey and what’s next for her!

Don’t forget to check out previous episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast! - All links and information on

This Thursday at 7am I’ll be speaking to Rachel Gibson about her experience at the Spartan World Championships. 

New episodes for December are out every Tuesday and Thursday at 7 am (UK Time) - Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review!

Nov 24, 2015

Elin Haf Davies got into sports later on in life. When she moved to London, she started with rugby, and for 9 years her life was all work and rugby, until she got dropped by the rugby team and divorced. All of this happened at the same time and massively impacted on her confidence and took her to a dark place. 

She decided she had to move on and change her life and this is when her love of challenges and adventures started.

During this podcast we discuss:

  • Her Inspiration - “Rowing it Alone” by Deborah Veal
  • Rowing across the Atlantic in a pair
  • Raising funds for Metabolic Research
  • How she approached the preparation for the Atlantic row
  • Not getting on at school but going back to academia to get her degree, masters and PHD. 
  • Learnings from the Marathon Des Sables where she failed to finish
  • Rowing across the Indian Ocean in the first female crew
  • What life was like rowing every day - sleep deprivation, rowing in shifts, the drive and motivation
  • Why you row naked!
  • Mental preparation before and during the race. - “Were the mind goes, the body follows”
  • How to deal with negative thoughts and turn them to your advantage - “Don’t let other people kill your dreams.”
  • The challenges she faced rowing the Indian Ocean 
  • Why she decided to sail the Pacific instead of rowing across
  • How she first started in sailing at 32
  • Tips for working in a male dominated environment
  • Advice for getting into sailing 
  • Becoming a 2 handed sailor
  • Women and getting sponsorship 
  • Role models for women

If you’ve enjoyed this episode then please send Elin a tweet @ElinHafDavies. I’m also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL

Thanks so much for listening! New episodes are coming out every Tuesday at 7 am - #ToughGirlTuesday. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review!

Nov 17, 2015

During this podcast Amy talks all about her love of fitness and how she came to take up the sport of powerlifting. To put this in context, Amy had never done any weight training before and had never even picked up a dumbbell! Five months later she had entered her first powerlifting competition. 

Amy shares her journey from entering local competitions and progressing to the British Championships before taking on the European Championships where she gained the European Junior Bronze Medal.  

Amy talks about the following:

  • What powerlifting is
  • What happens in a competition
  • How to overcome nerves and focus on what you're doing
  • Why having goals are important to helping you achieve
  • The difference between weightlifting and powerlifting
  • Why powerlifting isn’t recognised as a sport
  • Competing in the European Championships
  • How she overcame her nerves
  • What goes through her head when she lifts
  • How “mind over matter” works in powerlifting
  • Breaking the British Junior Record Squat
  • Training cycles
  • Rest & recovery
  • Nutrition- chicken & broccoli?! 
  • Coping with training and university life
  • Why women should lift weights
  • Raising money to go to international competitions - Bake sales & selling t-shirts
  • Joining the Amy Army!

“Don’t be scared of lifting weights!”

If you’ve enjoyed this episode then please send Amy a tweet @AmySpencerr. I’m also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL

Sarah x

Nov 10, 2015

I first noticed Ali on twitter, as she’d just completed a 24 hr endurance running race!  I was really interested in the whole event and wanted to understand more about it. Plus I thought it would make an awesome episode for the tough girl podcast!

In this episode we talk all about running, whether it’s 800 m sprints, 5K park runs, trying to break the 3 hr barrier for the marathon as well as ultra running races, such as the Marathon Des Sables and Endure 24. 

Ali is a personal trainer and certified running coach and has loads of top tips. 

She discusses: -

  • Goal setting
  • Training
  • How to run faster
  • Different runs you can do
  • Ultra running

This episode will make you want to go for a run! 

So put your trainers on, download this episode and go for it!

New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast are out every Tuesday at 7 am. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss out!!

If you’ve enjoyed this episode then please send Ali at tweet @AliJYoung. I’m also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL

Nov 3, 2015

Boxing has always been a part of the Copeland Family. Stacey’s father was a professional boxer and her granddad has been involved in the family gym, which has been teaching boxing for over 40 years. 

Stacey was brought up at gym and spend many happy hours down there from a young age learning how to box, and she would happily spar with the boys not knowing any different. It was only as she got older, she was made aware how unusual her passion for boxing was. She’d wanted to take boxing to the next level, but because boxing was illegal for women, she had to put her dream on hold and instead decided to follow her other passion, football, and after playing for her country at under eighteen, she then became a professional and headed off to play football for clubs around the world. 

After twelve broken bones, it was time for Stacey to retire from football and at 29 she decided she was going to follow her dreams and see if she could make it at boxing! 

Although many people said at 29 Stacey was too old to take up a new sport - especially boxing. Stacey knew, she would not be stopped, she was going to at least try.

During this podcast, Stacey shares with us the hardships and challenges she faced and how she persevered and was able to prove all her doubters wrong and went on to win two ABA national titles, as well as four Boxcup tournaments in Europe. 

I loved recorded this episode, there are so many learning points, and for me, it really does show no matter what happens, its never to late to go after your dreams and with hard work, commitment and focus you can make it happen and you can achieve amazing things. You just need to go for it.

If you’ve enjoyed this episode send Stacey a tweet she’s @Staceyspongebob I’m also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL as always it would be great to hear from you. 

Don’t forget to subscribe and to tell your friends about the Tough Girl Podcast. New Episodes every Tuesday morning at 7 am!

See you next Tuesday for another awesome episode when we speak with Ali Young a “non runner”, who’s just completed a 24 hr endurance race!

Oct 27, 2015

Helen is a Triathlete and Duathlete who is enjoying success as an age group athlete representing Great Britain. Since competing in her first triathlon in 2006 Helen has been very successful in multi-sport competitions, securing a number of victories and podium places in both, local, national and international Triathlons and  Duathlons.

Helen takes us back to how she first got into running and cycling and why she decided to take it up again, later on in life. She explains how she became a World Champion in both the Duathlon and Triathlon for her age category.  We discuss a wide variety of topics from coping with self doubt and how to break down large challenges into smaller more manageable chunks.

In the Tough Girl Podcast, we discuss the following:

  • What a duathlon is
  • Which is harder - duathlons or triathlons
  • Why coaching helped to propel her forward 
  • Tips for balancing fitness & training with a full time job
  • The benefit of having a to do list
  • Coping with self doubt & coping with the pressure of having to deliver in a race situation. 
  • Mental strength training - positive visualisation, positive words, recognising negative thoughts and how to deal with them, positive self affirmation, and self affirming statements
  • The use of music in warm ups & visualisation sessions 
  • Tips for the start of an open water swim in a triathlon 
  • One day Ahead Challenge - Cycling 2000 miles over 21 days, one day ahead of the professionals during the Tour de France
  • Dealing with injury 
  • Breaking challenges down into smaller parts
  • How to choose the right saddle for you and reduce saddle soreness!
  • Why change is good for you!
  • Tips for cycling up those massive mountains

As always if you’ve enjoyed this episode please send a tweet to Helen @HelenGoth, I’m also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL! Helen also has her own website which you can check out at . For the One Day Ahead Challenge, Helen was raising money for Cure Leukaemia. If you want to sponsor Helen for doing this fantastic challenge, you can find her just giving page here.

To celebrate the Tough Girl Podcast exceeding 5,000 downloads, there’s also a competition running until the end of the month to win a Tough Girl Training T-shirt. All you need to do is write a review in iTunes and let me know, either via twitter or email you've done it.

New Tough Girl episodes are published every Tuesday morning at 7am. Next month we have another four amazing women sharing their stories. 

Have a fantastic week, thanks for listening!



Oct 20, 2015

We recorded this episode while Natalie was sat outside a cafe on the streets of New York & I was at sat at home in England!

It was great to talk to Natalie about how she first got into fencing and how she progressed in just seven months to competing at the Junior Olympics! 

She has a really insightful view point on training and what the different aspects are. It was really interesting talking about the mental side and how meditation was so important in her sport and being present, being aware and being in the moment. Lots of advice and tips that you can apply to your life, even if you don’t fence. 

Natalie explains about the different types of fencing and how the scoring and competitions work. I didn’t know anything about fencing before this interview and feel as though I’ve a better understand of what’s involved. I now want to give it a go and see what it would be like to hold an epee! 

Natalie is super down to earth, very friendly and loves her sport. She’s just about to start competing to secure her individual place for the Olympics in Rio. 

Natalie loves Instagram and this is how I first heard of her, check out her pictures and be inspired! She writes a regular blog where she discusses her training, yoga, meditation and her life, well worth a read. 

As always once you've had a chance to listen please send a tweet to Natalie @NatalieVie, I’m also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL letting us know what you think!

To celebrate the Tough Girl Podcast exceeding 5,000 downloads, there’s also a competition running until the end of the month to win a Tough Girl Training T-shirt! All you need to do is write a review in iTunes and let me know, either via twitter or email you've done it.

New Tough Girl episodes are published every Tuesday morning at 7am. Next week we have Helen Russell who’ll be talking about duathlons and triathlons. Have a fantastic week, thanks for listening!


Oct 13, 2015

Robyn Baldwin is not your typical women, she’s a hard one to define. 

She’s a girly girl, who in her own words is a little vain and does fitness and exercise as she wants to look good naked!

But there’s the other side; the career women, the women who’s driven to achieve not only in her career but in anything she sets her mind to; whether that’s being a bikini competitor or competing at an elite level in obstacle course races.

She’s ambitious, driven and has a strong personality and I like her. I want to be around her, she inspires me and after talking to her, she’s made me feel, its ok to be an Alpha Female and its ok to be driven and its ok to go after what you want. She doesn’t hold herself back for anyone, therefore I’m not going to hold myself back and after listing to this podcast you won’t be holding yourself back anymore. 

Robyn, may seem like the perfect poster child of a woman who has it all going for her; pretty, smart and outgoing, but behind that image she’s been through and handled a lot.  We only talk briefly about the toxic relationship she was in a few years ago, but this has obviously had a profound effect on her life and the direction her life has taken her. The difficulties she endured has made her a stronger person and she’s learn’t from that and put what she learned into practice. 

In December 2014 she was diagnosed with MS and she shares very honestly what this impact has had on her life and how she’s approaching and handling the diagnosis.

As well as holding down a full time job, dealing with an incurable disease, Robyn, is living life to the full, she’s setting herself challenges and goals, she’s keeping fit and doing what she loves. You can’t fail to be motivated by her outlook on life and how she approaches every challenge that comes her way. 

Robyn is a Tough Girl and she’s a role for other MS suffered out there and an inspiration for other women who’ve been in a toxic relationship or are still in a toxic relationship and need to get out. 

Robyn is on twitter @RobynBaldwin, I’m also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL please do send us a tweet once you’ve listened to this podcast episode. Don’t forget to subscribe and I would love for you to leave a review and share the podcast with your friends and family. 

Let’s spread the motivation and inspiration!  New Tough Girl episodes are published every Tuesday morning at 7am. Have a fantastic week and I’ll be with you all next Tuesday for another awesome episode of the Tough Girl Podcast.  Thanks for listening!

Sarah x


Oct 6, 2015

It’s October and the Rugby World Cup has kicked off in the UK and I thought this would be a fantastic opportunity to talk all about rugby, with a former England player and Captain.

Catherine Spencer loves rugby, and always has, she was born into a rugby playing family and she started playing with her twin brother when she was just eight years old. She was one of the only girls playing on the team, but that did not stop her, she loved the game and she found out she was pretty good at it! 

One of the great things about podcasts is you can hear the passion in peoples voices when they talk about something they love. In her own words, “Rugby is the best game in the world”. I was so inspired listening to Catherine, it’s made me want to go and give it a go and see what it’s all about!

Rugby is a physical full on contact sport which generally women haven’t been involved in. It was not offered when I was at school and it was something that girls just didn’t do. But this attitude has been shifting especially over the past five, to ten years. More and more women are coming to love rugby and I wanted to understand how and why this change came about.

In this podcast we get to hear one women rugby journey from playing mixed rugby with the boys to leading the England Team out on the field at Twickenham.  We discuss teamwork, leadership, going after what you want, dealing with failure, and how you can come back from utter defeat and be stronger than before.

After retiring from rugby, Catherine started her own business which is about inspiring women! She has also partnered up with Endure to lead a team on a 150km unsupported trek across the Namib desert to the Skeleton Coast. The aim of this expedition is to raise awareness and help stop the illegal trade of wild animals in partnership with the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation.

Catherine is on twitter @CathSpence8 I’m also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL please do send us a tweet once you’ve listened to this podcast episode. Don’t forget to subscribe and I would love for you to leave a review and share the podcast with your friends and family. 

Let’s spread the motivation and inspiration! 

New Tough Girl episodes are published every Tuesday morning at 7am.

Have a fantastic week and I’ll be with you all next Tuesday with Robyn Baldwin an Alpha Female, MS Warrior & OCR lover!


Sep 29, 2015

Tori James is most well known for being the first Welsh woman to conquer Mount Everest in 2007. However, she has also raced to the magnetic North Pole in an all female team, cycled the full length of New Zealand and completed the first Beeline Challenge in Britain.

Tori loves a challenge and an adventure, when she sets her mind to a goal, nothing or no one will stop her; not sea sickness, not injury, not the cold, and certainly not people telling her she can’t do it because she’s too small! Tori at 5’1 is not afraid of pushing herself to her limits and finding out what she’s capable of doing. (Which is a lot!) 

If you want to be inspired and learn more about one women's journey from being in the Girl Guides to scaling Everest, then this is the podcast for you. Hear about her journey, what drove her and understand the steps she took to achieve her goals. Learn how you to can break down your next challenge and make it happen. 

During this podcast, Tori takes us right back to where her love of adventure really started and we get to go with her as she re-lives her challenges in detail. We get to hear about her first big adventure with British Exploring, where she spent four weeks on a glacier in Iceland when she was just a teenager. This cemented her love of geography and the cold!

Tori continued to take advantage of the different opportunities that came her way, this was why she and two others decided to compete as the first all female team to be involved in a polar race to reach the magnetic North Pole.

These challenges helped to prepare her and teach her valuable skills which paved the way for taking on the highest mountain in the world - Mount Everest. Tori talks through her mental and physical preparation, how she dealt with the risks; the ones she could control and the ones she couldn’t and how she handled the negative comments that were directed to her when she shared her dream.

Tori discusses team work, how to keep going when you really want to stop and how to build confidence and belief in what you're doing. This is not an episode to be missed! 

We also have an exclusive announcement about the Duke of Edinburgh Diamond Challenge to celebrate 60 years of the award. Listen here as Tori explains it all! 

Tori is on twitter @torijtweets, I’m also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL please do send us a tweet once you’ve listened to this podcast episode. Don’t forget to subscribe and I would love for you to leave a review and share the podcast with your friends and family.

Let's spread the motivation and inspiration!

New Tough Girl episodes are published every Tuesday morning at 7am.

Have a fantastic week and I’ll be with you all next Tuesday for another awesome episode of the Tough Girl Podcast. 

Thanks for listening!

Your Tough Girl Host - Sarah xx


Sep 22, 2015

In this episode we get to hear from Great British high jumper, Isobel Pooley who is a remarkable young women, she’s passionate, driven and loves what she does. Isobel has had a stunning start to her career, winning a medal at the Commonwealth games in 2014 and then going on to smash the British high jump record which had stood for over 32 years. 

It hasn’t alway been easy for Isobel, she has faced challenges from a young age, being over six foot tall in her teens, and having to deal with random strangers coming up to her and commenting on her hight. She has dealt with loneliness, being unhappy and not fitting in. During this podcast, she talks openly on how she coped and handled these situations. 

Isobel shows a real love for her sport and she has shown commitment and maturity in her approach to how she trains and how she gets the best out of her body. She talks about physical and mental preparation for competitions as well as what it feels like being in the big sporting arenas. While she talks, I could picture myself in the stadium, seeing what’s going on in her head as she prepares to jump. You too will be able to learn from Isobel, she is positive, optimistic, and isn’t afraid to be tough as she speaks her mind about topics she feels strongly about. 

Isobel has been on a journey of discovery, building her confidence and belief in what she can accomplish in the high jump. She now knows who she is, what drives her and she has finally accepted herself and her height and sees it for what it really is, a unique and special gift. She is one of Britain's great hopes for Rio in 2016 and I know after listing to this you will understand why she’s so good at what she does. 

Isobel is on twitter @IsobelPooley do give her a follow and check out her website and blog to be kept unto date of whats she’s been up to. I’m also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL please do tweet us a shout out once you’ve listened to this podcast episode.

Don’t forget to subscribe and I would love for you to leave a review and share the podcast with your friends and family. Let spread the motivation and inspiration! New Tough Girl episodes are published every Tuesday morning at 7am.

Have a fantastic week and I’ll be with you all next Tuesday for another fantastic episode of the Tough Girl Podcast.  Thanks for listening!


Sep 15, 2015

Tough Girl Challenges is all about motivating and inspiring women and girls. This is an episode not to be missed, especially if you’re interested in swimming or want to know more about open water swimming. 


Lisa Williams is a down to earth normal woman in her thirties, who has gone on to do an extra-ordinary challenge. Lisa has just swam the English Channel, the 21 miles from England over to France!


During this podcast, Lisa explains how she first got into swimming as a young girl and why she decided to take it up again later on in life. She clearly explains everything, and gives awesome actionable tips on how to get involved in swimming through masters clubs, and how to make an individual sport, fun and sociable. It has certainly encouraged me to go for a swim, but definitely in a heated pool! 


Let Lisa tell you more about the challenges involved in training for the English Channel swim, the hours of dedication over a two and half year training plan and having to put on over two stone in weight!


Lisa is knowledgeable and passionate about swimming and she will also inspire you to give it a go - Like all the challenges we talk about on the Tough Girl Podcast, it's not just about swimming the English Channel and doing a massive challenge. It’s about getting fit, active and doing something fun for you. 


Swimming may or may not be right for you but it’s fascinating to hear about her experience of what she went through to raise money for an incredible charity - The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. To donate any amount large or small please donate here.  


Lisa has a Blog where she has recorded the day to day trials of training for the swim. She’s also on twitter @lisa_j_williams I'm also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL. 


Once you’ve listened to the podcast do send us a tweet and let us know! It would be great to hear from you.


New Tough Girl episodes are published every Tuesday morning at 7am. Don’t forget to subscribe and I would love for you to leave a review and share the podcast with your friends and family.


Let's spread the motivation and inspiration!


Have a fantastic week and I’ll be with you next Tuesday. 



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