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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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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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!

Apr 19, 2016

Jacki Hill-Murphy has always been passionate about having adventures and traveling. Along the way she added her passion for learning more about the female explorers of the past, who have largely been ignored or forgotten by history. 

During this podcast we get to learn more about the decisions Jacki has made on the way and how she’s followed her passions for traveling off the beaten track. We start with her first major expedition in 1988 when she traveled through Africa in a Land Rover!

Show notes

  • The early years and were she got her love for travel and adventure
  • Discussing fond memories from Camp America!
  • Her adventure across the Sahara, the reasons behind it, how she made it happen and what she learnt about herself on the journey
  • The benefits of travel and why its always about the people and not the places
  • Isabella Godin's who was the first known woman to travel the 500 mile length of the Amazon river in a dug out canoe in 1769 and how Jacki is recreating her version of the journey
  • Learning about Mary Kingsley's and her adventures in Cameroon. In 1885 she stopped the ship she was sailing on to go and climb up Mount Cameroon! 
  • Heading off to Yakutia in Siberia to learn more about Kate Marsden and the journey she took while looking for a cure for leprosy.
  • The scandal that surrounded Kate Marsden which overshadowed her achievements in crossing Siberia - “Mad, Bad or an Angel - The Story of Kate Marsden”
  • Being able to retrace the steps of Isabella Bird, and being able to compare the differences and see the changes that have taken place since the two journeys took place.
  • Having an audience with the  King of Ladakh
  • Using the Valverde Map to look for the Inca Gold, which if found would be worth billions today…. It's never been found, but Jacki believes it’s out there...
  • Her future challenges!
  • What she's learnt most from the women she’s researched over the years
  • The global village and how modern technology has shrunk the world



Adventuresses, Rediscovering Daring Voyages into the Unknown 

Jacki is currently writing a biography about the Victorian nurse Kate Marsden

Social Media

Jacki is on twitter @jackihillmurphy - I’m also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL

To learn more about Jacki - Please visit her website  - 


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



Apr 12, 2016

Parys is an age group athlete, who has won the World Championships at both the Olympic and 70.3 distances, along with European, British and English National titles. At the age of 38 she decided to turn her passion for triathlon into her profession. Parys is originally from Zimbabwe before she moved over to the UK 14 years ago. 

Show notes

  • Parys introduces herself and shares more of her life growing up in Africa
  • Being a professional hockey player, and the frustration about never quite making it to the national team
  • Handling that frustration and what she learned on the way
  • Why she decided to give triathlon a try! Even though she could hardly swim, and hadn’t ridden a bike since she was a child

“Thriving on overcoming the pain and digging deep”

  • How she has improved her swimming and why its a labour of love. Parys also provides top tips to help you improve your swimming.
  • Borrowing a bike and a trisuit for her first race and what she remembers from the experience
  • Making the decision to turn professional and why she decided to go for it
  • Grey zone training and why you need to avoid it
  • The benefits of getting a professional coach involved
  • The mental strategies she’s uses to help her cope with the pressure of racing at a professional level
  • Being on the start line and how she channels her thoughts 
  • How she deals with challenges while she’s out racing.

“Power, Love & Self-discipline”

  • Why she wants to be tough - Why she wants to be the egg & not the potato!
  • How to cope with injury and getting back to full fitness and why you need to focus on what you can do, and not what you can’t
  • Advice for women who want to get into triathlon and why you need to break it down and not be afraid of it
  • The bucket list races she wants to do
  • Top tips for racing in hot conditions
  • The role models who have inspired her throughout her life

Check out her website and blog here -

Parys is on twitter at @parysedwardstri I’m also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL

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

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

Apr 5, 2016

Show notes

  • Ragen talks about her childhood, being an athlete, and battling with an eating disorder
  • The word “FAT” and why Ragen’s reclaiming it
  • The story behind the dances with fat blog
  • Why we should decouple the health & body size conversation
  • How you can learn to love your body and be happy, whatever your size by having gratitude for your body and what it can achieve.
  • Why she made the decision to challenge herself with a marathon - “cross finish line, get medal”
  • The “good fatty” V the “bad fatty”
  • “What happens if I do something that I’m not good at?”
  • The disaster of the marathon and why she wanted to quit with every single step
  • Learnings from the marathon experience and how’s she applied it to other areas of her life
  • Handling the negativity that’s been thrown at her and how she turned it around and used it to her advantage
  • Her next big goal - becoming at Ironman & the steps she's been taking to make it happen
  • Dealing with haters, how she copes with online bullies
  • Advice for women who may be holding themselves back from going after their goals

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

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


Mar 29, 2016

Show notes

  • Roz introduces herself in her own words and talks through her childhood and the conventional decisions she made along the way. 
  • It took her 11 years before she realised what she was doing, was not making her happy and how she stumbled into the crazy world of becoming an ocean rower.  
  • How she made the decision to change her life and the steps she implemented to do it. 
  • Making the tough decisions to become free
  • Getting rid of the possessions that hold you back
  • How friends and family reacted to the change in her life and how she got to the stage where she didn’t care anymore about what people thought
  • How she went on to develop her own confidence
  • Being alert to the opportunities coming available to her
  • Heading off to Peru on her first expedition and how taking that first step, led her on a pathway to becoming an ocean rower.
  • How not to get overwhelmed by the size of the challenge facing you. Roz gives advice on how you can get past those feeling to go on and achieve your goals
  • Her motivation to keep going before she got onto the water and while she was out there rowing
  • Getting physically ready for the challenge and the mistakes she made on the way
  • The mental preparation she undertook before she even got into the boat and how her mental toughness developed while out rowing - she shares her mistakes, her learnings and how she made it work for her
  • Routines, daily habits and systems you can implement to move you forward in your life.
  • The highs and lows of rowing across the Atlantic - the challenges she had to face and overcome from broken oars, salt water soars, to the negative voices in her head
  • Why she could not quit the race
  • How she felt on arriving in Antigua and re-living that moment of celebration and most importantly getting a big hug from her mum!
  • Why having a clear vision is so important
  • Why she’s so passionate about the environment 
  • What happiness means to Roz
  • Receiving her MBE and what it means to her
  • Opting out of corporate life and why companies need to evolve out of the corporate dark ages

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

Roz is on twitter @RozSavage, I’m also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL

Mar 22, 2016

Kate is an adventurer, explorer, educator and speaker. She’s completed challenging expeditions all over the world, from cycling round her home country, Australia. To cycling across Africa and Russia. 

During this podcast we get to discuss in detail her expeditions, the reasons behind them, what she learnt on the way and how she’s applied that learning to her life. Kate also shares top tips and advice for you in completing your own personal challenges. 

Show notes

  • Kate introduces herself and shares more about her early years growing up in Perth the most remote city in the wold
  • Why she loves to travel by bike and remembering back to her first bike - a Malven Star Dragster!
  • Heading off to explore the world at a young age and how she did it, even when she wasn’t confident
  • Why structure is important to her when planning cycle routes
  • The reasons behind her dream of cycling across Russia in  1993 and becoming the first woman to make the unsupported bicycle crossing.
  • How the Trans- Siberian Cycle across Russia came about, from the planning, to finding team mates and communicating before e-mail
  • How she built her confidence over the years with tips and advice for you to build your own confidence. 
  • The problems she faced on the journey from trying to get out of St. Petersburg, crossing swamps, using old US military maps to getting accommodation while on the road. 
  • What the physical demands were on her body and how she coped mentally with the challenge
  • Why its important for you to understand the reasons behind your mission
  • Why you should focus on the beauty of your surroundings and why your perception is your choice.
  • The power of expeditions and what she’s learned on the way and how she’s applied it to her life going forward
  • “GRACE” - The GReat Australia Cycle Expedition
  • Being the first women to cross the Canning Stock Route (1,800 km long with over 1000 sand dunes) and the challenges involved and why it was one of the most spiritual experience of her life
  • Coping with being alone and why she prefers it.
  • Sustainability and why it’s so important for us all
  • “Breaking the Cycle in Africa” - 2010 -22,040km journey across Africa from Point des Almadies in Senegal to Cape Hafun in Puntland, Somalia
  • The story behind naming the book and film - “Njinga” 
  • How she found the writing process and why its hard but worth it; her rules for writing and why hope plays such as important role in her stories
  • Practical steps you can take to mitigating risk on expeditions from how to carry your money, from what support systems to have in place, from where to camp at night
  • The Next Challenge: “Breaking the Cycle - South Pole” -  Once completed she will be the first person to cycle across the Antarctic Continent!
“What do you really want to do?”

Learn more about Kate here -

Kate is on twitter @Leeming_Kate  come say hi!!I’m also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL

Mar 15, 2016

During this podcast interview we get to learn more about Verena, her passion for racing, the challenges she'd faced and overcome and why she does what she does. 

She shares, advice, tips and will inspire the listener to go after their own personal dreams. 

Topics covered during the podcast interview -

-How she first got into motorsports and how she developed a passion for it

-Going to stunt school and the reason she did that first

-Coping with intimidation when dealing with a new situation

-Being encouraged to try new things from a young age

-What Drag Racing is!

-What’s she's thinking about while racing and how she can overthink things too much

-Why rallying is a whole other ball game 

-Working with her co-driver and how she knows how to push her buttons to make her go faster

-Driving with her “ears” and not her eyes!

-Transitioning from being a model to a racing car driver & the challenges she faced.

-Why it didn’t matter what they thought - “This is my dream” & why she had to make it happen herself

-What drifting is and why its so mentally challenging. 

-Being in Fast & Furious Tokyo Drift - Why do you drift?! Money, fame, girls?!

-Winning her first Championship in the Red Line Attack Series

-Racing in Rally America & having to find sponsorship

-Tips for getting sponsorship & why you have to keep going for it

-The highs of her racing career & the biggest challenges she had to face and overcome

-Tips & advice for women who are wanting to make a change in their life. 

-Why more women should get involved in motorsport.

-Why women can end up talking themselves out of what they’re doing.

-Why women supporting each other can make us all stronger.


Verena is on twitter @VerenaMai you can also learn more from her website 

“My life is an adventure. I’m a big dreamer, and believer that anything is possible. When I have a goal, I work relentlessly to make it happen.”


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

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

Mar 8, 2016

Jenny Tinmouth is the first female rider in the British Superbike Championship and is the only female rider to be racing!

Jenny is 100% passionate about what she does, you can hear the passion in her voice as she talks about racing and how much fun she has on the track. Jenny enjoys the adrenaline, going fast and competing with the best.

Jenny is down to earth, humble and it was fantastic to get to speak to her in more detail about her career and how she's got to where she is!

During this podcast we also discuss the following :-

  • What it was like growing up, and learning what & who influenced her love of motorsports
  • Leaving school at 18 and trying to decide what to do next
  • Getting her motorcycle license the 2nd time round!
  • Working in a local dealership and why she thought they wouldn’t take her on because she was a girl!
  • Getting her start in racing and how her journey progressed and the steep learning curve she needed to conquer
  • Her ambition and the reasons she kept it quiet
  • Sexism in motorsports?
  • Having to raise her game and knowing what she needed to do to take her riding to the next level
  • The skills needed to be a good rider
  • Crashing! Broken bones! Bouncing down the road at 100 mph!
  • The IOM TT 2009 Race where she became the fastest female ever, gaining her first Guinness World Record
  • How she prepared for the IOM TT and what makes it such a special race
  • Dealing with nerves before the race and how she handles them
  • Why the “easy laps” are the fastest laps!
  • The habits she follows before a race
  • Jenny discussing her most challenging season yet and why she almost gave up on her dream. 
  • The challenge of getting sponsorship and why she struggles when asking for money
  • How a change in the scoring lost her, The British Super Sport Cup Championship and she ended up coming 3rd
  • Advice for girls who want to get involved in motorcycle racing and why you should just - GO FOR IT!!!
  • Starting & running her own racing team - Two Wheel Racing
  • How she became a Honda Rider!
  • What she gets up to during the off season
  • Why fitness become more and more important as the bikes get bigger and faster
  • The goals for the 2016 season

Jenny has her own website, she’s also on twitterFacebook and Instagram

As a listener of the Tough Girl Podcast you can be rewarded for being a patron & sponsor!

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

Mar 1, 2016

Tough Girl - Jade Paveley a professional sports car driver for Mazda Motors UK & competing independently in the Motorsport New MSV Championship for 2015/16.

Jade introduces herself and shares more about how she got her start in racing!

We also discuss:

  • How her Dad pushed her from a young age to try new things and purposefully put her in situations to challenge her!
  • Racing karts at 15 years old and how she found it at that age. 
  • Moving from karts to race cars when she was 17.
  • The differences between racing verses driving on the roads!
  • Why self belief is so important not just for racing but life in general - and how you just have to get on with it.
  • Explaining the difference between racing and rallying.
  • Are women bad drivers?!
  • The experience of racing, the highs, the lows, the crashes, the adrenaline and the danger!
  • Top tips for getting over her nerves before the start of races. 
  • Working closely with her navigator, Sarah while rallying and why team work and communication are so important!
  • Why its important to look to where you want to go!
  • Describing how endurance races work and what some of the tactics are!
  • Why fitness is so important, the training she does to keep her in the best physical condition and how that helps her concentration and focus.
  • Understanding how formula one works and why there are no female racers.
  • Sponsorship for women in the motorsport industry - and why being a female in a male dominated sport has helped her.
  • Top tips for driving & why following the speed limits on the roads are important!
  • Jade’s career highlights so far, and her goals for the future.

You can follow Jade on Twitter @JadePaveley and like her Facebook page Jade Paveley Racing. I’m also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL

The Tough Girl Blog has reached the finals of the UK Blog Awards 2016! Check out the blog to learn more about the inspirational women on the Tough Girl Podcast. You can also be kept unto date with my training for the toughest footrace on earth - The Marathon des Sables, which I’ll be running in April 2016!

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

Feb 23, 2016

During this podcast we also discuss how she was the first person to bum board from over 8,000 metres, a title she gained on Cho Oyu, the 6th highest mountain in the world. Squash has also summited Aconcagua, Mustagata and Mount Everest.

Squash is a fantastic speaker and very passionate about sharing her stories and adventures. One of the many things you’ll learn on this podcast is how by having the right attitude every one of us can achieve incredible things.

We also discuss:

  • How it all started for Squash, and making the decision when she was younger to try as many life experiences as possible.
  • Her first big mountain attempt in South America - Aconcagua. Learning as she climbed and how she started to challenge herself both physically and mentally
“Whats to lose? What's the worst that can happen? Am I prepared to live the rest of my life this way?”
  • Being open to opportunities and being ready to take advantage of them
  • The challenges she faced while climbing Mustagata, from dealing with death on the mountain, to horrendous weather conditions and deciding when to turn back
  • Advice for dealing with emotionally challenging situations and how deciding to go after your dreams can be hard
  • How she deals with failure and why she says it’s not important and why its, your decision on how to look at failure
  • Her adventure on Cho Oyu - the 6th highest mountain in the world
  • Learning how to paraglide
  • How by sheer determination she rode a motorbike from the UK to the foot of Mount Blanc, before summiting  and then flying from the top!
“Fear can focus you”
  • Remaining calm while falling off the mountain and what she learnt from that experience
  • How the challenge of climbing Mount Everest came about, and how she dealt with the negativity from friends when she told them about it
  • Finding her own pace on the mountain and how she used her time alone to think about the challenge ahead and to prepare herself.
  • How she found a deeper level of mental and emotional strength, when she had nothing left to give which helped to get her off the mountain safe
  • Tips & advice to help you achieve your goals - “If your knickers are right, your day goes right!”


Learn more about Squash by visiting her website  - Come and say hello to Squash on twitter @SquashFalconer . I’m also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL

If you’ve enjoyed this episode please share with a friend! Help to spread the word about the Tough Girl Podcast!

The Tough Girl Blog has reached the finals of the UK Blog Awards 2016! Check out the blog to learn more about the inspirational women on the Tough Girl Podcast and be kept unto date with my training for the toughest footrace on earth - The Marathon des Sables, which I’ll be running in April 2016!

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

Feb 16, 2016

Helene is based in Las Vegas, Nevada and she has an incredible story to share. 

She’s always asking herself what more can she do, to inspire and motivate nurses to become better ambassadors for health and fitness.

During this podcast we discuss:

  • After surviving cancer, numerous brain surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation, at age 50 she wrote her first book - Nurses In Shape. To promote the book, she decided to take it on the road.
  • In 2010 - She become a transcontinental runner and decided to run across the southern states of America. It took her just 93 days to cover the 2,520 miles from Ocean Beach, California to Atlantic Beach, Florida.
  • She was the first person to run this route during the summer. Averaging about 25 to 30 miles each and every day. 
  • Helene provides advice about how she got through the tough days when she was out running on the highways alone and why it was important for her to get into the zone.
  • Her inspiration to keep on going and to keep others going.
  • How she coped with the heat, tips for running in extreme weather and what a typical day was like for her.
  • Continuing her journey around the continental United States and dealing with her own personal challenge from the loss of her bother, to being diagnosed with T-Cell Lymphoma.
  • Why she has to just, “keep on going” and why you can always be an example to someone else.
  • What she learned from body building about nutrition and how its helped her to become a better runner. 
  • Her top 3 health tips! 

Helene is out there on the forefront of promoting health and is inspiring others to make a change to their lives. One mile, one state and one person at a time. Her motto is to INSPIRE, MOTIVATE & CHALLENGE.

Visit for more information! Enjoy xx

Feb 9, 2016

Arita is an explorer of the physical and mental world; she’s spent decades following her passion for the desert, as well as visiting the remotest and most inhospitable places on the planet. She’s ventured into the unknown not knowing how things will turn out. 

This episode will get you to think more deeply about who are you and what you want to achieve in life. Arita will explain, why it’s so important for you to take the time to think about it.

We also cover off the following:

  • Her passion for the desert and how she made it a reality after her studies 
  • Heading over to Egypt to explore deserts with only her camel, a compass and a simple old map
  • The challenges she faces; and how she survived being alone 
  • We discuss identity and the importance of knowing who you are - and how the desert taught her, about herself.
  • Overcoming fear and heightened emotions. With tips for you to overcome your own personal fears and how you too can find your own inner strength
  • What she learnt about herself while travelling in the desert, and how she dealt with her own internal demons
  • Why she fell out of love with the desert and needed a new challenge, a new obsession
  • Heading to Siberia and looking for the legend of “Shambhala" - Paradise in the Altai mountains
  • After seven years of searching Arita found her answer, she also explains how she had to leave her rational mind behind to do it.

A truly unique women, who’s prepared to push herself to the absolute limits, to be judgement free and open to the journey, that is life. Arita is also the author of numerous books which you can buy on amazon or through her website, where she also shares more about her life and experiences.

Say hi on twitter @aritabaaijens

Come and say hello to me on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL

 If you’ve enjoyed this episode please share with a friend! Help to spread the word about the Tough Girl Podcast!

Feb 2, 2016

Learn more about Jo and how she changed her life to became a mountaineer and expedition leader. 

During this podcast we get to experience Jo’s adventures around the world. From cycling in Peru, to climbing Kilimanjaro, Manaslu & Everest. 

Jo shares with us, how one challenge eleven years ago changed her life, she also shares how she overcame her fear of heights and switching her thinking, from negative to positive thoughts. Jo provides advice and tips to help you overcome your own personal fears. 

We also discuss;

  • What it’s like being at altitude and what altitude sickness is and how it impacts the body
  • Explaining more about Kilimanjaro and what makes it’s such a challenge, and why its so phenomenal. We discuss the routes, and why you can never tell who'll make it and who won’t
  • Why having the right attitude is so important for everything you do
  • Top tips for climbing Kilimanjaro and why fitness is so important!
  • What it’s like walking to Everest Base Camp and the atmosphere when you get there
  • The dangers of Everest and why it’s a scary challenge. What it was like being on Everest while the earthquake struck in 2015, dealing with the destruction, death and how she thought it was all over.
  • How’s she training for Everest this year and why she’s more relaxed about it 
  • Sharing her experience of being one the few British Women to reach the true summit of Manaslu - the worlds 8th highest mountain.
  • Learning about ice fields and why it’s one of the most dangerous part of climbing Everest.
  • Tips you can use and take away to help you face your fears, and how you can approach and overcome problems.

If you want to support Jo and her charity work - Check out - Place2Be  & Support4Sherpas

Learn more about Jo and the different challenges she’s done via her website.

You can follow Jo on twitter @29029feet I'm also 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!

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.


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