Steph Cooke - A mature plodder's forays in trekking and ultra racing. Marathon des Sables and going on - A Pennine Journey.

Steph in her own words:   “Being a very shy and uncoordinated child I used to avoid anything active until a family holiday to the Lake District ignited a passion for walking and the outdoors.    I love to get outside and active and to push my body to see just what it’s capable of.    The excitement of tackling a long-distance trail appeals to me, but I also enjoy discovering the adventure my local area has to offer. I find joy in immersing myself in nature- wherever you are you can find great beauty.    Middle age is a time when people tend to slow down and stop being active. I want to inspire other people in their 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond that you are still capable of doing some pretty amazing things and that it’s never too late for adventure.”   New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out.    The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons.    Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.   Show notes
  • Turning 50 and being passionate about getting outdoors
  • Wanting to do more and more
  • Being very shy and uncoordinated while growing up
  • Doing everything to avoid physical activity
  • Being inspired by spending time walking in the Lake District
  • Progressing her walking and joining the Long Distance Walkers Association (LDWA) 
  • Getting involved in Challenge Walks with the LDWA
  • Deciding what challenges to do next
  • Doing the coast to coast walk
  • Feeling scared at the start 
  • How her confidence grew through experience 
  • Walking with a friend on the Isle of Man
  • Walking the Pennine Way and why it was challenging due to lockdowns and covid
  • Dealing with the British Weather….
  • Planning and preparation for walks
  • The importance of long training walks
  • Equipment and gear on a budget
  • Ways to keep the costs down as a single traveller
  • Doing her first overnight camping trip
  • A Pennine Journey (247 miles)
  • The plan…
  • Food and nutrition while on the challenge
  • Training and getting physically ready
  • Wanting to share her stories with others
  • Signing up for the Marathon des Sables (MDS) to document the training of the journey 
  • Start small and build up 
  • Running the London Marathon 
  • Marathon des Sables
  • Building up fitness and training for the MDS
  • Preparing the mind and getting mentally ready for the challenge
  • Running the wettest MDS ever!
  • Lessons learned from finishing the MDS
  • Dealing with stomach issues
  • Craving coffee
  • Follow along with Steph on social media
  Part 2
  • A Pennie Journey
  • The route
  • Why things didn’t quite go to plan
  • Dealing with blisters and the Summer heat wave
  • Building her confidence with camping and using her tent
  • The magical moments from the experience 
  • Getting resupply on the route
  • Going solo and meeting other walkers
  • Making a few changes to stay out on the trail for 17 days
  • Dealing with blisters and pain
  • Feeling a little disappointed at the end
  • Final words of advice
  • Starting small and building up
  • Going on local adventures
  Social Media   Website:    Instagram: @endurance_adventures    Facebook: @enduranceadventures   

More from Tough Girl Podcast

  1. 49:35Shilletha "Dragonsky" Curtis - Hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2021 and her goal of becoming the 2nd Black woman to achieve the Triple Crown of Hiking.Jan 25, 2022
  2. 38:53Helen Dainty - Full time global hobo cycling the world on AU$100/week. 5 years in and 58,000 km cycled so far…Jan 20, 2022
  3. 46:26Hazel Oakes - Illustrator and mural artist, passionate about empowering women to reach their goals and to become more adventurous.Jan 18, 2022
  4. 51:04Samantha Turner - Serial challenge adventurer, executive coach, mum of two boys, and unfortunately, recently diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.Jan 13, 2022
  5. 49:59Person Irresponsible - Author of "Everything You Ever Taught Me". Female, fat, funny, forty-something and in her 4th year of recovery from Alcoholism. Walking 2,653 from Mexico to Canada on the PCT.Jan 11, 2022
  6. 51:08Leah Goldstein - The 1st female ever to WIN the overall SOLO division of the gruelling Race Across Across America in its 39 year history!Jan 06, 2022
  7. 44:29Kristen Berkeley - City girl who moved to the subarctic! Advocating diversity and inclusion outdoors. Founder of Amplify Outdoors.Jan 04, 2022
  8. 49:46Eleanor Carey - Adventurer and Ocean Rower, 2x GWR holder for rowing 2,400 miles across the Pacific Ocean.Jan 01, 2022
  9. 51:59Julie Veloo - Canadian Adventurer for Good. Expeditions Chief, Horse Trek Mongolia and Founder of The Gobi Gallop.Dec 30, 2021
  10. 44:23Gowri Varanashi - Environmental Educator, Climber and founder of Climb Like A Woman (CLAW) - inspiring more women to climb in India.Dec 28, 2021