Anja Madhvani - Completing her first ultra the Marathon Des Sables with undiagnosed Pulmonary Tuberculosis. Now fully recovered she is training for the London Marathon in 2022.

Anja Madhvani is a writer and drinks industry worker with a passion for adventure.   Anja studied classical piano performance at The University Of Huddersfield, and has gone on to perform as a violinist and singer with a number of post-rock bands, most notably Her Name Is Calla.    She has spent 13 years in the beer industry, managing venues, hosting brewery tours and tastings, and working in sales and communications. She also works with Club Soda, a mindful drinking movement who aim to create a world where nobody feels out of place if they aren’t drinking.   In 2018 Anja completed her first ultra, the Marathon Des Sables, with undiagnosed Pulmonary Tuberculosis. She is now back to running and also enjoying the challenge of pole dancing.   She is currently studying to become a personal trainer, and hopes to channel her unique experiences into helping others to shift their mindset and find joy in movement.   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
  • Who is Anja 
  • What she does 
  • What Anja was like a child
  • Growing up in North Yorkshire
  • Being involved in dancing 
  • Making excuses to get out of PE
  • Finding a love for beer
  • Exercise and fitness in her 20s
  • Deciding to make a change in her life
  • Getting back into fitness and her first steps
  • Needing a really big challenge
  • Signing up for the Marathon des Sables and getting back into running
  • Having 16 months to train
  • Where did she start
  • Her first run down by the canal
  • Going solo but meeting other people online through the FB group
  • Her method for training
  • Making changes to her lifestyle and getting into a better routine
  • Being cagey with sharing her running challenge
  • Working with a personal trainer
  • Focusing on the small tangible goals and celebrating the wins
  • Building up her confidence via weight training
  • How strength training impacted on her running
  • Just wanting to finish the race
  • Cagey or protective ?
  • Being supported by friends and family
  • Fears and concerns before the race
  • Being a worrier or a planner?
  • What if I fail? What does that say about me? 
  • Running the Marathon des Sables in April 2018
  • Feeling under the weather at Christmas 2017
  • The determination and grit to push on through the pain
  • Being motivated by self loathing
  • Enjoying the race
  • Feeling disappointed on the finish line
  • Wanting to go back and do the race in full health
  • What happened after the race when back in the UK
  • Tuberculosis (TB)…. what is it
  • Being in isolation for 11 days 
  • Getting back her health and fitness
  • Taking 20 mins to walk 100 m
  • Having panic attacks when training
  • Going to therapy and working on her mindset
  • Training for the London Marathon in 2022
  • Final words of advice 
  Social Media   Instagram: @anjaism    Twitter: @anja_madhvani 


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