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Transcript of the Tough Girl Podcast with Liz Yelling - Marathon runner, Double Olympian & Commo

Sarah Williams: Hello and welcome to the Tough Girl podcast, which is all about motivating and inspiring you.

Hello, and welcome to the Tough Girl podcast.

Today I'm delighted to have Liz Yelling with us. She's a double Olympian and Commonwealth medalist, author of The Women's Guide to Running, and is currently working with her husband, Martin, at Yelling Performance, where she helps to coach complete novices to elite athletes.

Liz, welcome to the show.

Liz, have you always been a runner?

Liz Yelling: Yeah, from the age of 9, I started running. I think prior to that is, I just messed about and did various different sports. My mom used to run and I remember being dragged around the country, just watching her race, and she only used to do it for fitness really, and then I kind of kept asking my mom if I could go for runs with her. I don't know why, but it just grabbed me. I loved the feeling of just putting one foot in front of the other, and I loved the feeling of having kind of tested yourself, I think, physically, and I like that feeling. Yeah, running's always been something that I've connected with.

Sarah Williams: How did you progress? Did you start running at school and then move on to an athletics club? What was your journey? How did it all start?

Liz Yelling: I think when I was 9, my first ever cross-country, I'd just moved up to middle school, and we kind of all set off. None of us had ever done cross-country before, and it was around this little school, Alameda Middle School in Ampthill, and we all sprinted off like most kids do at the start. I remember at about 200 meters after the start, I looked around and I couldn't see anyone. I was like, "Oh, okay." Then, so I just kept running and I finished miles in front of anyone and that was the first time when I realized I had kind of a natural ability for it. Before then I was totally oblivious to any talent in the running department. That's when my mom thought, "All right, you need to ... Instead of coming running with me, you need to run with girls of your own age," and that's when I joined a running club in Bedford, England and met my coach, Alec Stanton, and Rosemary Stanton, who also coached Paula and he became my coach and coached me right up to the end of my career.

Sarah Williams: He obviously spotted your natural ability and hit home and to help you. Can you remember back to when your first race was?

Liz Yelling: My first big race was my first international. I was 14 when I qualified for the English school's international. It was like a home international against England, Scotland and Wales so that was my first best and I just scraped in the team with a sixth position and that was the last qualifying spot. I went to Berry Island and ran my first international race with a load of other kids and it was a real exciting experience because we were all on a bus without parents and put up in, I think it was a student accommodation at the time, and we were competing for our country so it was a real exciting time I remember it like it was yesterday. It was good fun.

Sarah Williams: That must have been a huge honor to be doing that. What distance were you running then?

Liz Yelling: It was probably two and a half or two and a half K or something. Quite shocked at the time but I don't remember the distance. I do remember my granddad, before the race, my granddad said he would give me five pounds for every place under twenty; twentieth. [laughter] I think I ended up coming in at ninth so I think I got about sixty-five pounds which was worth.....[laughter]

Sarah Williams: Representing your country at fourteen is absolutely fantastic and you obviously continued with your running and with your coaching.

Now what you have mainly been known for is your marathon running. I know you have a personal best of two hours and twenty-four minutes and thirty-three seconds.

I've ran London Marathon in four and a half hours or something. To even physically comprehend running at that speed is just absolutely insane. When did you first, sort of, try those longer distances?

Liz Yelling: As an endurance runner you kind of start with the eights and fifteens and over time you start to think, "well I'm not fast enough to do anything with that so we need to go up a distance." I kind of dabbled with 10K on the track and I was, I never really mastered 5K throughout my entire career. It was just something, physiologically, I didn't really suit. 10K I did quite well but I just didn't really enjoy it. Then going into the 2003 track season, I damaged my Achilles right at the end of cross-country season on some crazy race in Spain and it put me out for six weeks so it basically wrote off the track season.

The 2004 Olympics the following year was like, well I kind of....the track season, I need to do something and that is when I decided to focus on my first marathon. I set myself the challenge of running the Berlin Marathon. In 2003, with the sole purpose of qualifying for the Olympic games. I think the qualifying standard of time was 2.32 and I 2.30.58. That was my first marathon with backed Olympic qualifying time.

Sarah Williams: You must have been absolutely ecstatic when you got to the end and realized you qualified.

Liz Yelling: Yes, it was an unbelievable feeling although it's not over then because then you have to wait because they take the three fastest runners. I had to wait until the following spring because the selection was taking place after the London Marathon the following year. I actually paced the London Marathon that year because I didn't want to do another marathon so close to the Olympic games. That was the qualifying race for Athens and I had to sit back and make sure that only...I think Paula had been I had to make sure two people didn't run faster than me otherwise I would have been pushed out. Fortunately I still had a position. No one ran faster than me so luckily I was able to get selected.

Sarah Williams: That's absolutely fantastic.

In terms of getting prepared for the Olympics...I mean, was the Olympics something that you'd thought about previously...that you could actually go and compete at that level?

Liz Yelling: You know, as a kid, I never thought I'm going to qualify for the Olympics. My coach always said that one thing that I lacked was confidence in my ability.

For me, I almost had to take small stepping stones toward for me to believe it was possible and I think it was something about the marathon in 2003 when I was preparing for it. I just kind of knew I would be able to do the qualifying time. Kind of thought the marathon would suit me. I had already ran some good half marathons so for me, I felt the marathon was the next natural progression and that really excited me. I was excited by running on the road rather than around the track twenty-five time. I don't know, I just had this inner confidence that is was then only within my reach and that wasn't until I was twenty-six having started running. having started running at the age of nine, it was almost twenty years before I could, I believed that I was capable of qualifying for the Olympics.

Sarah Williams: I think it's almost quite common.

I go out to a lot of schools and a lot of women and girls do really suffer with having confidence in their own ability. Just like you ran for twenty years. What changed for you? Was it a moment or was there a person or how did that belief come to you?

Liz Yelling: I think it was just continually making progression in my running and achieving certain goals. It was like having a ladder, if you like, of various different goals and as the years progressed then having achieved certain other goals I wanted to achieve and then realizing actually I was very capable of doing that kind of gave me confidence.

It's all about setting a pathway towards your dream goal, if you like, and the achieving that. I don't think people necessarily believe whole heartedly that they can achieve their dream goal and so they're kind of quite close. For me, I had to practically sniff it before I believed whole heartedly that I could make it.

Sarah Williams: When you are training for a marathon you never actually run a whole marathon. That's for the novices out there.

For when you were training, did you actually run a whole marathon distance?

Liz Yelling: For the first year I did. I just used to run to time. I used to run for two hours fifteen and in that time, I used to cover twenty-one or twenty-two miles altitude and that accumulated mileage with the rest of the training in the week with that run. Basically, it was good enough to get you fit to run a marathon. There are some other schools that thought now that some athletes suit running over distance but for the majority, and especially first-timer's going out running twenty-six miles is one, is a higher injury risk, is a high illness risk, so you have to kind of weigh out the pros and cons of doing that.

Sarah Williams: What other training were you doing as part of it? Were you doing any weights or flexibility training, sprint training? How did it sort of balance out?

Liz Yelling: The beginning of my marathon training I was obviously doing a lot of miles so I was running up to one hundred, one hundred-fifteen miles a week. I was also doing three sessions of strength and conditioning work. A lot of core work and some free weights in the beginning.

Then later I dropped the free weights and did more of the core and general strength and conditioning work which is more just body weight stuff. Most of all it was just running but in the beginning I was trying to build my running frequencies so I did some cross training as well initially. Once I was strong enough I swapped that for some runs.

I think I was doing some swimming for some time. I would swim for an hour instead of a second run or I would get on the bike and bike for an hour instead of that second run. It's just a way of building up my resilience to training load and then swapping it for a run later on in my career.

Sarah Williams: Super prepared, qualified for the Olympics, the Athens Olympics in 2004. What was the build up like to actually getting to Athens?

Liz Yelling: It's incredible. I think you the Olympics you hold on such a high pedestal and as part of an Olympic team member you're so well looked after; you're really pampered; you get given kit coming out of your ears; you have to live in the kit so you have it in abundance. Just the excitement of holding a team kit that you're going to be wearing in the Olympics with the Olympic rings on it is something very special. Then you're taken out to a holding camp where you train and very privileged surroundings and you don't have to cook. You don't have to do anything. You just have to train, eat and sleep and make sure that you can fully focus your efforts on running well at the Olympics. It was a very amazing and lovely, privileged experience.

Then going into the actual games, we had the holding camp in Cyprus and we were flown into the actual Olympic village only three days before the event to minimize, the kind of illness, and picking up, like sharing, with lots of people you're more prone to picking up illness so we tended to stay away until the last minute. Then going into the Olympic village with all of those people that are so talented at the sport that they have chosen to do is just so incredible. You're there with the world's few percent of what sport they decided to do and they're just walking around casually and you're a part of that. It's just something quite incredible.

Sarah Williams: Well you are one of the elite runners there as well with all those people. Can you talk us through the race; how you felt getting to the start line. What it was like running the course because I'm trying to remember back to Athens. Was that an incredibly hot day as well? [laughter]

Liz Yelling: Yeah, forty degrees. Of course, Paula, the spot light was on her. She was at the peak of her career at that point and expected to win it and I was just another team member and of course I rode that journey with Paula and the build up so in a way, it was nice not to have crazy media attention because a lot of the focus was on her and it meant I could just focus on what I wanted to do. I was excited to be a part of it as well, like, to be in the same race as the girl that I trained with as a child, having the same coach, you know, to experience that was incredible. I was so excited for her and at the same time, I was excited for myself and I knew she had some issues going into the race but we try to think positively as most athletes do when they are going into a huge event like that.

The race went off and we stood at the starting line in forty degree heat, trying to keep cool. I think it was, I think the tarmac was brand new tarmac so it was really black. I think that was fifty degrees.

We set off and I just ran my own race, so you know, just toughing out the heat, running through all the showers, having all the cooling strategies and keeping hydrated.

Athens isn't a great course. It's quite hilly so you run from marathon into Athens so there's quite a lot of long drags and I think the last 10K descends into Athens and then you finish in the historic Panathinaikon Stadium. Which, was really, you know some people said, "was it a shame to not finish in the big athletic stadium?" and actually in Athens it was really special because all the people that went there were purely marathon fans and there to see the marathon.

You went to the stadium and you ran around it one and a half times. It was a very special feeling and unknown to me I was the first British in so I think they were really you see because they heard the news that Paula hadn't finished but I got a huge cheer because obviously I was the first British [laughter] athlete home and I just didn't know that at the time. Not even until I spoke to Sue Barker at the end and I said, "oh how did Paula get on?" That is when she told me that she hadn't managed to finish so that brought a lump to my throat and I felt absolutely gutted for her.

Just thoroughly enjoyed my own race but after that I felt very nauseous and overcome with heat stroke and I was carted off on a stretcher [laughter] and packed in ice. It was, yeah, a really hard race and I think I had a cramp in every muscle you can possibly conceive that night. It was an evening race and, yeah, the recovery from that was really quite brutal.

Sarah Williams: How long does it take you to recover?

Liz Yelling: I reckon a year because the following year I had over training, chronic fatigue so I don't think I had really recovered from it when I started back training so I think it did knock me. [laughter]

Sarah Williams: I'm not surprised, you know, running in forty degree heat and the amount of pressure, you know, to get around.

Liz Yelling: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly.

Sarah Williams: When did you make the decision to go for the Olympics again in Beijing?

Liz Yelling: Well I had...I kind of went to Athens, it was my second ever marathon and for me it was a massive learning curve so I decided that next time I wanted to go but actually do something. I felt like I was just coming into my own so I think I did the Comos games in 2006.

I saw Kelly Holmes when know we saw her in Athens win her double gold. I was very inspired by that and I thought, you know, I want a piece of that so I set my sights on winning a medal at the Commonwealth Games two years later. I went to Melbourne and won a bronze medal in the marathon. That was a big box tipped and then I wanted to springboard off of that towards Beijing.

2007 and 2008 were probably my best years of my career in terms of running times and achievements. 2007 and 2008 were all about trying to qualify for Beijing and I knew that I would have to run pretty fast to do that because I think Mara, Mara Yamauchi had started running very fast times. There was obviously Paula still and then there were Hayley Haining had started running up to 230 as well so my sole goal was to run faster than the third. You know, I needed to be third...within the first three in the country in order to qualify.

Sarah Williams: How easy is it to get your times down? Like to drop the seconds off; the minutes off?

Liz Yelling: You know, when you're on the cusp of your potential which, you know, is a glass ceiling, you don't really know where it is bout you're already running quite fast times to save, you know, seconds off, is really quite a hard challenge and it's all about trying to find the training that works for you so it's about tweaking things very slightly.

I think in 2007 and 2008 I started to understand what training was working for me and the right, kind of, ingredients to put into the pot and that's when it all started clicking and that's when, kind of, my coaching edge took more of an understanding about training elements and how different sort of training works for different people.

Yeah, that was a real, kind of a light bulb and it meant that I was able to apply that to my own coaching and training. I spoke to my coach, Alec, and I said, "well, what about this?" I started more of a handle on what I was doing.

Great coaches like that teach you about your own coaching. They don't create dependents for independents and my coach was amazing for that. Although I was very dependent on him as a kid of got moral autonomy as I got older. Towards the end of my career I was having far more input into the training that I was doing. That meant I was able to run...take a couple minutes off of my time. I run 2.28 so...

Sarah Williams: Congratulations on getting a medal in Melbourne at the Commonwealth Games. That's absolutely fantastic and it must mean such a career highlight for you doing that.

I think it's really interesting what you said about the coaching and how you started to take on more responsibility for what you were doing and how it was effecting your body and listening to what your body was saying. I think a lot of people almost don't take that ownership and don't take that responsibility and I think that's quite key.

You mentioned before back in 2004 and 2005 you suffered from over training. How did you get past that? How did you recover from that?

Liz Yelling: It was the third time I had that in my entire career so I think...after the third time you're never going to learn...someone said to me, you know, you're never going to come back from this. This one coach and I was like, I need to prove him wrong so I went to see a sports scientist and he analyzed all of my training and started asking me about intensities that I trained at and he looked at my mileage and it was over one hundred miles a week and said, 'what sort of intensities are you doing these?" I said, "well, I'm doing everything as hard as I can. [laughter] He was like, "so, you don't run easy?" I said, "no, isn't, you know, training harder the best thing? The more hard work you put in the more you get out?" He said, "well, it doesn't always work like that. It's about ups and flows and having recovery days and easy day." He said, "training hard all the time is you get fit really quick but you're not able to sustain it very long. If you take longer getting fitter, you have the easy recovery days. You get fitter slower but then you exceed where you would have been before and then you're able to sustain it longer."

That was a really interesting learning point as well. Also, I didn't believe it because if it were, how would you get faster by running slower? I didn't have a choice because I was at a point where I needed to make some changes and so I tried it and I started to enjoy my running a lot more because it meant not every run was full throttle. I wasn't pushing myself when I was really tired.

When I was really tired, I could just jog. I could go out and look around me, take in the environment and sometimes listen to music and not put that pressure on myself to have hit certain times. That was a really refreshing element that I took on board after that 2005 and it did work for me. I had some great times in 2007. I could do the training and recover. I think I did a 69/28 half marathon in 2007 and everything started clicking and the proof was in the pudding. I got faster by running slower at some points and by running slower at some points meant I could run faster on other days.

Sarah Williams: Yeah, you know, I think it's really fascinating. Has there ever been a point when you've been running, because you said earlier, you started to enjoy running again, was there ever a point where you almost started to dislike the running and think, you didn't want to do this anymore?

Liz Yelling: I knew I still had more to prove so there was always something in me, you know in my mid twenties, I was like, no way could I see myself retiring. I had moments where I had shocking races but most of the time there was a reason for that and all shocking races where I struggled to run, I struggled to put one foot in front of the other, and that was the reason I didn't like the running because it wasn't, I wasn't getting what I wanted from it. My body wasn't responding well to it and typically I had either anemia or chronic fatigue. Those were the two things that I battled with in my running career rather than, kind of, injuries. There were the only times and the times that I didn't enjoy it was because I couldn't do it the way I wanted to do it, I couldn't do it well and that kind of, was quite depressing.

Sarah Williams: Absolutely. It's really great to hear that you did start to enjoy running again by running last. You're obviously a real highlight that there's more that you want to prove. You want to go out there.

You got the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Tell me more about that.

Liz Yelling: Martin, my husband and I went to Florida thought the summer to prepare and we chose somewhere that was, would replicate the same condition as Beijing on its worse day so thirty-five degree temperature and eighty-five percent humidity. Florida had an Olympic training center and I've trained there previously so I knew it was great for marathon training. It had, sort of, endless cycle tracks riddled everywhere and martin would hire a bike and cycle next to me on my, kind of, long sessions and just be there as, kind of, moral support. It was just fantastic. We just ate, slept and ran and in that sort of temperature and straight from there I went to the holding camp in Maków. I was doing fast times. As fast as I was doing at home in thirty-five degrees in eighty percent humidity. I had almost...if you could have a perfect build up, that was it before Beijing. No illness. No injury. I believed in my ability. I was very positive about...I was almost...I couldn't wait to get on the start line because I knew I was in good shape. The nerves were more excitement when I stood on the start line and just relishing it.

I think it was a cool day, drizzly with twenty-eight degrees so I was like, wow, you know, I'm ready for this. This is not even going to touch the sides. [laughter] stood on the start line next to Paula and Mara and if I was ever ready for a race, this was it. I just thought, I was going to run it tactically. If someone goes off the front, I'm going to try to cover it and I'm just going to commit to anything that happens in the race because I've got absolutely nothing to lose. If I blow apart, you need to try, you know, it's the Olympic games so I ran at the front for, I think, the first nine miles. I'm quite a tall runner I needed to stay out of trouble. I think we were cruising at, kind of, six minute miling, which was relatively slow compared to what most of the group were capable of. There were about thirty athletes running together in a group and then a blue line disappeared under a barrier that was adjacent to the rest of the barriers so we, the whole group had to swerve in the middle of the road.

It was at that point, around the ten mile mark, that I got clipped from behind and fell to the ground. I did a good combat roll. I jumped up really quick and I though, "I got away with this." I managed to get myself back in the race again within the group. About a mile down the road, I reached for my drink and my elbow was really swollen and I couldn't really stretch it out and I though, "I don't need an arm." Then I started having this really bad, searing pain in my right side, in my rib cage and I was struggling to breathe in and this pain got continuously worse. I was really struggling to breathe and every time I tried to pick up the pace, it was too agonizing. I just couldn't do it and I had to keep dropping back to a pace that was well within me. I was running along feeling really frustrated because I couldn't run at the pace that I wanted to and I kept surging to test it and I was like, "oh no, what have I done?" Then I was like, all right, well, I'm definitely finishing, no matter what. Even if I have to crawl into that stadium.

All of a sudden my race plan had to change and it was all about getting to the finish line. It was very hard to accept that. There was no way I wasn't finishing in that Bird's Nest Stadium because I pictured it for two years, having seen it on the news. I finished. I finished twenty-sixth place; I think two places behind Paula and I was extremely disappointed that an opportunity had been, kind of, dissolved right in front of me. I know I may have only made top ten but, for me, that would have been incredible. Once I'd finished I could barely breathe. When I was carted off in an ambulance to a hospital for x-rays and I found out I popped a rib out and fractured a rib as well. I slept sitting upright for three nights and couldn't barely bare to be touched by anyone. It's amazing that I still finished and ran two thirty-two.

Sarah Williams: I can't imagine even running six minute miles maybe quicker than that and you must have had all these thoughts going in, around your head. Can I push this? My body's saying no; what can I do? Do I just stop?

Liz Yelling: Yeah.

Sarah Williams: I think that's a true testament how strong you are mentally today to finish the race and be to finish it in that time. That's actually incredible.

Liz Yelling: Yeah. Yeah. Now I look back on it and I think well, it's amazing that I even did that. Another element in me is like, what if, but you can't live your life by what ifs and I guess it would be such an amazing story if I only came in tenth. [laughter]

Sarah Williams: After the Olympics you spent almost four years or more preparing...preparing for this one does it feel once you finish in a situation like that happened to ones fault, you tripped over, you broke a rib and had another rib pop out and you haven't been able to run the race you wanted to run. It must've been crushing for you.

Liz Yelling: Yeah, and my husband said to me,"how come you've gotten over this so quickly?" I was like, "I can sit here and sulk about it, actually it's only running." Although running is very important to me and I've invested a huge part of my life and soul into it; if you put it into the bigger picture of the entire world, it's not that big of deal. It's a very selfish sport. It's something I do for myself. I was incredibly disappointed. I think it is just running at the end of the day and you have to get over things like that. You need to put it in the bigger picture and that's how I was able to deal with it. I moved on very quickly from it. You can't live in the past. You have to push forward.

In 2008 I was thirty-four years old. Once I crossed the finish line I knew I wanted a baby and for me it was very easy to make that mental adjustment and think well, actually now that's done and I need to box it away and go open the lid and talk about it occasionally. [laughter] I want to move forward and have a child and that was my next goal and nothing, moving on is always about sitting the next goal, whether that's running related or not. Or life goal.

You know you always need to keep moving forward and life is about the journey and the different experiences and I think you can't just sit and wallow in what's happened.

Yes, reflect and have your moment of thought and displeasure. [laughter] Then you have to just get on. At the Olympic games I think I was the first under the athletics and I still had a whole week ahead of me to watch my teammates and the rest of the games and I had an opportunity to really soak it up so I put that to bed and I had an amazing time. I knew when I got home I would be tackling the next stage of life.

I think I had Ruby the following June. My first daughter, who is now six. That was a good way to move on from the old.

Sarah Williams: Absolutely and congratulations on your daughter.

In terms of coaching, I know you do coaching plans and help to support sort of complete novices up to elite athletes. If there are some women out there thinking, you know I really want to take up running but I'm just so, too scared, I don't want a trainer, I don't know what to expect, what advice would you give to those women out there?

Liz Yelling: I think the old thing of no pain, no gain, just sort of ignore that. It's all about taking it in your own stride and starting off very gently and gradually. First thing to do is to create some sort of routine of getting out of the door whether that's once a week, twice a week. That routine might initially be just a walk around the block. It depends, obviously, on your current fitness level. Some people are quite naturally more fit or do some, more other types of exercise. If you have totally done no activity what so ever for years, then walking is the best way to start. When you feel ready you just gradually start introducing small sections of jogging.

The most mistake newbies start off way too fast and they get puffed out at the end of the street and then they just say the knew this was going to hurt; it's all far too much and don't bother again. It's all about being very gentle and slow and just trying to string bits of running together and eventually, if you keep up the frequency then you will get the fitness benefits. I think the problem is people stop, start and they never really continue long enough to feel the benefits of a regular type of exercise so start gentle, commit to it for at least, I'd say six to eight weeks for you to actually feel that you are getting somewhere.

Sarah Williams: Great advice. I think it's all about perseverance and committing to it and just listening to your body. If it's saying you need to walk, you need to walk. If you feel like jogging, jog, and then just build it up gradually.

Liz Yelling: Absolutely.

Sarah Williams: Are you still running now? You obviously love running and have a passion for it. Do you still go out for a few gentle jogs?

Liz Yelling: Of course I do. I couldn't not run. I think it's just a part of me and something I feel very comfortable doing. It makes me sane. [laughter] It allows me to put the world into perspective as well. I push my twin boys...I had twin boys in 2013.

Sarah Williams: Are they in their terrible two's now?

Liz Yelling: Yeah, in October they will be two but they still come out running with me most days and it's their sleep time so when they get into the push chair they have a little snooze while I'm out running and it enables me to not feel trapped by two little monkeys and they get to see the world. We run down to the beach and they see the docks and the tractors on the beach and we run through woodland and they see the birds and the squirrels so it's a really nice thing to share. I did it with my daughter, Ruby, and she still remembers it with fond memories and I remember lovely conversations with her and when we were running, encouraging me. "Come on mommy we're nearly there. It's a great way for moms to be active and fit because I think it means you can do it with your children. You can stop and we play at parks sometimes half way around. Now the focus isn't around performance. I don't really worry too much about clocking certain mileage or a certain pace. I run how I feel and the boys fancy getting out. We get out at the beach. We get out and we have a little play.

Sarah Williams: I think what's really great is that you're being such a fantastic role model for your children in terms of keeping fit, keeping healthy, keeping active, taking them out on these runs and building up these memories.

Do you have any role model, you know, now or that you've had previously, of someone who used to really inspire you?

Liz Yelling: I remember watching Liz McColgan when I was a kid at man country championships and she was always a huge figure in watching and I think there was another guy.... who used to run amazing times for over eight hundred right up to one thousand meters and I remember watching him on TV as a kid and thinking he was incredible. There was also a Murray so there lots of British... so a Moroccan runner that I just remember him from my childhood, I don't know hwy. I felt really inspired by those people. I think there was a part of me that wanted to be just like them. I was like, "wow, that's incredible. I would love to run like that." I didn't, at the time, ever think I would be like that so, yeah, it's amazing that I had the same opportunity to do the same races that I watched on TV as a kid.

Sarah Williams: Liz, a massive thank you for being on the show. Could you just share your website information and your Twitter handle just so people want to reach out to you and find out more about how they can be coached by you or to follow you on Twitter they know where to go?

Liz Yelling: Yeah, Martin and I have a company called Yelling Performance and there's a contact on the website if you want to go and have a look there. My Twitter handle is @Girlwhatruns​.

Sarah Williams: @Girlwhatruns. Absolutely fantastic.

You've had a phenomenal running career from being a double Olympian, winning bronze at the Commonwealth Games, running with a broken rib and still managing to get round in two hours it's absolutely amazing.

Also, moving on and being able to carry on with your life, having children, still being involved in the running. It's obviously something that you're very passionate about and obviously something that you're very good at and being able to share your knowledge through your coaching is brilliant.

Thank you so much for being on the Tough Girl podcast and sharing with us your story and what you've learned along the way and providing advice and tips.

Thank you so much for your time. I really, really appreciate it. It's been fantastic listening to you.

Liz Yelling: Thank you. You've been an absolute pleasure. I've enjoyed it.

Sarah Williams: Thank you for listening to the Tough Girl podcast.

I hope you enjoyed that episode. If you're on Twitter, don't forget to give Liz a shout out @Girlwhatruns.

I'm also on Twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL. Please take a minute to write your review on Itunes, it will help to spread the word and get more women and girls inspired.

Have a great week and I'll be with you next Tuesday with the latest episode.

You've been listening to Sarah Williams, the host of Tough Girl podcast.

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