Updated December 2016

I’m an overweight 30something who wants to be fit and slim… and an Ironman.

Gosport Half Marathon

Gosport Half Marathon November 2013 ©Paul Hammond

My name’s Tamsyn and I’m three-fifths of the way through a five-year personal challenge. My original inspiration came from a group of athletes and coaches who I met whilst on a running holiday. I returned for an Embrace Sports Tri Camp in November 2013, where I was pushed outside of my comfort zone and achieved things that I never thought were possible. I continue to be inspired by the blogposts that I read every day and I endeavour to motivate others to achieve their fitness goals. I was excited to be selected as a SOAS Racing Brand Ambassador for 2014 (and am continuing in Team SOAS in 2017).


Of the three triathlon disciplines, running is my strongest. I was at peak form in early 2012, so I’m doing everything in my power to get back there and then move beyond that level. After trying for over 2.5 years, I finally achieved a 5k PB (24:43) in December 2014. For the first 18 months of my challenge, I was coached by Ant Gritton, a triathlete who runs Run Camp before switching to Olly Drew from Solent Athlete. I don’t currently have a coach.

I was a Coach in Running Fitness with Lordshill Road Runners until the end of 2016, but have decided to leave the club – I’m a new mum and just can’t make the training sessions any more. I run several times a week and have completed five marathons (Milton Keynes – April 2012, New Forest – September 2012 and 2013, Paris – April 2013 and Brighton – April 2014). I am not a good runner; I’m just enthusiastic.  I run with SUTRI (University of Southampton Triathlon Club) and also do track sessions with Southampton Tri Club. I completed two half marathons in 2016 whilst pregnant and ran every week in my pregnancy, including a 30 minute parkrun on my due date.

Swimming is the biggest challenge for me. Before December 2012, I had never put my face in the water when swimming (“old lady breaststroke” was my preferred ‘technique’) and I didn’t start learning to swim properly until my 35th birthday in February 2013. By May I was open water swimming and in June I completed my first aquathlon. I continued to have weekly swimming lessons for a year and joined Southampton Triathlon Club in December 2013, so I also attend several of their swimming sessions each week. My longest swim in 2014 was when I swam 2.8km in Weymouth. However, in 2015 I completed the Scilly Swim Challenge, which is 15-17.5km of swimming and 10km of walking around the Isles of Scilly, off the coast of Cornwall. I’m excited to be an ambassador for Swimathon in 2017.

I have been cycling to work every day since September 2012… BUT it’s only about 5k/3 miles, so it doesn’t really count as training. My first race involving cycling was Winchester Duathlon on 17/03/13. I’ve now got the cycling bug, so I bought a road bike (and my first clipless pedals) in July 2013. I’m not the most confident cyclist (especially when going downhill in the rain), but I’m willing to persevere. I’ve also been working on my mount and dismount, in the hope that I can speed up T1 and T2. In 2015, I went cycling across Japan, which was an amazing adventure. I also signed up to support the YMCA’s Tour de Y event, cycling 360 miles from Ulverston/Lake Windermere to London in 4 days. I had not trained for it and had never cycled over 65 miles before, but the strength and conditioning work that I’ve done with Olly meant that I was capable of completing the event. I’m looking forward to offering more rides as a Breeze Champion. In 2016, I completed a 100 mile ride whilst 5 months pregnant. Unfortunately, my bikes were stolen in 2016, which prevented me from riding as much as I wanted to.

CC6 Badger FarmAn aspect of my life that has finally started to change since starting this blog is my continuing efforts to eat more healthily and lose weight. I only put on 7lbs whilst pregnant and currently weigh 9st 12lb (64kg). I want to get back to weighing 9st (57kg), however this year I’ve managed to lose a significant percentage of body fat, so am trying not to focus too much on the number on the scales. I’m a life-long vegetarian and I try to eat whole foods, but I have a sweet tooth! To help me meet my nutrition goals, I worked with Sam from Solent Strength + Nutrition in 2015. I’m really looking forward to being an ambassador for The Athlete’s Palate in 2017.

I did my first two triathlons in September 2013 and found the experience exhilarating. Although I didn’t have a 70.3 on my plan until 2015/16, my husband persuaded me to sign up for Challenge Weymouth 70.3 in September 2014. Despite the horrendous sea conditions, I loved the experience, so I signed up for Ironman Dublin 70.3 in summer 2015 and managed to smash my previous PB by over 42 minutes! I had to withdraw from Ironman Weymouth 70.3 in September 2016 (because I was pregnant), so my main event was Long Course Weekend (1.9km swim; 50 mile bike ride; 10km run).

When I started this blog, I was Ladies Captain of Lordshill Road Runners and Event Director of Southampton parkrun, but I realised that I need to be a bit selfish to achieve my goals. I am still a Run Director for Southampton parkrun, but I no longer spend as much time on social media for either of those groups, so that I have more time to spend training and blogging. I stopped coaching for Lordshill Road Runners when heavily pregnant. If you want to find out more about the progress that I made in my first six months of blogging, read this post: https://fatgirltoironman.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/where-am-i-now-assessing-my-progress/

If you’d like to find/stalk me online, here’s where I can be found:


39 Responses to “About”

  1. Anna Kochetkova 19/09/2013 at 11:24 am #

    That’t the spirit!!!

  2. runningtoherdreams 02/02/2014 at 6:43 pm #

    I have nominated you for the Sunshine Award, should you choose to accept this award check out my post! http://runningtoherdreams.com/2014/02/02/hooray-for-the-sunshine-award/ and happy blogging! 🙂

  3. juliananicolini 04/03/2014 at 1:01 pm #

    So I just stumbled on your blog… and you are rocking my socks! You are such an inspiration! Thank you!

    • tamsynsmith 04/03/2014 at 10:13 pm #

      Hi Juliana! Thanks for dropping by. To be honest, I don’t feel like much of an inspiration today after I’ve overloaded on pancakes, but Lent starts tomorrow, and although I’m not religious, I think it’ll be good for me to give up unhealthy food for 40 days and hopefully get back to eating well… it looks like I could learn some tips from your blog! (Your photo of yoghurt with blueberries looked delicious – I have never seen blueberries that large before and they’re my favourite food!!!)

  4. bezzymates 27/04/2014 at 11:51 pm #

    Wow! Ironman is my hero. Excited to follow along your journey!

  5. aschlady 07/05/2014 at 9:04 pm #

    How very inspirational you are. I love it when people get out there to train and don’t let things get in their way, way to go!

  6. browneyedtwentysomething 23/05/2014 at 7:12 pm #

    Hi there! I have nominated you for a Liebster Award, because I love your blog! 🙂 http://browneyedtwentysomething.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/the-liebster-award-part-2/

    • tamsynsmith 25/05/2014 at 10:17 pm #

      Thank you. I’ll respond to your questions as soon as possible 🙂

  7. shewhodaresruns 10/06/2014 at 1:20 pm #

    I think we are almost neighbours…. I run for Stubbington Green. Hoping we will bump into each other at a local race some day 🙂

    • tamsynsmith 10/06/2014 at 5:10 pm #

      Hi there! I’m at almost every RR10, but I can’t make tomorrow’s 😦 If you’re at any of them and you recognise me, please say hello 🙂

  8. patmccloskey 26/06/2014 at 1:44 pm #

    Wow. This might be one of the most complete blogs I have ever seen. Thank you for following mine as I will start following yours. I certainly can learn from your structure of your blog. We have similar interests and like to share them. Yours is an amazing journey. Thanks again.

    • tamsynsmith 26/06/2014 at 10:11 pm #

      Thank you 🙂 I look forward to reading about your adventures.

  9. HIIT Mom 15/07/2014 at 8:30 pm #

    I nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

  10. Linda @ Fit Fed and Happy 30/08/2014 at 6:32 pm #

    I think you linked everything but your email!

  11. theoldfellowgoesrunning 03/03/2015 at 2:17 am #

    Tamsyn, this is a wonderful blog. Looking forward to following your journey and cheering you on! 🙂

  12. eat2healthUK 07/05/2015 at 10:59 am #

    Hey! We just wanted to let you know that we’ve nominated you for a One Lovely Blog Award at: https://eat2healthblog.wordpress.com/2015/05/07/one-lovely-blog-award/
    Thanks for your great blog and all that you share! 🙂

  13. seefleckrun 29/07/2015 at 12:17 am #

    Get out there and get cycling! Catch that bug! I love running, but cycling is my close 2nd love. It’s like running but half the effort. Swimming,…. now THAT’S a challenge! Looking forward to reading about your journey! 🙂

  14. The Mount 07/12/2015 at 6:50 pm #

    You are really inspiring! Nice to meet you!

    • tamsynsmith 07/12/2015 at 7:16 pm #

      Thank you – I enjoyed visiting your blog too 🙂

      • The Mount 07/12/2015 at 7:19 pm #

        My pleasure, and thank you!

  15. Stories by Sherry 07/12/2015 at 8:50 pm #

    Hi! I’m glad I came over your blog at Community Pool. Looks like you’re really into fitness! I’m sure you’re really healthy! It’s a good idea to do something about it on a blog!
    P.S. I am also a blogger from wordpress, do your mind checking out my blog? http://www.storiesbysherry.wordpress.com

    • tamsynsmith 07/12/2015 at 9:58 pm #

      Thanks, Sherry. Great work on your blog – keep it up and maybe you’ll be an author when you’re older 🙂

      • Stories by Sherry 07/12/2015 at 10:01 pm #

        Thank you for the compliment! My dream job was becoming an author. I will keep moving. Thanks!

  16. Tony 23/12/2015 at 12:08 pm #

    HI, Tamsyn! Thanks for stopping by my blog and liking a post. I am enjoying my visit to your little corner of the blogosphere.

    • tamsynsmith 24/12/2015 at 8:40 am #

      Thank you, Tony. I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts – keep on cycling 🙂

  17. All Up In My Head 06/03/2016 at 9:43 pm #

    Oh my gosh! You just described me in the first paragraph! I can’t wait to catch up on your blog. I’m sure you will be an amazing inspiration!

    • tamsynsmith 06/03/2016 at 9:47 pm #

      Thank you 🙂 I just stopped by your blog and as someone who has battled depression in the past, I think we have quite a lot in common!

      • All Up In My Head 06/03/2016 at 11:29 pm #

        May I ask…has triathlon played a part in recovery for you?

      • tamsynsmith 07/03/2016 at 8:32 am #

        I’d say running more than triathlon. When I was signed off work, I started going to the gym every day, so that I would have a reason to get out of bed. When I was there I would run on the treadmill. When my membership ran out, I started running outdoors and realised that an hour in the fresh air with time to think made me feel much calmer, so I carried on running… Triathlons came later than that for me, but I think any exercise can help 🙂

  18. Craig 10/10/2016 at 8:03 pm #

    Awesome blog and well done on your progress! Will entering training to do a marathon myself in 2017.

    • Tamsyn Smith 10/10/2016 at 10:01 pm #

      Thanks, Craig. Which marathon are you doing? Hopefully it will be one with some good crowd support 🙂

  19. Tammi Lewis 25/06/2017 at 12:31 pm #

    An awesome story! Motivational!


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