Living the simpElle life: Nkeiruka

We’re midway through September and already so much is happening! Let’s continue the month with some inspiration from someone I’ve met on my journey over the past couple of years. 

This fortnightly mini series – Living the simpElle life – is where I talk to someone who has been empowered to change.

I heard a great phrase last year –

“The Universe is made up of stories, not of atoms”

 – so that is what I want to share with you, stories, to open up the Universe to us all!

Each individual we meet embodies what this blog is about. They have dug deep to find motivation, they have sought inspiration and in doing so become inspirational to others. They have been empowered with knowledge to change and I hope that is what their story will do for the rest of us…

Meet: Nkeiruka Ughaonu 

I met Nkeiruka when I started teaching Nike Training Club (NTC) session in East London. As well as training, she has always displayed a passion and natural ability in my eyes, for running! How many of us could do a long run an then come to class?! Nkeiruka travelled to Geneva with us earlier this year too where she smashed a half marathon! Nkeiruka will also be running as 1 of 3 in a relay team with me for the Garmin Kingston Run Challenge on Sunday 12th October! Click {here} to sign up for the event yourself! 

…here’s Nkeiruka’s story…

– {THEN} – 

Elle: What made you decide to start training / running? …What were your plans / goals?

Nkeiruka: I started running consistently in December 2012 when my sister signed me up for a half marathon in Vienna in April of the following year. Before that, I ran off and on, was a gym devotee for a couple years and attended Nike Training Club religiously. I didn’t really have any concrete plans − just complete my first half, get strong and mix my training up. After my half I was adamant that I wouldn’t run again, but having been selected to take part in an eight-week training programme for We Own The Night I was forced to dust off my running shoes and train for a 10k. The race was definitely a turning point as I achieved a personal best and from then on I was entering at least one race each month – I ended 2013 with 8 medals! Although at times I might complain about how much I dislike running there’s nothing like crossing that finish line or gliding along the pavement that gets my endorphins pumping. 

– {HOW} – 

Elle: What’s your favourite way to workout?

Nkeiruka: Running on my own with music or with friends at run club. I also enjoy NTC because it offers a range of exercises with varying intensity.

Elle: What’s your typical weekly exercise schedule? 

Nkeiruka: Right now I try to fit in at least three runs a week (which includes run club on Thursday), NTC on Saturday mornings and sometimes power-walking or dancing.

Elle: What / who has been your inspiration?

Nkeiruka: My sister, the many ladies I’ve met through running and NTC; and fit, strong women that redefine gender stereotypes about femininity.

Elle: What was the first big difference in you, that made you feel proud and excited? 

Nkeiruka: It wasn’t a physical change rather it was a mental thing. The two events that stand out for me are running my first half marathon and 10k, which was WOTN. I felt like after that I could tackle anything. It was certainly an emotional experience crossing the finishing line to plenty of cheers and seeing the culmination of weeks worth of training.

Elle: Did you make any changes to your diet once you started training? 

Nkeiruka: Not really. I’m a vegetarian so I tend to eat well. I try to cut down on sugary and fatty foods, eat more fruit and vegetables, and hydrate.

 – {NOW} – 

Elle: How do you track your progress?

Nkeiruka: I’m not really strict about tracking my progress. It’s more about feeling good inside and whether I can fit into my clothing. I have a Nike+ FuelBand, which tracks my everyday movements and converts it into fuel (energy) as well as calories and steps. I use the Nike+ Running app to log my activity, so I can compare my pace and mileage each month. In addition to keeping record of PB’s.

Elle: Have your goals changed since you started your journey?

Nkeiruka: Now that my focus is primarily running, my goals have shifted slightly to entering races, achieving new PB’s, taking on new challenges and running regularly each week. I can’t really say this always happens, but I try my best. 

Elle: How do you keep yourself motivated?

Nkeiruka: This is a difficult one for me because I have months where I’m very motivated and others where I don’t feel like exercising. What usually helps is if I have a race I’m training for, or doing a running challenge with friends as it pushes me to go out and run when I lack the enthusiasm.

Elle: If you could go back and give advice to the “before” you…or any other person contemplating changing their lifestyle…what would you say?!

Nkeiruka: My advice to anyone considering starting a fitness programme is to find an activity that you love; that way you’re more likely to stick it out. Also, surrounding yourself with like-minded people and training towards a goal helps keep you motivated, pushes you to do more and stay on track.

…so what d’ya think?! 

If you’d like to leave Nkeiruka a comment below please do!

If you would like to share your own story please get in touch with me: {Contact Elle}

Until then, keep living that simpElle life 😉 

Elle 🙂 



  1. Ogechi
    September 16, 2014 / 18:48

    Love it!! Totally agree with surrounding yourself with like minded people! They really help encourage, motivate and push you!

    • Elle Linton
      September 16, 2014 / 19:48

      For sure! Nkeiruka has hit the nail on the head there 🙂 x

  2. CARLA
    September 15, 2014 / 11:32

    AMEN to the like minded people.fitnessworkhobbiesLIFE

    • Elle Linton
      September 16, 2014 / 19:48

      I think this has become evident for me over recent years! It ensures that everyone is supportive of you which is always great 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
Clapham Common 10km 31st August #MyMoments

A couple Sundays ago and I was out running another 10km in preparation for the London Duathlon - this time...