Interview with Helen Fines: Vegan Mountain Runner
Written by Leigh-Chantelle
Created Thursday, 07 November 2013
Helen Fines is a veterinary surgeon and mountain runner. She has represented England twice in the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships, finishing 3rd in 2011 and 6th in 2013, with team gold and team bronze also. She also represented England in the Snowdon International Race in 2012, finishing 2nd. Helen has been part of a Great Britian mountain relay team five times. She has been runner-up in the British and/or English Fell Running Championships several times, and is leading the 2013 championships. She has 5 re-homed stray dogs and lives up a hill in Yorkshire, England.
How and why did you decide to become a vegan?
How long have you been vegan?
What has benefited you the most from being a vegan?
What does veganism mean to you?
What sort of training do you do?
How often do you (need to) train?
Do you offer your fitness or training services to others?
What sports do you play?
Strengths, Weaknesses & Outside Influences
What do you think is the biggest misconception about vegans and how do you address this?
What are you strengths as a vegan athlete?
What is your biggest challenge?
Are the non-vegans in your industry supportive or not?
Are your family and friends supportive of your vegan lifestyle?
What is the most common question/comment that people ask/say when they find out that you are a vegan and how do you respond?
Who or what motivates you?
Food & Supplements
What do you eat for:
Breakfast – Cereal with soya milk, porridge, fruit and berries.
Lunch - Often I go to the local vegan bakery for spinach rolls and vegan chocolate flapjacks. They have an awesome range of vegan cakes, savouries, breads, and croissants. Here's a shout out to Saker Organic Bread of Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire - not only is the food great, they are really cheap too!
Dinner – I quite like a vegetable stir-fry with sweet potato and tofu. Or bulgar wheat, couscous, quinoa with seeds, falafel or some other protein source e.g. packet sosmix type things.
Snacks (healthy & not-so healthy) - Chips (that's fries if you're from the USA!), vegan chocolate, more vegan chocolate, more chocolate.
What is your favourite source of:
Protein - Pumpkin seeds
Calcium – Cheezly (vegan cheese)
Iron - Vegetables
What foods give you the most energy?
Do you take any supplements?
What is your top tip for:
Gaining muscle - Erm... training! As mountain runners, we are looking for strength without bulk so I wouldn't want to gain too much muscle.
Losing weight - Eat less, exercise more - no rocket science there.
Maintaining weight - Log energy in and energy out and monitor weight.
Improving metabolism - I eat 5 meals a day rather than 3 and I think this helps, if overall calorie intake is the same.
Toning up - I've never really considered this, it's just part of the result of being an athlete I suppose.
How do you promote veganism in your daily life?
How would you suggest people get involved with what you do?
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