Episode 6: Fiona Oakes
Extreme endurance performance fuelled by plant-based foods
HealthHackers Ep 6 with three times world record marathon runner & vegan Fiona Oakes
No time to watch the video? Below is the audio podcast on Soundcloud. Or subscribe on Apple Podcasts to get the audio on your iPhone here.
In this episode, we cover:
why Fiona runs, even though she doesn't love it
the reason Fiona went vegan
why she’s never had a training coach
what Fiona eats when training
her favourite racing fuel (that costs 50p!)
why she never uses energy gels
how she takes care of 450 animals between competitions
what keeps her going mentally when races get tough
how Fiona deals with needing the toilet during a race, and lots more!
The vegan ‘Queen of Extreme’
When I met Fiona Oakes to film #healthHackers episode six, we didn’t shake hands, hug or kiss cheeks.
I had planned it this way.
You see, whilst setting up the interview date, Fiona had confided in me about how tricky it can be to visit a bustling city like London because of the risk of catching a common cold or virus that could then hinder her performance in major upcoming endurance events.
This makes total sense when you think about it.
Imagine training for months, even years, and then someone sneezes over you while you’re on the Tube and suddenly your career performance is doomed.
Fiona’s competing means the world to her. Not because she’s a competitive medal-chaser, not because she’s trying to prove her athletic skill to the world, but because she wants to highlight how vegans can be successful athletes and raise awareness around the poor treatment of animals at the same time.
Full disclosure: I’m not vegan and the idea of a champion ultra endurance athlete powered only by plant-based foods surprised me…. Until I read all about Fiona.
She holds three Guinness world records for marathon running.
She is the fastest woman in the world to run a marathon on all seven continents and the North Pole.
Overall, she’s competed in more than 50 marathons around the world.
In 2015, she ran six marathons in six days on six continents.
And she’s not eaten meat or any foods from animal sources since she was six-years-old.
Fiona was actually three when she quit meat after deciding she cared about animals so much, that eating them or their produce became unthinkable.
If the above achievements have impressed you, get this - when Fiona was a child she had an orthopeadic condition that led doctors to tell her she would struggle to walk and NEVER run.
I guess it goes to show what a determined mindset can do for you.
Fiona runs marathons all over the world yet still manages to take care of 450 animals at her sanctuary back in the UK. She says they always come first.
There’s one point in the interview you’ll hear where she tells me how one of the animals stood on her foot just days before a major multi-day race and broke two of her toes.
That didn’t put her off the race though. She ran the five-day event, even with her bone protruding through the skin on her foot!
Her drive is like nothing I’ve ever seen before.
I suspect we’re going to hear a lot more about this special lady as she continues to dumbfound critics of veganism and achieve stunning feats in marathon running.
Fiona’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/fionaoakes/
Fiona on Twitter: @Marathonfiend
Her website: http://fionaoakesfoundation.co.uk/about/
Her sanctuary: http://www.towerhillstables.com/