Training for a World Record Attempt



Interview by Brendan Brazier,


Heather Mills and I have known each other for several years. Her passion for sport, social entrepreneurship, and environmental leadership has always impressed me. Here’s how our chat went when I visited Heather at her home just outside London.

Brendan: You’ve eaten plant-based for a long time now. How would you describe the way you eat these days?

Heather: I probably eat the best I have in twenty-five years. Being a vegan, I have always eaten pretty well, but since getting a hiatus hernia from dead-lifting 125 kilos, I have to eat non-acid-causing foods. Due to the hernia, I have secret acid reflux and a lower esophageal sphincter that no longer works. Apparently, a high percentage of people have acid reflux without knowing it. My friend’s partner just died of esophageal cancer and never knew they had severe acid reflux. Pretty crazy, huh.

For breakfast, I have a pea/hemp and brown rice protein shake, no fruit or anything added except water for quick assimilation. Then, one hour later, a homemade protein bar: Medjool dates, coconut oil, maca powder, chia seeds, goji berries, protein powder, soaked nuts, spirulina, chlorella, Moringa powder, and basically anything good in the kitchen. I blend with a little quinoa milk, roll into balls in almond flour and sesame seeds, and freeze. Then pull out five each day as car and train and plane snacks as I’m always on the move and it stops me from buying junk. Lunch is a soup or quinoa/avocado salad. Dinner is VBites vegan chicken and sweet potatoes, spinach/kale/broccoli. Other days, vegan seed-based homemade crumble pizzas, etc.

Brendan: What benefits do you notice?

Heather: I have seen great muscle strength and development alongside my weight lifting and ski training and endless energy. I’ve never been a big sleeper, but now, five hours is enough. Everyone is unique; if I slept eight hours, I would be so lethargic.

Brendan: Favorite post-workout fuel?

Heather: Homemade protein bars and protein shakes.

Brendan: You’ve won several gold medals. Do you or did you ever get nervous before an event? If so, do you have any tips to help settle your nerves?

Heather: Nervous, no. Excited, yes. Though nerves are good to get you going, I have never had them in life. Unless I’m meeting a potential mother-in-law—nothing is scarier than that! I have been a public speaker for twenty-five years, addressing fifty to five thousand people, so I’m good at shutting down and focusing. Besides, competing at my age is a luxury, and my experience in life has made me realize we must enjoy every finite minute we have. To motivate myself, I always envisage my daughter waiting for me at the bottom of every run, so that makes me want to get down fast.

Brendan: In the spring, you’ll be attempting to break the world speed record on skis. What does your training involve? Can you give us a sample day?

Heather: Yes, the world speed record and Guinness World Record. No disabled woman has ever tried it, and I want to show that everything is possible if you set your mind to it. My days go like this: Five a.m., wake up. E-mails. Seven a.m., get my daughter ready for school. Breakfast. School drop-off. One-hour drive to gym.

Monday, two hours in gym, split body chest/biceps. Five exercises on each. Five sets, sometimes pyramid. Chest press flat and incline. Pec deck, press-ups. Single-arm dumbbell chest. Bicep curls. Z-bar curls. Bicep pulls, etc.

Tuesday, legs. Squats, leg extensions, leg press, ham curls, dead lifts, lunges, etc.

Wednesday, shoulders/triceps. Shoulder press. Body pull-ups. Lat pull-downs. Lat raises. Deltoid raises. Triceps dips. Extensions. French press. Rope extensions, etc.

Thursday, back/core/press-ups, etc.
Ski-training week, 5 a.m., wake up. Stretching. Breakfast. Thirty minutes on bike warmup. Prosthetic limb adjustments. Leg rubs as stump freezes or bleeds or blisters when overused. Four hours speed-skiing in a tuck position. Leg strength very important. I get minimal lactic acid due to being vegan.

Heather Mills has developed plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy through her multi-award-winning ethical vegan food company, VBites. After sustaining injuries in a 1993 road accident, including the loss of her left lower leg, she started her skiing career as a British Paralympic athlete in 2011.


Read the Full Story of Heathers World Record Attempt


Interview by Brendan Brazier | Copyright