It’s that time of the week again for our Wednesday Wellness Series! I was particularly excited to interview Silke for the series. I connected with her a while ago on Instagram because we had a lot of similar interests. She’s a runner, a yoga instructor and eats a clean diet.
Silke hails from Germany and lives in Hong Kong. She is an experienced trail runner, yoga instructor and is sponsored by the North Face. She follows a plant based diet and has run trail races all over the world.
Silke offers various yoga classes as well as private and online coaching ranging from HIIT classes, running and nutrition coaching.
When did you start running, and more specifically trail running?
I started running during my university studies. I simply could not spend more than 3 hours sitting at my desk studying. To give myself a physical & mental break I picked up running and yoga which I found very complementary.
You recently overcame an injury, what did you do to keep your strength up while recovering?
The mental pain was harder than the physical pain – especially when running/ exercising is a big part of your identity. However I told myself that it will be good to give my body a break to restore and my mind a break to focus on other hobbies.
I could only do mild exercise for a long time – starting with foot friendly strength training (such as donkey kicks, push ups on my knees etc.). Also I did quite a bit of yoga – especially hip openers as hips can get very tight when you are hopping around on crutches — especially on the injured side. After a couple of weeks I started to implement deep water running – to rebuild leg strength and cardio before I slowly restarted running on a soft surface.
When did you start eating a plant based diet and how has it made you feel overall?
I’ve been eating a 100% plantbased diet for 2.5 years. An animal right documentary was a real eye opener for me and it made me change to a vegan diet from one day to another. Somehow the change made me feel good from the very beginning. I felt really light and energised, had no more stomach cramps or food poisonings. Also my skin and sleep quality have improved a lot.
How has your diet helped with running and recovery?
Plantbased foods are usually easier to digest than animal products. That means your body is able to supply energy to other areas than food digestion, like recovery and cell repair which simply allows you to train more.
What is the easiest part about being vegan?
You do not need to worry much about the nutritional value of your food (except if you have lots of vegan junk food). Usually your cells will get all you need by implementing lots of fruits, veggies, smoothies, salads, seeds and beans into your diet. I still find it important to pay attention to non GMO and organic foods.
What is the hardest?
Travelling to countries whose food culture is really meat based – where meat and animal products are found in all kind of foods. For example I’ve been travelling to China many times. The word vegan isn’t really known in most of the places and if I would explain in Chinese “no meat, no fish, no milk, no animal products” they would still serve chicken with egg noodles in a bone😉
Favourite exercise other than running?
I love open water swimming and cycling as well as doing yoga. While running, cycling and swimming I can easily get lost in my miles. Yoga allows me to focus inwards bringing back the attention to my bodies needs, any fatigue or muscle soreness which is good to be aware of in order to prevent overtraining or injury. The more I run (cycle or swim) the more important yoga becomes.
Where can people find you?