Our last but certainly not least VEGA Fuel Your Better College Campaign Athlete is miss Kiley Fletcher! I can’t even begin to type about how proud I am of Kiley. She came to me over a year ago now seeking advice on nutrition which led into a friendship that I am so thankful for. Together we were able to work on having a better relationship with food as fuel & creating more of an “awareness” rather than an “obsession” over it. We’ve had some deep convos & I am so happy to see Kiley working towards her goals! This girl, and the other athletes, are going to go far in life.
Kiley, just like Shaina, competed in the Black Bear Triathlon in Pennsylvania and qualified for the USAT Collegiate Nationals!
1) Tell me about you! What’s your story.
I am junior Exercise Science major at Slippery Rock University headed towards PT school. I am a Resident Assistant, secretary for Rock Triathlon Club, and member of Body Building and Fitness Club. Some of my addictions including buying workout clothes and shoes, binge watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix, making and eating yummy food, and reading blogs of inspirational people like Kasey! In the summer I enjoy teaching swimming lessons and kayaking on Lake Erie.
2) What got you into athletics?
I’ve always enjoyed doing lots of different sports growing up because of the sense of belonging it creates to be a part of a team, not to mention the serious workouts that kept me healthy and fit.
3) What got you into triathlons?
When I went off to college I was all set to pole vault for the SRU Track Team, but quickly realized it would be difficult on the “fast track” to PT school. This left a big void in my life. Then this past summer I was lifeguarding at a neighborhood pool, I met a mother who was always dropping in for a few quick laps to train for her triathlon. After talking with her I began reading as many triathlon books as the local library had. Then the first day of the school year I noticed a Triathlon Club flyer posted on a door in my dorm. That’s when I signed up and the rest is history.
4) What is your favorite way to train?
My most favorite would definitely long runs on country roads because it’s quiet enough to get lost in though and take in how beautiful the world is. But then again sitting on my bike trainer with headphones in watching Netflix wasn’t too bad either!
5) Any exercise tips for a newbie triathlete looking to start training?
#1)Be honest with yourself and assess what needs the most work. For example, I knew I feared the bike course the most so I kept making excuses not to bike which really showed on race day. #2)Incorporate lots of bricks into your training. Going from bike to run is the weirdest sensation ever when your legs feel heavier than iron! #3) Create a support system including a tri club or coach you can go to for advice.
6) What was your reaction when VEGA & Kasey wanted to help out the club with product?
Over the top ecstatic! I remember sitting in my room with our club president and my twin sister hearing the news from Kasey and jumping up and down screaming! To be given the opportunity shows a lot about VEGA’s belief in what they create and their commitment to helping athletes.
7) What was your initial thought of the product line and features?
My initial thoughts were “Holy smokes, how am I going to know what to take in, when, and how much?!” But then I quickly read through the product guide learning the specifics of each product and the science behind it. Then at the end of the product guide is a handy little timetable that tells me what I need, when. Once I looked online at vegasport.com, I had access to a whole wealth of resources including blogs, meal plans, and recipes.
8 ) What was your favorite product & why?
My favorite product is the VEGA Electrolyte Hydrator! It has the biggest impact on my performance and I learned how to listen to my body when I’m dehydrated. I’ll never forget the brutal 10 miler I did a few weeks before my first triathlon because I felt so sluggish and weak. I quickly jumped back into the habit of having the electrolyte hydrator with me at all times in my backpack.
9) Please explain another top product of yours.
I have become somewhat of a protein powder connoisseur this year. I have tried many brands and really learned what defines a good protein. The flavor and texture is very important to me and I was happy to see that VEGA has created a high quality protein. VEGA Sport Protein Powder is also super fun to use in recipes like the Vegan Protein Balls that I found on the company’s website (which I also adore because it is so informative and creative).
10) What do you think is an important product to have, especially while being in college and training.
Being in college means I’m always on the run from classes to meeting and practices. That’s why it’s important to have a good supply of nutritious snacks throughout the day. I start every morning in Chemistry Lecture eating a Cutie and sipping VEGA Hydrator.
11) What is a tip for a reader on how to balance college life and training?
For me this has been really difficult because I have a hard time saying no. My first step was to limit my commitments. I quit my job in the University’s Athletic Department and stopped attending resistance training workshops so that I could focus more on academics and triathlon training. The second step was creating routine in my life. Even things as little as when I set my alarm or creating a workout plan is the key to success and minimizing stress.
12) What does #fuelyourbetter mean to you?
#fuelyourbetter means giving my body the resources it needs to excel. From this perspective the food I eat is looked at in an entirely different way, which helps me focus on achieving my goals.
13) What does #betruetoyou mean to you?
#betruetoyou means having a high self-efficacy and believing in myself and my identity. I once was quite the opposite though. I was a college girl trying to train for my first bodybuilding show, as a way of overcoming my negative self image and disordered eating. Flash forward a semester, now given up and mentally exhausted from my pursuits, I focused on triathlon. On March 9th, Kasey came back to her Alma Mater at Slippery Rock to give a presentation to our club and share her story. That was my turning point in my life, when I started being true to myself. No more scales, no more guilt, no more mental body-shaming. My goals are now measured by my strength and endurance instead of my shape and size.
15) Why do you think it’s important to fuel your body?
It is important for my bike to have air in the tire right? In the same token, it is important for my muscles to have glycogen for energy and protein for repair. If I treat my body like it is an expensive piece of triathlon equipment, then it will perform like it is an expensive piece of triathlon equipment (which it really is!).
16) Anything else you’d like to add?
How I prepared for my race:
-Packed everything I need in my transition bag
-Shaved my legs
-Made some VEGA Protein Balls
-Stayed up ‘til 2:30am watching Friday Night Lights
-Went to bed in my race day clothing
Dream Tri Bike:
Camo Pink Quintana Roo
Ahhhhh you rock Kiley! How far you’ve come is truly inspirational & I can’t wait to see what the future brings you!
A big thank you to VEGA for the support – it’s been a great experience!
Be true to you,