Hey all! Hope you’re having a great weekend! To continue on with our VEGA Fuel Your Better College Campaign – meet Shaina Grego! She is an inspiring college student with a great attitude on training.
She is a former high school athlete who turned her passion for swimming into a future filled with Triathlon goals. She also just took second place in the 20-24 year old category at the Black Bear Triathlon in Pennsylvania and along with two of her teammates, qualified for nationals in the spring!
1) Tell me about you! What’s your story.
– I am a junior at Slippery Rock University majoring in Exercise Science in order to pursue a career as a Physician Assistant. I am vice president of the Triathlon Club which I plan to make triathlon a large part of my current and future lifestyle. I am from Northeastern Pennsylvania (Hazleton Area), but in the summer I live in Ocean City, Maryland. My summer days consist of early morning training, morning beach trip, and then working as a server for the remainder of the day.
2) Tell me about how you got into athletics which eventually led to Triathlons?
I’ve been active since I was little. I never stopped being athletic from soccer to gymnastics to basketball to swimming and water polo. I loved being athletic and still do. I was a competitive swimmer for 11 years. I was a very dedicated swimmer….during the winter season in high school I swam from 3pm-8pm with sometimes really only a 45 minute break transitioning from high school practices into YMCA swim practices. I played water polo in the fall which was great conditioning for swimming. Then, after winter sports ended I continued swimming into the spring and summer for my YMCA swim team. So…. after all of the countless hours of swimming, you may wonder why I’m not swimming in college.
Well, I wore myself out. I love swimming, but I just needed a break. This is where triathlons came into my life as a college student. I have been around the “triathlon world” for a few years participating at triathlons as the swimmer for relays. I figured I’d try the whole thing instead of just focusing on one sport. I felt triathlon would be perfect for me especially because I wasn’t vigorously training 6 days a week and was lost without a routine daily schedule consisting of exercise.
In my opinion, in order to be a triathlete you must be dedicated and willing to put in many hours of training in order to succeed which I felt is what I needed back in my life. This is where my triathlon journey began. This past weekend I completed my first of many triathlons. I placed 2nd in the 20-24 age group at the Black Bear Triathlon in Pennsylvania also qualifying for nationals in the spring along with two of my teammates!
3) What is your favorite way to train?
– My favorite way to train is swimming in open water because staring at the bottom of pool is pretty boring for me lap after lap. I also love going for bike rides with my boyfriend because it pushes me to catch him or not get caught (if I’m the ‘rabbit’) and run with music because I can always push harder.
4) Any exercise tips for a newbie triathlete looking to start training?
– Don’t Be Afraid. The biggest excuse we hear is “I can’t swim”. Well, let me tell you, I’m a swimmer and many swimmers HATE running, myself included, but I still show up at running practices even though I might look like a snail compared to runners. So when you miss swim workouts or any workout because you are too afraid of what you think you “can’t do”, think of those who may not be as strong as you in one of the other sports who are still out there trying and getting better. If you say that you can’t…guess what…you won’t. “Can’t” may be the worst word in athletics. We all have our weakest points, and we all need to work on different aspects. You only get out what you put into the workout and that’ll show on race day.
5) What was your reaction when VEGA & Kasey wanted to help out the club with product?
– I was excited to have products that could help improve my performance and be given this great opportunity so early in my journey!
6) What was your initial thought of the product line and features?
– I was so excited to start using the products and see the benefits over time throughout my training.
7 ) What was your favorite VEGA product and why?
– My favorite product was the VEGA Endurance Gel . On brick days (bike then run) I would take the gel towards the end of my bike so by the time I got to the run it would start to kick in. Within 10-15 minutes into my run, I felt a burst of energy in my legs like I was coming into the run with fresh legs. This burst of energy lasted till the end of my run and definitely made me forget I just got off an hour long hard bike. The results showed with my fastest run pace during a brick workout while using the gel as compared to just a run only without using a gel.
8 ) Please explain another top product of yours.
– The VEGA Electrolyte Hydrator was another top product of mine. I would take this product at least 30 minutes before every run or bike and it would keep me hydrated throughout the entire workout. On days where I just hydrated with water before my runs and bike, I noticed the difference on how quickly I became dehydrated without the Hydrator. This product allowed me to push hard to the end while being fully energized.
9) What do you think is an important product to have, especially while being in college and training.
– Having high energy levels is key, and college students seem to lack a lot of this due to the amount of stress we are under worrying about studying and school work. I think for a college student the VEGA Pre-Workout Energizer would be very beneficial. From various workouts, I felt the Pre-Workout Energizer provided me with the proper fuel to successfully complete my workouts and not having to worry about the dreaded ‘bonk’.
10) What is a tip for a reader on how to balance college life and training?
– For me, I believe routine is key. I prefer getting up early to do my training so then I don’t have to think about what I have to training-wise all day along with all the studying I have to do. This also prevents you from missing a workout because you have too much studying or work to get finished and training just isn’t an option that day.
11) What does #fuelyourbetter mean to you?
– #Fuelyourbetter means whatever you put into your body, your body puts back out. Putting the right fluids and food into your body will only provide greater benefits when you need the energy to perform.
12) What does #betruetoyou mean to you?
– #Betruetoyou means to me not cheating myself out of my workouts and putting everything I have into a workout. As my mom always said, “you only get out what you put in”. This can apply to anything… training most importantly or even school work. Going back to my previous athletic experience… I wasn’t one of those who was “gifted” at the sport of swimming and can do the minimal amount of work and get the results I wanted. I always had to work my hardest to achieve my goals. I didn’t have to stay an extra two hours after an already hard 2 hour and even 4 hour practice (Hell week), but I knew what “I” had to do in order to make myself better and if I didn’t have the best results I always looked back and said I did absolutely everything I could to make myself succeed. Also, when it comes to workouts, if you’re not going to put 100% effort into the workout why even do it? In the end, if you’re true to yourself, you’ll be happy with your results.
13) Why do you think it’s important to fuel your body?
– Because why wouldn’t you want to feel better to push harder and in return perform even better? Fuel your body with foods and stay hydrated and that 15.0mph pace on the bike could turn into a 17mph pace!
14) Anything else you’d like to add!
– I might be 90 years old by the time I can, but my goal is to finish a Full Ironman and also to travel around the country or even around the world to complete triathlons.
You rock, Shaina! Keep up your awesome work & I can’t wait to watch your future journey!
Be true to you,