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Kate Aguilar, 41
Aguilar qualified for Kona at the inaugural Ironman Santa Rosa this summer. She punched her ticket after a five-and-a-half year quest during which she raced six full Ironmans. Her goal was to race strong—mentally and physically. In the end, she placed 43rd in her age group with a time of 11:21:17.
“Not my fastest, not my slowest,” she says. “But loved it for so many reasons. Life affirming.”
The vegetarian has a refreshing approach to endurance fueling. “I keep it simple: I train as I race, and race as I train. I use what I will be using on race day for the majority of it. I am consistent,” she says. “I live a lifestyle such that I don’t make major changes near a race.” Here’s how she fueled her first race in Kona.
Dinner before the race
A salad and steamed veggies, cottage cheese, and bread. “My main meal is at lunch—often Panera bread, although at Kona I went to local restaurant and had similar food: a sandwich with roasted veggies and a salad. I also eat egg, toast, and fruit for breakfast and snack normally. And I sip on water and two servings of Osmo pre-load.”
Race day breakfast
Oatmeal with Bluebonnet unflavored protein powder (2/3 scoop), coconut flakes, chia seeds (1T each), and fruit (typically bananas and grapes). Water and one to two servings of coffee. “It’s simple and easy to travel with. I can make my breakfast in a hotel room with water from a coffee maker.”
On the course
15 minutes before the gun: About 100 calories of Honey Stinger Chews (limeade with caffeine).
Water only for the first 15 minutes. Then for the next 4.5 hours: Three bottles of Infinit Custom mix (179 calories per hour) with two Honey Stinger limeade with caffeine chews every 50 minutes. One Honey Stinger waffle, five hours in. “I have learned I need a little solid food to slow down my adsorption of sugar and caffeine so I don’t bonk.”
Hydration belt with chocolate Infinit custom mix. A few sips of Coke every two to three aid stations. Three Tums at mile 16. “I also took a good drink of coke, burped, and felt better.”
“Going forward, I plan on trying more solid food over down-season and see what happens. I have always used liquid nutrition, but want to see if I can do better.”