When mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary (the first man ever to summit Everest), was asked why he undertook such a dangerous adventure, he famously responded, “Because it’s there.”
Austin uber-athlete Meredith Terranova has a somewhat more full answer when asked why she loves to compete in Hawaii’s Ultraman—a three-day event consisting of a10K swim and 91-mile bike ride on day one; a 171-mile bike trek on day 2, and finally a double marathon on day three.
“The draw for me is multi-fold,” said Terranova. “I love to train and prepare for the race. I love the passion and workload it takes to get to the race. I love Hawaii and the Ohana (family) I have built at the race. There is no other like the community involved and the spirit of the Big Island. What a gift to be able to go around the entire island. And I am so fortunate to have the most amazing crew. Paul, Amelia, and Adam. Truly they make the race for me. While their jobs are such hard work for three days, it has been my highlight to watch them have the most fun while being the best pro crew.”
Prior to the Ultraman, Terranova built a pretty serious resume of running accomplishments, including a 3:11 marathon, a 50K 4:27 (2009), 50-mile 7:12 (2010), and 100-miles in 23:56 (Western States 2010).
Now, as she begins a build-up for the 2019 Ultraman in November, she’s learned to balance her training, which calls for some serious energy output. We’re talking some prodigious endurance work here: She swims about 10K a week, runs at least 50 miles, and will be building to a consistent 200-plus miles a week on the bike as she gets closer to the Ultraman.
“My primary focus used to be pretty much solely running, but over the years I got into more long-distance swimming and then caught the bug for Ultraman,” said Terranova. “That pretty much ensures you are doing a lot of all three sports, especially in the final ramp up.
“I have learned that if my running mileage suffers from the other two sports then my running suffers, so this year I have been re-focusing on more running. But, it’s a fine balance of staying healthy and doing all the work needed to be successful at Ultraman.”
Certainly, Terranova’s background in nutrition helps tilt the balance in her favor. Terranova has a Bachelors in nutrition and chemistry (University of Houston) and is currently getting her Master’s in Advanced Nutrition and Human Performance (Logan University).
“I have been working in the field of nutrition since 2004,” said Terranova. “I work with clients all over the country focusing on wellness nutrition; athletic performance nutrition; and race day nutrition.”
Terranova’s nutrition philosophy has remained pretty unchanged over time.
- Eat whole and real foods.
- Eat a balanced diet that matches your exercise and goals.
- Stay hydrated, but don’t over-hydrate.
- Train your fuel plan as much as you would train for your race…the best of the best in all sports do it, so why shouldn’t everyone else.
And remember: “everything in moderation even moderation” (as quoted from her mom).
Upcoming Races: Saturday, August 3 at 8:00 a.m., the Dog Days 5K at Fischer Park, 1820 Old McQueeney Road in New Braunfels. Saturday, August 10, at 7:30 a.m., Michelle’s Hot Peeps Beat CC 5K at Murphy Park, 12th and Vance St. in Taylor