Chris Palfreyman's scorecard
King's Cup British Gravel Championship
Sunday 19th September, 2021
Within recommended ranges
Just outside recommended ranges
Significantly outside recommended ranges
How Chris hit those numbers
How Chris' hydration and fueling went...
- Chris had a great performance at the British Gravel Championships on the 19th September, coming in 11th in his category but 9th in the National Champs category. In only his 2nd gravel race and against tough competition he performed well to finish the 70km in a time of 2 hours 8 minutes
- Fuelling and hydrating during gravel racing is an interesting affair with many complications so different strategies are used. Chris mentioned that after seeing the course and knowing the speed of his competition he was aware solids weren’t going to be a viable option. Therefore, he decided to change his fuelling plan to get his carbs from a bottle containing a mix of PF 30 Energy Gels and water
- Chris consumed around ~117mg/hr sodium which is on the lower side of what we would expect. He got this sodium from his bottle containing a PH 1000 but only drank half. He said he would have wanted to finish the bottle but again due to the course and terrain he didn’t drink as much of the PH 1000 as he was aiming to
- Whilst the relative concentration of Chris’ fluids was adequate (relative sodium concentration of 410mg/L) considering his sweat sodium concentration of 573mg/L, the volume of fluid replacement was unlikely to be
- We don’t have data on Chris’ sweat rate but given the intensity he was riding at we can confidently assume it would have been greater than ~0.3L/hr (~10oz/hr) which is the volume of fluid he was replacing. But, the challenges of drinking in an event such as this must be appreciated. It may be that in future gravel races, especially those of longer duration, Chris looks to use a different drinking system to meet his fluid needs (e.g. a hydropack)
- Although the conditions weren’t very hot, neither were they on the cold side so a fluid consumption this low would not be advised and can lead to dehydration. In agreement, Chris said he drank too little and therefore felt dehydrated at the end
- He believes that he couldn’t drink as much as he probably should have due to the course and links his dehydration to the fact he ‘felt sore’ and his ‘legs were ruined’ the next day
Quick Carb Calculator Recommendation
- With the race starting at 9:30am, Chris had a simple but effective breakfast of porridge with honey around two and a half hours before the race. As our Quick Carb Calculator advises he also had a PF 30 Gel right before the start of the ride, perfect to top up fuel stores
- For a race of this duration and intensity, the Quick Carb Calculator also recommends 30-60g carb per hour. Chris consumed an excellent ~71g/hr during the race made up entirely from PF 30 Gels
- Anecdotal evidence suggests the higher the carb intake you can achieve, the greater benefit to performance so being able to reach over 70g/hr in a race of this length while avoiding GI issues (9 out of 10) is impressive and will have played a important part in his performance
- Chris rated his energy levels as 9 out of 10 for the first 1 hour 15 minutes of the race. After this point, he wasn’t able to perform as he wanted and said his energy levels went down to around 7 out of 10. He does believe that this change was due to his nutrition and that he thinks he must have been “low on carbs or electrolytes”
- Considering Chris’ solid carb intake, his struggle half way through is not likely due to his carb consumption but could be down to other elements. As one possible ‘fix’, some caffeine might artificially help with dips in perceived energy levels. Learn more
- Overall, Chris had a great performance at the British Gravel Championships. Although it was only his 2nd gravel race and the level of competition was high he had a strong performance coming in 9th nationally and rating his race satisfaction as 9 out of 10
- He made appropriate adjustments to his plan to suit the complex, fast-paced course which worked well.
- He was able to consume high carb levels, even though eating was tricky, because he chose to consume PF 30 Gels from a bottle with some water.
- Due to the nature of the course, Chris was not able to drink as much as he would have liked meaning his sodium and fluid intake during the race was on the lower side. Next time, trying to finish his PH 1000 bottle would be a good aim and going forward he should consider whether a change in the way he gets his fluids is necessary to achieve a better fluid replacement to avoid dehydration and benefit performance
Chris' full stats
|Carbohydrate (g)||Sodium (mg)||Fluid (ml)||Caffeine (mg)||Relative sodium concentration (mg/L)|
There is good confidence in the accuracy of the data reported. An athlete feels that the numbers closely reflect what they consumed despite a couple of estimations which may carry some degree of error. The majority of what was consumed is recorded to a high level of specificity (most volumes are known through the use of bottles, brands, quantities, flavours). The numbers are very plausible and align with previous data recordings (if an athlete has collected data previously).