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John Borstelmann's scorecard

The Mid South Gravel Race

Saturday 12th March, 2022

Within recommended ranges

Just outside recommended ranges

Significantly outside recommended ranges

  • 76g

    Carb per hour
  • 746mg

    Sodium per hour
  • 536ml

    Fluid per hour
  • 1,391mg/L

    Relative sodium concentration
  • 5.04mg/kg

    Caffeine per bodyweight
  • How John hit those numbers

    1L x PH 1500 (Tablets)
    0.5 x Bagel
    1 x Egg
    500ml x Black coffee
    150ml x Plain water
    150ml x Vitamin C drink mix
    150ml x Beetroot powder
    1 x Energy gel with caffeine (22g carb, 75mg caffeine)
    2L x PH 1000 (Drink Mix)
    500ml x PF 30 Energy Drink Mix
    1 x PF 30 Energy Gel
    1 x Energy gel with electrolytes (22g carb, 300mg sodium)
    1 x Energy gel with caffeine (23g carb, 100mg caffeine)
    1 x Energy chew packet with electrolytes (46g carb, 300mg sodium)
    2 x Energy chew packet with caffeine (37g carb, 75mg caffeine)
    1 x Energy chew packet with caffeine (18g carb, 25mg caffeine)
    1 x Energy bar (35g carb)
    150ml x Electrolyte drink mix (220mg sodium, 75mg caffeine)

    How John's hydration and fueling went...

      • John started off his busy race calendar with some challenging gravel races. This included an excellent ride at the 100 mile Mid South gravel race in Oklahoma to finish 5th after a tough final sprint
      • After finishing 18th overall in very tricky, wet and cold conditions at the 2020 Mid South, he was back to take on the muddy course once more. In better conditions than last time (though still cold), John raced well to finish in a time of 4 hours and 53 minutes, just 1 minute 20 seconds behind the leader


      • Prior to the race start, John drank around ~2L (64oz) of fluid, a high volume before the 9:00am race start. He mentioned “having to pee the whole race” and this was likely due to overconsumption through his various pre-race drinks including PH 1500, a coffee, plain water, water containing a vitamin C tablet and beetroot powder
      • We would recommend that he hones in his pre-race fluid consumption to include ~500ml (16oz) of PH 1500, a coffee and that he also limits any additional fluid intake
      • John didn’t get the chance to stop and pee, as a result both the continual need to pee and the cold conditions meant that John chose to skip his second 650ml (22oz) bottle. This was not an unreasonable choice, as John mentioned his sweat rate was low/moderate during the ride and definitely “less than in previous warmer races”, where we have seen him reach ~900ml (30oz) of fluid per hour
      • However, skipping the second bottle meant that, during the latter stages of the race, John started to feel thirsty and therefore finished his next two bottles with “time to spare”. To avoid becoming thirsty, continuing to drink early on may have been beneficial. However, holding off drinking meant that John avoided stopping and losing time, and he still drank an average of ~536ml/hr (18oz/hr), which should have replaced an appropriate proportion of his fluid losses
      • To replace his sodium losses during the race, John drank PH 1000 and PF 30 Drink Mix in addition to getting sodium from some of the gels and chews he ate. In total, John consumed ~746mg of sodium per hour which, in relation to the fluid he was drinking, meant that the relative sodium concentration of his intake was ~1,391mg/L
      • An athlete’s hydration strategy should address their net sodium losses, which are partly determined by their sweat rate (the volume of sweat loss per hour). John’s relative sodium concentration, coupled with his reports of a moderate sweat rate, strongly indicate that he was replacing a good proportion of his sodium losses, as our Advanced Sweat Test has identified that John loses 1310mg of sodium per litre of sweat
      • John mentioned being on the “verge of cramping” during very hard efforts in the last 25km. Cramping is thought to have a range of causes, but at this point of the 100 mile race this was likely down to muscle fatigue, as John pushed hard to keep up with the front pack, and the data indicates that he was managing his fluid and sodium intake well


    Quick Carb Calculator Recommendation


    carb 30 mins before


    carb per hour during
      • As an experienced rider, John is aware of the need to have a carb-rich breakfast (1-4g carb per kg of bodyweight), which he has previously consumed in the form of toast, granola, muffins etc. On this occasion, John mentioned that his “appetite was lacking the morning of the race”, so he “found it hard to eat breakfast”. As a result he ate a small portion before the race consisting solely of half a bagel and an egg
      • In addition to this, he had an energy gel with caffeine 20 minutes before the start. Considering his breakfast was on the light side, this was a good strategy to peak his blood glucose levels and save his glycogen stores for later in the race
      • Once he began racing, John got carbs on board by eating a range of energy gels, chews and drink mix. He managed to hit an intake of ~76g of carb per hour. This is the highest we have seen John consume in a single day race (~11g/hr more than at the Gravel World Champs) and a similar level to what we saw him achieve during some stages of Cape Epic towards the end of 2021
      • This is a really great level of carb consumption, within the Quick Carb Calculator’s recommendations for a race of this intensity and duration, and pushing closer to John’s goal of hitting 80g/hr. It was impressive that John consumed this level considering the tricky nature of the course, which was especially highlighted around mile 25, when he had to carry his bike through a bog
      • With a normalized power of 329W, John said “my numbers were great”, and was happy with his energy levels throughout (7 out of 10). He did say that he “never felt super fresh or super strong”, but we wouldn’t put this down to underfueling during the race as his numbers illustrate he fueled well. Instead it may be a reflection of it being one of his first races of the year
      • John got caffeine into his system by drinking a black coffee before the race and then from energy gels and chews containing caffeine during the ride. This equated to a dose of ~5.03mg of caffeine per kilogram of bodyweight. Along with the pre-race coffee, this was an effective strategy and is within the recommended 3-6mg/kg that has been found to have positive ergogenic effects on performance


      • John had a great ride on a tricky course at the Mid South this year. After a close sprint finish, John finished 5th and was “happy with the result”. He rated his race satisfaction as 8 out of 10, but did say “I was hoping for a podium, but didn’t play the sprint very well”
      • Using a similar hydration and fueling plan to previous races, he achieved an excellent carbohydrate intake. After experiencing a lack of appetite in the morning, he did well to push towards 80g carb per hour during the race.
      • His fluid consumption was lower than we have seen from him during previous races, but the conditions were cooler than he’s raced in before, and he played it well to continue to take on fluid while not losing time to stop and pee

    Key info

    John Borstelmann

    Sweat sodium concentration
    Sweat sodium classification
    * determined by a PH Advanced Sweat Test


    Overall Time
    Normalised power (Bike)

    Event information

    The Mid South Gravel Race
    Oklahoma, USA
    12th March, 2022
    Total Distance
    165.0km / 102.5mi
    Total Elevation
    1,582m / 5,190ft

    Race conditions

    Weather Conditions
    No Rain
    Min Temp
    -1°C / 30°F
    Max Temp
    15°C / 59°F
    Avg Temp
    7°C / 45°F

    Athlete feedback

    Race Satisfaction
    Hydration rating
    It was really cold, and I kind of had to pee, so it probably wasn't the worst thing to skip the second bottle that I brought, but later in the ride I was thirsty and I finished my next two bottles with time to spare
    Energy levels
    My numbers were great, but I never felt super fresh or super strong
    Toilet stops
    I kind of had to pee the whole race, but not bad. I never had a chance to stop
    GI comfort
    My stomach was totally fine during the ride
    Twinges but not full-on cramps

    John's Thoughts

     I was happy to have finished with the front group, and I was happy with my power numbers. But I was hoping for a podium, and I didn't play the sprint very well either

    John's full stats

     Carbohydrate (g)Sodium (mg)Fluid (ml)Caffeine (mg)Relative sodium concentration (mg/L)
    Total intake3703,6432,6193881,391
    Per hour7674653679

    Data Confidence







    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).

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