UCI E-MTB World Championships
Tracy's headline numbers
Carbohydrate is the main fuel you burn when racing. Failing to fuel properly is a leading cause of underperformance in longer races.
For short events like this one, the nutrition in the immediate build up is far more impactful on performance than what you consume during the race itself. Tracy made sure she would start the race with full energy stores by executing a textbook carb load, culminating with fresh tortellini and ravioli pasta for dinner the night before and a large bowl of porridge and some toast on race-day. She then used a PF 30 Gel 15 minutes before the starters' gun fired in order to boost the available glucose in her bloodstream and save some of her stored carbohydrate for later in the race.
Taking on board an appropriate amount of fluid and sodium is essential to maintaining blood volume and supporting the cardiovascular effort needed to perform on race day.
Whilst the absolute amount of sodium and fluid consumed per hour is important, it’s critical to consider these in relation to each other. This is known as 'relative sodium concentration' and it’s expressed in milligrams per litre (mg/L). How much sodium you’re taking in per litre of fluid is more important than the absolute amount taken in per hour.
Just like with fueling, Tracy's approach to the race from a hydration perspective really centred around what she would drink beforehand rather than during the event. She pre-loaded her electrolyte intake by drinking a serving of PH 1500 (tablet). The result of this is a boost in blood plasma volume via water retention, which means she arrived at the race venue as optimally hydrated as she could. During the ride, both the intensity and techincality of the course meant she didn't drink much (~250ml), however this is completely appropriate for a short race where dehydration isn't likely to be an issue as she wouldn't lose enough fluid as sweat to negatively impact her performance.
Beyond the Three Levers of Performance (carb, sodium and fluid), caffeine is one of only a few substances that is proven to improve performance for most endurance athletes as it can help stave off mental and physical fatigue.
As someone who doesn't typically consume caffeine day to day, Tracy used her years of experience and avoided it on race-day too. While there are well researched ergogenic benefits of caffeine, there's also a lot of variance from person to person and so rigorously testing in training is recommended.
How Tracy hit her numbers
Here's everything that Tracy ate and drank on the day...
Tracy's weapons of choice
Tracy's full stats
There is an adequate level of accuracy in the data collected and the numbers reported. The athlete manages to recall what they ate and drank including most specifics (brands flavours quantities plausible estimations of volumes). However there are estimations made within the data which affect the overall confidence level in the data reported.