Andy'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.
Between the nature of the event being shorter duration but higher intensity, and Andy’s late start time (19:40), pre-race nutrition was the priority. Andy consumed an appropriately high calorie intake the day of, though the proportion of carb was a bit less than ideal. Typically, straying from high fat (and fibre) foods is advisable to reduce the risk of GI discomfort, particularly in close proximity to high intensity events. Andy’s mid-afternoon burger ahead of the start may have been the culprit for him feeling “a bit flat”, though his GI comfort rating was still a 7 out of 10. The sips of energy drink he had right before the start were small, so he could’ve used a more strategic, higher carb dose in the final few minutes to pre-fuel and provide a greater increase to his blood glucose.
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.
Sweat sodium concentration (mg/L) is largely genetically determined and remains relatively stable. Knowing how salty your sweat is enables you to replace a good proportion of your sweat losses, which can range from 200-2,000mg/L.
Whilst Andy’s losses are on the moderate side, getting his hydration strategy right is still crucial when it’s hot and/or humid as his higher sweat rate in these conditions can result in significant net losses over the duration of a race.Learn more
Andy kicked off his hydration strategy the morning and afternoon of the event by preloading with a strong electrolyte. He also started the race with a soft flask of PH 1500 to account for the higher thirst he often experiences at the beginning. While racing, he grabbed about five sips of water from the stations to stay hydrated. Considering the relatively short duration (he clocked in at just over an hour), he still took in a commendable amount of fluid. The most important factor for his performance though would have been starting hydrated, as sweat fluid and sodium losses wouldn’t have had time to accumulate enough to make a sizable impact.
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.
While his numbers show a low caffeine intake, this is only reflective of the few energy drink sips he had in the final few minutes before the event. However, Andy also had a large coffee at lunch plus a 200mg caffeine tablet 90 minutes prior to the start. Caffeine typically takes about ~45-60 minutes to be absorbed into the body and has a half life of 4-5 hours. So, Andy’s timing of his caffeine wasn’t far off being optimal for him to reap the performance benefits during his event, though he could have moved the tablet ~30 minutes closer to the start.
How Andy hit his numbers
Here's everything that Andy ate and drank on the day...
Andy's weapons of choice
Andy's full stats
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).