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Chipper Nicodemus' scorecard

Swimrun Lake James

Saturday 23rd April, 2022

Within recommended ranges

Just outside recommended ranges

Significantly outside recommended ranges

  • 50g

    Carb per hour
  • 2mg

    Sodium per hour
  • 586ml

    Fluid per hour
  • 3mg/L

    Relative sodium concentration
  • 0mg/kg

    Caffeine per bodyweight
  • How Chipper hit those numbers

    500ml x PH 1000 (Drink Mix)
    1 x Porridge pot with banana
    1 x Mug of coffee
    1 x PF 30 Gel
    2 x PF 30 Gel
    1 x PF 90 Gel
    2 .1L x Plain water
    30ml x Energy drink mix (~25g carb)

    How Chipper's hydration and fueling went...

      • Experienced swimrun athletes, Chipper and Chris, completed 13 swim sections and 14 tough runs to finish 4th in the Swimrun Lake James Long Course race
      • Chipper had a great race, using what he called his “most consistent fueling strategy yet”, which allowed him to perform well and finish the tricky 30.5km course in 3:38:29
      • After years of racing and hosting the Low Tide Boyz podcast, which covers all things swimrun, the guys are always learning in this ever growing sport and are looking to further dial in their hydration and fueling plans as they prepare for the ÖTILLÖ World Championships later this year


      • Chipper preloaded both the night before and morning of the race with PH 1000. He might want to consider increasing the strength of these drinks to 1,500mg/L, using our PH 1500, in future as the increase in sodium would help him absorb and retain more fluid, thus helping him to start optimally hydrated
      • During the race, Chipper initially picked up the on-course energy drink (also containing a very small amount of sodium) to try but after one sip decided he didn’t like the taste and that he would stick to water. He picked up a couple of cups at each aid station (6 aid stations throughout the race), and specifically remembered one aid station were he and Chris stopped to drink more after a long, hot run
      • Chipper drank to thirst, drinking a total of ~2.13L/72oz which averaged as ~586ml/20oz per hour over the 3 hour 38 minute race. He found this to be an effective technique, rating his hydration strategy as 7 (out of 10), and peeing once during the race which indicated that he didn’t under hydrate
      • As a moderately salty sweater (with a sweat sodium concentration of 1,085mg/L) we would encourage Chipper to replace a proportion of his sodium losses over a warm race such as this one. Chipper opted to stick to drinking plain water rather than the on-course energy drink, which meant that he under-did his sodium intake. In future, carrying some Electrolyte Capsules will help Chipper to be self-sufficient when it comes to his sodium intake three ‘levers’, which is a crucial component of the ‘three levers’ of endurance exercise (i.e. sodium, fluid and carbs)
      • Additionally, replacing some of his sweat sodium losses will be vital going into his upcoming longer races as this may help Chipper avoid any issues such as cramping


    Quick Carb Calculator Recommendation


    carb 30 mins before


    carb per hour during
      • Around 1 hour and 15 minutes before the race started, Chipper ate a carb-rich breakfast of a porridge pot with a banana and washed it down with 500ml/16oz of PH 1000 (Drink Mix) (~16g carb). Because of the early race start (7.30am), Chipper opted to keep his breakfast on the ‘lighter’ side but this, along with the PF 30 Gel he took 15 minutes before the starting gun went off, will have adequately topped up his fuel stores without risking GI distress (GI issues can occur when athletes eat too much too close to the start of races)
      • During the race, Chipper consumed one PF 90 Gel and two PF 30 Gels. This meant his total carb intake was ~182g (including the gel before the start), and therefore he consumed an average of ~50g carb per hour. As a result of taking one less gel, this was slightly lower than his race partner, Chris, who consumed ~58g/hr
      • Whilst this falls just below the fueling recommendations (60-90g/hr) for a race of this duration and intensity, it must be acknowledged that athletes’ opportunity to fuel during a swimrun event is reduced (i.e. because of the logistical challenges of carrying fuel when wearing a wetsuit and the limited opportunities to consume food when swimming)
      • Chipper felt his energy levels were “stable the whole race” and he was particularly happy with the strategy to ‘drip-feed’ his system with the PF 90 Gel; a technique which helped Chipper consistently get fuel on board, especially during the longer running sections
      • In future races, we would recommend Chipper tries to consume ~60g/hr (as he was originally aiming for) throughout the race, which may help him avoid the slight drop-off in performance he experienced during the last run. To comfortably tolerate this level of intake, especially over longer races, Chipper should continue training his gut in race simulation training sessions
      • As a habitual caffeine user, Chipper has a higher caffeine tolerance than Chris, so he chose to maintain his morning ritual of having a coffee first thing. In races up to ~4 hours in duration, pre-caffeinating with a dosage between 3-6 milligrams per kilogram of body weight is the general caffeine recommendation for optimal performance. That said, Chipper could have chosen to take a caffeinated gel (or alternate source) in the later stages of the race - a tactic which lots of athletes use to enhance their perceived energy levels


      • Chipper used a solid fueling strategy to help him perform well at Swimrun Lake James and is going to continue to refine this with the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championships coming up later this year
      • By fueling more in simulation training sessions at race intensity, Chipper is aiming to train his gut to tolerate his targeted ~60g/hr over long race durations
      • Ahead of the World Champs and other future races, both of the Low Tide Boyz should make sure to check what will be available at aid stations on course to plan accordingly, whilst also carrying Electrolyte Capsules to help replace some of their sodium losses (without having to rely on the aid stations)

    Key info

    Chipper Nicodemus

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


    Overall Time

    Event information

    Swimrun Lake James
    North Carolina, USA
    23rd April, 2022
    Swim Distance
    6.4km / 4.0mi
    Run Distance
    24.1km / 15.0mi
    Total Distance
    30.5km / 19.0mi
    Run Elevation
    488m / 1,601ft

    Event conditions

    Weather Conditions
    Hot and Humid
    No Rain
    Min Temp
    18°C / 64°F
    Max Temp
    24°C / 75°F
    Avg Temp
    20°C / 68°F

    Athlete feedback

    Event Satisfaction
    Hydration rating
    My strategy was better than at previous races but I could have done with some salt tablets
    Energy levels
    My energy levels felt consistent during the race with the only exception being on the last run
    Toilet stops
    Once during the race
    GI comfort
    I felt good the whole time using the PF 90 Gels
    No cramping

    Chipper's full stats

     Carbohydrate (g)Sodium (mg)Fluid (ml)Caffeine (mg)Relative sodium concentration (mg/L)
    Total intake18272,13003
    Per hour5025860

    Data Confidence







    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.

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