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Chris Douglas' scorecard

Swimrun Lake James

Saturday 23rd April, 2022

Within recommended ranges

Just outside recommended ranges

Significantly outside recommended ranges

  • 58g

    Carb per hour
  • 0mg

    Sodium per hour
  • 495ml

    Fluid per hour
  • 0mg/L

    Relative sodium concentration
  • 0mg/kg

    Caffeine per bodyweight
  • How Chris hit those numbers

    500ml x PH 1500 (Drink Mix)
    2 x Chocolate croissants
    1 x PF 30 Gel
    6 x PF 30 Gel
    1.8L x Plain water

    How Chris' hydration and fueling went...

      • The Low Tide Boyz podcast co-hosts, Chris Douglas and Chipper Nicodemus, enjoyed an excellent race at Swimrun Lake James as they finished 4th in the Long Course Men’s Pairs category. The two performed well in what were warm and humid conditions (20°C/68°F, 75% relative humidity) to finish the combined 6.4km of swimming and 24.1km of running in 3 hours and 38 minutes
      • The guys have spoken to Precision Fuel & Hydration Sports Scientists Andy and Abby during two episodes of their podcast in which they talk about how to approach hydration and fueling for swimrun races. Chris has also been working with our Sports Science team since Orcas Island Swimrun in 2021 and he’s made some changes to his fueling strategy as a result
      • Chris commented that he thought he and Chipper communicated more effectively about their hydration and fueling throughout this race. They set fueling reminders and checked in with each other about what they were eating and drinking


      • Both the night before and morning of the race, Chris preloaded with one PH 1500 (Drink Mix) in 500ml/16oz of water to make sure he was heading into the race optimally hydrated
      • Unfortunately, Chris and Chipper weren’t sure what the on-course electrolytes would be and once they got to the first aid station they realised that it was a strong carb mix with a small amount of electrolytes. As a result, they decided to stick to plain water throughout - this was a smart move as the old adage says that you should never trying anything new on race day - but this did mean that Chris didn’t take any sodium on board during the entire race
      • Considering the warm conditions (20°C/68°F) and the fact that he’s a very salty sweater (losing 1,719mg of sodium per litre of sweat), we would expect Chris to take some sodium on board during a race of this length and intensity to keep up with his above average losses
      • Luckily, despite the lack of sodium, Chris was still able to perform well and experienced no issues such as cramping during the race. Chipper did mention that he thought Chris was struggling with the heat at times and, in hindsight, Chris agreed that he should have brought Electrolyte Capsules with him
      • Implementing this will be especially important during the Low Tide Boyz’ longer races this season, where their net losses may be considerably higher so adequate sodium and fluid replacement is necessary to avoid detrimental effects on performance
      • Chris drank a total of ~1.8L/61oz of water during the race, which equated to an average of ~495ml/hr (16oz/hr). Although we don’t have data on Chris’s sweat rate, he subjectively rated it “pretty high”, especially during the long run. Chris listened to his body, drinking to thirst throughout, and was happy with this strategy saying, “I never felt dehydrated”. His main concern was that “I wished I had salt tablets with me!”


    Quick Carb Calculator Recommendation


    carb 30 mins before


    carb per hour during
      • With the race starting at 7:30am, Chris and Chipper ate their breakfast at around 6:15am. Not being too far out from the start of the race, Chris kept his breakfast on the lighter side, choosing to eat two chocolate croissants and he sensibly preloaded with PH 1500 (Drink Mix) to get an extra ~15g of carbohydrates in. This meant he was on the lower end of the general guidelines which suggest that you should aim to consume 1-4g of carb per kilogram of bodyweight 1-4 hours before the race
      • In addition to his small breakfast, Chris chose to have a final carb dose by consuming a PF 30 Energy Gel in the last 15 minutes before the gun went off. This is something we recommended for Chris to try after our last race analysis because, if timed correctly, it can spare glycogen stores for later in the race
      • During the race, Chris consumed six PF 30 Gels to reach an average of ~58g of carbs per hour over the race (including his final pre-race gel). This is a good step up from the ~41g/hr we saw him consume at Swimrun Orcas Island and narrowly misses our Quick Carb Calculator’s recommended 60-90g/hr for a race of this length and intensity
      • Taking our advice on board, Chris aimed for 60g/hr during the race and did well to hit ~58g/hr, especially considering there are long sections of swimming during a swimrun of this nature when little to no fuel can be taken on
      • His energy levels “felt good” during most of the race, but he did feel “slightly sick” during the longest running stretch. This concerned Chris a little, and he chose not to have his final planned gel as he “couldn’t take anymore”. Chris mentioned struggling for energy in the last mile of the race, saying it was “hard work” and he put this down to not having his last gel
      • Chris was happy with his progress in his fueling intake but knows that if he’s to be able to maintain this level of carb intake throughout the whole race going forward, he will need to more frequently practice this quantity of carb ingestion at race intensity in training. This will be particularly important as the lads gear up for the longer ÖTILLÖ World Championships in Sweden later this year
      • As someone who doesn’t have a high tolerance for caffeine, Chris chooses not to consume any caffeine on race day, unlike his teammate Chipper. Caffeine can enhance some athlete’s performance but it’s not a necessity to having a good race as different people will have different tolerance and sensitivity to the effects of caffeine


      • Chris and his swimrun partner, Chipper, had “great fun” at Swimrun Lake James, finishing 4th and rating their race satisfaction as 8 out of 10. Both had a robust fueling strategy leading into the race which they executed well
      • The lack of strong electrolytes impacted their intended hydration strategies, resulting in them running ‘light’ on sodium. Building towards future races, Chris is going to do some pre-race research and check what’s on course at the aid stations, as well as carry Electrolyte Capsules in his suit
      • He’s also planning to test out his fuel intake during training sessions so that he’s more comfortable with tolerating ~60g of carb per hour over a greater duration

    Key info

    Chris Douglas

    Sweat sodium concentration
    Sweat sodium classification
    Very High
    * 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
    I didn't feel dehydrated at all, but I know I should have brought some salt tablets with me
    Energy levels
    They were stable and I felt good throughout, but the last half a mile felt pretty hard
    Toilet stops
    Twice during the race
    GI comfort
    All good except for during the longest run where I felt slightly sick after a gel
    No cramping

    Chris' full stats

     Carbohydrate (g)Sodium (mg)Fluid (ml)Caffeine (mg)Relative sodium concentration (mg/L)
    Total intake21001,80000
    Per hour5804950

    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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