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Chris Douglas' scorecard

Odyssey Swimrun Orcas Island

Sunday 26th September, 2021

Within recommended ranges

Just outside recommended ranges

Significantly outside recommended ranges

  • 41g

    Carb per hour
  • 417mg

    Sodium per hour
  • 316ml

    Fluid per hour
  • 1,319mg/L

    Relative sodium concentration
  • 0.54mg/kg

    Caffeine per bodyweight
  • How Chris hit those numbers

    415ml x PH 1500 (Tablet)
    2 x Slices of toast with butter
    2.07L x PH 1000 (Tablets)
    5 x PF 30 Gel
    1 x Energy gel with caffeine (22g carb, 40mg caffeine)
    3 x Energy gel (30g carb)

    How Chris' hydration and fueling went...

      • Chris Douglas and his Low Tide Boyz podcast co-host Chipper performed well at Odyssey Swimrun Orcas Island to finish 7th overall (4th men’s team) in the Long Course team event, completing the race in a time of 6 hours 33 minutes
      • PH founder and Sports Scientist Andy had appeared on their podcast to talk all things hydration for swimrun previously, so we reached out to Chris before his race to see if he’d be interested in helping us to expand our swimrun case studies
      • In terms of his hydration and fueling for the race, Chris said “I followed Andy’s hydration protocols and made sure that I drank PH 1500 the night before and again the morning of the race. I was consistently taking on hydration and fueling at regular intervals and I don’t think I would change anything”
      • Unfortunately Chipper had picked up an injury in the run up to the race, so they knew they weren’t at the top of their game going into the event and that it was going to be a tough one. Nonetheless, they gritted it out and had lots of fun doing so


      • Chris drank a total of ~2.07L/70oz over the course of the race which equates to ~316ml/hr (11oz/hr). On the surface this may seem like a low amount compared to what we see in other races of this length, but you have to consider the intricacies of swimrun. There are large proportions of the race (i.e. when swimming) when you cannot get any fluid on board and you’re reliant on the available aid stations
      • Although we don’t have data on Chris’ sweat rate, the conditions were cold and wet so his sweat rate will have been lower compared to warmer races. Therefore, it’s reasonable to assume that he was replacing a moderate amount of his losses and the fact that he peed 4 times during the race would suggest he didn't massively under hydrate
      • Chris had PH 1000 in all of the fluid he picked up from aid stations on course. He also got a moderate dose of sodium from some of his energy gels. This meant in total, Chris took on ~417mg of sodium per hour
      • In relation to the fluid he drank, the relative sodium concentration of Chris’ intake was ~1,319mg/L. When comparing his intake to his sweat sodium concentration of 1,719mg/L, we can see he will have been replacing a good proportion of his sweat sodium losses during the race
      • Chris didn't cramp at all during the race and was happy with his hydration strategy. He said “I had Andy Blow’s voice in my head reminding me to take advantage of hydrating at the aid stations since running in a wetsuit causes a lot of sweating and I made sure to get over 8oz/237ml of PH at every opportunity”


    Quick Carb Calculator Recommendation


    carb 30 mins before


    carb per hour during
      • Before the race, Chris had two slices of wheat bread toast to top up his glycogen stores. He could look to eat a little more pre-race as the general recommendation for pre-exercise carb intake is 1-4g of carb per kilogram of body weight. The race had a relatively early start (7:30am) so it was a good effort from Chris get some high carb food on board at that time of the morning
      • The Quick Carb Calculator would recommend Chris consume ~30g of carb in the last 30 minutes before a race of this length and intensity as a final fuel ‘top up’. The idea being that it hits your bloodstream quickly, spiking blood glucose levels, and sparing your stored glycogen stores for use later on. This is often down to athlete preference, but could be something for Chris to try before future races to maximise his fuel stores
      • During the race, Chris consumed a range of energy gels, including PF 30 Gels and caffeine energy gels, to reach an average intake of ~41g carb per hour (this includes his overall race time spent both swimming and running). This is below our recommended range for this race (60-90g/hr), but is still a decent intake considering the fact that swimming and tricky elevated sections on the run limited opportunities to eat and drink
      • Chris spread out his gels well throughout the race by choosing to consume one at each aid station (7 gels) and one in the middle of each long run (2 gels). This is a good strategy which will have ensured that he never overloaded the stomach, whilst he got fuel on board and managed to keep his energy levels up. Chris mentioned that his energy levels were “sky high all race!”
      • Still, trying to push towards ~60g/hr in future races, by eating more gels or other sources of carbs, could benefit Chris as evidence suggests this can aid both performance and recovery (albeit the nature of swimrun as a sport does make fueling difficult!)
      • Chris may want to undertake some gut training to be able to tolerate more carbs in future races. He’d “never taken that much in during a swimrun of that duration before”, so he did well to hit over 40g/hr and experienced no GI issues doing so (9/10)
      • In terms of caffeine, Chris used one caffeinated energy gel which contained 40mg of caffeine. This may have boosted his perceived energy levels ~20minutes after taking the gel, but he may benefit from increasing his caffeine intake because between 3-6mg/kg body weight is recommended for optimal performance


      • Chris enjoyed a solid race at Odyssey Swimrun Orcas Island and really enjoyed the event; he rated his race satisfaction as a 9 out of 10. His race partner Chipper struggled and thought that he ended up “bonking” because of “not taking enough in and being slightly dehydrated”
      • In contrast, Chris hit solid numbers throughout the race despite the logistical challenges of swimrun. In future races, Chris could try to increase his carb intake to ~60g carb per hour to see if that further benefits his performance

    Key info

    Chris Douglas

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


    Overall Time

    Event information

    Odyssey Swimrun Orcas Island
    Washington, USA
    26th September, 2021
    Swim Distance
    6.0km / 3.7mi
    Run Distance
    33.0km / 20.5mi
    Total Distance
    39.0km / 24.2mi
    Total Elevation
    1,862m / 6,109ft

    Event conditions

    Weather Conditions
    Min Temp
    11°C / 52°F
    Max Temp
    15°C / 59°F
    Avg Temp
    13°C / 55°F

    Athlete feedback

    Event Satisfaction
    Hydration rating
    Energy levels
    My energy was sky high all race
    Toilet stops
    Peed four times
    GI comfort
    Felt fine and I was able to tolerate the gels well
    No cramping

    Chris' full stats

     Carbohydrate (g)Sodium (mg)Fluid (ml)Caffeine (mg)Relative sodium concentration (mg/L)
    Total intake2712,7302,070401,319
    Per hour414173166

    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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