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Dougal Allan's scorecard

Kathmandu Coast to Coast

Saturday 12th February, 2022

Within recommended ranges

Just outside recommended ranges

Significantly outside recommended ranges

  • 111g

    Carb per hour
  • 939mg

    Sodium per hour
  • 625ml

    Fluid per hour
  • 1,503mg/L

    Relative sodium concentration
  • 5.38mg/kg

    Caffeine per bodyweight
  • How Dougal hit those numbers

    500ml x PH 1500 (Tablet)
    2 x Bagels with jam
    1 x Coffee
    1 x Banana
    0.5 x Energy chew packet with caffeine (48g carb, 100mg caffeine)
    1L x PH 1500 (Tablets)
    12 x PH Electrolyte Capsule
    4.5L x PF Carb & Electrolyte Drink Mix
    15 x PF 30 Gel
    100ml x Plain water
    -300ml x Additional fluid in mixed drinks
    1 x Energy gel with caffeine (24g carb, 72mg caffeine)
    2 x Energy chew packet with caffeine (48g carb, 100mg caffeine)
    1 x Energy chew packet (48g carb)
    1L x Cola
    5 x Boiled potato (~16.5g carb)
    1 x Creamed rice (100g)

    How Dougal's hydration and fueling went...

      • This was Dougal’s 10th time competing in the Coast to Coast New Zealand race in what was the event’s 40th anniversary. On paper, he had another great performance, coming away with the silver medal, but in reality it was far from smooth sailing (though kayaking would be more appropriate...) as he broke his ankle and ruptured ligaments with well over half of the race to go
      • If you’re unfamiliar with the Coast to Coast event, it’s a multisport endurance race which uses three different disciplines to cover a total of 250.2 kilometers. The race starts with running 2.2km to ease competitors in (though Dougal set off at 3min/km pace), followed by cycling 55km, running 33km, cycling another 115km, jumping in a kayak and paddling 30km (shortened this year from 80km due to the river flooding), and then finally cycling 15km to cross the finish line. It’s definitely a unique event!
      • In his post-race recap, Dougal wrote that this year’s race will “surely go down as one of the most memorable in my experience with the event”. With the challenge of putting the event on during the pandemic and then the drama that ensued during the race, it was a testing event all-round. Despite everything, Dougal, ever the pro, showcased his experience and determination to finish the event on the podium and still execute an incredibly effective fueling and hydration strategy


      • Dougal preloaded ahead of his race with 500ml (~16oz) PH 1500 alongside his carb-rich breakfast and pre-race coffee. This is textbook in terms of the recommendations and will have helped him to start the race well-fueled and well-hydrated
      • A big proportion of Dougal’s carbs came from energy drinks, predominantly PF 30 Energy Drink Mix (~4.5L in total) as well as Coca Cola (~1L) which is also very high in sugar (~10% carbohydrate solution). Using your fluids to meet your carb needs as well as hydration needs often results in consuming greater average intakes. This was certainly the case for Dougal who drank an average fluid intake of ~625ml/hr (~21oz/hr), despite the conditions not being as warm as he anticipated (~16℃/61℉)
      • Dougal would usually describe himself as a “high sweater” but with the day being cool he estimated that his sweat rate in this race was moderate. Taking into account the environmental conditions as well as total sweat losses, we would conclude that Dougal’s average fluid intake was sufficient
      • He also did a great job at being consistent with his sodium intake, using 12 x PH Electrolyte Capsules and a substantial amount of PF 30 Drink Mix which contains 1,000mg/L of sodium per serving (when mixed correctly). In total, the relative sodium concentration of his intake was ~1,525mg/L, a target we’ve encouraged Dougal (as a usually heavy sweater) to strive for
      • Dougal reported cramping badly in his left adductor ~3 hours into the long run leg, which resulted in him having to stop and stretch it out. An athlete experiencing cramping in an endurance race can be an indicator that they didn’t quite get their hydration strategy right as one of the main theories of the causes of muscle cramp is dehydration/sodium depletion. However, Dougal’s fluid and sodium replacement was good and we would recommend that he changes very little. Dougal commented that he believed his cramp could be attributed to the neuromuscular theory of cramp and commented that it was likely “due to the muscle being overloaded by a broken right ankle”
      • Overall, Dougal rated his hydration strategy an 8 out of 10, saying the conditions didn’t challenge him too much and that he even managed to pee at the finish line which indicates that he wasn’t too dehydrated


    Quick Carb Calculator Recommendation


    carb 30 mins before


    carb per hour during
      • Before the race, Dougal ate a carb-rich breakfast (two bagels with jam and a banana) and took ~24g of carb on board in the final 30 minutes, chomping down three energy chews which also provided him with a final caffeine dose of ~50mg. This pre-race intake fits in nicely with the Quick Carb Calculator recommendations
      • Normally for races of this long duration, consuming between 30-60 grams of carbohydrate per hour (g/hr) is the recommendation, though intakes of up to 90g/hr can be the target for certain athletes. Dougal far exceeded both of these guidelines, averaging ~111g/hr across the race, a phenomenal consumption for a race of this duration. It’s worth noting that Dougal has undergone extensive gut training in order to tolerate this carbohydrate intake (which he discusses in his blog here)
      • If well tolerated, a high carbohydrate intake is effective as there’s a positive correlation between carbohydrate intake and endurance performance
      • Dougal met his fueling needs with a combination of PF 30 Energy Drink Mix, PF 30 Energy Gels, energy chews and small amounts of real food (boiled potatoes and creamed rice picked up at aid stations)
      • Dougal’s carb intake across the different race disciplines broke down as follows: on the first bike section, Dougal was hitting more than 110g/hr, dialing this back to ~89g/hr on the 3 hour 15 minute run, and then ~91g/hr on the second three-hour bike leg
      • There’s no denying that these are fantastic intakes but Dougal felt he needed more. He commented that he “didn’t carry enough on the run and had to ration the last hour or so”. During this leg of the race, he got through 6 x PF 30 Energy Gels (180g carb total), 1 x packet of Energy Chews (48g carb) and ~1L x PF 30 Energy Drink Mix (60g carb)
      • This led him to crave some real foods, asking for boiled potatoes at the aid stations to satiate his hunger. Longer races increase an athlete’s fueling options and real foods (such as bars, energy balls and slices of banana) are much more appropriate and desirable, as Dougal found
      • Dougal’s highest carbohydrate intake was during the kayak stage of the race, where he consumed a total of ~267g carb, averaging ~172g/hr over the 1.5 hour paddle. This is a huge consumption, the highest we’ve seen an athlete take in-race during our case study analyses so far. This carb intake was met using a combination of energy gels, drink mix and Coca Cola. This kind of intake in any other discipline (running or cycling) is far less likely to be tolerated (and wouldn’t be recommended!) but the nature of kayaking (predominantly an arm-based exercise and lower in intensity) means carbohydrate absorption in the gut can stay high
      • All in all, Dougal got lots right with his fueling strategy; hitting high carb numbers and performing well (in spite of his broken ankle). That said, an event like this is a long time to go without eating much ‘real food’. Fueling predominantly with simple sugars, whilst important, can leave an athlete feeling hungry and craving something more substantial. Introducing more solid foods to his plan may be effective in future long races


      • When asked about his level of satisfaction with the race outcome, Dougal rated it an 8. In his post-race report he concluded that “I cannot honestly say that I am happy with the outcome, but I’m OK with that too. It’s not the first time I’ve fallen short of my expectations and certainly won’t be the last”
      • Dougal’s goal for the race was of course the gold medal. Ever the gracious competitor Dougal admitted that he would have “loved to have won, but was truly outclassed”
      • Given he sustained a serious injury mid-race, Dougal did remarkably well to stay focused and meet his carb, sodium and fluid needs, as well as consuming a sensible caffeine dose which was well distributed across the race
      • If Dougal is ever to return to the Coast to Coast he would benefit from giving himself more real food options on the long bike leg to help stave off feelings of hunger. That said, he executed an impressive fueling and hydration strategy. Dougal was also happy with what he took, commenting that “I got it pretty close on the nutrition front”

    Key info

    Dougal Allan



    Overall Time

    Event information

    Kathmandu Coast to Coast
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    12th February, 2022
    Bike Distance
    185.0km / 115.0mi
    Run Distance
    35.2km / 21.9mi
    Total Distance
    250.2km / 155.5mi

    Event conditions

    Weather Conditions
    No Rain
    Min Temp
    14°C / 57°F
    Max Temp
    17°C / 63°F
    Avg Temp
    16°C / 61°F

    Athlete feedback

    Event Satisfaction
    Hydration rating
    It was cooler than expected so I didn't feel too challenged by my hydration
    Energy levels
    Toilet stops
    Three times at approx. 1, 4 and 6 hours
    GI comfort
    Severe cramps that caused me to stop before I could continue

    Dougal's full stats

     Carbohydrate (g)Sodium (mg)Fluid (ml)Caffeine (mg)Relative sodium concentration (mg/L)
    Total intake1,1219,4686,3004301,503
    Per hour11193962543

    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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