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Russell Smith's scorecard

Kathmandu Coast to Coast

Friday 10th February, 2023

Within recommended ranges

Just outside recommended ranges

Significantly outside recommended ranges

  • 62g

    Carb per hour
  • 677mg

    Sodium per hour
  • 479ml

    Fluid per hour
  • 1,414mg/L

    Relative sodium concentration
  • 0mg

    Total caffeine
  • How Russell hit those numbers

    500ml x PH 1500 (Tablet)
    2 x Toast with Butter & Peanut butter
    1 x Banana
    1 x PF 30 Gel
    250ml x PH 1000 (Drink Mix)
    500ml x PH 1500 (Tablets)
    21 x PH Electrolyte Capsule
    2.33 x PF 90 Gel
    4L x PF Energy Drink Mix
    6 x PF 30 Gel
    4 x PF 30 Chews
    2.5L x Plain water
    1.5 x Banana
    4 x Potato

    How Russell's hydration and fueling went...

      • Russell is a keen athlete with vast experience across multiple endurance sports. He also carries out Sweat Testing as the head coach at ‘GO’ Beyond Physical Limits based in Hamilton, New Zealand
      • He took on the 2023 Kathmandu Coast to Coast, which sees athletes run, kayak and cycle from Kumara beach in the west of New Zealand to New Brighton beach, Christchurch, in the east of the country as part of this premier ‘multisport’ adventure race, previously known as ‘The Longest Day’ competition
      • After experiencing some difficulties during the longest duration stage of the event, the 67km Kayak, Russell felt that his carb intake had some room for improvement on the day, which may have helped his perceived energy throughout the final 70km cycle


      • In a multisport event there are complexities involved in carrying your race fuel and hydration across several sporting disciplines. In this case, Russell had to work out how he would go about executing his strategy while running, riding and paddling across the country for ~15 hours
      • While on the bike legs of the race, Russell relied on bottles integrated between his handlebars and in cages to deliver his fluid. He was able to make the most of the drinkable water from streams that he crossed during the running legs to refill the soft flasks from his vest
      • Unfortunately, Russell struggled with one of his integrated fluid bladders containing PH 1000 Sachets inside his personal flotation device (PFD) while paddling, and only found out after it was too late that it had shifted, causing a kink in the tube connecting the reservoir to the mouthpiece
      • This meant that overall he consumed ~479ml (15oz) of fluid per hour, with a relative sodium concentration of ~1,414mg/L (mg/32oz). He achieved this by drinking PH 1000, PH 1500, PF Energy Drink Mix and 21 Electrolyte Capsules
      • This above average relative sodium concentration is something that we wouldn’t recommend for everyone. However, Russell knows after his Sweat Test, that he loses an above average 1,371mg of sodium per litre (32oz) of sweat. This means that his intake was absolutely appropriate for him and replaced a good proportion of what he lost via his sweat throughout the race
      • Likewise, the fact Russell reported peeing quite frequently during the race and actually being quite cold at some points means his moderate hourly fluid intake was likely appropriate, and helped him stave off any severe effects of dehydration
      • These suitable fluid and electrolyte intakes may have contributed towards Russell experiencing no cramping on the day, although he did feel some twinges in his leg adductors which never eventuated, but he assumed these were due to sitting in the kayak for such a long time


    Quick Carb Calculator Recommendation


    carb 30 mins before


    carb per hour during
      • In the days before the race, Russell increased the proportion of carbohydrates in his food, while reducing protein and fibre so that he could store plenty of glucose as glycogen in his muscles and liver, and avoid overeating. He finished off his carb load with a dinner of pizza and garlic bread the night before the race
      • Russell then began his epic challenge with one of the classic endurance athlete’s breakfasts; comprising toast with peanut butter and a banana, and then topped off his blood glucose levels ~15 minutes before the race with a PF 30 Gel
      • While utilising the five transitions throughout the race to top up with real foods like small salted potatoes and some banana, Russell mainly relied on PF 30 & PF 90 gels within ‘gel flasks’, as well as PF Energy Drink mix to provide him with carbohydrate to be used as fuel during his effort
      • Russell again had some trouble during his 5 hours in the water, as he lost a partially taken PF 90 Gel when trying to put it back in his PFD, and then didn’t use the other one he was carrying at all. This undoubtedly contributed to his perceived energy levels dropping significantly by the end, “feeling shattered and quite drained” through transition 5 into the final bike leg where he struggled to push his usual power
      • Overall, Russell’s intake worked out to be ~62g of carb per hour, which is on the lower end of general recommendations for an event of this duration and intensity. Having been aiming for somewhere between 80-90g/h pre race, he knows that there’s some room for elevating his consumption in future races
      • Interestingly, during such a long and arduous event, Russell never utilised the performance benefits associated with caffeine. If Russell is a habitual caffeine user, and tries using caffeine products in his future training, then he may benefit from the reduction in perceived effort and increased focus associated with 3-6mg/kg (1.3-2.7mg/lb) of caffeine in endurance sports.


      • In the end, Russell was able to traverse the 243km stretch from coast to coast in a time of 15 hours and 11 minutes. While this is an impressive feat, he was generally dissatisfied with his performance on the day, having had high hopes after a strong and injury-free build up to the event
      • In terms of his fueling, there’s some room for additional carb intake. Although it must be considered, naturally, that his average hourly number would have been higher with the exact same intake had his finishing time been closer to his initial aims
      • Overall, Russell nailed his hydration - and was able to adapt well on the fly to utilise streams for fluid replenishment, all the while maintaining an appropriate relative sodium concentration for his known losses

    Key info

    Russell Smith

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


    Overall Time

    Event information

    Kathmandu Coast to Coast
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    10th February, 2023
    Total Distance
    243.0km / 151.0mi

    Event conditions

    Weather Conditions
    No Rain
    Min Temp
    12°C / 54°F
    Max Temp
    22°C / 72°F
    Avg Temp
    17°C / 63°F

    Athlete feedback

    Event Satisfaction
    Energy levels
    Energy was good until around halfway through the kayak. After that I couldn't push the same intensity
    Toilet stops
    Quite frequently
    GI comfort
    Twinges but not full-on cramps

    Russell's Thoughts

     Training had gone really well with no major injuries, and I'm not getting any younger, so overall I was disappointed with the result as I put quite high expectations on myself.

    Russell's full stats

     Carbohydrate (g)Sodium (mg)Fluid (ml)Caffeine (mg)Relative sodium concentration (mg/L)
    Total intake93510,2527,25001,414
    Per hour626774790

    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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