/

Andy Campbell

Winter West Highland Way FKT

5th January, 2024
Scotland
Highlands
1st
strava
Running, Ultra - 156.4km
-3°C
, Cold
19hrs 54mins
more race details

Andy's headline numbers

?
?
?
~56
g
Carb per hour
Recommended 60g/h
~400
ml
Fluid per hour
Recommended 100-500ml/h
~1,275
mg
Sodium per litre
Recommended 800-1200mg/L
~5.5
mg
Caffeine per kg
Recommended 3-6mg/kg
Image Credits: Gilly

Andy's strategy

Fueling

Carbohydrate is the main fuel you burn when racing. Failing to fuel properly is a leading cause of underperformance in longer races.

Carb-loaded
?
T - 1-4hrs: Ate a carb rich meal (Low in fat & fibre)
pre-fueled
?
T - 15mins: Took in a final dose of carb
Carb per hour
Recommended 60g/h
~56
g
Andy's Energy Rating
9
/10
"I had to stop eating fuel products for a good three hours during the night because I felt a bit nauseous, but after some ‘real food’ and the sun coming up, I felt spot on again. Overall, my energy levels were great and I was pleased with my mental and physical energy considering the 12 hours of darkness and tricky terrain."
Our thoughts

On his way to setting a new Fastest Known Time (FKT) for the Winter West Highland Way, Andy did well to adjust his intake based on the signs his body was providing. With this approach he achieved very close to his target carb intake even having switched to ‘real foods’ for longer than he’d initially planned. Sodium plays an important role in the uptake of glucose from the gut into the bloodstream, which is likely why Andy managed to alleviate his brief nausea by increasing his consumption of sodium with a carb-rich and very salty noodle pot alongside 500ml of PH 1500 (Tablet). Alongside his PF 30 Gels and chews, Andy also looked forward to eating some chocolate bars along the route which provided him with a decent sugar-hit, as well as a morale boost, which can have a significant impact on performance during these ultra-endurance events.

Hydration

Taking on board an appropriate amount of fluid and sodium is essential to maintaining blood volume and supporting the cardiovascular effort needed to perform on race day.

Whilst the absolute amount of sodium and fluid consumed per hour is important, it’s critical to consider these in relation to each other. This is known as 'relative sodium concentration' and it’s expressed in milligrams per litre (mg/L). How much sodium you’re taking in per litre of fluid is more important than the absolute amount taken in per hour.

Pre-loaded electrolytes
?
T - 60mins: Drank ~500ml of strong electrolyte drink
Fluid per hour
Recommended 100-500ml/h
~400
ml
Sodium per litre
Recommended 800-1200mg/L
~1,275
mg
Andy's Hydration Rating
8
/10
"My initial plan wasn’t the best in the freezing cold conditions, as I found myself having to pee for 5 or 6 consecutive miles at one point. I decided to combat this by increasing my sodium concentration, by reducing my fluid intake and taking some electrolyte capsules. This did the trick immediately and I was so glad I knew how to adapt my strategy on the go."
Our thoughts

Andy’s understanding of the body’s constant balancing act of fluid and sodium meant he knew exactly which levers to pull, drawing on sodium’s fluid retaining properties when he found himself peeing too often. The most impressive thing about this situation was that despite significant muscular fatigue and sleep deprivation, Andy was still able to clearly relay this message to his crew who were waiting ahead for him. They subsequently prepared exactly what he needed well ahead of his arrival. In future, Andy will certainly adopt a different plan from the start. Drinking a volume which more closely matches his sweat losses at the time should see him through the entire run, rather than having to resort to making significant changes mid-event.

Caffeine

Beyond the Three Levers of Performance (carb, sodium and fluid), caffeine is one of only a few substances that is proven to improve performance for most endurance athletes as it can help stave off mental and physical fatigue.

Didn't pre-load caffeine
?
Consuming caffeine in the hours before the start may have increased perceived energy levels
Caffeine per kg
Recommended 3-6mg/kg
~5.5
mg
Our thoughts

Andy doesn’t consume much caffeine in his day to day life, so hitting the upper end of the scientifically recommended range would almost certainly have given him the ergogenic benefits available. Andy strategically abstained from caffeine until he needed it most to fight his circadian rhythm at night. He then drank energy drinks to boost his focus just before tackling the most technical parts of the trail overnight. He also got ~100mg of caffeine via two very strong cups of tea, and according to Andy, “a cuppa tea fixes everything”.

How Andy hit his numbers

Here's everything that Andy ate and drank on the day...

Andy's weapons of choice

Final thoughts

Andy's Satisfaction Rating
10
/10
I’m so pleased with how everything went. Even with a broken head torch in the middle of the night and a lot of pain in my knees, I was able to adapt and overcome everything that was thrown at me. Being as cold as I was for such a long time was a new experience for me, but I felt like I was able to get everything I needed from my crew, and I was really lucky to get a big morale boost each time I saw them.
Andy
It was brilliant to see Andy nail his fueling strategy, and be confident in his ability to adapt his hydration on the fly after having a consultation with one of the PF&H sports science team. Despite several obstacles attempting to derail his ‘fastest known winter time’ attempt, Andy was able to shave over 30 minutes off the previous record, and in the process become the first person to finish under 20 hours for this winter route.
PF&H

Andy's full stats

?
?
?
Overall
1109g total carb
56g per hour
7,960ml total fluid
400ml per hour
10,148mg total sodium
510mg per hour
1,275mg
Sodium per litre
332mg total caffeine
5.5mg per kg

Data Confidence
?

We rate each of our case studies from 1-5 based on the level of accuracy, and our confidence in the data.
1
2
3
4
5

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.

Andy's recent case studies

see all
Nail your next event with a FREE Fuel & Hydration Plan
Get started