< Back to case studies

Damian Hall's scorecard

The Spine Race

Sunday 9th January, 2022

Within recommended ranges

Just outside recommended ranges

Significantly outside recommended ranges

  • 38g

    Carb per hour
  • 214mg

    Sodium per hour
  • 219ml

    Fluid per hour
  • 975mg/L

    Relative sodium concentration
  • 1,390mg

    Total caffeine
  • How Damian hit those numbers

    finish
    star
    bottle
     
    300ml x PH 1000 (Tablet)
    1 x Bowl of porridge
    1 x Banana
    2 x Cups of tea
     
     
    1 x PF 30 Energy Gel
     
     
    2.5L x PH 1000 (Drink Mix)
    2 x PH Electrolyte Capsule
    750ml x PF 30 Energy Drink Mix
    5 x PF 30 Energy Gel
    2 x PF 30 Energy Chews
    1.5L x Plain water
    3.75L x Black Tea
    700ml x Energy Drink Mix (35g carb)
    800ml x Chocolate milk (5g carb)
    500ml x Lemonade
    2 x Hard boiled sweet
    32 x Jelly sweets
    5 x Energy bar (23g carb)
    5 x Energy bar (30g carb)
    Energy bar (40g carb)
    Energy gel (45g carb)
    3 x Nutbutter (5g carb)
    5 x Oat biscuits (6g carb)
    3 x Packet of crisps (14g carb)
    3 x Caffeine gum (100mg caffeine)
    Caffeine chew (85mg caffeine)
    300ml x Lentil soup
    2 x Dehydrated meals
    0.5 x Jackfruit pizza
    4 x Handful of nuts
    3 x Vegan lasagne
    2 x Cheese and pickle bagel
    5 x Mini brownie
    1 x Flapjack (23g carb)
    1 x Mince Pie
    1 x Plate of tofu and rice
    1 x Bowl of porridge
     

    How Damian's hydration and fueling went...

      • Damian was leading the Spine Race until a groin injury forced him to stop after 52 hours and 35 minutes of racing. Despite the DNF, Damian was happy with the race and said “I’m thrilled with how I ran and how I felt, but obviously not happy with how things ended”
      • Before the race, Damian outlined his fueling and hydration strategy which involved consuming around 60g of carbohydrate per hour and to drink water, PH 1000 and tea over the course of the 80-85 hours he predicted he’d be racing for

    Hydration

      • Over the two days, Damian drank water, PH 1000, chocolate milk, energy drink mix and MANY cups of tea! The estimated total volume of fluid he drank was ~11.5L/390oz which equates to an average of ~219ml/7oz per hour over the race
      • During a race of this length, the advice is to primarily drink to thirst. As a very experienced athlete competing in his third Spine Race, Damian did this well by listening to his body and adjusting how much he was drinking depending on the conditions and section of the race. For example, he drank less overnight when the conditions were cooler, and therefore his sweat rate, and overall fluid needs were lower
      • Before the race, Damian preloaded with ~300ml/10oz of PH 1000. This is a good strategy to boost his blood plasma volume and make sure he’s starting hydrated, but we would recommend he uses the PH 1500, which contains a stronger relative sodium concentration, as this will help maximise the benefit of this preload
      • Damian got sodium on board during the race predominantly from PH 1000 and from some of the food he ate. His average sodium consumption was ~214mg/hr, which in relation to the fluid he drank meant the relative sodium concentration of his intake was ~975mg/L. Being a ‘salty sweater’, with a sweat sodium concentration of 1146mg/L, Damian did well to continue to replace a high proportion of his losses over the race
      • Damian did experience some slight twinges of cramp during the first night so decided to take on some electrolyte capsules with the aim to stave them off. Anecdotally, this can be an effective strategy to keep cramping at bay, and it seemed to work well for Damian in these circumstances as he never felt them again
      • Damian said his “hydration was always going to be compromised to an extent, especially as the race went on and availability of fluids was scarcer”. But, he stopped where he could for water and tea, was happy with his hydration strategy and didn’t feel it held him back. He also mentioned peeing plenty throughout the race, mainly for the first 24 hours, which suggests he didn’t under hydrate

    Fueling

    Quick Carb Calculator Recommendation

    30g

    carb 30 mins before

    30-60g

    carb per hour during
      • Damian prepared for the race by eating a carb-rich breakfast, this time consisting of a bowl of porridge and a banana, to top up his glycogen stores before the race started at 8:00am on the Sunday
      • For the next 3-4 days, Damian had to be self-supported; carrying his food and fluid with him until he reached each checkpoint (roughly every 8 hours) to collect more supplies, rest and regroup before hitting the trails again
      • Throughout the race, Damian ate a range of foods, including pasta, porridge, rice, a variety of energy bars, energy gels, chews, biscuits, crisps and sweets. Using such a wide range of products is important during extremely long races to avoid flavour fatigue, while continuing to get high levels of carbohydrate on board
      • Damian included real foods, such as lasagne and pizza, in his intake during the race. As he is racing at a much lower intensity than in shorter races, these are a good choice as they’re easily digested, give the body some needed sustenance over the 52-hour period and are often more satisfying to eat
      • Damian hit an average of ~38g of carbohydrate per hour. Considering the duration and intensity of this race, this is a decent carb intake, within the Quick Carb Calculator’s recommendations of 30-60g/hr, but lower than his pre-race target of 60g/hr
      • Breaking Damian’s intake down by checkpoints, we can get a more detailed picture of where he consumed more or less fuel. Damian started well, consuming over ~50g/hr between the start and checkpoint 1, and then between checkpoints 2 and 3 (end of day 1). He dropped below ~40g/hr for the rest of the race, with a large dip to ~15g/hr between hours 35 and 45
      • These fluctuations in carb consumption are to be expected during such a long race where athletes are racing through the night with little-to-no sleep, but we would recommend Damian stay within the recommended range (above 30g/hr) to avoid going for extended parts of the race without fueling
      • Damian knew that “in races of this length, energy levels are inevitably harder to control” and he did experience a few dips “when sleep deprivation kicked in”. But, overall he rated his energy levels as an 8 out of 10
      • One thing he used to combat tiredness and offset fatigue was caffeine. Damian took on a consistent dose throughout the race, using caffeinated gum and chews. Given caffeine has a half life of ~4-5 hours, during long races lasting over 24 hours, this technique to ‘drip-feed’ caffeine is a good one as it helps athletes avoid major dips and spikes in caffeine levels

    Conclusions

      • In his third time competing in the Spine Race, Damian started off brilliantly, following his hydration and fueling strategy closely and mentioned that he was “feeling sensational” during these early stages. Unfortunately, when leading the race with ~24 hours to go, Damian had to stop due to a groin injury he picked up during the first night
      • Despite not ending the race how he would’ve liked, Damian was happy with his performance and rated his race satisfaction as 7 out of 10
      • For an event of this length, Damian’s executed a strong fueling and hydration strategy, relying on a range of real foods and energy products to fuel him well for over 52 hours; on average falling within the recommended range of carbohydrate
      • Not discouraged, Damian will be returning to the Pennine Way and has already signed up for the 2023 Spine Race. We can’t wait to see what the outcome will be when injury doesn’t hinder him!

    Key info

    Damian Hall

    Male
    Sweat sodium concentration
    1,146mg/L
    Sweat sodium classification
    High
    * determined by a PH Advanced Sweat Test

    Result

    Overall Time
    52:35:16

    Event information

    Sport
    Running
    Discipline
    Ultra
    Event
    The Spine Race
    Location
    Edale, England
    Date
    9th January, 2022
    Website
    Total Distance
    289.0km / 179.6mi

    Race conditions

    Weather Conditions
    Cold
    Precipitation
    No Rain
    Min Temp
    2°C / 36°F
    Max Temp
    9°C / 48°F
    Avg Temp
    5°C / 41°F
    Humidity
    85%

    Athlete feedback

    Race satisfaction
    7/10
    Hydration rating
    7/10
    Hydration was always going to be compromised to an extent, especially as the race went on and availability of fluid was scarcer
    Energy levels
    8/10
    On something this long it's inevitably harder to control, especially when sleep deprivation kicks in. There were some small lulls on the first night and some tiredness approaching the check point, likely from lack of sleep
    Toilet stops
    Yes
    I was peeing plenty in the first 24 hours. Less so after that as fluid intake inevitably lessened
    GI comfort
    10/10
    No issues at all
    Cramping
    Twinges but not full-on cramps

    Damian's Thoughts

     I am thrilled with how I ran and how I felt, but obviously not happy with how things ended

    Damian's full stats

     Carbohydrate (g)Sodium (mg)Fluid (ml)Caffeine (mg)Relative sodium concentration (mg/L)
    Overall
    Total intake1,98911,23611,5251,390975
    Per hour3821421926

    Data Confidence

    marker-icon

    1

    2

    3

    4

    5

    There is some confidence in the quantities and brands of products consumed but the data may lack specifics (e.g. volumes, specific flavours). A high number of estimations have been made and the room for error is moderate-high. There may also be the possibility that some intake has been grossly over- or under-estimated.

    Damian's recent case studies

    see all

    Related case studies

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