Dan's headline numbers
Carbohydrate is the main fuel you burn when racing. Failing to fuel properly is a leading cause of underperformance in longer races.
Dan is confident in his fueling strategy after a great 2023 season utilising PF&H products on his way to some impressive results. With the aim of using this marathon as a test of fitness in the build-up to the Kepler Challenge 60km (37 miles) race in December, Dan didn’t completely empty the tank from a pacing point of view. He was pleased with hitting the Fuel & Hydration Planner’s carb recommendation for optimal energy levels, while on his way to claiming first place.
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.
Sweat sodium concentration (mg/L) is largely genetically determined and remains relatively stable. Knowing how salty your sweat is enables you to replace a good proportion of your sweat losses, which can range from 200-2,000mg/L.
Whilst Dan’s losses are on the low side, getting his hydration strategy right is still important if he wants to perform at his best.Learn more
In the moderate temperatures of Queenstown, Dan knew his sweat rate, and therefore his fluid requirement, would be fairly low. With the help of a few friends standing on the sidelines, he was able to completely control his intake by carrying Soft Flasks containing PF Carb & Electrolyte Drink Mix. The use of this product also meant Dan could get more than enough electrolyte intake to replenish his low personal sodium losses across the marathon.
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.
Dan’s caffeine intake is possibly the only area from this race where his strategy could be optimised. When adding the caffeine from what he could only describe as half a ‘terrible coffee’ to his during race intake, he would have just snuck into the recommended amount for performance enhancement. However, there’s likely some additional benefit to be utilised from including another PF 30 Caffeine Gel, this would be best taken 15 minutes before he starts running. One other easy change to make is the timing of Dan’s final caffeine gel. It takes ~45 minutes for caffeine to peak in the bloodstream, so he wouldn’t have gained maximal benefit from his final gel 15 minutes before the finish. Swapping this 5th gel with his 4th, non-caffineated PF 30 Gel, at 1h 50 would have enhanced focus and helped with perceived exertion in the last few kilometres.
How Dan hit his numbers
Here's everything that Dan ate and drank on the day...
Dan's weapons of choice
Dan's full stats
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.