Eric'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.
Eric utilised his crew at all three assistance permitted checkpoints, so he didn’t have to carry all of his fuel from the start. He picked up and used a mixture of PF 30 Gels, PF 90 Gels and PF Carb & Electrolyte Drink Mix from each of the checkpoints. This allowed him to switch to easier to consume products on the more technical terrain, when he had limited use of his hands due to using poles.
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 Eric’s losses are on the moderate side, getting his hydration strategy right is still crucial when it’s hot and/or humid as his higher sweat rate in these conditions can result in significant net losses over the duration of a race.Learn more
The race day weather conditions were slightly warmer than they had been in the days prior and Eric felt that he didn’t drink enough early on to combat his higher sweat losses, which may have contributed to the muscle cramps he suffered. Eric realised this, and increased his fluid intake from ~500ml to over ~1L per hour which helped alleviate some of his cramp symptoms. Once Eric was able to get control of his cramps, he closed strongly in the back half of the race to finish 17th at his debut CCC. Moving forwards, Eric may want to consider doing some sweat rate testing to help get a handle on his fluid requirements in different conditions.
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.
Eric decided to mainly save caffeine as a performance boost for later in the race. He took one PF 30 Caffeine Gel ~15 min before each ascent on the final three long climbs that he faced after Champex-Lac. Eric also took one PF 30 Caffeine Gel earlier in the race, so he would require a smaller dose during his second hit to reach the optimal 3-6 mg of caffeine per kg (1.4-2.7mg per lb) of body weight that the science states is optimal for performance.
How Eric hit his numbers
Here's everything that Eric ate and drank on the day...
Eric's weapons of choice
Eric's full stats
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.