Germain Grangier's scorecard
Swiss Canyon Trail
Saturday 4th June, 2022
Within recommended ranges
Just outside recommended ranges
Significantly outside recommended ranges
How Germain hit those numbers
How Germain's hydration and fueling went...
- Germain Grangier, a French ultra-trail athlete, kept up his winning start to the season by topping the podium at the Swiss Canyon race - finishing over 40 minutes ahead of his nearest competitor!
- Germain completed the 83.5km course (which included 3,450m of elevation) in 7 hours and 34 minutes, averaging a pace of 5:27min/km. Throughout the race, he used a range of products to replace ‘The 3 Key Levers’ of fueling for endurance performance - namely carbohydrates, sodium and fluid
- Following advice from the PF&H Sports Science Team, Germain preloaded with PH 1500 both the night before and a small volume again the morning of the race, maximising his blood plasma volume to help with cardiovascular function
- Then during the race, Germain’s hydration strategy involved using 500ml/16oz flasks of energy drink mix which he refilled multiple times throughout and complemented with bottles of PH 1000 he had pre-prepared and placed at aid stations. In total, he drank ~4.3L/145oz of fluid which averaged as ~565ml/19oz per hour
- As the race conditions were reasonably hot and humid (20℃/68°F, 70%), Germain put together a proactive strategy to apply on the day, although he unfortunately got slightly lost after ~6 hours and couldn’t find a couple of aid stations. As a result, he ran out of water for a period of the race and reported that he was on the edge of not being well hydrated which caused him to slow down
- Without data on Germain’s sweat rate, drinking over 500ml/h (~16oz/h) is on the surface a decent volume and peeing three times in the race does indicate that he didn’t significantly under hydrate. In an ideal world, Germain would have stuck to his more aggressive hydration strategy in the heat (closer to 750ml/25oz per hour), but he made the best of an unfortunate situation, and managed to consume a decent amount of fluid and sodium when he could
- In terms of sodium, Germain consumed an average of ~362mg/h from PH 1000, energy drink mixes and a few gels. In relation to the fluid he took on board, the relative sodium concentration of his intake was ~641mg/L. Although, Germain hasn’t been able to undertake an Advanced Sweat Test yet, initial patch testing has indicated that he has a low sweat sodium concentration (in the region of~300mg/L) and therefore that he would likely have been replacing a good proportion of his losses
- Positively, Germain didn’t cramp at all during the race; saying “I always have cramps for the first long race of the season at this time of year, as it starts to get warm, but I didn’t have any this weekend - so that’s great”. There are a variety of theories as to why cramps can occur, but being more proactive with his sodium replacement (by preloading and using PH 1000) likely played a part in resolving the issue this time out
Quick Carb Calculator Recommendation
- Ahead of the race, Germain enjoyed a carb-rich breakfast consisting of three pancakes with jam and butter, kiwi and yogurt, which will have helped top up his glycogen stores. He may also want to consider taking a final carb dose (~30g) in the last 15 minutes to spike his blood glucose and save some fuel stores for later in the race
- As with his hydration strategy, Germain’s fueling was affected towards the latter stages of the race where he couldn’t locate some aid stations, and as a result he reported “not feeling great for that 16km period of the race” and suffered a dip in energy levels
- Despite this, Germain was able to hit well over the general carb recommendations for a race of this duration and intensity (60-90g/h) using ~3.4L/115oz of strong energy drink mixes, nine gels and a pack of chews. Over the 7 hour 34 minute race, this meant Germain hit an average of ~110g per hour!
- This is an impressive level of consumption to tolerate and positively, Germain rated his gastrointestinal comfort 10 (out of 10). We are consistently seeing many elite level athletes, like Germain, achieve over 90g/h carb (once thought to be the ceiling of carbohydrate absorption) which is positive to see considering the trend between higher carb intake and performance
- In correlation with his high fuel intake, Germain experienced high energy levels rating his energy 10/10, excluding the dip ~65km where he had limited carbs for a portion of the run
- Germain had a moderate caffeine dose in the morning from two cups of coffee, and then ‘topped up’ his caffeine levels during the race using caffeinated drink mix and a gel. This represents a good strategy for a race of this duration (5-12 hours) which exceeds caffeine's half-life of ~3-4 hours (learn more)
- Despite missing some aid stations at the Swiss Canyon race, Germain was able to put in an excellent performance and use his fueling and hydration strategy to hit impressive carb numbers and replace a proportion of his sodium and fluid losses
- In future hot and humid conditions, Germain should continue to preload pre-race and could aim to drink the full ~500ml/16oz of PH 1500, as recommended, to make sure he starts optimally hydrated. Then, Germain, should continue to drink higher volumes of fluid throughout to avoid the slight decrease in pace he experienced for a period of this race
- Next up for Germain is Val d’Aran in July, his first 100 miler of the season, where he’s aiming to apply a similarly structured hydration and fueling plan, albeit adapted for the longer duration and different race conditions
Germain's full stats
|Carbohydrate (g)||Sodium (mg)||Fluid (ml)||Caffeine (mg)||Relative sodium concentration (mg/L)|
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.