Hayden Hawks' scorecard
Ultra Trail Kosciuszko
Friday 16th December, 2022
Within recommended ranges
Just outside recommended ranges
Significantly outside recommended ranges
How Hayden hit those numbers
How Hayden's hydration and fueling went...
- Hayden Hawks is an ex-collegiate track and cross country runner who moved to ultra-trail running in 2016 and has a long list of accomplishments to his name, including a 2nd place finish at the iconic Western States 100 in 2022
- The Kosci 100 was his final race of the 2022 season and he went into it with a view to testing a new fueling and hydration strategy as part of his early build-up to Western States in 2023, although unexpected snowfall 'Down Under' ensured he had to adapt his strategy on race day...
- Hayden introduced preloading to his race day plan prior to Kosci and feels that using the strong (PH 1500) - which contains 1,500mg of sodium per litre - the night before and on the morning of the race helped him put his best foot forward and start as hydrated as possible
- He also drank a can of caffeinated energy drink ~45 minutes before the start which will have helped peak the circulating caffeine in his bloodstream and reduced his perception of effort in the early stages of the race
- With the course being changed at the last-minute due to the snow, the location and frequency of on-course aid stations was also changed, and meant Hayden’s support crew were no longer able to meet him at every aid station as planned. Subsequently, he had the option to carry more fluids with him at a time, or to run further distances with what he planned and risk running out
- Thankfully, as the temperatures at points on the course were close to 0°C (32°F), he felt confident that he wasn’t going to overheat. So, Hyaden opted to run with his planned 500ml (16oz) Soft Flask, which contained a serving of PF Energy Drink Mix, and he topped this up every hour
- This served him well and, along with picking up three ~250ml bottles of plain water, meant he averaged almost 600ml (18oz) of fluid per hour. The Drink Mix helped him keep the relative sodium concentration of his drinks at ~1,000 milligrams per litre (32oz), and the three Electrolyte Capsules kept this concentration stable even when drinking plain water
- Hayden’s sweat sodium concentration is 901mg/L (mg/32oz), and so he was likely replacing a large proportion of the electrolytes he was losing through sweat
- In all, Hayden rated his newly formulated hydration strategy a solid 9 (out of 10), while the only area that could be improved would be to increase his fluid intake in the last ~30 kilometres. He found he was finishing the 500ml (16oz) of Energy Drink Mix after ~40 minutes into each hour, and so was running for around 20 minutes with nothing at all
- In future races, particularly in warmer environments, Hayden could consider carrying a spare Soft Flask with him so he can increase his fluid intake if he feels it's necessary
Quick Carb Calculator Recommendation
- Hayden summed up his fueling strategy by saying, “I didn’t feel any lows at all, and had great energy levels from minute one to hour eight”
- As an experienced ultrarunner who's used to fueling his body for extreme bouts of long exercise, Hayden knows what foods he can tolerate in the lead up to a race. This time he ate a hearty carb-rich dinner, and finished off his preparation with a slice of toast and a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast on race day
- These meals will have topped off his muscle glycogen stores, and increased his total energy availability during the race. Hayden’s final dose of carb came from the can of caffeinated energy drink ~45 minutes before the race start, which for optimal timing could be moved to ~15 minutes from the gun going off. This is because there's a small possibility that some people's blood glucose can spike as a result of the sugary drink, but then plummeted by the time the race began (a phenomenon called 'rebound hypoglycemia')
- During the race itself, Hayden set out to take ~90g of carb per hour. This is a quantity he has rigorously trained his gut to tolerate and, after undergoing testing in the lab, he was confident that it would be absorbed
- Hayden's fuel intake consisted of taking 16 PF 30 Gels and ~3.9L (~137oz) of PF Energy Drink Mix. The plan was to take two PF 30 Gels and 500ml (16oz) of PF Energy Drink Mix per hour, and Hayden nailed this plan to a T, eventually averaging ~92g of carb per hour
- For more information about how to fuel for an ultra, Andy's written this blog, or if you're looking for advice about how to crew an ultra runner then it will be worth checking out this guide from Hayden’s coach and team GB ultra runner Robbie Britton
- Overall, Hayden was very pleased with his win at the inaugural Kosciuszko 100, and feels his “fitness is right where it needs to be for this time of year. If anything, I’m ahead of where I thought I’d be, so 2023 is looking bright”
- He rated his overall race satisfaction 9 (out of 10), only because his hydration was slightly below where he’d have liked when crossing the finish line. He felt fairly dehydrated afterwards, so will look to rectify that in his next race at Tarawera 100 in New Zealand in February
Felt really good and under control all day. A nice win!
Hayden's full stats
|Carbohydrate (g)||Sodium (mg)||Fluid (ml)||Caffeine (mg)||Relative sodium concentration (mg/L)|
There is good confidence in the accuracy of the data reported. An athlete feels that the numbers closely reflect what they consumed despite a couple of estimations which may carry some degree of error. The majority of what was consumed is recorded to a high level of specificity (most volumes are known through the use of bottles brands quantities flavours). The numbers are very plausible and align with previous data recordings (if an athlete has collected data previously).