Henry'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.
Henry’s fueling plan was to have a PF 30 Chew and a PF 30 Gel every hour, which along with the ~15g of carb in his Drink Mix packets, would have given him ~75g per hour. This was going well until the fourth hour, when he felt like he wasn’t hungry, and the pace was below his capabilities, so he stopped eating for almost an hour. To mix things up he popped into a convenience store and bought a protein bar, but other than that he didn’t eat anything further. His energy levels jumping and diving are a reflection of this, and Henry could implement a couple of strategies to avoid this next time. Firstly, a steady intake of carb from start to finish, whilst maintaining a slightly faster pace to stimulate his psychological desire to eat. Alternatively, introducing some other sources of fuel (like protein bars) from the start, to avoid getting bored of eating the same things for hours on end.
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.
Similar to his running mate and colleague Seb’s plan, Henry opted to drink ~500ml of fluid per hour, switching between PH 1500 and PH 1000 packets. Whilst his fueling deviated from his pre-race plan, his hydration strategy was pretty spot on, and he never felt thirsty or overhydrated as a result. Pre-mixing bottles of either drink mix will undoubtedly save time during his next 50k, but it’s also worth considering that ‘having something to do’ like mixing bottles can be a welcome psychological break during ultra-endurance events!
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.
Similar to Seb, Henry opted to avoid caffeine after experiencing negative side effects during some previous events.
How Henry hit his numbers
Here's everything that Henry ate and drank on the day...
Henry's weapons of choice
Henry'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.