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Nick Williams' scorecard

South Devon Ultra

Saturday 5th February, 2022

Within recommended ranges

Just outside recommended ranges

Significantly outside recommended ranges

  • 42g

    Carb per hour
  • 344mg

    Sodium per hour
  • 531ml

    Fluid per hour
  • 648mg/L

    Relative sodium concentration
  • 4.04mg/kg

    Caffeine per bodyweight
  • How Nick hit those numbers

    250ml x PH 1500 (Tablet)
    1 x Black coffee
    1 x Peanut butter sandwich
    1.5L x PH 1000 (Drink Mix)
    1L x Plain water
    2 x Energy gel (29g carb)
    3 x Energy gel with caffeine (28g carb, 89mg caffeine)
    200ml x Cola

    How Nick's hydration and fueling went...

      • Having taken part in this race before, Nick knew the challenge he was in for (a tricky 54km course with 1,645m elevation!) and ran well to finish 3rd overall in a time of 5 hours and 5 minutes
      • Nick successfully used his tried and tested, simple fueling and hydration strategy throughout the race. He is working to refine this plan further with the Precision Fuel & Hydration team in the lead up to the OCC race (which features 55km and 3,500m elevation) at the UTMB festival in August


      • To help him dial in his hydration strategy, Nick is planning on getting a Sweat Test with Precision Fuel & Hydration Sweat Test Officer Joe Wenman
      • Before this race, Nick had taken our Online Sweat Test which indicated he is a salty sweater, and therefore recommended PH 1000 during the race and PH 1500 before the race
      • This is exactly what Nick did, preloading effectively with 500ml/16oz of PH 1500 in the morning, to make sure he was starting optimally hydrated. During the run, he drank ~1.5L/51oz of PH 1000 alongside ~1L/34oz of plain water
      • This equated to a total of ~2.7L/91oz across the race which on average was ~531ml/18oz of fluid per hour. Subjectively, Nick feels he has a moderate sweat rate and given the mild race conditions (8℃/46°F) , his sweat rate wouldn’t have been especially high, therefore drinking over 500ml/hr (16oz/hr) was a sensible intake to replace a good proportion of his likely losses
      • Maintaining good hydration during an endurance event is important for aiding thermoregulation and helping absorption in the gut (an important factor in minimizing GI issues)
      • When we account for Nick’s fluid and sodium intake, the relative sodium concentration of his intake was ~648mg/L, which would have seemingly replaced a proportion of his likely moderate losses in the mild conditions. Once Nick’s sweat sodium concentration has been measured during the Sweat Test, we can help him to dial in his sodium and fluid replacement more appropriately in future races
      • Nick peed twice during the run which isn’t unusual for a race of this duration and is a solid indicator that he didn’t over-hydrate. In agreement, Nick believes his hydration strategy was “pretty good given the race and its aid station spacing”, rating his strategy as an 8 out of 10


    Quick Carb Calculator Recommendation


    carb 30 mins before


    carb per hour during
      • Nick told us he struggles to eat a lot before races, so to avoid stomach issues he keeps his breakfast on the lighter side. Before this race, he ate a wholemeal peanut butter sandwich along with a coffee
      • Some athletes have sensitive guts and struggle to eat a lot before races; this may be due to nerves, adrenaline or a consequence of early start times. To combat this, Nick may wish to try eating his breakfast well in advance of the race start (e.g. 3-4 hours before)
      • As the general recommendation for pre-race fueling is between 1-4g of carbohydrate per kilogram of bodyweight 1-4 hours before, Nick may also benefit from training his gut to consume a higher pre-race carb intake to top up his glycogen stores further, while avoiding gastrointestinal (GI) issues. This will involve consuming more carb-rich food before some race simulation sessions in training
      • In contrast to his friend David, who used energy bars to fuel his race, Nick got most of his carbs on board from energy gels and a small proportion from the PH 1000 Drink Mix. Over the race he ate five gels, which equated to an average of ~42g of carb per hour, and this didn’t result in any GI discomfort (8 out of 10). Gels are a good, lightweight choice of simple carbs that can be absorbed quickly by the gut
      • 42g/hr is within our Quick Carb Calculator’s recommended range (30-60g/hr) for this race, but Nick could look to increase his carb intake and push towards the higher end of 60g/hr to optimise performance. This would be a beneficial adjustment for Nick to try because of the trend found between a higher level of carbohydrate ingestion and endurance performance
      • Nick should strive to strike a balance between increasing carbohydrate availability whilst minimising GI discomfort. To increase his race carbohydrate intake, Nick may need to again undertake some gut training over several weeks and training sessions to avoid gut issues occurring
      • In terms of caffeine consumption, Nick drank a black coffee in the morning. During the race, a proportion of his energy gels were caffeinated (90mg per gel). For a race which was five hours in duration, ‘topping up’ his caffeine intake during the run was smart because the body metabolizes caffeine and the stimulatory effects begin to diminish approximately every four hours (though individual tolerance, sensitivity and experience mean there are individual differences)
      • Considering Nick weighs ~70kg, his recommended caffeine intake was between 210-630mg; he consumed a solid dose of 283mg (4.04mg/kg) during the race. Along with his pre-race coffee, this would have helped to increase his alertness and delay the onset of mental, and possibly even physical, fatigue


      • Despite just missing out on finishing in under 5 hours, Nick performed well at the South Devon Ultra to take the bronze medal and was happy with his race, rating his race satisfaction as a 9 out of 10
      • He mentioned it was a “very physically challenging race” and felt that “my hydration and fueling strategy didn’t hold me back”
      • Building towards his next race, we would encourage Nick to undergo some gut training with the aim of tolerating a higher carb intake before and during the race

    Key info

    Nick Williams



    Overall Time

    Event information

    South Devon Ultra
    Beesands, England
    5th February, 2022
    Total Distance
    54.4km / 33.8mi
    Total Elevation
    1,645m / 5,397ft

    Race conditions

    Weather Conditions
    No Rain
    Min Temp
    7°C / 45°F
    Max Temp
    11°C / 52°F
    Avg Temp
    8°C / 46°F

    Athlete feedback

    Race Satisfaction
    Hydration rating
    There isn't a lot I would've changed
    Energy levels
    I had a slight dip after 15 miles for around 5 miles
    Toilet stops
    Twice, one around 10 miles and again after mile 20
    GI comfort
    No cramping

    Nick's full stats

     Carbohydrate (g)Sodium (mg)Fluid (ml)Caffeine (mg)Relative sodium concentration (mg/L)
    Total intake2141,7502,700283648
    Per hour4234453156

    Data Confidence







    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).

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