Robbie 's headline numbers
Robbie 's strategy
Carbohydrate is the main fuel you burn when racing. Failing to fuel properly is a leading cause of underperformance in longer races.
Due to the races’ technical nature and monstrous vertical gain (9,929m / 32,575’), Robbie opted to use nutrition products that were easier to eat whilst using his poles, such as PF 90 Gels, which helped him to maintain his carb intake across the duration of the race. His intake was lower than previous races though because he had limited access to his crew on the course, plus the aid stations didn’t have the products he’d planned to pick up and so he sensibly preferred to not risk trying something new on race day. During the colder hours of the race, Robbie opted for some hot vegetable broth to help him keep warm. Hot drinks can act as a great morale-booster during cold conditions and helped Robbie to keep pushing on to achieve an automatic UTMB qualification spot.
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 Robbie ’s losses are on the moderate side, getting his hydration strategy right is still important if he wants to perform at his best.Learn more
Temperatures were cooler than expected, so Robbie sensibly drank less than his pre-race plan as he realised his sweat rate was significantly lower. He likely over-drank towards the end of the race and as a result he felt the need to pee more frequently, potentially due to temperatures beginning to drop again. Over the course of the race, Robbie averaged ~488ml of fluid per hour, with the majority of this fluid being consumed during the middle of the day when the conditions were a little warmer.
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.
Robbie chose not to use caffeine, as he feels his body doesn’t respond well to it. There’s overwhelming evidence suggesting caffeine can significantly reduce perceived effort during ultra events. However, Robbie has tried and tested using the stimulant in the past, and is an example of why athletes should tailor their caffeine strategy to suit their own needs, and their decision on whether to use caffeine should be based on trial and error.
How Robbie hit his numbers
Here's everything that Robbie ate and drank on the day...
Robbie 's weapons of choice
Robbie '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.