Hong Kong 100
Tyler'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.
Tyler’s fueling strategy involved aiming for 75 to 90 grams of carb per hour (with around 30g of that coming from fluids). His carb consumption came from a range of products to help him avoid flavour fatigue, but with the conditions being hotter than he was used to, Tyler drank a larger amount of carb-rich fluids than planned early in the race. Over the first five hours, Tyler surpassed his intended fueling goals by hitting almost 120g/h. Combined with the sweltering conditions, he began to feel some nausea and was ‘riding the line to keep it at a manageable level’. After reaching his crew, cooling down and grabbing poles just past halfway, Tyler backed off his intake to consistently sit at ~72g/h for the next four hours. He did well to adjust on-the-fly and manage his gut comfort while still averaging ~102g/h over the 10 hours. In the future, it would likely be beneficial to have a more consistent carb intake across the race (vs a near ~50g range), which could be helped by relying on solids such as chews, gels and bars for carbs, and on fluids for hydration, so that when it’s hotter he can stay on top of his hydration without taking on more fuel.
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 Tyler’s losses are on the low side, getting his hydration strategy right is still crucial when it’s hot and/or humid as his higher sweat rate in these conditions can result in significant net losses over the duration of a race.Learn more
With the race conditions feeling ‘oppressively hot’ and the warmest temperatures coming early on in the race, Tyler maintained a high fluid intake throughout. He predominantly used two 500ml bottles that he would fill with PF Carb & Electrolyte Drink Mix, on-course carb mix, and large volumes of cola from 40km onwards. Tyler listened to his body effectively to determine this fluid intake and help replace his losses. He thought this worked well and peed twice over the course of the race which supported his feeling that he didn’t over or under hydrate. Tyler regularly took on sodium from a combination of drinks and foods during the race. However, his average relative sodium concentration was somewhat below his sweat losses, mainly because he was drinking lots of fluid with little-to-no sodium in, which diluted his overall average concentration. Tyler may have benefitted from a slightly higher sodium intake to support his higher fluid intake in these race conditions. To do this, he may look to implement some hydration-only bottles with high sodium concentrations but no carbs (as per our previous suggestion of decoupling fuel and hydration), to avoid overloading the gut or “overeating” as a product of being thirsty.
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.
Tyler used caffeine effectively on race day by consuming an initial pre-race caffeinated gel, then regular caffeine top ups in the form of cola, plus a further caffeine gel in the back half of the race to gain the evidenced performance benefits. This pushed him just above the general guidelines per kilogram of bodyweight, but considering this event was double the time (~10 hours) of the half life of caffeine (4-5 hours), this would be appropriate, especially in an individual with a high caffeine tolerance.
How Tyler hit his numbers
Here's everything that Tyler ate and drank on the day...
Tyler's weapons of choice
Tyler'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.