/

Danielle Lewis

Pro

IRONMAN® Texas

27th April, 2024
USA
Woodlands, Texas
9th, FPRO
Triathlon, Full distance - 226.2km
28°C
, Very Hot and Humid
9hrs 9mins
more race details

Danielle's headline numbers

?
?
?
~97
g
Carb per hour
Recommended 90g/h+
~1,019
ml
Fluid per hour
Recommended 500-1,000ml/h
~861
mg
Sodium per litre
Recommended 1100-1500mg/L
~6.0
mg
Caffeine per kg
Recommended 3-6mg/kg

Danielle's strategy

Fueling

Carbohydrate is the main fuel you burn when racing. Failing to fuel properly is a leading cause of underperformance in longer races.

Carb-loaded
?
T - 1-4hrs: Ate a carb rich meal (Low in fat & fibre)
pre-fueled
?
T - 15mins: Took in a final dose of carb
Carb per hour
Recommended 90g/h+
~97
g
Danielle's Energy Rating
6
/10
"It was going really well until the run when I felt like the fuel wasn’t being absorbed. My GI was okay for the majority of the 9 hours I was out there, but once it got bad, it was really bad."
Our thoughts

Danielle started the day with a moderately upset stomach, which she attributes to pre-race nerves. After taking a few antacids in the hopes of calming her system down, she was able to consume her normal PF 30 Caffeine Gel before the swim and then move forward with her fueling plan on the bike. Though her average carb intake over the race was 97g/h (not far off from her previous race), her bike intake was 117g/h, which is more than she’s used to. This higher intake came from the additional bottle of energy drink she grabbed on-course, and the GI issues she experienced on the run may have been partially due to this, suggesting sticking to usual fluid sources would be better in the future. Severe nausea set in and unfortunately Danielle began vomiting around mile 21 of the run. As a result, her intake pretty much dropped to zero for the remaining five or so miles to the finish line, and she noted she felt like she was running on fumes at that point.

Hydration

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.

Danielle1310mg/L
Danielle has been Sweat Tested to dial in her hydration plan

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.

Given Danielle’s losses are High (1,310mg/L), nailing her hydration strategy becomes especially crucial when it’s hot and/or humid.

Learn more
Pre-loaded electrolytes
?
T - 60mins: Drank ~500ml of strong electrolyte drink
Fluid per hour
Recommended 500-1,000ml/h
~1,019
ml
Sodium per litre
Recommended 1100-1500mg/L
~861
mg
Danielle's Hydration Rating
7
/10
"I feel like I did pretty well with my hydration except not taking in as many electrolytes as I should have on the bike and then on the run, too, with all the extra water. I drank so much more water than normal because of the wind and temperature."
Our thoughts

Danielle’s fluid intake was definitely on the higher end for this race, but considering the temperature and overall duration, her craving for fluids was understandable. However, she doesn’t typically consume anywhere near this amount of fluid during training, which could have overloaded her gut and be partly to blame for why it wouldn’t stay down. Notably, her relative sodium concentration was slightly below her target on the bike, and significantly below on the run. Since sodium plays an important role in carbohydrate absorption, this may have decreased her capacity to tolerate the high amount of fuel she was also consuming. The antacids she took prior to the race may also have impacted this. Going forward, Danielle could carry some emergency Electrolyte Capsules for the run and bike in the event she picks up more fluid than planned, ensuring she doesn’t fall too far below her sweat sodium concentration.

Caffeine

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.

Pre-caffeinated
?
T - 0-4hrs: Had a final hit of caffeine
Caffeine per kg
Recommended 3-6mg/kg
~6.0
mg
Our thoughts

For this race, Danielle implemented a more strategic caffeine plan to reap the ergogenic benefits of the stimulant. She took her usual PF 30 Caffeine Gel shortly before finishing the bike but added an additional serving within the first couple miles of the run. This higher dose gave her a solid energy boost while still staying on track with her carb intake. Overall, her intake still fell within the recommended range and since she didn’t feel jittery from the dose, we wouldn’t recommend changing anything with this part of her strategy.

How Danielle hit her numbers

Here's everything that Danielle ate and drank on the day...

Danielle's weapons of choice

Final thoughts

Danielle's Satisfaction Rating
5
/10
There were some good things that did come out of this race. The bike truly was the only good performance aspect of it though, and the run was just a jog the whole time, which is not what I was training to do.
Danielle
Danielle had a tough day in the Texas heat but still managed to fight her way to earning a World Champs slot. Her fluid losses and intake were much higher than she’d planned, likely due to the humidity, and she didn’t have enough sodium intake to account for this. For future hot races, it may be beneficial for her to include additional sodium in her plan to proactively factor in the extra fluid she’ll pick up along the way. Choosing supplemental fluids without additional carb would be helpful, as well, to avoid overloading her GI system in the heat.
PF&H

Danielle's full stats

?
?
?
Overall
891g total carb
97g per hour
9,325ml total fluid
1,019ml per hour
8,033mg total sodium
877mg per hour
861mg
Sodium per litre
387mg total caffeine
6.0mg per kg
Bike and Run
Bike
Run

Data Confidence
?

We rate each of our case studies from 1-5 based on the level of accuracy, and our confidence in the data.
1
2
3
4
5

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.

Danielle's recent case studies

see all
Nail your next event with a FREE Fuel & Hydration Plan
Get started