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Ellie Salthouse

Pro

IM 70.3 St George

4th May, 2024
USA
St George, Utah
2nd, FPRO
Triathlon, Middle distance - 113.1km
20°C
, Hot
4hrs 11mins
more race details

Ellie's headline numbers

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~77
g
Carb per hour
Recommended 90g/h+
~555
ml
Fluid per hour
Recommended 500-1,000ml/h
~563
mg
Sodium per litre
Recommended 400-800mg/L
~7.0
mg
Caffeine per kg
Recommended 3-6mg/kg
Image Credits: Dave Blow

Ellie'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
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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+
~77
g
Ellie's Energy Rating
9
/10
"I’m not sure why but my stomach felt a bit off on race morning, and as a result I struggled to get my gels down on the bike. But honestly my energy levels were really good, if anything I wish I’d had an extra gel at the end of the bike because the first part of the run was uphill, and fueling was tough to manage."
Our thoughts

Ellie’s fuel plan was very similar to each of her previous 70.3s, where she fills the bottle between her arms on the bike with PF Carb & Electrolyte Drink Mix, a PF 30 Gel and a PF 30 Caffeine Gel. This allows her to tackle her carb and caffeine requirements, whilst topping up her electrolytes simultaneously. By keeping three extra gels separate from her ‘fuel bottle’, she was able to control when she got the perceived boost, and with hindsight perhaps taking an additional carb hit in the latter stages could have helped prepare her for the tough uphill run out of T2. This additional gel would also have elevated her average intake closer to the scientifically recommended amount for a race of this duration and intensity.

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.

Ellie655mg/L
Ellie 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.

Whilst Ellie’s losses are on the low side, getting her hydration strategy right is still crucial when it’s hot and/or humid as her higher sweat rate in these conditions can result in significant net losses over the duration of a race.

Learn more
Didn't pre-load electrolytes
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Drinking a strong electrolyte drink before the race could have helped Ellie start optimally hydrated
Fluid per hour
Recommended 500-1,000ml/h
~555
ml
Sodium per litre
Recommended 400-800mg/L
~563
mg
Ellie's Hydration Rating
8
/10
"I never really felt thirsty, and it wasn’t too hot so I think I got my fluids pretty spot on."
Our thoughts

Ahead of future races like this, Ellie may benefit from increasing the relative sodium concentration of her pre-race drink from ~1,000mg/L to ~1,500mg/L. This will drive a host of physiological responses that will ensure she starts optimally hydrated. As someone with a low sweat sodium concentration, and a modest sweat rate, Ellie doesn’t have to place high priority on her fluid and electrolyte replacement during mild temperature races. That being said, by taking a slightly higher concentration of sodium during the bike here in St George, and diluting it throughout the run with cups of plain water and on course isotonic drink, Ellie’s average intake replaced a good proportion of her sweat losses. With positive subjective feedback, and no dehydration related symptoms, Ellie can be confident she regulated her hydration status well, and peeing on the run confirmed this.

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
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T - 0-4hrs: Had a final hit of caffeine
Caffeine per kg
Recommended 3-6mg/kg
~7.0
mg
Our thoughts

Ellie replicated her caffeine strategy from previous races, and tipped over the top end of the general recommended intake of 3-6 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. This didn’t affect Ellie negatively, as she has a high tolerance to the stimulant from her daily coffee consumption and adequate practice during training sessions. Because of this, and her positive subjective feedback, we wouldn’t recommend changing this part of her strategy.

How Ellie hit her numbers

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

Ellie's weapons of choice

Final thoughts

Ellie's Satisfaction Rating
8
/10
Although I am pleased to take 2nd behind Paula, I do feel there are things I can work on ahead of my next race, including upping my bike numbers! I’ve never had stomach issues like that during a race, so hopefully it was just a passing virus, as I felt fine post-race.
Ellie
Ellie demonstrated her tried and tested nutrition strategy once again in St George, despite having some stomach issues during the bike when swallowing gels. Understanding the importance of fueling and hydrating during a race of this calibre, Ellie persevered and reaped the benefits to display another strong podium performance.
PF&H

Ellie's full stats

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Overall
324g total carb
77g per hour
2,330ml total fluid
555ml per hour
1,311mg total sodium
312mg per hour
563mg
Sodium per litre
406mg total caffeine
7.0mg per kg
Bike and Run
Bike
Run

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

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).

Ellie's recent case studies

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