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Ellie Salthouse

Pro

IM 70.3 Bahrain

8th December, 2023
Bahrain
Manama
4th, FPRO
Triathlon, Middle distance - 113.1km
22°C
, Hot
4hrs
more race details

Ellie's headline numbers

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?
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~80
g
Carb per hour
Recommended 90g/h+
~658
ml
Fluid per hour
Recommended 500-1,000ml/h
~553
mg
Sodium per litre
Recommended 400-800mg/L
~7.1
mg
Caffeine per kg
Recommended 3-6mg/kg

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+
~80
g
Ellie's Energy Rating
10
/10
"I felt really good all day, had no energy lulls and actually felt better as the race went along. "
Our thoughts

Ellie has iterated her pre-race fueling plan a lot throughout the 2023 season, and seems to have struck gold with a menu focused on simple carbs: toast with Nutella and banana, plus another banana closer to the race. She maintained control of her fuel intake during the race by carrying everything she needed from the start of the bike. As a result, she nailed her carb intake, averaging just under 100g per hour and successfully front-loading her energy levels ahead of the fast-paced run. As we’ve seen Ellie do at most of her previous races, her aim during the run was to ‘limit her losses’, taking in just enough to sustain her for ~80 minutes, usually by consuming ~40% less carb than she does on the bike. The trend for carb intake to drop off on the run is something we’ve seen in other triathlon Case Studies, especially if the athlete can prioritise a higher intake on the bike. Ellie may wish to try and increase her run intake slightly to avoid any performance drop offs due to diminishing energy levels.

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
Pre-loaded electrolytes
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T - 60mins: Drank ~500ml of strong electrolyte drink
Fluid per hour
Recommended 500-1,000ml/h
~658
ml
Sodium per litre
Recommended 400-800mg/L
~553
mg
Ellie's Hydration Rating
10
/10
"I could probably have used a bit more electrolyte drink on the run but the aid stations hardly had any. I'm really glad we added the extra PH 1000 Tablet on the bike as it prepared me for situations like this. "
Our thoughts

Unlike in Ellie’s previous race in Fortaleza, where her bottles were ejected from their bottle cages within the first 10km, she was able to keep them in place for the whole race in Bahrain. As a result, she executed her hydration plan perfectly. As someone with a low sweat sodium concentration, she balanced her fluid and sodium ratio with some PH 1000 and plain water, likely replacing a high proportion of her sweat and electrolyte losses and achieving a relative concentration close to what she loses in her sweat. During the run, it’s often difficult for professionals to access the aid stations, especially as the three-lap course filled up with age-group athletes also fighting for the same cups of fluids. As a result, Ellie’s sodium intake fell dramatically, so in future races, she may choose to copy marathon runner Floris Gierman’s technique of taping some Electrolyte Capsules to her gels to ensure she can control this aspect of her strategy.

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
~7.1
mg
Our thoughts

The four PF 30 Caffeine Gels that Ellie always takes in total, including immediately pre- and mid-race, provided her with the optimal dose to reap the associated benefits. Despite averaging slightly above the scientifically optimal recommendations, Ellie’s tried and tested strategy has consistently worked well for her, and her high tolerance for caffeine means we wouldn’t recommend changing this.

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
The 2023 season from a hydration and fueling standpoint was my best yet. I was able to work closely with Chris and the Precision Team to dial in my fueling strategies, both for race day and the days leading in. Overall I am quite pleased with my performances and progression this year, and I think it was a great springboard for an even better 2024.
Ellie
Ellie closed her season by narrowly missing the podium in Bahrain against a stacked field, where she delivered another superb execution of her fuel and hydration strategy. Having taken the top step four times in 2023, amongst other podium performances, it’s safe to say Ellie has had a very successful year, and we look forward to seeing her continue this growth into 2024.
PF&H

Ellie's full stats

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?
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Overall
322g total carb
80g per hour
2,640ml total fluid
658ml per hour
1,461mg total sodium
364mg per hour
553mg
Sodium per litre
412mg total caffeine
7.1mg 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.
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.

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