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Fenella Langridge's scorecard

IRONMAN® South Africa

Sunday 5th March, 2023

Within recommended ranges

Just outside recommended ranges

Significantly outside recommended ranges

  • 80g

    Carb per hour
  • 1,187mg

    Sodium per hour
  • 738ml

    Fluid per hour
  • 1,610mg/L

    Relative sodium concentration
  • 9.20mg/kg

    Caffeine per bodyweight
  • How Fenella hit those numbers

    1L x PH 1500
    1 x Black Coffee
    1 x Cup of Rice with Honey
    0.5 x Bagel
    0.5 x Banana
    750ml x PH 1000 (Tablets)
    1 x PF 30 Caffeine Gel
    0.5 x Banana
    *** Try to avoid drinking too much at this point in the race!
    18 x PH Electrolyte Capsule
    2 x PF 30 Caffeine Gel
    1 x PF 30 Chews
    2 x PF 90 Gel
    2.5L x Plain water
    710ml x Energy drink (22g carb)
    750ml x PH 1500 (Tablets)
    9 x PH Electrolyte Capsule
    6 x PF 30 Gel
    2 x PF 30 Caffeine Gel
    600ml x Plain water
    600ml x Energy drink (22g carb)
    150ml x Cola

    How Fenella's hydration and fueling went...

      • With a shortened swim from 3800m to just 900m, then hitting a speed bump which ejected some of her nutrition off her bike, it’s fair to say Fenella’s race didn’t start as planned at all. Given these set-backs early on, Fenella did phenomenally well to stay composed and adapt both her race tactics and her fuel and hydration plan on-the-go
      • The end result was her stamping her ticket to the 2023 IM World Championships in Hawaii with her second place at IM South Africa. It’s also noteworthy that she ran a really solid marathon off the back of this, clocking 3:06:05, which is nearly 10 minutes quicker than her last IM marathon at the World Champs in Kona in 2022


      • The weather on race day was typically blustery with storms expected, hence the shortened swim. With storms often comes periods of high humidity, which can cause hydration related issues as athletes’ sweat isn’t as effective at cooling them as in lower humidity
      • Fenella had prepared for this, and began the race having preloaded her sodium levels with PH 1500, enhancing her blood plasma volume and ensuring she started optimally hydrated . Fenella also has quite salty sweat, losing 1,331mg of sodium in each litre (32oz), highlighting the importance of preloading and an appropriate plan when racing in the heat
      • After just 5km of the bike ride, she hit a speed bump that ejected two high-carb bottles from her rear bottle cages. These contained ~650ml (20oz) plain water, with a PF 90 Gel squeezed into each, so she was 180g of carb and ~1.35L of water down on her plan before the race had really got going
      • Fenella’s average fluid intake was ~660ml (19oz) per hour, which was slightly lower than initially planned. Whilst she did her best to pick up some sports drink (~710ml/23oz) from the aid stations, which replaced some of the calories and fluids she’d dropped, her total fluid intake was still below what she’d hoped to consume
      • Despite the lower fluid intake, she still consumed her pre-planned 18 Electrolyte Capsules, which meant the relative sodium concentration of her drinks was slightly higher than planned at just under 1,600mg per litre (mg/32oz)
      • In an ideal world, Fenella would have reduced her sodium intake, or increased the amount of fluid picked up from aid stations to keep the concentration of her drinks more in line with her sweat losses. But, she did pee twice during the ride, which suggests she didn’t experience the increased fluid retention and GI risks sometimes associated with too much sodium consumption relative to fluid
      • On the run, Fenella drank two PF&H Soft Flasks filled with PH 1500 to get a solid electrolyte intake, and topped this up by swallowing nine Electrolyte Capsules, and grabbing cups of aid station sports drink
      • During the run she averaged a similar fluid intake of ~677ml (23oz) per hour, but with a relative sodium concentration of ~1,800mg/L (mg/32oz). This very salty concentration on average would likely explain her feeling of thirst after the race
      • Whilst her total electrolyte losses were likely higher than usual due to the high temperatures and humidity, Fenella might look to reduce this concentration in future races to be more reflective of her sweat sodium concentration, possibly by reducing the number of Electrolyte Capsules or picking up a few more cups of plain water


    Quick Carb Calculator Recommendation


    carb 30 mins before


    carb per hour during
      • Fenella carb-loaded as she normally does a couple of days before the race, and completed this energy storing technique with a large carb-rich breakfast. This included a bowl of rice with some honey, half a bagel and half a banana
      • Then to boost her blood glucose levels and help increase her alertness she took a PF 30 Caffeine Gel, followed by the other half of her banana before the delayed swim start
      • During the bike, having lost two of her primary fueling bottles with two Jumbo Gels in, she was then unsure exactly how much carb she was getting from the on-course sports drink, and chose to ease off her planned power output to avoid “bonking” later on in the race. This coincided with some fluctuating perception of her energy levels, which took a few hours to stabilise
      • Fenella still had a couple of PF 90 Gels, PF 30 Caffeine Gels and a pack of PF 30 Chews to keep some energy going in, but whilst her pre-race plan was to hit ~105g of carb per hour on the bike, she only managed ~64g per hour after the spillage
      • Thankfully, as Fenella hopped off the bike and began the attempt to “catch up” on her fueling, she actually felt her energy levels regain some consistency and found herself running strong and picking up her fuel plan again
      • This plan consisted of six PF 30 Gels and two more Caffeine Gels, along with a few cups of on-course sports drink, and a small amount of Coca Cola towards the end to keep her energy levels high. This intake of ~95g per hour on the run brought her overall average to ~80g per hour across the race, which is super impressive considering the adversity she faced a few hours earlier
      • Fenella has always used caffeine to help her performance, saying she “relies on the reduced perception of effort it provides'', especially towards the end of races when things start to get real! This race was no exception, as she took a total of ~515mg of caffeine across the 8 hours and 13 minutes, which, relative to her bodyweight, is around 9 milligrams per kg
      • This is above the recommended dose for endurance performance of between 3-6mg/kg, but is a quantity we’ve seen Fenella take comfortably at previous races, as she clearly has a high tolerance for caffeine. The long duration of this race makes it even less surprising that she was slightly over the recommended dose


      • In all, Fenella did well in an adverse situation to adapt her hydration and fuel plan on-the-fly, and still manage to maintain a high level of performance whilst doing so
      • This second place booked her ticket to the big island of Hawaii for the 2023 IM World Champs, which was one of her primary aims of racing in South Africa, kudos Fenella!

    Key info

    Fenella Langridge

    Sweat sodium concentration
    Sweat sodium classification
    Very High
    * determined by a PH Advanced Sweat Test


    Overall Time
    Swim Time
    Bike Time
    Run Time

    Event information

    Full distance
    IRONMAN® South Africa
    Port Elizabeth, South Africa
    5th March, 2023
    Swim Distance
    0.9km / 0.6mi
    Bike Distance
    180.2km / 112.0mi
    Run Distance
    42.2km / 26.2mi
    Total Distance
    223.3km / 138.8mi
    Bike Elevation
    925m / 3,035ft
    Run Elevation
    180m / 591ft
    Total Elevation
    1,105m / 3,625ft

    Race conditions

    Weather Conditions
    Hot and Humid
    Min Temp
    21°C / 70°F
    Max Temp
    25°C / 77°F
    Avg Temp
    23°C / 73°F

    Athlete feedback

    Race Satisfaction
    Hydration rating
    I felt I managed a bad situation well, especially as it heated up lots on the run
    Energy levels
    Bike levels were a bit up and down, but the run was much more consistent
    Toilet stops
    GI comfort
    No cramping

    Fenella's Thoughts

     I'm pleased to come away with a Kona slot, but I'm definitely left hungry for more after this one

    Fenella's full stats

     Carbohydrate (g)Sodium (mg)Fluid (ml)Caffeine (mg)Relative sodium concentration (mg/L)
    Total intake6559,7546,0605151,610
    Per hour801,18773863
    Bike and Run
    Total intake6099,0035,3104151,695
    Per hour761,13066752
    Total intake3135,1113,2102001,592
    Per hour641,05066041
    Total intake2953,8922,1002151,853
    Per hour951,25567769

    Data Confidence







    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.

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