Josh'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.
Josh increased his overall carb intake from his previous race at the IM 70.3 World Championships by almost 40%, which considering this was his debut IRONMAN makes it more impressive to do so over double the distance. Additionally, he experienced no gastrointestinal issues, suggesting the rigorous gut training protocol he’s undertaken in recent weeks has paid off. Josh cycled (pardon the pun) between PF Carb & Electrolyte Drink Mix and a PF 300 Flow Gel to keep his caloric intake on the bike high, before utilising the special needs aid stations on the run to collect more Gels. Overall this helped him maintain solid energy levels throughout as he proved to be another athlete demonstrating that tolerating more than 90g/h is not only manageable but beneficial to his performance.
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.
Josh is yet to have a Sweat Test, but his subjective analysis would suggest his sodium losses are not insignificant. He proactively consumes enough to adequately match his estimated losses. At his previous 70.3 races, Josh super-concentrated his electrolytes and achieved relative concentrations >4,000mg per litre. This can significantly increase the risk of GI issues, particularly during longer races like an IRONMAN. For this event, Josh made sure he drank plenty of plain water to reduce the average concentration and reported no issues this time around. Despite experiencing debilitating cramps in his quads during the marathon, this was unlikely due to electrolyte depletion. For Josh, understanding the multifactorial causes of cramp, including pacing and general muscle damage, will be vital to avoiding cramps in future races. The only hydration-related issue Josh experienced was during the second hour of the run, when he began to pee quite frequently. It was unusual that he got ~6.5 hours into the race before needing to go, but this may have been caused by his position on his TT bike compressing his bladder, and it just took a while on the run to ‘open up’ and relax enough for him to pee. This is something to investigate further to help prevent a recurrence.
How Josh hit his numbers
Here's everything that Josh ate and drank on the day...
Josh's weapons of choice
Josh'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.