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Justin Metzler's scorecard

IRONMAN Lake Placid

Sunday 24th July, 2022

Within recommended ranges

Just outside recommended ranges

Significantly outside recommended ranges

  • 110g

    Carb per hour
  • 1,558mg

    Sodium per hour
  • 935ml

    Fluid per hour
  • 1,667mg/L

    Relative sodium concentration
  • 740mg

    Total caffeine
  • How Justin hit those numbers

    750ml x PH 1500 (Drink Mix)
    0.75 x Cup of oats with honey, whey protein, and almond butter
    1tbsp x Chia seeds
    1 x Coffee
    100ml x Plain water
    1 x PF 30 Caffeine Gel
    *** Review technique if drinking much at this point!
    3L x PF Carb & Electrolyte Drink Mix mixed with PH 1500 (Drink Mix)
    5 x PH Electrolyte Capsule
    3 x PF 30 Gel
    3 x PF 30 Caffeine Gel
    3 x PF 30 Chews
    1.5L x Plain water
    1.5L x Energy drink (22g carb)
    1.25L x PF Carb & Electrolyte Drink Mix mixed with PH 1500 (Drink Mix)
    4 x PH Electrolyte Capsule
    2 x PF 30 Gel
    3 x PF 30 Caffeine Gel
    350ml x Plain water
    100ml x Energy drink (22g carb)
    100ml x Coca Cola Original
    100ml x Red Bull
    1 x Banana
    1500mg x Sodium Lick

    How Justin's hydration and fueling went...

      • After an impressive win at IRONMAN 70.3 Oregon three weeks prior, professional triathlete, Justin Metzler, took to the start line again at IM Lake Placid, New York
      • This was Justin’s first full distance race since suffering terrible stomach cramps at the IM World Championships earlier in the year as a result of over-consuming carbohydrate
      • Having worked with the Sports Science team for some months, Justin has a robust plan which he executes confidently in 70.3 races but this was the first test of the new plan over double the distance
      • Justin finished fourth but said “that hardly tells the full story” going on to say that he had his “lifetime best race for about 95%”. He in fact led for the majority of the day but it ended with him having to run-walk the last 10 kilometres due to debilitating cramp-like feelings in his quads, which led to him dropping down the positions. Rather than being a direct result of his race nutrition strategy, Justin felt that what crippled him was “a recurring issue of complete muscular breakdown/fatigue”
      • That being said, he felt there was some room for improvement with his strategy and that, in particular on the run, he was in “problem mitigation mode” as opposed to feeling comfortable in what he needed to take and when


      • Justin started his race day by drinking ~800ml/26oz PH 1500, ~100ml/3oz plain water and a coffee. This pre-race routine helps ensure he is starting the race in a well-hydrated state with his fluid and sodium levels topped up. Justin also drinks ~500ml/16oz of PH 1500 the night before the event to further optimise his hydration status
      • Justin started the bike leg with two 750ml/24oz bottles, each filled with three scoops of PF 30 Drink Mix (1.5 servings) and one PH 1500 (Drink Mix). Alongside this, he had also intended to fill his downtube bottles with the same products
      • In a cruel twist, these bottles broke the day before the race so Justin had to adapt and chose to place two 750ml/24oz bottles in the on-course ‘special needs’ area instead. He would then be able to pick these up when heading out onto the second lap of the bike course
      • Whilst riding, he also picked up two 750ml/24oz bottles of the on-course energy drink and ~1.5L/48oz of plain water
      • In total this meant that Justin drank ~6L/202oz of fluid on the bike which averaged ~1.35L/45oz per hour. This is a high fluid consumption but falls in line with what we’ve seen him drink before, especially in hot conditions (~26℃/79℉ average temperature)
      • What is important is that Justin said “I felt hydrated all day and never forced the eating or drinking” which does suggests that he was never aggressively trying to drink, only drinking as he felt he needed
      • On the run, Justin ran out of the second transition with a 500ml/16oz flask containing a serving of PF 30 Drink Mix and then, at the special needs station around the halfway point, picked up a 750ml/24oz bottle containing a further 1.5 servings of PF 30 Drink Mix and one sachet of PH 1500. On top of this, he drank a mixture of water, Red Bull, Coca Cola and the on-course energy drink mix to supplement his hydration requirements
      • Justin supplemented with a high intake of sodium in this race, consistently drinking fluids with a high sodium concentration, as well as taking 4-5 PH Electrolyte Capsules on both the bike and run
      • In addition to this, he aggressively used a salt lick (estimated ~1,500mg of sodium) to mitigate the cramp-like feeling he started to experience on the bike and keep it at bay
      • On average, Justin’s sodium and fluid intake equated to a high relative sodium concentration of ~1,667 milligrams of sodium per litre, which corroborates the conclusion that Justin’s experience with cramping on the bike and run was most likely due to muscular fatigue and excessive load as opposed to being directly related to an issue in his race nutrition strategy


    Quick Carb Calculator Recommendation


    carb 30 mins before


    carb per hour during
      • Justin ate his usual pre-race carb-rich breakfast alongside a coffee and took one PF 30 Caffeine Gel ~15 minutes before the start. This consumption will have ensured Justin was starting with his liver glycogen levels full and blood glucose levels high, a strategy which can aid muscle glycogen sparing
      • Justin uses PF 30 Drink Mix in his bottles as the backbone of his plan and then takes a PF 30 Caffeine Gel, PF 30 Gel or PF 30 Chew every ~30 minutes - usually in that order!
      • On the bike, he also picked up two bottles (1.5L/48oz) of the on-course energy drink (~84g carb total). He did similar on the run, getting a proportion of his carb from the on-course drinks options, on top of his flasks of PF 30 Drink Mix and five PF 30 Gels
      • Overall, across the whole race, including the final pre-race PF 30 Caffeine Gel, Justin averaged ~110g of carb per hour. Whilst the general carbohydrate recommendations for a race of this intensity and duration is ~90g per hour, there is evidence to suggest that some elite athletes can tolerate carbohydrate intakes of up to 120g per hour and this is certainly something we’ve seen Justin repeatedly manage without any GI distress
      • In this race, Justin’s carb intake broke down into an impressive ~136g/h on the bike and ~96g/h on the run. It could be argued that Justin’s intake on the bike was too great, and Justin understands that he was more than likely very close to his limit, but that being said, Justin said “I had no GI distress at any point”
      • In addition, Justin said he had “great energy throughout the day” and so with his fueling strategy, Justin may not have been far off getting it right. That being said, going forwards, it would be great if he can feel as though he is following a clearer plan on the run leg, rather than in “problem mitigation mode” where he feels unsure of what he’s taking and when, and whether he’s making the right choices


      • Moving forwards from the race, Justin is planning to test himself over the full distance again in a few weeks time, and is going to work on mitigating the cramping he experienced by adjusting his leg strength training
      • Should Justin be able to prevent this cramping in his racing, he can avoid his reactive use of sodium
      • Justin’s total intakes in the race were good and mostly appropriate for the conditions and effort he exerted. For future full-distance races, Justin and the team are going to look into refining his plan on the run so that he feels more confident in the plan he’s executing

    Key info

    Justin Metzler

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


    Overall Time
    Swim Time
    Bike Time
    Run Time

    Event information

    Full distance
    IRONMAN Lake Placid
    New York, USA
    24th July, 2022
    Swim Distance
    3.8km / 2.4mi
    Bike Distance
    180.2km / 112.0mi
    Run Distance
    42.2km / 26.2mi
    Total Distance
    226.2km / 140.6mi

    Race conditions

    Weather Conditions
    No Rain
    Min Temp
    18°C / 64°F
    Max Temp
    27°C / 81°F
    Avg Temp
    26°C / 79°F

    Athlete feedback

    Hydration rating
    I felt hydrated all day
    GI comfort
    No GI distress at any point
    Twinges but not full-on cramps

    Justin's Thoughts

     I had to manage some light pre-cramps for most of the day. They started around 85 miles on the bike and had them from that point onwards including the entire marathon.

    Justin's full stats

     Carbohydrate (g)Sodium (mg)Fluid (ml)Caffeine (mg)Relative sodium concentration (mg/L)
    Total intake92613,1687,9007401,667
    Per hour1101,55893588
    Bike and Run
    Total intake89613,1687,9006401,667
    Per hour1191,7521,05185
    Total intake6028,5426,0003001,424
    Per hour1361,9271,35368
    Total intake2954,6261,9003402,435
    Per hour961,500616110

    Data Confidence







    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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