Lars' headline numbers
Carbohydrate is the main fuel you burn when racing. Failing to fuel properly is a leading cause of underperformance in longer races.
Lars front-loaded his fueling on the bike (~97g/h), but this dropped off considerably on the run (~46g/h) as he fell below the carb recommendations for a race of this length and intensity. This drop-off was caused by Lars starting to feel a little nauseous around the halfway mark, meaning his body was starting to run out of energy to maintain his target run pace, characterised by a significant dip in energy levels. In future, maintaining a higher fluid intake on the run may help him stabilise his energy levels by increasing the absorption of the carbohydrates in his stomach, as low fluid availability is known to reduce carb uptake.
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.
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 Lars’s losses are on the low side, getting his hydration strategy right is still important if he wants to perform at his best.Learn more
During the race, Lars knew he wouldn’t be sweating excessively due to the cool conditions in Norway, but still has a relatively high sweat rate. Similar to his fueling, his fluid consumption dropped significantly on the run, coinciding with starting to feel nauseous at the halfway mark. His pace was also dropping due to a previous leg injury rearing its head. After a brief moment where Lars felt like he could be sick, he tried drinking some cola as he finds it often helps ‘settle his stomach’, and this occasion was no different, as he was able to continue pushing on deep into the run. Although Lars still rated his hydration strategy a solid 9 (out of 10), it’s likely that some more fluid during the run could have helped prevent some of his sickness by helping his fuel (even if significantly reduced) be absorbed more easily.
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.
Lars used a perfect amount of caffeine to maximise the associated ergogenic benefits. It’s possible the peak in energy levels again towards the end of the run was in part due to the caffeine boost from his cola, perhaps suggesting some more caffeine earlier in the run could have helped prevent this dip.
How Lars hit his numbers
Here's everything that Lars ate and drank on the day...
Lars' weapons of choice
Lars' 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.