< Back to case studies

Leon Chevalier's scorecard

IRONMAN Vitoria-Gasteiz

Sunday 10th July, 2022

Within recommended ranges

Just outside recommended ranges

Significantly outside recommended ranges

  • 100g

    Carb per hour
  • 657mg

    Sodium per hour
  • 739ml

    Fluid per hour
  • 889mg/L

    Relative sodium concentration
  • 540mg

    Total caffeine
  • How Leon hit those numbers

    600ml x PH 1500 (Tablet)
    300g x Banana Bread
    250ml x Black Tea
    1 x PF 30 Caffeine Gel
    *** Try to avoid drinking too much at this point in the race!
    3.5L x PH 1500 (Drink Mix)
    2 x PF 30 Gel
    3 x PF 90 Gel
    2 x PF 30 Caffeine Gel
    2L x Plain water
    1 x Snickers
    4 x PF 30 Gel
    1.6L x Plain water
    2 x Energy gel (25g carb)
    2 x Energy gel with caffeine (25g carb, 100mg caffeine)
    500ml x Cola

    How Leon's hydration and fueling went...

      • In what Leon described as “the hardest day of racing I’ve ever had”, he fought against the immense heat, a mechanical bike issue and losing some vital nutrition to finish 9th amongst a strong field in Vitoria-Gasteiz
      • After exiting the swim to discover his bike had a puncture, he knew it would be a tough battle to catch the leaders
      • However, staying calm and maintaining his solid fuel and hydration strategy saw him ride strong, before starting to pick off athletes on the marathon
      • In all, Leon was satisfied with his result, but more importantly how he overcame adversity to achieve it


      • Leon preloaded as he usually does with PH 1500 (Tablets), drinking ~500ml/16oz the night before and ~600ml/18oz the morning of the race. Anticipating the high temperatures (36℃/97℉), Leon topped up his sodium levels thus enhancing his fluid retention and blood plasma volume so he started the race hydrated
      • Leon emerged from the swim and as he jumped on his bike, discovered he had a puncture. Thankfully he managed to get a replacement tyre, but not before the leaders were already ~15 minutes down the road
      • Without panicking, Leon got cracking with the 180km/112mile solo time-trial, where he drank just over ~4L/135oz of water, averaging ~920ml/31oz per hour. This is higher than we’ve seen Leon drink before, but as the temperatures soared, this will have helped him replace a decent proportion of his fluid lost through sweat
      • Combined with his sodium intake of ~5,386mg on the bike, this gave Leon a relative sodium concentration of ~1,330mg/L, which aligns well with his sweat sodium concentration of 1,331mg/L, so would likely have replaced the vast majority of his sodium losses too
      • Once he had dismounted his bike, Leon quickly realised he had misplaced his Electrolyte Capsules somewhere, and so headed out onto the run without a plan to take on any sodium
      • This was a risky strategy, especially as Leon wasn’t a fan of the on-course electrolyte drinks, and didn’t want to risk making himself sick. However, as the temperatures were approaching ~36℃/97℉ by this point, he knew he’d be fighting a losing battle against hydration
      • Leon did manage to take on a very small amount of sodium (~82mg) through picking up cups of Coca Cola, but would have diluted this concentration with the ~2.1L/71oz of plain water he also picked up throughout the marathon
      • In future, Leon may want to consider putting a pre-mixed bottle of PH 1500 into his run transition bag and dropping off a couple of bottles at the special needs aid stations. This would be a good contingency plan if he misplaced his Electrolyte Capsules again
      • Shortly after finishing the race, and for several hours afterwards, Leon experienced painful muscle cramps throughout his arms and legs. He was given ~2L/64oz of plain water to drink after the race, which will likely have exacerbated his issues by diluting his electrolyte concentration further, perhaps contributing to his bout of cramping


    Quick Carb Calculator Recommendation


    carb 30 mins before


    carb per hour during
      • Leon’s pre-race fueling was his usual 300g of banana bread to give his glycogen stores a last minute top-off
      • Further to this, he also took a PF 30 Caffeine Gel ~15 minutes before the swim start to get some glucose circulating in his blood and save his stored energy for later in the race
      • This 100mg caffeine hit will also have increased his alertness and cognitive function during the early stages of the race
      • On the bike, Leon crushed his fueling strategy by taking an impressive ~530g of carbohydrates which equated to ~120g/h. This is an impressive number we’ve seen Leon hit previously with great success, and he rated his energy levels an 8 (out of 10)
      • In the last 12 months Leon has spent considerable time training his gut to absorb this high quantity of carb, supporting the recent evidence which suggests athletes can tolerate more than the typical recommendations of 90g/h
      • Leon hit this amount of carbs by squeezing a PF 90 Gel into each of his two 1L/32oz water bottles, and by adding one PF 90 Energy Gel into his 500ml/16oz bottle along with PH 1500 (Drink Mix) sachets each containing ~15g carb
      • He also took two seperate PF 30 Gels and two PF 30 Caffeine Gels which will have reduced his perceived exertion and heightened his state of alertness late on into the bike
      • During the marathon, despite not taking any sodium, he knew his carb intake would be crucial to maintaining his pace and so set about consuming ~273g of carb, averaging an impressive ~93g/h
      • Whilst this is slightly lower than we’ve seen Leon hit before, considering his deflated state of mind heading onto the run, it’s still an impressive quantity of fuel to take on in hot conditions, and is a product of Leon’s extensive gut training
      • Leon felt like he had a bit of an “energy wobble” at ~18k on the run, but kept fueling with PF 30 Gels and began picking up cups of Coca Cola from aid stations along with four gels available at aid stations, two of which were caffeinated
      • This meant Leon ran strongly to the finish, edging his way into the top 10 within the last 5k


      • The heat of Vitoria, coupled with some mechanical misfortune and a misplaced pack of Electrolyte Capsules ultimately lead to Leon’s “hardest ever race” which felt like “a bit of a slog””
      • Despite the adversity, he executed a decent fuel and hydration strategy to ensure he finished strong and bagged another top 10 finish in only his 5th race over the IM distance
      • Overall Leon rated his race satisfaction 7 out of 10, and pointed out that “upon reflection, I did pretty well to ride a similar pace to the front group even though I was riding solo, and I still had one of the fastest run times of the day as people started to buckle in the heat, so I can take a lot from that”

    Key info

    Leon Chevalier

    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 Vitoria-Gasteiz
    Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
    10th 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
    Very Hot
    No Rain
    Min Temp
    18°C / 64°F
    Max Temp
    36°C / 97°F
    Avg Temp
    30°C / 86°F

    Athlete feedback

    Race Satisfaction
    Hydration rating
    Finished dehydrated as I didn't take any sodium on the run
    Energy levels
    Toilet stops
    GI comfort
    No cramping

    Leon's Thoughts

     After the puncture I questionned whether I was going to carry on, but to make the top 10 from that I'm pretty satisfied

    Leon's full stats

     Carbohydrate (g)Sodium (mg)Fluid (ml)Caffeine (mg)Relative sodium concentration (mg/L)
    Total intake8335,4686,150540889
    Per hour10065773965
    Bike and Run
    Total intake8035,4686,150440889
    Per hour10974483760
    Total intake5305,3864,0502001,330
    Per hour1201,22492045
    Total intake273822,10024039
    Per hour932871281

    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.

    Leon's recent case studies

    see all

    Related case studies

    Nail your next event with a FREE Fuel & Hydration Plan
    Get started