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Mel Varvel's scorecard


Monday 12th September, 2022

Within recommended ranges

Just outside recommended ranges

Significantly outside recommended ranges

  • 51g

    Carb per hour
  • 483mg

    Sodium per hour
  • 343ml

    Fluid per hour
  • 1,410mg/L

    Relative sodium concentration
  • 238mg

    Total caffeine
  • How Mel hit those numbers

    500ml x PH 1500 (Drink Mix)
    1 x PF 30 Original Chew
    2 x Porridge Pots
    1/2 x Bagel
    1 x Coffee
    1 x PF 30 Caffeine Gel
    *** Try to avoid drinking too much at this point in the race!
    1.25L x PH 1500 (Drink Mix)
    500ml x PH 1500 (Tablets)
    2 x PH Electrolyte Capsule
    4.25 x PF 90 Gel
    1 x PF 30 Caffeine Gel
    1.5L x Plain water
    6 x PH Electrolyte Capsule
    0.91 x PF 90 Gel
    500ml x Plain water
    160ml x Energy drink (22g carb)
    160ml x Cola
    80ml x Red Bull

    How Mel's hydration and fueling went...

      • Mel is one of the newest members of the Athlete Support Team at Precision Fuel & Hydration, but has been instrumental in her time with the company - even helping to develop the original PF 30 Gel recipe we know and love today
      • Racing in the 50-54 age group, Mel had a tough but successful day out in Tenby - braving the rolling waves on the swim and the hilly bike and run course to place 2nd with a time of 12:07:03


      • Before heading to Wales, Mel sat down with Sports Scientist Chris to discuss the best strategy for her first full distance triathlon in a few years
      • As a ‘salty sweater’ with a relative sweat sodium concentration of 1,290mg/L, Mel has been prone to cramps in prolonged races previously. This meant that she was well aware of the impact that her sodium intake could have on her performance on the day
      • Mel preloaded using PH 1500 (Drink Mix) to ensure she topped up her blood plasma volume and started the race optimally hydrated
      • She then used PH 1500 (Drink Mix) as her source of electrolytes on the bike leg alongside a couple of Electrolyte Capsules which resulted in her consuming ~656mg/h. She drank more than 3L/96oz of fluid while on the bike, which meant the relative sodium concentration of her intake was ~1,308mg/L
      • This replaced a good proportion of her losses and ‘frontloaded’ her sodium intake somewhat, meaning that when it fell away during the second half of the run she was still pleased to report zero cramping


    Quick Carb Calculator Recommendation


    carb 30 mins before


    carb per hour during
      • Mel has been working hard on increasing her fuel intake in the build-up to this race, having admitted it’s never been a major strength of hers before
      • After eating carb-rich meals both the night before and on the morning of the race, Mel topped off her glycogen stores with a PF 30 Caffeine Gel 15 minutes ahead of the start
      • Using mainly PF 90 Gels, Mel fueled extremely well on the bike, managing to hit ~73g carb per hour which sits nicely within the recommended ~60-90 range for an event of this duration
      • Mel also utilised the ergogenic benefits of caffeine well during this race, with both a pre-race coffee and her in race PF 30 Caffeine Gels topping up her levels to between the general 3-6mg/kg recommendation
      • Unfortunately, after enduring some stomach discomfort coming off the bike, Mel struggled to fuel without feeling nauseous on the run. This mean that she only had ~29g carb per hour during this section - which no doubt contributed to what she described as a ‘spectacular bonk’ at the finish line


      • She followed her plan to the letter while on the bike, recording a solid 6:29:58 split, and this ensured she felt like she had a good amount of energy left in her legs for the run
      • Unfortunately, the onset of nausea meant that she couldn’t fuel effectively on the run which caused some problems during the final laps
      • For Mel’s future events it’ll be important to continue her gut training to ensure she can prolong her capacity to take on fuel and avoid that dreaded bonk

    Key info

    Mel Varvel

    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 Wales
    Temby , Wales
    12th September, 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
    Min Temp
    15°C / 59°F
    Max Temp
    17°C / 63°F
    Avg Temp
    16°C / 61°F

    Athlete feedback

    Hydration rating
    Did a great job of hydrating properly on the bike, but stomach discomfort mid-way through the run disrupted my strategy
    Energy levels
    Really good until last half of run when I stopped eating, spectacular bonk but lessons learned
    Toilet stops
    GI comfort
    Mild stomach discomfort post bike but cleared up thankfully for the majority of the run
    No cramping

    Mel's full stats

     Carbohydrate (g)Sodium (mg)Fluid (ml)Caffeine (mg)Relative sodium concentration (mg/L)
    Total intake6225,8524,1502381,410
    Per hour5148334320
    Bike and Run
    Total intake5925,8524,1501381,410
    Per hour5655839613
    Total intake4744,2503,2501001,308
    Per hour7365650115
    Total intake1171,602900381,780
    Per hour2940122510

    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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