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Neil Eddy

IRONMAN Barcelona

1st October, 2023
Spain
Calella
2nd, M35-39
Triathlon, Full distance - 226.2km
24°C
, Hot
8hrs 58mins
more race details

Neil's headline numbers

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?
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~73
g
Carb per hour
Recommended 90g/h+
~685
ml
Fluid per hour
Recommended 500-1,000ml/h
~1,291
mg
Sodium per litre
Recommended 1300-1700mg/L
~3.5
mg
Caffeine per kg
Recommended 3-6mg/kg

Neil's strategy

Fueling

Carbohydrate is the main fuel you burn when racing. Failing to fuel properly is a leading cause of underperformance in longer races.

Carb-loaded
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T - 1-4hrs: Ate a carb rich meal (Low in fat & fibre)
pre-fueled
?
T - 15mins: Took in a final dose of carb
Carb per hour
Recommended 90g/h+
~73
g
Neil's Energy Rating
7
/10
"I had a great swim and bike, but felt quite flat from around 10km / 6 miles on the run. The confusion from race officials disqualifying me at this point meant my motivation slumped, I was less strict with my nutrition and I found it hard to push on. I was allowed to continue running, and did manage to finish strong, and thankfully my position was reinstated after I crossed the finish line."
Our thoughts

Neil front-loaded his carb intake on the bike like he normally does in IRONMAN races, although to a slightly lesser extent than we’ve seen him do previously (~99g/h in Kona, ~104g/h in Roth). Amongst the athlete intakes we’ve analysed, 83% dropped their carb consumption on the run compared to the bike, and by ~22% on average. Neil’s intake dropped by ~33% from bike-to-run, but was likely due to learning that he’d been disqualified for a course infringement 30 minutes into the run. This meant his usual high-carb strategy was reduced, and despite his position being reinstated post-race, his fuel intake had already fallen dramatically to just ~62g/h on the run, meaning his overall average fell to ~74g/h, below the 90g/h+ scientific recommendations.

Hydration

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.

Neil1492mg/L
Neil has been Sweat Tested to dial in his hydration plan

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.

Given Neil’s losses are Very High (1,492mg/L), nailing his hydration strategy becomes especially crucial when it’s hot and/or humid.

Learn more
Pre-loaded electrolytes
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T - 60mins: Drank ~500ml of strong electrolyte drink
Fluid per hour
Recommended 500-1,000ml/h
~685
ml
Sodium per litre
Recommended 1300-1700mg/L
~1,291
mg
Neil's Hydration Rating
8
/10
"I felt the need to pee towards the end of the bike, but then my fluid intake dropped on the run as temperatures rose, so I think I got a bit dehydrated."
Our thoughts

Similarly to his fueling strategy, Neil executed his hydration on the bike as planned, frontloading both his sodium and fluid to prepare himself for the run where fluid is usually more difficult to access and consume. By running out of T2 with a Soft Flask of PH 1500, Neil controlled his hydration better than most, and kept on top of his sweat losses as temperatures peaked at ~29℃ / 84ºF. Neil later mentioned that his fluid intake dropped in the latter stages of the run, likely mimicking his dropping motivation following the confusion about his disqualification.

Caffeine

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.

Pre-caffeinated
?
T - 0-4hrs: Had a final hit of caffeine
Caffeine per kg
Recommended 3-6mg/kg
~3.5
mg
Our thoughts

By utilising a drip-feed caffeine strategy to meet the recommended guidelines, Neil will have utilised the performance enhancing benefits of the stimulant throughout the entire race.

How Neil hit his numbers

Here's everything that Neil ate and drank on the day...

Neil's weapons of choice

Final thoughts

Neil's Satisfaction Rating
7
/10
My lack of heat training and full-distance race preparation meant the run was not to my usual standard. But with the added complication of race official decisions, I was relaxed and just made my way around the course, and I got my Kona slot so can’t complain!
Neil
Neil only found out he had the chance to race IRONMAN Barcelona 7 days beforehand, and considering the adversity he faced on-course, he did very well to execute a solid race and bank his World Champs qualifying slot for 2024 in Hawaii. Whilst the circumstances weren’t perfect, and hopefully won’t be repeated, Neil’s decline in both fuel and hydration towards the end of the run likely caused his drop in both energy levels and pace. As he prepares for the World Champs, he’ll undoubtedly remember this race and keep focused until the very end, just in case!
PF&H

Neil's full stats

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Overall
651g total carb
73g per hour
6,150ml total fluid
685ml per hour
7,942mg total sodium
884mg per hour
1,291mg
Sodium per litre
253mg total caffeine
3.5mg per kg
Bike and Run
Bike
Run

Data Confidence
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We rate each of our case studies from 1-5 based on the level of accuracy, and our confidence in the data.
1
2
3
4
5

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.

Neil's recent case studies

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