IRONMAN World Championships
Pierre's headline numbers
Carbohydrate is the main fuel you burn when racing. Failing to fuel properly is a leading cause of underperformance in longer races.
Pierre front-loaded his carb intake on the bike which is a popular trend we see amongst long-course triathletes.This is because consuming larger amounts of carb on the bike is both logistically and comfortable easier, and it clearly set him up well for a strong run. Pierre increased his carb intake significantly by ~20g/h, which will have contributed to his increased perceived energy rating and supported his excellent performance to finish 1st in his age group at the IM Worlds in Nice.
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.
With the relatively hot conditions in Nice (26ºC / 78ºF), it was important that Pierre got his hydration right during the race. Compared to his race in Frankfurt Pierre had a significantly lower Relative Sodium Concentration. To further dial in his hydration plan so it is consistent over races, it’s worth Pierre considering getting a Sweat Test to understand how much sodium he loses in his sweat.
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.
Pierre consumed more caffeine than the science suggests is optimal for endurance performance. Despite having no side effects from this high caffeine intake, the most up-to-date research suggests he wouldn’t have received any additional ergogenic benefits above ~6mg/kg, so a minor change for future races would be to reduce the number of Caffeine Gels he took on the bike and amend to a carb-only gel.
How Pierre hit his numbers
Here's everything that Pierre ate and drank on the day...
Pierre's weapons of choice
Pierre's 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.