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Sam Appleton's scorecard

IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside

Saturday 30th October, 2021

Within recommended ranges

Just outside recommended ranges

Significantly outside recommended ranges

  • 47g

    Carb per hour
  • 446mg

    Sodium per hour
  • 497ml

    Fluid per hour
  • 897mg/L

    Relative sodium concentration
  • 4.15mg/kg

    Caffeine per bodyweight
  • How Sam hit those numbers

    2 x Blueberry muffins
    1 x Black coffee
    *** Tip: For sea swims, put a bottle of water at T1 to rinse your mouth out
    350ml x PH 1500 (Tablets)
    1L x PH 1000 (Tablets)
    2 x PF 30 Gel
    -250ml x Additional fluid in mixed drinks
    1 x Energy gel with caffeine (24g carb, 50mg caffeine)
    2 x Energy gel with caffeine (24g carb, 72mg caffeine)
    400ml x Plain water
    400ml x Coca Cola Original

    How Sam's hydration and fueling went...

      • Sam ended the season on a high with his best ever finish at IM 70.3 Oceanside, following on from two previous races on the Californian course. Coming in 3 minutes behind the leader, Sam finished in third place with a time of 3 hours and 49 minutes. Following a successful year of racing, Sam was happy to “end the season on the podium” with what he described as a “solid performance”
      • Sam used a similar hydration and fuelling strategy to what we have seen him use during his last three 70.3 races with a few slight changes due to dropping a gel and a bottle at the end of the bike and not having a flask containing gels on the run


      • Sam drank an average of ~497ml/hr (~17oz/hr) over the course of the race. On the bike his fluid intake was from two bottles (one 750ml/26oz and one 450ml/15oz), with one containing water mixed with PH 1500 tablet and the other containing water and PH 1000
      • His intake was partially impacted by dropping his second bottle towards the end of the bike with around 100ml/3oz left in it. On the run, he picked up water and coke, having a sip of both from each aid station
      • Despite dropping his bottle, Sam was still able to reach a similar fluid intake to what we have seen him drink in previous races. In similar conditions to the Collins Cup, he drank slightly more fluid per hour (86ml/3oz per hour more). This is the standard amount that Sam is used to taking on board and therefore it would seem to be an adequate volume to replace some of his losses
      • Consuming ~446mg/hr alongside ~497ml/hr (~17oz/hr) of fluid meant the relative sodium concentration of Sam’s intake was ~897mg/L. Previously we have seen Sam take on high relative concentrations (~1,494mg/L at Boulder 70.3) and recommended he could dilute this slightly due to his low sweat sodium concentration
      • Considering the warm conditions at Oceanside and Sam’s sweat sodium concentration of 655mg/L, he will have been replacing a good proportion of his losses throughout the race
      • Sam did not mention preloading before this race as we have seen him do previously at the Collins Cup and the World Champs. Despite the conditions not being as hot as was expected, we would recommend Sam preloads with PH 1500 in 500ml of water to make sure he is starting the race optimally hydrated


    Quick Carb Calculator Recommendation


    carb 30 mins before


    carb per hour during
      • Sam had two blueberry muffins along with a black coffee in the morning of the race. This is a light breakfast, but is routine for Sam prior to races. Unlike with previous races, Sam didn’t have a PF 30 Energy Gel before the swim because he “felt full and didn’t think he needed anything” at that point. This final gel is often down to preference but considering he often has a light breakfast, getting in those 30g carb before the swim would be beneficial to top up his fuel stores
      • Sam consumed two PF 30 Energy Gels and three energy gels with caffeine to hit an average carb consumption of ~47g/hr. This was made up of a higher ~65g/hr on the bike and ~34g/hr on the run. This is a considerably lower average intake than what we saw him consume at Boulder (~63g/hr), the Collins Cup (~63g/hr) and the 70.3 World Champs (~65g/hr) during races in 2021
      • Having a higher intake on the bike (frontloading) is good to help him start the run fueled, but his numbers were on the lower side and significantly below our recommended range of 60-90g/hr. Sam’s carb intake was lower than we have seen previously because he chose not to have a gel just before the start, whilst he also dropped a gel he was planning to take on the bike and didn’t take his usual flask containing gels on the run
      • We would recommend Sam tries to push his carb intake up further and aim for over 70g/hr because evidence suggests that a higher carb intake can benefit performance. This may involve him undertaking some gut training to become accustomed to a slightly higher intake
      • Sam drank a coffee before the race, which meant he would have started with perceived high energy levels, whilst during the race he consumed three energy gels containing caffeine. As a result, Sam ~282mg of caffeine over the whole race which equates to ~4.15mg caffeine per kilogram of bodyweight. This is a good moderate dose which falls within the recommended range of caffeine for endurance performance of 3-6mg/kg bodyweight


      • Ultimately, Sam ended the season on a high with a podium finish in California. He felt the race went “pretty good” but is still “chasing the perfect race”. As a result, he rated his race satisfaction as 7 out of 10
      • Sam’s carb intake was slightly lower than what we’ve seen from him in previous races, partly due to dropping a gel, not taking a gel just before the swim and not having any gels on the run. We would recommend he looks to increase his carb intake to reach the recommended range of 60-90g/hr as evidence shows consuming more carbs benefits endurance performance (learn more)

    Key info

    Sam Appleton

    Sweat sodium concentration
    Sweat sodium classification
    * determined by a PH Advanced Sweat Test


    Overall Time
    Swim Time
    Bike Time
    Run Time
    Normalised power (Bike)

    Event information

    Middle distance
    IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside
    California, USA
    30th October, 2021
    Swim Distance
    1.9km / 1.2mi
    Bike Distance
    90.1km / 56.0mi
    Run Distance
    21.1km / 13.1mi
    Total Distance
    113.1km / 70.3mi
    Bike Elevation
    829m / 2,720ft
    Run Elevation
    84m / 276ft
    Total Elevation
    913m / 2,995ft

    Race conditions

    Weather Conditions
    No Rain
    Min Temp
    16°C / 61°F
    Max Temp
    19°C / 66°F
    Avg Temp
    19°C / 66°F

    Athlete feedback

    Race Satisfaction
    Hydration rating
    There is still room for improvement
    Energy levels
    Toilet stops
    GI comfort
    No cramping

    Sam's Thoughts

     Happy to get on the podium at the end of the season

    Sam's full stats

     Carbohydrate (g)Sodium (mg)Fluid (ml)Caffeine (mg)Relative sodium concentration (mg/L)
    Total intake1801,7051,900282897
    Per hour4744649774
    Bike and Run
    Total intake1801,7051,900282897
    Per hour5450956784
    Total intake1381,7051,1002501,550
    Per hour65808521118
    Total intake420800320
    Per hour34064526

    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.

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