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It’s going to be important to get your hydration and fuelling strategy right for the Devil’s Lite Challenge. So, we’ve partnered with Precision Fuel & Hydration to give you expert advice and free electrolyte supplements to help you perform at your best during your ultra. 

PF&H’s founder and Sports Scientist Andy Blow’s shares his advice for how to nail your strategy out on the South Downs Way…

Hydration

  • Don't just drink lots of plain water before you get to the start line at Steyning Grammar School. You can end up diluting your blood sodium levels, increasing the risk of a race-ruining condition called hyponatremia
  • Maintaining your blood sodium levels is crucial to performing at your best during an ultra. As well as maintaining fluid balance, sodium plays an important role in the absorption of nutrients in the gut, maintaining cognitive function, nerve impulse transmission and muscle contraction
  • You'll get a free packet of PH 1500 electrolyte drink mix at registration. Just mix the sachet with ~500ml of plain water and start drinking it ~90 minutes before you start running (aim to finish ~30 minutes before you get to the start line so you can pee out any excess) 
  • PH 1500 contains ~3x more sodium than typical electrolyte drinks which makes them ideal for preloading before your ultra. Learn more
  • During the race, everyone loses a different amount of sodium in their sweat, so take our free online Sweat Testto get some personalised hydration advice
  • As a rough guide, most runners will find they want to drink around 400-750ml per hour, perhaps half of which might contain electrolytes. For ultras, I generally carry one bottle of plain water and one bottle of electrolytes, before topping each up at the aid stations on course
  • PH 1000 - a low-calorie electrolyte sports drink - and plain water will be available at the XNRG aid stations on the South Downs Way so you can top up your bottles / bladder pack as you go
  • Feeling thirsty? Have a dry mouth? You may not be drinking enough. Try to respond to the early signs of thirst and not leave it too late
  • Bloated? Fluid sloshing around in your stomach? Need to pee often? You might be drinking too much. Don't force fluids down if you don’t feel you want them

Fuelling

  • Eat a carb-rich breakfast a few hours before your allocated race start time to ensure you’re starting well fuelled - my own go-to breakfast of choice is porridge with some honey or sugar
  • And you may want to consider getting a final carb hit by eating a gel or a banana to top up your glycogen stores in the final 30 minutes before you start running - this will be a matter of personal preference. Learn more
  • Not sure how much to eat during your run? Use the Quick Carb Calculator to work out how much carbohydrate you should be aiming to consume per hour in order to perform at your best during your ultra. Learn more

If you’d like to discuss your hydration and fuelling strategy for the Devil’s Lite with a member of our Athlete Support team, you can book a free one-to-one video call

And if you find you enjoy using the Precision Fuel & Hydration products, don’t forget to use the code XNRG15 to get 15% off your first order at precisionfuelandhydration.com

Enjoy the journey! 

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