2024 Ultrabalaton — lessons learnt

Post race document

Simen Holvik
5 min readMay 5, 2024

What worked:

  1. Carb loading period and pre-race breakfast. No GI issues. (In the past I have had issues with diarrhea and constant peeing at for the first 4–6 hours. Do same plan for next race.
  2. Gear (except rain jacket). No issues.
  3. Break out meal with chicken noodles after 11 hours
  4. Strong finish
  5. I pre-mixed all my Carb & Electrolyte Drink Mix and filled up 250ml soft flasks the day before the race
  6. Very good response of the caffeine gels at the end
  7. Fuel & nutrition
  8. Every pre-race meal was tried and tested. I did not eat anything from restaurants. Every item carried from home.
  9. Crew

What did not worked out:

  1. Running to fast at start and drinking too litle for that intensity
  2. I did not bring enough drink mix. Was out of drink mix and crew then started to mix up something that I did not have control of.
  3. Maybe too high on sodium (when we ran out of drink mix, I though that my crew had mixed in a differnt type of sports drink or plain water. I therefore asked for Sodium capsules for each of these bottles. It turned out that they had mixed in PH1500 — which is a sodium drink. As a result, I ended with way to much sodium at the end
  4. A bit tired at the start. Not enough rest before the days before race.
  5. Sauna (dry)the day before the race maybe not a good idea. I drank a lot of water and added sodium at that sauna session but maybe I was a bit off.
  6. Crew did not bring a bicycle basket. Every time I needed a drink, gel or chew they had to stop and find it from their backpack — and then come up to me again.
  7. If going for a course record, bycycle crew should be in front of me (for them to take the wind) so that I can drift.
  8. Side ache at right and later at left made me stop. Very painful and I had to start walking. I do not normally get that. Assume this is related to insufficent amount of fluid
  9. Very very cold post race, and had issues with my breath
  10. Pee.

Improvements for next race:

  1. Pace. Make sure to stick to plan, calm down. Get into the flow, and run fast if the feeling is there — but not over do it.
  2. Need a better rain jacket
  3. Add more music to watch
  4. Make sure to have more than enough fuel & hydration products
  5. Get more 250ml soft flask, and make sure to pre-mix and fill everything ahead so that I have 100% control of the mixing process.
  6. Do not do sauna the day before.
  7. Turn off automatic lap counting at the watch. Annoying with all the beeping and is wrong focus
  8. Straight after race, change to warm clothes.
  9. Get a singlet
  10. Count total number of PH products before race (gel, capsules, chews) so that it is easy to derived the consume.
  11. Make sure that you pee and that color is correct.

What did I have for pre-race breakfast?

Done 2 hours before race start:

  • 100g banana (0.5g fat, 1g protein, 22g carbs, 1mg sodium)
  • 65g oat meal (4g fat, 6.6g protein, 36.5g carbs, 590mg sodium)
  • 250ml orange juice (0.5g fat, 2.5g protein, 25g carbs, 0mg sodium)
  • 250ml coffee (black no sugar) (0g fat, 0g protein, 0g carb, 0mg sodium)
  • 500ml PH1500 — finish by 06:45 at latest. (0g fat, 0g protein, 7.5g carbs, 750mg sodium)
  • 2 x Electrolyte capsules (0g fat, 0g protein, 0g carbs, 500mg sodium)

06:45 — PF30 gel (0g fat, 0g protein, 30g carbs, 0mg sodium)

→ Total: 1000ml liquid, 5g fat, 10.1g protein, 121g carbs, 1841mg sodium

What did I eat during race?

Some of the numbers (?) are not 100% as we did not record on the fly. Best guess. Based on that it is not possible to calculate the total key figues; liquid, carb and sodum/liter.

In the begining I was at the plan with 250ml drink, 1 gel and 1 chew per hour.

Note: Total duration was 19:41:04 (from watch).

  • 7.5 liters of Carb & Electrolyte Drink Mix
  • 1.5 liter of Fanta Orange
  • 1.0 liter of plain water
  • 0.5 liter of Pepsi
  • 0.5 liters of PH1500 (?)
  • 30g banana
  • 65g chicken noodles
  • 28 pcs. PF 30 gel
  • 5 PF 30 Caffein gels (30–8) (?)
  • 20 pcs PF 30 chews (?)
  • 20 pcs electrolyte capsules (250 mg sodium) (?)




Simen Holvik

A professional Norwegian ultra runner, adventurer, speaker and writer