The Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) has announced its ambition to drastically reduce, or possibly eliminate, the number of nutrition-related ‘Did Not Finish’ (‘DNF’) outcomes from the inaugural PTO Tour series this year.
The DNF rate at middle-distance triathlons typically ranges from as little as one per cent to as much as 15 per cent in hotter events on tough courses, with data suggesting that the average DNF rate is around four per cent.
“We know from hard-won practical experience and anecdotes from athletes that a significant percentage of DNFs in long endurance races are caused by GI issues, or athletes not getting their fuelling or hydration strategies right,” said PTO CEO, Sam Renouf, a former elite level triathlete himself.
“Ending up with a DNF after months of training is incredibly frustrating and disappointing. With that in mind, we set out to find a sports nutrition partner who would be able to really make a difference and we found this in Precision Fuel & Hydration,” Renouf added.
Precision Fuel & Hydration will be offering a range of free tools and experiences to help participants at the PTO Tour events by personalising their fuelling and hydration strategy in the lead up to their race.
This will include access to the PTO Tour Fuelling & Hydration Help Desk, allowing registered athletes to work one-on-one with experts from PF&H’s team – both digitally via video consultations and in-person in the event village – to refine their approach to fluid, electrolyte and calorie intake for the event. Additionally, PF&H are set to launch a free online tool that will enable athletes to receive a fully personalized fuelling and hydration plan for their PTO Tour race.
The on-course hydration and energy products at the PTO Canadian Open in Edmonton, The Collins Cup in Samorin, Slovakia, and the US Open in Dallas, Texas will match those in athletes’ personalised plans, making it easier for them to keep track of what they’re taking in so that they can hit their numbers and stay well fuelled and hydrated.
Renouf stated: “Our joint ambition to reduce the DNF rate to zero is clearly extremely ambitious, but we’re confident that by partnering with Precision Fuel & Hydration, we will, at the very least, be able to make a huge and positive impact on the DNF rates at our races this year. Ultimately, we want as many athletes as possible to have the best possible experience at a PTO event.”
Founded in 2011 by ex-pro triathlete and sports scientist Andy Blow, Precision Fuel & Hydration have been working with both elite and age-group athletes for over a decade, providing sweat testing, educational insights and fuelling and hydration products that allow athletes to create and execute individualised strategies to maximise their performance and minimise the chances of a nutritional failure during a race.
“The excitement in the PF&H team is at an all-time high right now as we kick-off our partnership with the PTO”, said Blow. “We’ve been working with a number of the PTO’s top ranked pros on an individual basis for years. To be able to work more closely and visibly with such a prestigious race series in its inaugural year will allow us to help substantially more athletes to nail their fuelling and hydration strategy, allowing athletes to perform at their best and drastically reducing the number of DNFs”
“Precision Fuel & Hydration have been a secret weapon for me over the last six years, so I’m delighted that they’ll be helping other athletes on the PTO Tour”, said British triathlete and PTO World No. 7, Emma Pallant-Browne. “I think it’s fantastic that the age-group athletes are going to be able to benefit from interacting directly with PF&H around the PTO Tour events,” she added.
Australian PTO World No. 13, Sam Appleton, added that he was delighted to hear about PF&H’s involvement. “I was totally stoked when the guys told me that PF&H were going to be partnering up with the PTO this year”, he said. “I’ve been working with the team since I transitioned to long-course racing in 2019. Their advice and products have been unbelievably helpful in my successful move up the distances.”
“We’ve all heard the phrase ‘Death before DNF’, which just shows you how much athletes hate ending their race that way”, Blow added. “We think it should be ‘Death to DNF’ instead and we’ll be doing everything we can to help athletes on the PTO Tour finish and enjoy their race without GI issues.”
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