Ultra Runner Andrew Chau fuels his way through 100kms

Ultra runner Andrew Chau recently ran the Surf Coast Century 100km event in Victoria, Australia.

Fuelling right for endurance events is vitally important to help maintain energy levels, performance and help combat fatigue, avoid gut distress and muscle cramps. Using an endurance fuel that is gut friendly yet provides sufficient calorific & mineral needs is key. Andrew used Fuel X Endurance Fuel “I felt energised the whole race, I didn’t feel the fatigue I had a couple of weekends ago when I forgot to fuel, I had so much energy I didn’t need the Fixx ColdBrew shots, only shotting one just past halfway because they are delicious”.

Andy, we’ve been following your running activities for a while now, can you tell us why you chose to run Surf Coast Century

I’ve been planning to run a 100km ultra-marathon for a while, I actually entered UTA 100 in 2020 and started down the path of ultra training back in July 2020, but Covid 🙁
Moving down to Melbourne made me want to explore and experience the races in Victoria, so I picked the Surf Coast Century for my first 100k event. The event is on the Surf Coast of Victoria and takes you along the Great Ocean Walk, the iconic Bells Beach, and into the hinterland behind Fairhaven. It has less vertical distance when compared to UTA, so it can be a nice stepping stone for the 100k distance.
How do you keep motivated in your training?
Motivation was really hard this year. It was easier at the beginning of the year when there were fewer Covid restrictions and there was an excitement for exploring my new home, Diamond Creek. I was also meeting heaps of new runners and they took me out to their local long run loops.
Learning how to build a training program for 100km also kept me motivated, not underestimating the work needed to be physically ready for a 100km ultra-marathon, I structured my training for a gradual build and dived into books and literature on training for 100km, experimented with workouts and took on advice from more experienced friends. 
It wasn’t all smooth sailing, because I didn’t have a coach holding me accountable, there were many missed sessions followed by a month of cramming to meet the rescheduled race date.
How long have you been using Fixx products & which ones do you use?
Fixx has been with me from the beginning of my trail running journey, at first, it was just Crampfix at the Six Foot Track Marathon, then Fuel X replaced all my nutrition during a run (no more gels!!), then Fixx ColdBrew shots were used as a boost on those longer runs.
I use Fuel X and Fuel X Pro on all my long runs, mixing up the flavours and testing out different quantities. The great thing about trail running races is you can bring your own nutrition and not have to rely on the race nutrition, this helps with the certainty that you won’t get a bad gut and the mix will give you enough nutrition to keep you going. It’s exciting that Fixx is now the on-course nutrition for a fair few trail running events, UTA, Buffalo Stampede, Rollercoaster run & more!
In preparation for SCC, I started loading up on electrolytes the week before the race, having 2 serves of Fuel X per day with my meals. During the race I had 11 soft flasks, one was just water as a backup, the other 10 were all Fuel X. I had two soft flasks of each flavour, with about 2 scoops in the 500ml and 600ml flasks, and 1.5 scoops in the 350ml flasks. I mixed the flavours up so that I would have something different each leg of the race to avoid taste fatigue. I also considered when I would need to hydrate more in anticipation of hotter weather. Approximately, I needed 500ml of water with 2 scoops of Fuel X per 10km, if the weather got warmer I’d need more from about midday onwards. To make it easier for my support crew, I had all the soft flasks filled with the correct amount of Fuel X and sorted into the checkpoint bags, the crew would just fill it with water, give it a shake and load me up. In addition to Fuel X, I had some solid savoury foods to mix it up, bacon and cheese roll, rice crackers, and the on-course salted boiled potatoes.
I felt energised the whole race, I didn’t feel the fatigue I had a couple of weekends ago when I forgot to fuel, I had so much energy I didn’t need the Fixx ColdBrew shots, only shotting one just past halfway because they are delicious. The other surprising thing was I didn’t need any of the Crampfix I had stowed away!
Can you tell us some highs & lows of running your first 100kms
Let’s start with the low… My ITB on my left leg was not in a good way about halfway, this had happened before after some of my longer runs in my training block, but I wasn’t prepared for it to happen during the race. I walked large portions of the back half since it was the only way I wouldn’t get pain on the outside of my knee. It was a huge mental battle where my desire to finish the race fought the part of me that wanted to sit down and quit. Running with people helped, and between checkpoints 6 and 7 I was pretty much just following another athlete, Sarah Hedger (who ran brilliantly with a podium finish!). After checkpoint 7 the anti-inflammatory finally kicked in and I was able to run again, and I was so excited I took a wrong turn and added an extra 2kms!
The highs are so many, meeting new people while racing, seeing old Sydney friends (Anna totally smashing it to get the win and Sandra adding 100km to her list of running accomplishments), and I think my highest high, was seeing my family at checkpoint 6, 7 and the finish line. My parents in awe and proud of me for running 100kms. My sister crewing and recording whatsapp videos to send to my other sister in New York. My wife reloading my drinks, offering me food and supporting me in my selfish pursuits.
What events do you have planned for 2022?
I’ve got a few events in the calendar, starting with Two Bays Trail Run in January, Warburton Trail Fest in March, Buffalo Stampede Sky Marathon in April, and UTA 100 in May. I’m looking for events that are more than a race with a good event atmosphere, experience on course, and likeminded friendly people.
I might throw in a road marathon later in the year not sure where yet!

 

Fuel X Endurance Fuel 

 

 

Fuelling 100k with Fuel X