Vox Performance Project: Maz Hedley Lewis

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How it all came about

Back in March whilst paddle boarding in the sunshine (and having a celebratory pint after we’d made good headway down the Thames), I signed up to a half ironman. Sitting in the sun, in a t-shirt in March, it was hard to think of any excuses to not use the summer to get fit, be outside and feel healthy, so this was perfect for me to have a goal throughout the summer. 

Simple training, as I knew it then, was going well – mixing up the disciplines and becoming a bit of an addict swimming in the cold waters of Tooting Lido. So, the application for the Voxwomen Project couldn’t have come at a better time with motivation at an all-time high – and with the drive to improve my performance, particularly on the bike. We all know if you’re good at cycling then triathlon’s are MUCH quicker! 

After doing the classic thing of applying and then forgetting about it (thinking I would never be selected), it was a really pleasant surprise to receive an email confirming I was going to be a part of the Voxwomen Project II. I’m a 37 year old female living in SW London and would class myself as someone who loves health and fitness but I’m never going to break any records.

As a bit of a data junkie, being offered access to 6 months of key knowledge, data and understanding from various industry experts and brands, and a chance to set a goal to be accountable to and supported to achieve it, is something that I’m really grateful for.


Goal 1 – (July – September) – Outlaw Half Bowood

  • Current fitness level -3/5
  • Injuries – 0
  • Current full understanding of products – 2/5
  • Goal – 7hrs and enjoy it (previous PB 7hrs 7mins)
  • Motivation for goal – 5/5
  • Confidence – 4/5


Fast forward to being picked for the new intake, and before I knew it I was having my one-to-one with Sean, one of the hydration experts from Precision Fuel and Hydration, to discuss what to do from a hydration and fuelling standpoint. Armed with new knowledge where I should be hydrating strategically pre-race, and replacing sodium lost in sweat during the race and aiming to take on board 60g carb/hr (perhaps more on the bike as we all know fuelling on the run is tricky) – it was becoming very clear that hydration and fuelling was something that I had always neglected a bit – and it can make huge differences on performance. If you’re keen to find out about your sodium loss levels during exercise too, Precision Fuel and Hydration have an online Sweat Test – most likely you’ll be surprised. 

Whilst I was sure I wasn’t going to nail it in my first event, I certainly arrived at the start line far more aware of what I needed to eat and drink throughout. And boy did it help. I had a bottle of PH 500 on the bike along with a bottle of water, and gels and energy bars in my pockets. I decided that I was going to take something on board every 15 minutes, and I felt great the whole way round. I was surprised at my energy and speeds at half way, which spurred me to keep the pace until the end of the bike. The run was pretty bleak as expected (I chose a hilly one for some reason) but mainly mentally as opposed to energy levels. Crossing the line in 6hrs 32mins was a great feeling and I genuinely feel was down to being a bit nerdy about my carb intake on the bike. Certainly, much more to learn and practice, but somewhere to start from. 

  • Finish time: 6hrs 32mins
  • Injuries – 0
  • Current full understanding of products – 3/5
  • Muscle stiffness the next day – 5/5
  • Learnings – fuelling often is key



Goal 2 – (October – April) – Get stronger and faster at climbing on the bike, culminating in Mallorca 225 in April

  • Current fitness level -3/5
  • Injuries – 0
  • Current full understanding of products – 3 to 4/5
  • Motivation for goal – 5/5
  • Confidence – 4/5


Working in cycling, I have been continually inspired this year by amazing performances and have been really lucky to head to some of the big races such as Flanders and the Tour de France Femmes. Cycling for anyone is just such a great form of exercise and way to explore, so I have decided that 2023 is the ‘year of cycling’ for me. I think I need to stop kidding myself that my body likes running! The goal is to get stronger, and quicker, at climbing – peaking with the Mallorca 225. I have done the Mallorca 312 event a few times now, but have never been quick enough to meet  the cut off for the 225km, so I’m determined that I’ll make it in April 2023.


Supersapiens is another brand that I’m lucky to get to use and explore as part of this project. Supersapiens is a sports technology company focused on energy management systems to support sustained peak performance. The biosensor links to an app on your phone feeding relevant data and empowers us to be aware of our energy levels to ensure that we are training or racing when optimally fuelled to sustain peak performance, and also importantly to adequately refuel and recover. Some might think that they’d rather not know about too much data, and just go on feel, but for me I really enjoy finding out about what’s happening, and what it means. That said, I’m still trialling the system and learning as I go – but recently I headed to Mallorca for 5 days and put it to the test on a few big rides finding some interesting results (not necessarily good ones!) which are going to help me achieve my goal. 

On the Friday, we were set for Sa Calobra. A 110km looped ride taking in the iconic climb at half way. I had what I thought would be an ‘athlete’s breakfast’ of yoghurt, granola, fruits and peanut butter and washed down with a latte. Ready to go. The 40km to the top of Col des Reis from Porto Pollenca, as many people will know, is basically all uphill. Beautiful, but all uphill. I think I was enjoying the view too much to be honest so certainly didn’t take on enough fuel. The descent down Sa Calobra (as you have to go down to come back up) is amazing – sweeping turns interrupted by cheering those who are on their uphill effort, so again no thoughts on eating. At the bottom, we had a quick pit stop for an espresso and I thought it would be a good plan to have a gel (Precision Hydration & Fuel of course). Am I ready? Maybe. 



On the way up it was soon very evident I was under-fuelled. I was never going to give up (my head wouldn’t let that happen) but I just had very little to offer, so crawled my way up. Luckily I have patient friends who weren’t back in Pollenca by the time I reached the summit! The rest of the ride was still very enjoyable (as it was 30 degrees and sunny, and raining in the UK), and I was intrigued to get to the end to see what the stats looked like. 

When using Supersapiens your energy management is shown by a zonal graph, where you have your Glucose Recovery Zone (GRZ) and your Glucose Performance Zone (GPZ). Ideally when training you want to be in the GPZ (shown as the red strip in the image), and also not have any severe dips in energy. Both during and after your workout, you can see how you fare. 

Here is the graph of my Sa Calobra ride, clearly seeing a low energy ebb in the middle and emergency injection of food to try and improve myself along with some pretty dramatic dips! 

Two days later, we were on the bus to Andratx, and planning to cycle back to Pollenca across the full stretch of the mountains on the north of the island. Hands down the most beautiful ride I have ever done. Maybe helped by the fact I took on my sensible approach about eating, and felt I had much more to give. You can see from the graph below that my levels were much more consistent and I spent (a little) more time in the GPZ, but I still have a long way to go. 



I think the main take out I have is that historically I have really not taken on anywhere near enough, so the change to both drinking and eating carbs to sustain the energy levels I need (and try and hit and stay in the GPZ) is a work in progress. When I write it down, it’s such a simple and obvious comment – take on more, but in practice it will take some getting used to. I’m just grateful that I have some time ahead to trial different things and have the stats to back up what works best for me. 

Now with the winter months incoming, I’ll try and get out on the open roads, but more than likely I’ll be hitting the turbo and enjoying Zwift. I’ve got my eye on the Build Me Up 12 week training plan. With the support of stats and data I’ll be able to gauge my efforts and improvements to feel stronger. 

Thanks for reading!


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