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Sudden Drop in performance

P123HelpsP123Helps Posts: 13
edited August 2011 in Training, fitness and health
Just been out for a quick 20 mile point to point ride which I chose because of the hills (trying to improve climbing). On my way back I found that I bonked, not once but twice and both times on fairly gentle uphill gradients. I was eating and drinking on the bike.

Is it a case of not eating and drinking enough? Or over exertion? (I went for a similar ride yesterday) or just not resting enough? (last week I was cycling in Scotland and did a lot more miles than I usually do in a week) Or maybe a change in riding style? (I'm riding with a higher cadence these days)

The final option is of course...am I just wimping out because its getting harder?!

Previously I've been able to manage 60 miles with few problems, but on a slightly flatter route. I am actively searching out hills to ride up now!

Any help greatly appreciated.

Posts

  • MrChuckMrChuck Posts: 1,663
    Doesn't really sound like over-exertion, I always think that bonks are made in the days before they occur- the damage is done whatever you eat on the ride itself. Have you been eating/resting OK over the last few days?
  • P123HelpsP123Helps Posts: 13
    Sleeping hasn't been too good of late, but much better last night. Had a few drinks yesterday, but nothing excessive and have been eating pretty well. Alcohol the most likely culprit?

    How much should I be eating on the bike?

    Cheers :)
  • MrChuckMrChuck Posts: 1,663
    Don't think there's really a simple answer to that. Personally on my bog standard 40 mile loop sometimes I don't eat anything, sometimes I have 1 Rice Krispies Squares thingy. Last time I had to stop and have 2 of those and an energy gel in the space of about 2 minutes!
    Only variable really is what you do beforehand, and that week I'd done a couple of harder runs and had a couple of censored meals.

    Likewise if I do an event or sportive it always catches up with me in the following week. But that's just me, I know next to nothing about nutrition so someone along later will probably put you right!

    Do you have breakfast?
  • P123HelpsP123Helps Posts: 13
    It seems like a bonk really can happen at any time for any reason! I think last week may be catching up with me slightly, maybe I'm pushing the hills a bit too much as well and need to balance things up a bit.

    Are you training specifically or are you just keeping fit? How do you warm up?

    Always eat breakfast, usually cereal and toast and I aim to eat about 2 hours before I go out.
    I stick to carbs before and protein after, seems to work quite well. Thinking about buying some gels and shakes, any recommendations?
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    Er, what exactly do you think a "bonk" is?
  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    I'd be very suprised if it was a bonk on a 20 mile ride, probably just build up of fatigue or you've picked up a bug, lots around atm.
  • ChrisszChrissz Posts: 727
    I wouldn't expect anyone to get the bonk (glycogen depletion) over the course of 20 miles (1hr - 1 1/2hrs?) due to the lack of exercise duration. It may well have been lactic acid build-up causing temporary fatigue (failure of the muscles to contract).

    What did it actually feel like? Burning and no response from the leg muscles? Or sleepy/tired/ravenous?
  • P123HelpsP123Helps Posts: 13
    It was about 1hr 40mins, I went for a very hilly route to try and improve my climbing skills.

    There wasn't any burning, more like I literally couldn't turn my legs no matter how much I wanted to. The pain has kicked in today though, hurts to walk up and down stairs!
  • MrChuckMrChuck Posts: 1,663
    Doesn't sound like a bonk to me. A proper bonk (for me anyway!) is more about shaking, feeling like I might actually faint/collapse, and a sort of totally-running-on-empty feeling rather than just a loss of strength.
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    MrChuck wrote:
    Doesn't sound like a bonk to me. A proper bonk (for me anyway!) is more about shaking, feeling like I might actually faint/collapse, and a sort of totally-running-on-empty feeling rather than just a loss of strength.

    Indeed. Last time I bonked, I was a mile form home, grinding a 39/23 on the flat and I wasn't sure I was going to make it. I seem to remember having to stop twice in that mile too.
  • RoadtartRoadtart Posts: 54
    edited July 2011
    It doesn't sound like a bonk, and not because of the time / distance / route......

    Sounds more like a nutrition thing.......so here's what I do:

    Eat breakfast - cereal, or toast with scrambled eggs, plus a glass of liquidised / blended fruit (maximum 2 hours before).

    I take a CNP Pro Flapjack / Pro Energy bar or Zipvit ZVB Energy Bar just before I go out (usually while I'm changing, and doing some basic pre-ride stretches).

    Out on my rides, I take 2 gels (CNP or Zipvit) and 1 bar (CNP or Zipvit) every 90 minutes, along with 750ml of SIS drink.

    Once I get back, I'm straight onto the For Goodness Shakes (I make this up before I go out), and chase this down with any SIS that I have left. This is when I do my full set of stretches - its easier to stretch warm muscles, rather than cold ones.

    Food wise, I have half a Zipvit ZV9 Recovery bar before I shower (always finishing with a BLAST of cold to scare the muscles into recovery mode), and polish off the rest when I'm dressing.

    Then, its usually dinner, or a late lunch (no later than 3pm), which I wash down with a Cervelo Test Team Fruit Salad (google it - its awesome). Pasta or rice, with white meat usually, or potatoes with a medium steak. Always have CAKE!

    Lastly, I have a NOCTURNAL protein drink (for overnight muscle repair), just before bed. I try to get 6 hours sleep minimum, but usually its nearer to 8.
  • MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
    You might need more than 24 hours rest (etc etc) between your rides? - not everyone's muscles feel ''fully stocked up'' after 24 hours - maybe go out once every 2 days? (As said) food a couple of hours before hand is always a good idea too.
  • P_Tucker wrote:
    MrChuck wrote:
    Doesn't sound like a bonk to me. A proper bonk (for me anyway!) is more about shaking, feeling like I might actually faint/collapse, and a sort of totally-running-on-empty feeling rather than just a loss of strength.

    Indeed. Last time I bonked, I was a mile form home, grinding a 39/23 on the flat and I wasn't sure I was going to make it. I seem to remember having to stop twice in that mile too.


    So, like most of your rides then. You sure it was a bonk?
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    P_Tucker wrote:
    MrChuck wrote:
    Doesn't sound like a bonk to me. A proper bonk (for me anyway!) is more about shaking, feeling like I might actually faint/collapse, and a sort of totally-running-on-empty feeling rather than just a loss of strength.

    Indeed. Last time I bonked, I was a mile form home, grinding a 39/23 on the flat and I wasn't sure I was going to make it. I seem to remember having to stop twice in that mile too.


    So, like most of your rides then. You sure it was a bonk?

    How dare you. Normally I would only stop once per mile, and I'd use the 21 when I had a moderate tailwind. CLEARLY it was a bonk.
  • ozzy1000_0ozzy1000_0 Posts: 144
    Roadtart wrote:
    It doesn't sound like a bonk, and not because of the time / distance / route......

    Sounds more like a nutrition thing.......so here's what I do:

    Eat breakfast - cereal, or toast with scrambled eggs, plus a glass of liquidised / blended fruit (maximum 2 hours before).

    I take a CNP Pro Flapjack / Pro Energy bar or Zipvit ZVB Energy Bar just before I go out (usually while I'm changing, and doing some basic pre-ride stretches).

    Out on my rides, I take 2 gels (CNP or Zipvit) and 1 bar (CNP or Zipvit) every 90 minutes, along with 750ml of SIS drink.

    Once I get back, I'm straight onto the For Goodness Shakes (I make this up before I go out), and chase this down with any SIS that I have left. This is when I do my full set of stretches - its easier to stretch warm muscles, rather than cold ones.

    Food wise, I have half a Zipvit ZV9 Recovery bar before I shower (always finishing with a BLAST of cold to scare the muscles into recovery mode), and polish off the rest when I'm dressing.

    Then, its usually dinner, or a late lunch (no later than 3pm), which I wash down with a Cervelo Test Team Fruit Salad (google it - its awesome). Pasta or rice, with white meat usually, or potatoes with a medium steak. Always have CAKE!

    Lastly, I have a NOCTURNAL protein drink (for overnight muscle repair), just before bed. I try to get 6 hours sleep minimum, but usually its nearer to 8.

    am i abit slow on the uptake here? surely you're having a laugh, that'd be about 15+quids worth of gubbins everyday that you rode?
  • Hi guys thank you very much for all your help! I went out for a short ride today and felt fantastic (after 3 days rest)! Going out for a slightly longer one tomorrow and don't foresee any problems. Thank you once again!
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