Hitting the wall

Jordan93 Posts: 336
edited August 2011 in Health, fitness & training
Or bonking, whatever you want to call it. This morning I planned on cycling around 30 miles, which actually turned into 43 :lol: . Anyway, for breakfast i had 3 rounds of toast with lemon curd and to avoid hitting the wall i took 2 bananas, a cereal bar and a choclate bar for emergency! Thought I'd done enough to avoid hitting the wall but it still happened, am I just one of those people whose body needs more fuel than others as I've read that some of your barely eat :oops:

Any advice/input is greatly appreciated


  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    Take some fast acting carbs for when it is about to happen ie some Jelly Babies.

    But to prevent it I'd be eating more breakfast than that. Only 4-500 cals there.
  • Jordan93
    Jordan93 Posts: 336
    Thanks supersonic, i just dont want it to happen again!
  • gilesjuk
    gilesjuk Posts: 340
    Don't use sweets, cakes or biscuits. They have energy but have no nutritional benefits. They are called "empty calories".

    Take some energy rich foods, but the more natural the sugars the better. Less refined foods are generally better for you as the energy is absorbed and released slower.

    If you want to stay warm burning something then you burn wood which releases heat at a decent pace. You can burn paper but it roars and lasts a short amount of time.

    Paper is refined wood just like white bread, white flour and white sugar are refined.

    You need electrolytes and all sorts to keep going. Don't forget salt as you sweat a lot of that.
  • boneyjoe
    boneyjoe Posts: 369
    The rough formula once on the move, is that, each hour, you need to eat carbs in grams equivalent to your body weight in kilograms, or you'll start depleting your reserves quite rapidly (ie if you weigh say 70kg, you should consume about 70g of carbs each hour). As supersonic says, the fast acting sugars are most effective for this.

    When really pushing it, I find that 500-750ml of energy drink, plus a couple of gels each hour is ideal, but you probably won't need quite as much for a more "relaxing" social ride.

    Personally, I find its better to have a gel every 30mins or so, rather than a big meal beforehand, which can make you feel rather ill if you're pushing it - eg, did a 4.5hr training ride on the weekend - brekkie was 2 energy bars, 500ml of energy drink; used formula above during the ride; finished off with 500ml of recovery drink. Knackered afterwards, but felt absolutely fine from a fueling / energy perspective.
    Scott Scale 20 (for xc racing)
    Gary Fisher HKEK (for commuting)
  • saprkzz
    saprkzz Posts: 592
    I was taking some advise from a experienced rider recently, and he specilizes in sports nutrition.

    His tips:

    A lot of riders wont drink for 45mins to an hour as they dont think they are thirsty, and also dont eat or forget to. Which I was falling into this catorgory. I have followed his routine and so far has changed the way i feel, I was always "hitting the wall"

    So after and every 15 mins take regular sips (not gulps) about a mouthful of energy drink, something like SIS Go. In warm weather use a stronger mix, and the reverse for the colder rides.

    Also, When it comes to food, I carry SIS bars, and gels. I struggle to eat on the go, so what he said was to start eating just a bite every 15 mins, so you will comsume it spread over the hour, and for the end part of the ride switch to gels.

    So far I have tried this technique and have preformed much better.
    Maybe worth a try for you.
  • Jordan93
    Jordan93 Posts: 336
    I drink more than every 15 minutes but usually only take water with me. But I may try the tips you gave, thanks.
  • ollie51
    ollie51 Posts: 517
    saprkzz wrote:

    In warm weather use a stronger mix, and the reverse for the colder rides.

    No. No. No. Don't vary the concentration simply drink more of it. If it's hot you need more water, energy and electrolytes if you increase the concentration you will get more electrolytes however because it's more concentrated the onset of dehydration will occur quicker as there is more energy than usual yet still has the usual amount of water which greater quantities are needed to make use of the extra energy except you don't have to greater quantities of water which means you won't sweat as efficiently and therefore will be slower. Same applies when it's cold, when it's cold your body uses more energy to keep warm meaning if you make it weaker you have less energy to keep warm which can have many detrimental effects upon oneself.

    So basically:

    Greater Concentration: More electrolytes + more energy + too little water = dehydration.
    Weaker Concentration: Less Electrolytes + less energy + excess water = various effects of deficiency of Na, K, Ca, Mg etc..
    Correct Concentration in right quantities: Sufficient amount of electrolytes, energy and water = efficient rider.

    Anyway back to bonking.

    The best meal I find it beans on toast, 4 slices (no spread), and the low salt version that heinz do (The entire can of course) I have this between 2-1 hours prior to doing whatever I'm doing and top up with 2 gels an hour (either torq or high 5 the former the better tasting the latter half the price) aconcentrated (that's how It should be for said reasons) High 5 source in the racebak (this time of year I drink 750ml-1L an hour) and a 750ml bottle of water (usually used after taking on gels).

    If I stick to this I don't bonk, I didn't on friday and payed for it big time.

    Basically the trick for the meal prior to riding is high carb and low G.I.

    And when looking at the quantities of stuff remember I probably weigh as much as you left leg.

    Also just out of interest on a scale of one to crying for mummy how badly did you bonk?

    On a serious note avoid it at all costs, I bonked to the extent I could no longer support my own body weight and ended up in bed for two weeks.