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bonking..whats all that about

elderoneelderone Posts: 1,410
edited November 2012 in Road beginners
OK,i was doing some reading and bonking came up,so i now know what it is,but my question is what do ecperianced riders do to prevent it,especially for us beginners pushing the distance into bonk territory so to speak.
What drinks do you use and what food do you eat on a ride,for example a 50 miler.How would you aviod the bonk.
To be be fair i ride alone and in a rural area so its got me worried about it.
cheers.
Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori
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  • pinarellokidpinarellokid Posts: 1,208
    i take 2 bottles of electrolite on a big ride 1500ml
    a couple of gels but never eat them as they make me gag.
    flapjack banana jelly babies. coffee stop

    i do feel very aware if i eat though and i definately feel it on my stomach , even a small amount

    lots of ways to stop the dreaded bonk.

    i felt really tired on the Mcr 100 last year but dont think i hit the bonk as i still felt ok..

    but a stop and quick eat certainly perks you up.

    been reading lots about 2:1 drinks which essentially contain electrolite and carbs, but no sugar so are much better than sugary boosts
    Specialized S Works SL2 . Campagnolo Record 11spd. rolling on Campag Zonda wheels

    http://app.strava.com/athletes/881211
  • TakeTurnsTakeTurns Posts: 1,075
    edited October 2012
    50mile for me would require 2L water + 1 banana. Everyone will be different and there are too many variables to say how much of what you should be eating. The key to not bonking is eating before you feel like you need an energy boost. So I'd eat my banana at the 25mile mark.

    However, if I'm going to be doing some high intensity riding, I may add some high5 energy boost to my drink and take a gel together with the banana.
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    Everybody's different. For 50 miles all I need is half a bottle of drink, but depending on the route and what I'm trying to accomplish I change my fueling plan accordingly. For most plan on consuming at least 500ml an hour moving to 750ml if you're doing high zonal riding. I use 2:1 for any decent ride, and 4:1 for TTs rout if climbing days.

    Food is even more personal. You should have something an hour or so before the ride (oats are good) and have a little something every 30 minutes. No chocolate bars or anything with a high fat content (store bought flapjacks should be kept to a minimum). Concentrate on foods that are rich in simple sugars such as bananas, dates, rice cakes, potatoes, or energy bars. I'm a big fan of gels (went through 20 during my 12hr) but some people don't get on with them. Jelly Babies work in a pinch, just don't gorge yourself while riding (burning calories is not an excuse to pig-out).

    All this is a rough guide to how I do things. Make sure to stay properly fueled and hydrated and you can avoid the dreaded bonk.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • just make sure you take adequate food/drink with you, or a good supply of calories, be it energy drink, gels, flapjack, soreen etc
  • elderoneelderone Posts: 1,410
    thanks guys for quick replies,i always take a banana which i eat half distance and usually a bottle of isotonic and one of water.I eat porridge everyday for keeping cholesterol down,so thats good.
    Are isotonic drinks good to use.

    whats soreen
    Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori
  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    elderone wrote:
    whats soreen
    :roll: :mrgreen:
    CAPTAIN BUCKFAST'S CYCLING TIPS - GUARANTEED TO WORK! 1 OUT OF 10 RACING CYCLISTS AGREE!
  • karlthkarlth Posts: 156
    elderone wrote:
    OK,i was doing some reading and bonking came up,so i now know what it is,but my question is what do ecperianced riders do to prevent it,especially for us beginners pushing the distance into bonk territory so to speak.
    What drinks do you use and what food do you eat on a ride,for example a 50 miler.How would you aviod the bonk.
    To be be fair i ride alone and in a rural area so its got me worried about it.
    cheers.

    Spend all your time riding and ignore the Missus when she wants you do do something for her. That'll guarantee no bonking takes place.

    Come on, someone had to say it.
  • karlthkarlth Posts: 156
    elderone wrote:
    thanks guys for quick replies,i always take a banana which i eat half distance and usually a bottle of isotonic and one of water.I eat porridge everyday for keeping cholesterol down,so thats good.
    Are isotonic drinks good to use.

    whats soreen

    It's a malty glue in the form of a cakey bready thing. Had God intended us to eat it he'd have given us teflon lined mouths (q.v. peanut butter)
  • Take plenty to drink and if you are starting out then also take some slow burn carbs to keep you going and something with sugar in to give you a boost when you really need it. Avoid big jumps in distance or very hilly rides when you are starting out unless you are confident that you can do them as the last thing you want is to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with no energy left!
  • roypsbroypsb Posts: 306
    elderone wrote:
    thanks guys for quick replies,i always take a banana which i eat half distance and usually a bottle of isotonic and one of water.I eat porridge everyday for keeping cholesterol down,so thats good.
    Are isotonic drinks good to use.

    whats soreen

    Soreen is a brand name for malt loaf. Sticky cake/bread. It comes in various flavours these days. I particularly like banana and the cinnamon & raisin.

    I always take 5 or 6 cube/bite size pieces with me.
  • ProssPross Posts: 23,832
    Most important thing is to have a full tank before you set out, decent evening meal the night before and good breakfast. Avoid too much sugar whilst riding. Fuelling varies from person to person but also for the same person from ride to ride in my experience.
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    Pross wrote:
    Most important thing is to have a full tank before you set out, decent evening meal the night before and good breakfast. Avoid too much sugar whilst riding. Fuelling varies from person to person but also for the same person from ride to ride in my experience.

    Refined/processed sugars that is. Glucose and fructose are fine.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • btw, soreen is the devils spawn. it is rank and difficult to swallow but it does the job
  • I've been nervous about this too. When it happens I presume you are completely and utterly depleted of energy? If it's not a stupid question - what's the best thing to do when it happens? Eat something sugary or something slower burning?

    I still haven't done more than 32 miles in one ride, but it's often over lunchtime. So far all's been well with one or two drinks with SIS tablets in, and a few jelly babies. A couple of times I've taken a sandwich too.

    At first I was tending to get calf cramps and headaches after a ride, but the SIS tablets seem to have stopped them - else I've just got fitter or something.
  • g00seg00se Posts: 2,220
    Hi - just from my experience....

    Bonk territory is not just about distance - but also about effort. If you look into heart-rate based training methods, you'll see reference to zones and the effect it has on your body. Basically, the more effort, the more you rely on immediate blood sugar levels and muscles.

    If you're not working too hard (can chat easily and not out of breath at all) then you'll be burning fat - you'll be able to go for ages. Just drink when thirsty and eat when hungry.

    At the other end, working hard, you need to keep blood sugar levels up as your system is relying on your carb intake. Start off by loading up levels with a good meal the night before and breakfast (assuming it's a morning ride). Drink and eat regularly - complex carb foods, maltose and fructose are good. The sort of things mentioned above. It may be an idea to carry a gel or two for emergency if you make a mistake - don't eat enough and bonk.

    In either case, a salts/electrolyte additive to the water may be useful - especially if you'll be sweating a lot - as they'll replace lost minerals and may help avoid cramp. (Nuun or Zero tabs).

    Now, if you're really putting the miles in at pace (100 miles sportive kind of thing) and need to eat while on the bike, then gels and sports drinks come into play for the simplicity of getting the carbs into you. Little and often.
  • g00seg00se Posts: 2,220
    rubyrider wrote:
    I've been nervous about this too. When it happens I presume you are completely and utterly depleted of energy? If it's not a stupid question - what's the best thing to do when it happens? Eat something sugary or something slower burning?

    You need something very immediate to get you back on your feet. But you'll also need the slow burner to get you home too. Decent gels will have a quick hit and medium burn carbs. If you carry such an 'emergency' gel with you all the time, it's worth getting one with caffeine to help wake you up and keep you alert. I like the zipvit caffeine ones as they're a decent size.
  • Thanks g00se. I hadn't thought about effort. I have run for years with a heart rate monitor (not continuously :mrgreen: ) but haven't paid too much attention on the bike. I do tend to keep the pace up - I never used to on my MTB - something about having a road bike I think - though I'm sure I'm slow compared to the rest of you. I'll put an emergency gel in my saddle bag.
  • i bonked for the 2nd time (didnt relaise what ahppened the first time just thought i was ill) in the summer. the night before i had been on the p*ss, and hadnt eaten too much and that morning i ate nothing, and just went out with salted orange squash. 40 miles into a 50 miler i went completely weak, 'swimmy' in the head and stomach, and just felt i couldnt carry on cycling, i had no energy, legs/arms were heavy and flaoty feeling, and it was difficult to pedal. i forced myself on a few miles, having to stop and breath deeply every few hundred yards. but ultimately i was fooked and had to call in and get picked up. upon getting picked up stopped at a shop and bought an orange fizzy lucozade. downed it and within 5 minutes i was back to normal and feeling completely better and could have got back on the bike. i then proceeded to have a fry up 30 mins later and was fine. dont think it would have been wise to carry on after the lucozade, without eating anythign more substantial too.

    so in comclusion if you bonk, lucozade will sort you out straight away, to get you feeling better and normal again (in my limited experience) but id imagine if you have any significant distancestill to cycle you would need this in adddition to something more substantial that will prevent you feeling shi*ty again a few miles later (ie flapjack or soreen etc)
  • Pross wrote:
    Most important thing is to have a full tank before you set out, decent evening meal the night before and good breakfast...
    Followed by the customary 'Full English' at the cafe stop :lol::lol:

    When I'm on the tourer, I have a packet of fig rolls in the barbag.
    I'm not getting old... I'm just using lower gears......
    Sirius - Steel Reynolds 631
    Cove Handjob - Steel Columbus Nivacrom
    Trek Madone - Carbon
  • nunowoolmeznunowoolmez Posts: 1,462
    Ask your parents...
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    I take fig rolls if I'm doing a longer ride, and eat one ever 10 miles or so. And jelly babies are also handy as a treat / energy gel substitute. Lots cheaper than the 'sports' branded stuff, and a lot tastier.
  • nweststeynnweststeyn Posts: 1,574
    Bonking is like meeting the love of your life... Sometimes it happens and you think it might be it, but when it actually happens, you KNOW about it. Worst feeling ever, the energy depletion leads to severe anxiety for me and I start to panic and feel dizzy. When your eyes start shutting on the bike, STOP.

    I rode 5 days back to back of 110 to 125 miles in august and only got close once but managed to avoid the bonk. I was obsessive about eating and we stopped every 30 miles and had flapjacks, rolls, etc.

    I also started each day with 6 gels in my pocket and would finish with none.
  • g00se wrote:
    Hi - just from my experience....

    Bonk territory is not just about distance - but also about effort. If you look into heart-rate based training methods, you'll see reference to zones and the effect it has on your body. Basically, the more effort, the more you rely on immediate blood sugar levels and muscles.

    If you're not working too hard (can chat easily and not out of breath at all) then you'll be burning fat - you'll be able to go for ages. Just drink when thirsty and eat when hungry.

    At the other end, working hard, you need to keep blood sugar levels up as your system is relying on your carb intake. Start off by loading up levels with a good meal the night before and breakfast (assuming it's a morning ride). Drink and eat regularly - complex carb foods, maltose and fructose are good. The sort of things mentioned above. It may be an idea to carry a gel or two for emergency if you make a mistake - don't eat enough and bonk.

    In either case, a salts/electrolyte additive to the water may be useful - especially if you'll be sweating a lot - as they'll replace lost minerals and may help avoid cramp. (Nuun or Zero tabs).

    Now, if you're really putting the miles in at pace (100 miles sportive kind of thing) and need to eat while on the bike, then gels and sports drinks come into play for the simplicity of getting the carbs into you. Little and often.

    This.

    I grow tired of the number of posts I read in which people make rash statements like 'sports drinks don't do anything; all you need is sugar free squash and flapjack' and 'you don't need to eat for a ride of ... length', or 'you only need to eat ... on a ride of ... length', etc etc etc. You might be perfectly happy nibbling your flapjack for your 'leisurely' 100 mile ride, but that doesn't mean that it will work for someone else on their 'hell for leather' 40 mile ride.

    The fact is that it does indeed depend on how hard you are working; only you know what you need and what will work best for you, and you find out by experimenting. For me personally, lots of quality slow-release carbs beforehand and dextrose/maltodextrin dissolved in my water, accompanied by flapjack or similar, works best. I use this method because it works, and I've tried using the amounts of carbs that other people think I should use. I'm only too well acquainted with that sinking feeling in my belly that indicates that I'm about to be seeing stars and crawling along at 0mph wondering if I'll manage to make it home. Am I wrong?

    The key to this in my view is to listen to your body, and not just in the above respect. If a carb intake is going to do anything for you, you will know about it. If you eat a block of Kendal mint cake and then go for a 20 minute run, you won't notice a difference; bar a possible psychological one. Easy. :)
  • nweststeynnweststeyn Posts: 1,574
    If you eat a block of Kendal mint cake and then go for a 20 minute run, you won't notice a difference; bar a possible psychological one. Easy. :)

    I reckon the satisfaction of having just eaten a whole block of Kendal mint cake would make me ride way faster. :D
  • t.m.h.n.e.tt.m.h.n.e.t Posts: 2,265
    I grow tired of the number of posts I read in which people make rash statements like 'sports drinks don't do anything; all you need is sugar free squash and flapjack' and 'you don't need to eat for a ride of ... length', or 'you only need to eat ... on a ride of ... length', etc etc etc. You might be perfectly happy nibbling your flapjack for your 'leisurely' 100 mile ride, but that doesn't mean that it will work for someone else on their 'hell for leather' 40 mile ride.

    The fact is that it does indeed depend on how hard you are working; only you know what you need and what will work best for you, and you find out by experimenting. For me personally, lots of quality slow-release carbs beforehand and dextrose/maltodextrin dissolved in my water, accompanied by flapjack or similar, works best. I use this method because it works, and I've tried using the amounts of carbs that other people think I should use. I'm only too well acquainted with that sinking feeling in my belly that indicates that I'm about to be seeing stars and crawling along at 0mph wondering if I'll manage to make it home. Am I wrong?

    The key to this in my view is to listen to your body, and not just in the above respect. If a carb intake is going to do anything for you, you will know about it. If you eat a block of Kendal mint cake and then go for a 20 minute run, you won't notice a difference; bar a possible psychological one. Easy. :)
    Amazing how people manage to know enough about you from forum posts to enable them to provide nutrition advice isn't it?

    I often laugh IRL when people suggest that eating during a ride is counter productive to weightloss and other nonsense
  • btw, soreen is the devils spawn. it is rank and difficult to swallow but it does the job

    Soreen is great, you can be eating it for hours, whether you want to or not. :lol: Lovely stuff though.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • Evil LaughEvil Laugh Posts: 1,412
    A sliced malt loaf in the back pocket does me for 200km. That stuff is magic.
  • I really cannot stand Malt Loaf however Soreen also do banana bread which has all the benefits of malt loaf but without the desire to chuck up.

    Mind you, with the cold weather last weekend, it took 20 minutes to get the banana bread unstuck from my teeth :)
  • i agree, it does the job, but is nasty to eat and doesnt taste great and i have to wash it down with fluids. need to find something easier to it that is just as easy to stick in the jersey that has the same effects as soreen, until then i must struggle on with finding bits of soreen at the back of my teeth for the whole ride...
  • Evil LaughEvil Laugh Posts: 1,412
    Jesus you lot need to man up. Next you'll be saying you don't like Xmas pud.
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