Help me avoid the bonk.

NITR8s
NITR8s Posts: 688
edited May 2013 in Road general
I done my first 100k of the year yesterday and as per usual I started to feal the fatique at around 40 miles and by 50ish miles my body was starting to shut down, until by the 60 mile mark and coming into my house I was almost at a crawl and when I got home I was completely out of breath and exhausted.

For some reason no matter what I do or intake I cant avoid this inevitable bonk. I believe that I am built with fast twitch muscles and seem to have a high metabolism as I can eat absolutley anything and not put any weight on.

I am thinking of trying the High5 4:1 engery drink as I think possibly taking in protein will help me maintain my energy levels.

Does anyone else have any advice that can try and help me avoid this inevitable bonk.

Comments

  • chrisaonabike
    chrisaonabike Posts: 1,914
    What do you eat...

    - the night before
    - before you go out
    - on the way round?
    Is the gorilla tired yet?
  • NITR8s
    NITR8s Posts: 688
    Yesterday wasnt great food wise, but usually i will have a large pasta dinner the night before, with a large granola breakfast and protein shake and on the way round I will have two 100g flapjacks and 1litre of Torq energy drink plus another 500ml of water.
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    What you are calling 'bonk' - probably isn't. Probably just fatigue, possibly because you are over-reaching yourself, or not pacing it properly - especially as you say you were 'out of breath' at the end. Were you trying to sprint it or something?
  • NITR8s
    NITR8s Posts: 688
    No not really, I didnt really get out of breath on the whole ride, it even included an hour break at the cafe stop.

    Moving time average was on 16.2mph - http://app.strava.com/activities/53773432
  • eavesy74
    eavesy74 Posts: 11
    Hi,

    It sounds like your body has run out of fuel....

    It does vary from person to person, but after first hour on the road . I would be consuming about every 20/30 min.

    You will burn at least 3500 calories over 60 miles.. You can use gels & bars but I find things like malt loaf, fig roles aren't too sweet and I prefer the taste. I have a good bite of malt loaf on the move every 20/30 min with a good drink.


    As for drinks I like zero tabs have some salts etc in them, some have a little caffeine also helps.

    If you know you have a good climb coming up have something a little before and ensure you have something afterwards.

    There is no black & white answer for this, as each rider is different. But refuelling will make the biggest difference to your rides.

    My suggestion would be to try it out and see how you get on.
  • markos1963
    markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    Generally a 'bonk' is when you are completely gone, disorientated, shivering even when warm, unable to perform at all. Any of these symptoms?
    If not you were probably just at your limit of endurance.
    I found going for fasted morning rides of up to an hour has helped my body cope with limited reserves.
  • Cleat Eastwood
    Cleat Eastwood Posts: 7,508
    eavesy74 wrote:
    It does vary from person to person, but after first hour on the road . I would be consuming about every 20/30 min.

    You will burn at least 3500 calories over 60 miles.. You can use gels & bars but I find things like malt loaf, fig roles aren't too sweet and I prefer the taste. I have a good bite of malt loaf on the move every 20/30 min with a good drink.


    I think thats spot on - thr problem is what you eat, but when you eat - and it does take some experimenting to find out what suits you.
    The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns
    momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.
  • NITR8s
    NITR8s Posts: 688
    markos1963 wrote:
    Generally a 'bonk' is when you are completely gone, disorientated, shivering even when warm, unable to perform at all. Any of these symptoms?
    If not you were probably just at your limit of endurance.
    I found going for fasted morning rides of up to an hour has helped my body cope with limited reserves.

    I was struggling to maintain 11mph on a flat smooth road and I brief moments of dizzyness. When I got home in my warm house i had goosebumps for no apparent reason.
  • Calpol
    Calpol Posts: 1,039
    I think its easy to confuse running out of fuel with a lack of miles in your legs and therefore a good base stamina. I found that there is no substitute for mileage regardless of how many gels or fig rolls you ram down your gullet. You may find that you were beyond the stamina limit you have built up prior to the 100km ride. Being shot at 40 miles would not be an indicator of a "bonk" I don't think. I bet you will find your next ride out much easier if you recover well.
  • amaferanga
    amaferanga Posts: 6,789
    eavesy74 wrote:
    Hi,

    It sounds like your body has run out of fuel....

    It does vary from person to person, but after first hour on the road . I would be consuming about every 20/30 min.

    You will burn at least 3500 calories over 60 miles.. You can use gels & bars but I find things like malt loaf, fig roles aren't too sweet and I prefer the taste. I have a good bite of malt loaf on the move every 20/30 min with a good drink.


    As for drinks I like zero tabs have some salts etc in them, some have a little caffeine also helps.

    If you know you have a good climb coming up have something a little before and ensure you have something afterwards.

    There is no black & white answer for this, as each rider is different. But refuelling will make the biggest difference to your rides.

    My suggestion would be to try it out and see how you get on.

    Firstly it's pretty unlikely that you'd burn 3500 kcal riding at that speed unless you're very large and there are big hills.

    Second, and I'm not sure if this is what you're suggesting, but trying to consume all the calories you're burning during a ride is pointless.

    It looks to me like the OP ate enough and was fatigued at the end of the ride.
    More problems but still living....
  • TheSmithers
    TheSmithers Posts: 291
    Take heed of all the nutritional advice given so far and just keep doing those sorts of miles. Your body will get used to it. But don't stop there; when you feel like you're not literally limping home in those last 10 miles, continue to up the mileage by say 10 miles. Before you know it, you'll be banging out 60 miles as easily as you used to do 30 or 40.
  • andrewjoseph
    andrewjoseph Posts: 2,165
    i like the high5 4:1, and only use for long rides or when back home after a hard ride. it works well for me and i like the citrus taste.
    --
    Burls Ti Tourer for Tarmac, Saracen aluminium full suss for trails
  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601
    Imposter wrote:
    What you are calling 'bonk' - probably isn't. Probably just fatigue, possibly because you are over-reaching yourself, or not pacing it properly - especially as you say you were 'out of breath' at the end. Were you trying to sprint it or something?

    I agree. Sounds more like "burn out" than bonk. Maybe you just have great expections but not enough training to fulfill them. We all like to think we can ride this or that far and this or that fast but sometimes reality just gets in the way.
  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601
    dennisn wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    What you are calling 'bonk' - probably isn't. Probably just fatigue, possibly because you are over-reaching yourself, or not pacing it properly - especially as you say you were 'out of breath' at the end. Were you trying to sprint it or something?

    I agree. Sounds more like "burn out" than bonk. Maybe you just have great expections but not enough training to fulfill them. We all like to think we can ride this or that far and this or that fast but sometimes reality just gets in the way.
    P.S. Are you getting enough water? Please notice I said water, not energy drinks, but water.
  • NITR8s
    NITR8s Posts: 688
    I drunk 1 litre of Torg Energy drink and 750ml of water over the time I was out. So I guess I had enough water.

    By the way what I said for food is what I would usually eat and do before a long ride. On Sunday, I missed dinner on saturday night, Had a quick bowl of Granola and rushed out to meet club, missed starting ride so rode to cafe by myself trying to catch the group not realising they went up a different hill. Brought up my breakfast halfway up the cat 3 hill at the begining of the ride. Had about 40g of granola at cafe stop that I managed to scrape together before I left in a rush and had a cup of tea.

    So heres the list.
    No dinner night before
    Small breakfast, that I rushed and brought some of it back up.
    40g Granola
    Cup of Tea
    1 Litre of Engery drink
    750ml of Water.
  • jotko
    jotko Posts: 457
    That's no bonk, unless you were dizzy feel sick / lightheaded - sounds like general 'knackerdness', to use a medical term.

    I have properly bonked on a solo ride in the middle of nowhere with no phone battery, quite scary actually. It was a distance I had done comfortably many times but inadequate eating and a bit of a head wind completely spannered me, felt sick and faint and basically unsafe to be on the bike. Got out the wind and ate a crunchie (essentially just a block of sugar covered in chocolate lol) and was ok(ish) within 20 min. Made me determined to avoid that again, always go out with lots of fuel on me now (and a working phone) - a pocket full of jelly babies / wine gums is a good tactic I think.
  • hatch87
    hatch87 Posts: 352
    I remember my first year of riding (all of 2 years ago) and found 30 miles damn hard after a few months. I can now do 25 miles at a hard pace but still can't do a decent 50 miles. Endurance just takes time to improve
    http://app.strava.com/athletes/686217
    Come on! You call this a storm? Blow, you son of a bitch! Blow! It's time for a showdown! You and me! I'm right here! Come and get me!
  • nferrar
    nferrar Posts: 2,511
    Normally I'd agree with the others that it wasn't bonking (exhausting your glycogen stores) but after your follow up post it may well have been given you were likely starting the ride in a glycogen-depleted state, did some high intensity stuff early on (using up what stores you had) and then didn't really fuel sufficiently on the ride.

    Normally on a 60 miler I'd just ride with water and rely on a cafe stop and take a gel with me just in case but I'd be starting with a decent glycogen store and would have had a decent breakfast. If I was faced with your situation and I'd started with a banana pre-ride and taken two bottles of energy drink (H5 4:1 is my preferred option), and taken a banana and a couple of gels with me, maybe an energy bar to (to keep the gels in reserve).
  • team47b
    team47b Posts: 6,424
    To avoid the bonk, eat.

    It really is that simple. If you don't eat properly you can't expect to cycle well.
    my isetta is a 300cc bike