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3/10/10 12:38 P

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BARRONVC: you misread my earlier post. It was my riding buddy who bonked not me. He started the ride hammering over 30 miles dragging me then when he bonked he could hardly turn the pedals over on level ground. I pushed him almost the entire 20 miles home. The times I bonked I found a car ride home or someone pushed me like I pushed my buddy.

It is important for any competitor to learn to dig deep. Your ability to dig deep when training and competing is the biggest factor in how successful you will be as a racer. When you bonk there isn't anything there to dig. Even if the mind is willing the body isn't able. Riding through a bonk makes no more sense than just pushing the accelerator of your car harder when you run out of gas.

People do a lot of bizare things training. One of the juniors on my team decided he needed to loose weight and only ate 1 can of chicken noodle soup a day while trying to train. The same rider noticed his knees hurt after getting new shoes so he decided to train more to toughen his knees up and ended up blowing them out. When he tried to join the Marines he failed the physical because of this. To bad since he seemed to have the right mindset to be one. If he wasn't so boneheaded we could have adjusted his cleats with our RAD and he'd have saved his knees.

I have no doubt that some riders will try to intentionally bonk and think this will toughen them up when instead it limits their progress.

JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
3/9/10 4:32 P

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I'll chime in .... why any one would want to get themselves to boked in the first place i will not understand? Please do not attempt this in a group ride.

Here is a thought and I do not have the article that mentioned this or the book I read it from: But if you are trying to burn your stored fat after glycogen reserves have been used and/or used up they recommend a ten minute warm up on the bike/treadmill before you do your strength training (usually an hour at most for the program I'm following) then get back on the bike/treadmill for 30-60 minutes in your target zone 2 rate. This should allow your body to break down the fat to be used as energy.


Please poke holes where necessary.

Jim

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WONGERCHI's Photo WONGERCHI Posts: 3,889
3/8/10 2:36 P

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BARRONVC:
This is the bit I called BS on:

"The more you ride in the bonked state the better you are at surviving one and avoiding them."

This implies, taken in context of your post, that you should go and train in that state in order to "beat" the bonk. In fact, GIANT-STEPS also says that "bonk training...no evidence that this is a sound approach".

Seeing as I've just gotten back from a very nice run in the sun, I'll play nice and post my oft-posted nutrition strategy for in-ride fueling:

1 cal per lb bodyweight per hour for any ride over an hour. In carbs, it's 0.5-1g carb per kg per hour.

Follow that formula and you will not bonk. Practically guaranteed.

In God we trust, all others bring data.
- W. Edwards Demings

If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.
-P.Z. Pearce

Specificity, specificity, specificity.
-Andy Coggan

The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".
- Frank Kotsonis


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BARRONVC's Photo BARRONVC Posts: 1,845
3/8/10 1:21 P

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Thank you, GIANT-STEPS for explaining “training technique called bonk training” and this is what my friend did as well as a specific diet with low carbs.

WONGERCHI, call it BS if you want. Words can be taken out of context in this venue and thanks to GIANT-STEPS for helping out and clearing up the miscommunications. No where did I recommend “you should ride in that state”. Anybody that trains for a longer duration should learn how to recognize the signs of a bonk as the glycogen is depleted. Depending on intensity and duration time/miles will vary. PERRYR didn’t eat and had a bonk in hilly terrain, from a hard effort, not enough fuel, probably a very hard intensity. It’s a learning experience each time we go on a training ride. If you know what that sensation feels like you can survive it and avoid it. It helps if you have great friends that can push you up a few hills and keep you out of the wind to pull you in. If nobody bonked we would not be talking about it, it happens.

What happens when an Ironman competitor crosses the finish line after the marathon and they collapse, body functions let go, and every thing is gone. How do they keep going through the pain for the last few miles? Is this a bonk? Maybe a bonk to a level beyond what we might understand and in need of instant medical attention. It can happen in competitions.

If you can feel a bonk coming on you should understand what to do. I guess we need to define that. Maybe we need a post “How to avoid and survive a bonk”.

So you need emergency food. GIANT-STEPS, tell us how you limped that last 20 miles? What gear, what rpm? Were you able to turn a good rpm or did you have to slow down?

Let’s educate instead of tossing stones or make personal attacks. We can learn from the experiences of others. Thanks


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3/8/10 12:15 P

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A lot of people don't know what bonking really is. It isn't just getting too tired to continue.

Bonking is when your body uses up all the glycogen stores in your liver and muscles. Since our brain runs on sugar, bonk induced hypoglycemia can lead to hallucinations, unconsciousness, brain damage and even death. This definitely isn't anything to do on purpose.

There is a training technique called bonk training that involves eating little carbohydrate and doing long exercise to supposedly force your body to burn more fat but there is no evidence that this is a sound approach.

Carb loading does involve intentionally depleating muscles of glycogen by undereating and overtraining followed by relative rest and overeating. Carb loading does appear to work though even competitive athletes should not attempt this more than once or at most twice a season because doing it more often seems to have a negative training effect.

PERRYR's Photo PERRYR Posts: 668
3/8/10 10:43 A

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Go get 'em Adrian!
I agree 100%. Seems silly to me to faint or push yourself to a point of risking heath and safety if pushing beyond actual capability.

WONGERCHI's Photo WONGERCHI Posts: 3,889
3/8/10 9:32 A

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BARRONVC:
Sorry mate, I've gotta call BS on that.

There is NO way you can "train" yourself to ride bonked. It's hard-wired into your physiology, what happens, happens. And it ALWAYS happens. The only way to survive a bonk is by not getting into one in the first place.

I personally think if you go out and bonk repeatedly you're being totally stupid and are hindering your training, not helping it. If you want to help your training, fuel well (especially on the bike) and do the work. Then get up the next day and do it again. And again.

In God we trust, all others bring data.
- W. Edwards Demings

If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.
-P.Z. Pearce

Specificity, specificity, specificity.
-Andy Coggan

The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".
- Frank Kotsonis


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BARRONVC's Photo BARRONVC Posts: 1,845
3/7/10 2:15 P

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I have bonked so many times over the year. Some from being stupid when I was young, some from getting caught in the moment when I was strong, and some as an old man trying to be young and strong yet still stupid. The more you ride in the bonked state the better you are at surviving one and avoiding them.

A great friend of mine used to train in the bonked mode to lose weight. He would get fat every winter and then in spring he would eat only tuna, ride hard intervals on a 2 mile circuit until a bonk hit and keep doing that as a bonked pace until he couldn’t. He dropped a lot of weight and trained himself to survive in bonk mode.

With that being said I’m working on taking off my extra pounds before the cycling season is in full swing. I plan to use May to September as a maintenance period.


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DRC2205's Photo DRC2205 Posts: 8,845
3/6/10 10:54 P

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The nice thing about these stories is that it reminds me that I am not alone in doing something stupid... Thanks everyone!

KA_JUN's Photo KA_JUN SparkPoints: (52,069)
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3/5/10 9:49 P

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@DRC2205 yeah, that was the case for one of mine, too. Thought I had planned adequately, did a 60 mile fun ride, ran out of Gu, Gatorade, & water at about mile 45, bonked at about mile 55 after a big climb and more hills, had to hike a bike. Worst time was when I was getting back into cycling, noob move, went out without eating, ended up lying on the ground with the world spinning around me. Never want that to happen again, that's for sure. emoticon emoticon

Pain is weakness leaving the body.

How do you eat an elephant?

I will not fail.


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DRC2205's Photo DRC2205 Posts: 8,845
3/5/10 9:31 A

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Oh, man--several times! Once was the middle of a long group ride (70 miles) My small group of 6 needed to get to the front of the group of 200 for one leg. It was about 30 miles since our last rest area, and I had downed all the water and power drink I had on me. Only a couple miles to go, but my leg started twitching as I pedalled. Other riders could see the mucsles twitch in my quads. My group took turns pulling me up the hills and I got where I needed to be, still on the bike. (Everyone was pretty muc out of water, so no one could help me out with that.)

Another time was a long ride in the heat with a friend. I started getting lightheaded, but when I stopped, it would get worse. I discovered that easy spinning on a level surface actually felt better than stopping because the wind I generated while riding helped cool me down.

WONGERCHI's Photo WONGERCHI Posts: 3,889
3/5/10 9:25 A

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KA_JUN:
GREAT thread, I love bonking stories. Here's mine.

Happened a couple of years ago when I was getting back into the cycling game. Hadn't got nutrition or anything figured out, so I loaded up my 2 bottles of water and headed out for 50k. Felt great so I decided to extend it another 20k or so, and was doing fine until about 15k from home.

All of a sudden I went from about 25kph to 5kph - on a dead flat road, no wind. Just couldn't turn over the pedals - every stroke was an exercise in pushing my leg down with my body and hoping the other one would come up over the top. Started feeling woozy and dizzy but I remember getting to a convenience store at the last town before home. I must have gone in, bought something and come out again because the next thing I remember is sitting on the pavement outside, holding a couple of cans of Coke and an empty Mars bar wrapper...

I managed to limp home, dribbling, showered, changed, and then proceeded to eat everything in sight before passing out on the couch.


Learnt my lesson though, these days bonking is a thing of the past. But I've been on group rides where it's happened to other people...

In God we trust, all others bring data.
- W. Edwards Demings

If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.
-P.Z. Pearce

Specificity, specificity, specificity.
-Andy Coggan

The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".
- Frank Kotsonis


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PERFECTFORTHS's Photo PERFECTFORTHS Posts: 116
3/5/10 8:23 A

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Early on, I bonked several times. Once I was so far gone I had to have my friend pick me and my bike up, I was complete toast. I literally could not have ridden another km. Now, older and wiser, I don't always feel great coming in after a long, hard ride, but I know my limits and I keep the calories and liquid coming in. My spin on the whole bonking, hitting the wall thing is, they are rites of passage.
emoticon
What does not kill me makes me stronger. -Nietzsche

Edited by: PERFECTFORTHS at: 3/5/2010 (08:42)
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SARACYCLE's Photo SARACYCLE Posts: 327
3/5/10 8:16 A

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I've bonked once on ride with our bigger group of cyclists, and two opted to wait with me and ride me back. The 2nd time, I didn't fuel up enough for the ride; but had thought I had. That's what I get for thinking. The pedals went around, but it was like they were stuck in space. I didn't feel like I was getting traction, and just went slow. I always take something, because it may not just be me that needs it, but a friend may need something. The power-jelly-belly beans seem to help immediately. Lots of water, as like Beverly said, when it soars to 100, you need it!

Sarah


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CAROLYN1ALASKA's Photo CAROLYN1ALASKA Posts: 10,869
3/5/10 12:26 A

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I've bonked many times, but none so bad that I fell over... just felt like it.
Once during a century when I went with a group that was too fast for me... that was the worst.
Other times on long training rides when I forgot to eat anything until I just rode slower... slower... slower than ever... then realized I needed to eat!

“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not.”
Mark Twain


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3/4/10 5:34 P

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I bonked a few times before learning to bring some emergency food on every long ride.

I remember one year when I was racing I wanted to do some longer rides than the 50-70 mile long rides the rest of my team was doing for LSD so I started to ride a 90 mile loop; usually with other riders on part of it and just me most of the way. One of my bike shop customers was a triathlete who I knew was training for full ironmans so I asked him if he wanted to ride some or all of my 90 mile loop and he said he was game to do the whole thing.

We started the ride and he was dragging me across the countryside. He was hammering so hard that it took all I had just to stay on his wheel. 20 miles into the ride I told him he had to slow down so I could eat or I wasn't going to make it to the end. I started to wonder to myself what I got myself into riding with this guy; if he could hammer like that for 90 miles it was going to be a tough day for me. I ate my soft chewey granola bars (years before Powerbars and such). When we picked up again he rode a more reasonable pace and we traded pulls. At about mile 50 he bonked. He didn't have anyting left. He could barely turn over the pedals on level ground and I had to push him up all the hills. After he bonked I bought him some food at the first convenience store we passed but by then it was too late. The shortest way home was 20 miles and we didn't have anyone we could call to pick us up so we slogged it out. We ended up getting home well after dark and 20 miles short of our planned ride.

PERRYR's Photo PERRYR Posts: 668
3/4/10 4:10 P

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Invited to a nice brisk early morning ride with another biker last year. I almost never ride with anyone but this sounded great.
Turned out to be 30 miles of the toughest hills possible. There were three others on the ride, all triathletes.
I hadn't eaten breakfast figuring we'd go for big breakfast after our brisk ride.......

Started getting cramps on the last big hill and bonked almost at the top, 1/4 mile from the car. The other guys all waited for me and no one said a single negative word. Nice guys.

I was really embarrassed. Still ride alone.

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3/4/10 3:34 P

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I have a couple of times on long harsh day long road rides. It's a horrid feeling. I try to be wiser now with hydration and eating.

Marnie
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GLADGAD's Photo GLADGAD SparkPoints: (35,298)
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3/4/10 2:47 P

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I had just finished a 3 day underwater hockey tournament where I played about 15 games over those three days. Since you're playing all day long, you never get a chance to really eat except at dinner time. The human body simply cannot sustain expending energy all day long and only getting in a few hundred calories once day, and then expecting top performance.

The day after the tournament we went mountain biking in Gainesville. I was doing okay until I hit a point where I simply did not have the energy to pedal. I had to get off the bike and walk, and even then that was difficult. Obviously I managed to walk off the course, but that certainly was no fun for me, and it ruined the ride for my boyfriend.

I've not bonked since.

-Carolyn

"God gave you your body as a gift, so you should take care of it." - My Mom
BEVPRESLEY's Photo BEVPRESLEY SparkPoints: (129,459)
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3/4/10 2:37 P

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Only once for me, about 2 years ago. We were on the tandem and DH knew something was very wrong. We were just about 2 miles from home at the end of a 54 mile ride and it was well over 100 degrees. He parked me on a church step, doused me with water, hurried home and got the car. Not a pleasant experience. We had hydrated well and eaten plenty, just one of those things.

beverly

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KA_JUN's Photo KA_JUN SparkPoints: (52,069)
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3/4/10 2:13 P

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I've only bonked twice, where I was actually lying on the ground and the world was spinning, bonk, where your legs can't turn the pedals over, bonk. How about you? emoticon

Pain is weakness leaving the body.

How do you eat an elephant?

I will not fail.


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