What type of Bonk

Training for my first HIM @ steelhead in 2 months. Getting into the longer 3,4, and 5 hour bikes. Most of these have been indoor due to weather.

How do you determine what type of bonk you hit? too fast a pace, not enough endurance, bad nutrition?

I normally stop to pee every 2ish hours so I assume I am getting enough hydration. I put nuun tabs in my water and my go to is cliff bars, raisins, and Gu. I had no stomach issues with these items during my marathons so I stuck with them.

I hit the last 45 minutes of my 3 hour ride on Saturday and just felt spent. I muscled through it and kept cadence up, but man I was tired. Trying to iron out all those kinks before race day.

If you are getting 400 calories an hour, its not food. Are you going too hard? You should be able to figure this out by looking at your work outs. If you have completed all of them, it shouldn’t be the endurance either. But more importantly, you didn’t bonk. If you bonked, you wouldn’t have been able to finish with out drastically reducing the wattage. Call it a good work out and move on :slight_smile: You might just need a rest week.

1 Like

So you were totally gassed 2 hours and 15 minutes in? I’d be looking backwards for bad nights of sleep, poor recovery from prior workouts or life stress.

As above, however would also consider what you ate the day before, how much training did you do and how has the week been, both from a training and nutrition perspective.

As redlude97 suggests, there is only one true way of bonking and you know it when it happens. Everyone’s experience is different based on how their body and mind handle running out of glycogen. In my case its like I am moving in molasses. My mind becomes foggy and its tough to think straight. I find even turning over the pedals at any speed to be difficult and most often have been off the bike walking very slowly. Its not a fun place to be.

Here are a few questions:
(1) How much and how well did you sleep the night before?
(2) What did you eat the night before?
(3) What did you eat before the ride?

On such long rides, I have only bonked if I had screwed up on one or more of these — or, in case the ride is longer than 6 hours, I did not have the right lunch.

Not a bonk. When you truly bonk – you will know it. You can’t turn pedals. Barely able to walk.

So here is how it works for me. I can take down about 400 cal/hr on a ride. At an endurance pace (12 hours or more ride) I burn about 750 cal/hr. I have about 1200cal glycogen reserves in muscle/liver. So, 1200/(750-400) = about 3.5 hours.

That three hour mark is kind of a metabolism frontier. Even if you are doing your pacing, hydration, nutrition correctly. If you’re not used to pushing through & into that frontier…well, it takes some training. Welcome to the other side! Not many people make there.

It’s not a bonk. It’s training.

1 Like

Thanks for all the feedback. Based on everyone’s feedback, it sounds like it is a combination of training and RL stress. My nutrition isn’t perfect, But I consider it pretty darn good. I am at the end of the build phase and getting ready to hit specialty.

RL stress makes the most sense as I am awaiting daughter number 3 to arrive within the next 2 weeks. Probably averaging 7 hours a sleep at night and it isn’t great. My wife snores LOUD when she is pregnant so I have been sleeping on the couch the last 2 weeks, lol.

As @drkpolo said, I think I will call it a good work out and move on.