Bike Forums

Bike Forums (http://www.bikeforums.net/forum.php)
-   Fifty Plus (50+) (http://www.bikeforums.net/fifty-plus-50/)
-   -   My adventure in sugar bonking (or how I managed to torpedo my first metric attempt) (http://www.bikeforums.net/fifty-plus-50/892110-my-adventure-sugar-bonking-how-i-managed-torpedo-my-first-metric-attempt.html)

lphilpot 05-27-13 04:20 PM

My adventure in sugar bonking (or how I managed to torpedo my first metric attempt)
 
My friend Bart and I drove over to ride part of the Natchez (Mississippi) Trace Parkway on this fine Memorial Day and all started well. I'm no hill-climber (living as I do in flat Louisiana) and while the Trace is not moutainous there are some mile-long+ hills that wear me down, but I was doing OK all things considered. When we reached a turn in our route I decided we should take the longer direction and end up with a metric instead of a 50 miler. Bart's done metrics and centuries, so he's OK with it.

We took periodic stops, but on our return leg I finally had to stop at about mile 50 and walk around to try and convince my legs to keep on responding. I was also seriously out of breath. By that time, I had eaten two bannanas, a sweet-n-salty peanut bar (with sugar in it) and drank about 3/4 of my two GatorAide bottles. After a few minutes it all came to a head and I ... liberated ... my stomach contents in a most enthusiastic and repetitive manner right there on the right-of-way. :eek:

After a little while longer, I generally felt better, so I nibbled a Zone bar Bart gave me and sipped the remainder of my GatorAide. But I was in no shape to continue, so Bart generously rode to the finish line and brought my wife's minivan back to me.

Wondering why I bonked so 'easily', we later realized that according to my phone app (probably not exact but in the area) I burned 3000 calories but the GatorAide I was drinking was "lo fat". According to the label it has "5g,13g' (?) of sugar (20 oz). I don't have any "hi fat" :) GatorAide on hand to compare, but the bottle of PowerAide I bought on the way home had 34g of sugar in 24 ounces, IIRC. Quite a difference.

Moral of the story? Next time I try a long ride I'll carry a birthday cake or bag of powered donuts with me. I've learned my lesson. :p

The gory details: http://www.sportstracklive.com/track...ycling/1038132

BluesDawg 05-27-13 04:52 PM

Hmm. My take, based on limited information, is that you pushed too hard on the hill, overreacted and could have easily finished the ride. Trying to interpret what you said, did you puke? Maybe you were sick, unrelated to the ride. At any rate, try it again.

woodway 05-27-13 05:25 PM

Was it hot and humid? Maybe you just got overheated.

Finding what works for you on longer rides can take some trial and error. Take what works for others with a grain of salt. When I started riding long distances I heard all the stories about drinking a bottle an hour and eating X calories per hour. And it was all wrong for me. Gradually with experience I figured it out and you will too.

Timtruro 05-27-13 05:43 PM

Looks like you were going at a good pace, maybe too good for that distance.

lphilpot 05-27-13 06:12 PM

Quote:

Hmm. My take, based on limited information, is that you pushed too hard on the hill, overreacted and could have easily finished the ride. Trying to interpret what you said, did you puke? Maybe you were sick, unrelated to the ride. At any rate, try it again.
Yes - I puked, most definitely. I wasn't pushing on the 'hills', in fact I was sub-10 MPH at times. Well, I was struggling to get up them, but not trying for any speed records. Over the whole ride, the farther I went the worse it got. Like you mentioned, without the bonking I suspect I could have finished no problem. It will be interesting to try it again with all the factors 'in place' as they should be (nutrition, etc.). Only thing it's that it's 75 miles from home.


Quote:

Was it hot and humid? Maybe you just got overheated.
Not really. In fact, the temps were quite pleasant and the humidity was no higher than 50% (i.e., dry by deep south standards). I really wasn't hot at all.


Quote:

Looks like you were going at a good pace, maybe too good for that distance.
We deliberately held the pace down, even from my usual tepid speeds. Usually I start off about 16-17 MPH or so, but other than downhills this one was fairly slow. IIRC, there's a 40+ MPH on the chart somewhere, which is bogus. The top speed I saw on the meter was 30 MPH down a long hill. Other than that it was often sub-14 MPH.

Thanks.

kenji666 05-27-13 06:16 PM

How much riding were you doing per week before this ride?

carl_h 05-27-13 06:19 PM

You should do some reading about fueling yourself during your ride. Sugar isn't the answer.

Terex 05-27-13 06:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kenji666 (Post 15673638)
How much riding were you doing per week before this ride?

That's the basic question. And your belief that sugar will help is unfounded. The "moral of the story" is that GatorAid is crap for your purposes, as is sugar. For hydration, you need something like Amino Vital, or one of the Hammer Nutrition products.

Ride more if you want to be able to ride more, lose weight, and do some research on nutrition.

BlazingPedals 05-27-13 06:33 PM

Whatever happened, that wasn't bonk. Bonk is like the proverbial piano landing on you, after which time you can't manage to make the bike go no matter how much effort you put into it. What you describe sounds like either heat exhaustion or good old-fashioned barfing due to inadequate conditioning. My money is on the former, since it hit fairly late in the ride. You shouldn't need to eat or drink anything fancy on a metric. Eat something if you get hungry, but most importantly, keep drinking throughout the ride.

El Segundo 05-27-13 06:44 PM

Feel your pain, I have ridden parts of the Trace in north Alabama a few times and can vouch for some long faux flats which wear you down, Tennessee is even rougher. I tried some Hammer Gel product last year after about 50 miles when legs were cramping and was amazed how quickly I recovered.

10 Wheels 05-27-13 06:53 PM

Guessing it was the hills.

What did you eat and drink for breakfast and the night before?

GFish 05-27-13 07:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lphilpot (Post 15673213)
We took periodic stops, but on our return leg I finally had to stop at about mile 50 and walk around to try and convince my legs to keep on responding. I was also seriously out of breath.

Sounds like the hills tested your physical limitations and the body's ability to recover during the ride. Also, I agree that more sugar is not the answer.
Quote:

If you consume a lot of sugar when you are dehydrated, your body will work overtime to purge the excess sugar through your kidneys to maintain normal blood sugar levels. This process will also cause much needed water to be drained from the body.
Besides improving physical fitness to handle hills, your electrolytes may have been low.
Quote:

The first thing people think of when they hear electrolytes is of sports beverages like Gatorade and Powerade. But electrolytes are actually a type of nutrients that help your body get and stay hydrated not a sugary beverage. While there are a myriad of electrolytes that are present in the body, the most important ones are sodium, potassium, and calcium. Without these electrolytes, either muscle weakness or severe muscle contractions (cramping) are common.
Although I've never thrown up, I have my own problems at the 40 mile mark (legs cramping) and believe proper hydration and improving physical fitness will eventually help.

all the best....

doctor j 05-27-13 08:13 PM

Well, at least Bart didn't have to stop and say words over your expired carcass by the side of the road.

On Memorial Day 2012, I rode myself into severe dehydration, bonked, could not even stand up. My buddy called 911, and I got my first-ever ride in an ambulance and a brief stay in the emergency room. Today was the first anniversary, and the ride went well.

As has been mentioned above, you'll likely need to experiment with the consumption of those things, solid and liquid, that agree with your stomach and provide the fuel to keep the cranks turning.

Glad to hear you are OK. I'm looking forward to a ride or rides with you and Bart this year.

NOS88 05-27-13 08:19 PM

Sorry your experience was a negative one. I'd not discount some of the comments above about this not being a bonk. Many years ago what you described was a common experience during our martial arts workouts. We would be pushed beyond our abilities and anything we had consumed one to two hours prior to the workout was destined to be ejected from our bodies.

billydonn 05-27-13 09:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BluesDawg (Post 15673307)
Hmm. My take, based on limited information, is that you pushed too hard on the hill, overreacted and could have easily finished the ride. Trying to interpret what you said, did you puke? Maybe you were sick, unrelated to the ride. At any rate, try it again.

That was my first thought and the graphs seem to confirm it.

And I agree with those who point to too much sugar... a metric at moderate pace really shouldn't require huge nutrition, assuming you're in good shape nutritionwise when you begin the ride.

Too bad there isn't some HR data to look at.

Chaco 05-27-13 10:30 PM

Do you log all your rides on SportsTrackLive? If so, it seems like your problem is overall conditioning on the bike, not your carb / sugar intake. Your calendar shows your last ride before today was on May 12. You can't just jump into a 50 mile ride with no conditioning. If you have lots of activity that isn't reflected on SportsTrack, I apologize, but that's all the data you gave us. If you are in good shape, a 50 mile ride with 1,400 feet of climbing at an average moving speed of 13 mph shouldn't tax your system very much at all. The most you should need is an energy bar and some electrolyte replacement tablets in your water. Pure sugar is not going to do you much good, either.

Gerryattrick 05-28-13 02:30 AM

Bonking repetitively in the middle of a ride. I should be so lucky! ( means something different here in the UK):thumb:

Bikey Mikey 05-28-13 03:24 AM

Yeah, it would be totally different if your were meaning the UK slang.

I'm no expert, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express once. (link for members who don't get the reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wm-h7YR_410 )
There are a lot of good points made throughout the thread about what happened to you. I also agree that Gatoraide would not be my choice and has a reputation among cyclists I know to cause stomach distress.

BlazingPedals 05-28-13 01:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bikey Mikey (Post 15674937)
I also agree that Gatoraide would not be my choice and has a reputation among cyclists I know to cause stomach distress.

I think Gatorade-caused distress isn't barfing, it's, um, at the other end. By most accounts, Gatorade is fine if you dilute it 2:1; but it shouldn't be needed unless you're going through so much water that hyponatremia might be a problem. (Some people are more prone to this than others.)

eay 05-28-13 06:59 PM

My husband used to feel quite queasy when exerting himself too much on the bike. This could be as 'little' as struggling up a 4% 1/2 mile grade in the heat. My opinion is that his heart rate was too high for too long. Anyway - sent him to a cardo doc - he's fine. Got him a ride with much lower gearing for hills and he's even more fine.
He's an exertion-puker and never never is hungry on rides until 1/2 hour after they're over. His longest ride to date is 30 miles so I don't know how longer rides would change that.

Me - I'm hungry all the time on a ride. If I don't eat a little bit every so often, I will run right out of energy. I like nuts and dried fruit and fresh oranges. Been experimenting with home-made goo - brown rice syrup, cashew butter, a little protein power, and a dash of salt. Perks me right up and I don't have the alimentary consequences next day of eating a lot of nuts and dried fruit. I use Nuun tablets in one water bottle and plain water in the other.

I have bonked on a backpacking trip. Strangest experience of my life. Didn't eat or drink enough - couldn't lift my feet up anymore.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:02 AM.