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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 03-08-09, 04:45 PM   #1
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Triathlon in my future???
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Help with "BONKING" questions

Why can I ride one day at 80 degrees and do my normal 40 mile ride and not have any problems with the ride with just a few bottles of water, but three days later with the same temperature and winds I think I am going to get sick about 30 miles into the ride? My time of the ride is the same the food I was eating was the same leading up to the rides.

I usually carry a clif bar with me just in case, but it didn't help with the bonk feeling.

Do I just need some Glucose of some sort to carry? I am usually worried about flats or broken spokes than my body fighting back.

Do others that bonk have the same problem with doing things similar and one time you bonk and the other 20 rides are not a problem and you don't see any reason for the bonk?
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Old 03-08-09, 05:59 PM   #2
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this is just an observation, but you are not bonking. you just had a bad ride. most people confuse the two. if you could pedal home then you didnt bonk. bonking is more scientific then most think. later.
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Old 03-08-09, 06:18 PM   #3
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I stopped and took a long break sitting on the side of the road. Ate what was remaining of my clif bar and drank my remaining water and finished very slowly the rest of the way home. I was dizzy when I finally got my bike in the garage, and then I went inside and slept for a while. I was a little better when I woke up, but I was still not normal. OK, as normal as I usually am.
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Old 03-09-09, 06:01 AM   #4
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sounds viral dude,
see a doc
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Old 03-09-09, 09:34 AM   #5
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Not an infection. Just a wierd bonk day. That is why I was curious.
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Old 03-09-09, 10:34 AM   #6
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dunno what kind of shape you're in, but I usually associate bonking with a ride that's much longer than 40 miles.

but the way you describe it, I can't see any reason you'd bonk unless in the days between the rides you were doing really hard workouts, and started the 2nd ride in a depleted / tired state.

anyway, the answer's the same: fuel before the ride (a good carb dose at least 3 hours previous) and during the ride (drink mix, gel's, bars, whatever you like, roughly 200-300 calories /hour).

if you do feel the bonk coming on, slow down immediately and start fueling. it's better to crawl home with something left in your legs than to deplete them entirely.
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Old 03-09-09, 10:44 AM   #7
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That was my thought. 40 miles is usually not a problem for me. I am overweight, but this is one of my forms of enjoyable exercise. I thought I was fueled as good as any other day.
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Old 03-09-09, 06:15 PM   #8
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Your problem does not sound unusual. Whether you are scientifically entering into the bonk zone, where your muscles are depleted of glycogen, I don't know. If it acts like a bonk, sounds like a bonk, and bikes like a bonk, then I don't care what science says, you just bonked. If this happens in the future, get off the bike and eat for 30 minutes. After your rest, food, and relaxation go for an easy spin. If you feel a LOT better after riding another 15 minutes, then you did have a blood sugar issue. If you still feel like c**p, then something else is draining your energy. Once you have bonked, nothing will get you back 100% for the rest of the day, but easy spinning should still feel okay after you have had time to eat some food off the bike. It is useful to try this experiment just to narrow down the potential problems and learn something about yourself. Some days we have the magic in our legs and some days we don't. Even Eddy Merckx pedaled squares on bad days.
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Old 03-09-09, 06:19 PM   #9
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My time of the ride is the same the food I was eating was the same leading up to the rides.
The simplicity of your comments belies your knowledge of how rest, glycogen levels and other factors are affecting performance.

You are not a machine. If good training was as simple as your observations - we'd all be on the tour.

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Old 03-13-09, 10:46 AM   #10
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too many variables for us to advise. there may be an underlying health condition, especially if you were dizzy after sleeping. you say your nutrition was consistent but we don't have any other details. blood sugar, protein, simple and complex carbs, not to mention sodium and other supplements can all be at play. you gotta eat drink and supplement. keep up your research and provide more details about your health, regular exercise, and nutrition.
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Old 03-13-09, 12:16 PM   #11
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I don't test my blood sugar, because I am not diabetic, but after reading an article in "Bicycling" I have thought about it to have a better idea of where I am. I don't take any suppliments. I may have tylenol once in a while, but no vitamins and was not on any medication. I was eating a well balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, tuna fish, and chicken. Thanks for the help, but I obviously don't have enough information.
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Old 03-13-09, 12:23 PM   #12
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Sounds like a Bonk to me.
The quick way out of a Bonk is to drink Sprite or something like that.
Once you Bonk you are done for a while.
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Old 03-13-09, 02:02 PM   #13
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flip - I didn't see any good complex carb in your diet - try a banana before you ride
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Old 03-16-09, 11:00 AM   #14
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I do the same length ride with water only.. It takes me around 2.2 hrs to do 40 flat miles depending on the wind that day.. I too was starting to bonk after several days in a row of the same distance.. but I was working on loosing weight at the time.. So, now that the weight loss program is over, I eat 2 hrs before, plus 200 -300 cals an hour on the bike, and a glass of chocolate milk after the ride.. No problems with bonking.. If you are not eating or drinking enough during the ride (for whatever personal reasons) then I think that is your problem. Good Luck
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Old 03-16-09, 03:16 PM   #15
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I don't usually eat right before I ride, but I am trying to make sure I eat something smart an hour or two before a 40 mile ride. A 20 mile ride is just some water.
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Old 03-16-09, 08:45 PM   #16
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I read in more than one place that our blood sugar drops after only 45 minutes of intense exercise. Also, if you don't consume enough calories your body will take what it needs from existing muscle tissue, not fat stores. You never burn fat during exercise because those calories release more slowly.
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