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Why'd I bonk?

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Why'd I bonk?

Old 09-23-19, 10:02 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
When I start hearing Tour de France music in my head, and improvising Phil Ligget dialog, and feeling like I'm just crushing it that day, but I'm only 10 miles into a long day in the saddle, it can be tough to back off. I'm terrible at this myself, I often over estimate my fitness, and how long my food and water will last. Long rides are not really my specialty, most of the fun is over for me by about the 3rd or 4th hour anyway. And I've probably gotten most of the alleged health benefits of the ride by then too.

At least you had other riders around had you had some sort of medical emergency, it can be scary to have that happen to you in an exposed location miles from anyone else.
Does anyone else have the opposite problem? I've had rides where at the start I feel like total crap, can barely maintain speed on flats before getting tired for about 20-30 minutes before I really click into gear and get riding. It's a bit annoying, and seems to happen more often than me feeling like a total rock star and blowing myself up at the start.
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Old 09-23-19, 11:14 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by sanmateoclimber View Post
Hey folks,

I bit off more than I could chew yesterday trying to up my endurance for long rides, and I'd love anybody's two cents on what the hell happened and why. The ride was 71 miles with 5700 ft of gain, climbing Old La Honda up over to the mighty blue Pacific, and then Tunitas Creek Road to get up back over to the bay. Epic stuff in my book. I had previously done the bulk of the hard part of this ride (the middle 40 miles with 4300 ft gain) twice on previous recent weekends, and felt good enough after the second time to give this a go. And hey, I made it. Nice.

Unfortunately, it wasn't all ...the nicest. I found out what bonking is all about when I was maybe half way up Tunitas. I had to stop maybe five times and just hydrate, eat some bar and stare at the ground like a zombie for several minutes. I felt like I had zero energy to push my legs forward. I was maybe vaguely nauseous, but basically just spent. I rode the whole rest of the hill VERY slowly, in stages with breaks, and feeling pretty damn demoralized. Shout out to all the friendly riders who asked to make sure I was okay as they cruised on by. And I'm glad to say that I was able to rally and ride at least functionally for the final 20 miles home from the top.

Thing is, replaying it all in my head, I'm still unclear what happened. Here's the facts of the case:





  • I didn't carboload for multiple days or anything, but I did intentionally eat some extra carbs the previous day. Consciously hydrated more than usual that evening too.
  • I ate three packets of oatmeal and a banana for breakfast, maybe like half an hour before heading out. Also sipped plenty of water while I was getting things ready.
  • I filled two 22 oz bottles and popped one and a half nuun tablets in each. Then I refilled these (and added more nuun tabs) just before the Tunitas climb (gotta love that bike hut.) So all together, at the time of The Incident about 3:15 into my ride, I'd polished off more than two liters of water, all of which had electrolytes mixed in. This felt like plenty for the intensity of my riding and the weather conditions, and if anything probably more hydrating than normal for me. I am definitely a heavier sweater than your average rider.
  • Over the course of those threeish hours, I ate two SIS gels (maybe 180 cal) and 1.5 clif bars (maybe 350 cal,) ballpark total 530 calories. Given the significant breakfast and the fact that I'd only been out there for three hours, I definitely felt like I was consuming enough fuel.
  • It heated up to be a hot day, but much of my ride was upper 60s/low 70s and shaded. There was one stretch on the coast with an exposed 400ft, 10-ish minute climb, but that was really the only time I felt like I was getting any intense heat on me.
  • I'm 6ft, maybe 195, been on a road bike (trek domane) for about 2 years.

So yeah. I don't think I clearly underfueled or underhydrated. I will say that I suspect it was a hydration issue somehow anyway, because on the long ride home I had some significant cramping in my thighs and noticed I really wasn't sweating as much as normal.


Any thoughts? Am I just off on my conception of what's necessary in terms of hydration and/or fuel for this kind of ride? Or just a wuss?
Not a wuss at all. I think your soul was the witness of your body expressing it had been pushed above and beyond its current limits.

You said you didn't feel heat, but how was the sky up there, was it really sunny? Even if you did not feel heat, the sun could have been very strong, resulting in a heatstroke.

I usually feel like crap at the beginning of my rides (first 20-30 minutes), then I get a boost out of nowhere & am OK for the rest of it (my rides are usually 2-3 hours max). I eat a bulky protein bar 10-15 minutes before every rides, and chew something that has sugar in it (such a dried fruit bar or gummy bears) halfway through the ride.

Last edited by eduskator; 09-23-19 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 09-23-19, 11:15 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by sanmateoclimber View Post
So, I've been good about getting in the saddle about three times per week since the Spring (less consistent during the darker months, but I try to compensate on an indoor trainer.) My weekday rides (twice per week) are usually in the low twenties mileage-wise, with some decent climbing that usually brings them to around 1600 feet of gain. Then I've generally been getting a longer third ride on the weekend. Two of the recent ones were basically the big middle portion of this longer ride (the middle 40 miles, with both the major climbs for 4300 ft gain.) Others have been all over the map but probably averaging 40 miles, with the longest being 51 miles and 4000 ft back in early August.

This was obviously a notable leap, but after I finished that "middle 40 miles" ride again last weekend, I could tell I had more gas in the tank. So I figured I could survive adding the 30 less hilly miles that would make it an out and back from my garage. And I mean I did make it, if not so gracefully. But I don't feel overly sore now 36 hours later and I'll probably do a moderate ride this afternoon.

Any advice from how someone got from here to comfortably handling longer endurance rides would be appreciated. I'm 34, not a particularly athletic guy, and I've got some extra pounds on me for sure. But I'm pretty capable of pushing myself, and my climbing times have been getting consistently faster (current Old La Honda PR 28:56 as a benchmark.) I know the biggest advice people are going to give me is TITS and expanding those weeknight rides to longer distances, but I only have so much time to spend on the road (and my schedule is undoubtedly going to falter as we tilt into the Winter months, too.) And I don't think 70 mile rides are only for wiry guys who ride 50 miles a day... I envy all the older dudes I meet out there who seem to have locked in the ability to go for a nice long Saturday morning ride at a nice reasonable pace without completely arranging their lives around cycling.
First, based on everything you've said, I don't think the ride you were doing was unreasonable for you. So I'd chalk it up to having a bad day and move on. If it happens again then maybe think about it more and try and solve the problem, but one ride where you feel lousy is just one ride where you feel lousy. I've had 15 mile commutes where I've stopped to get something to eat because I felt weak. Happened once this year. And two weeks ago I did a solo ride of 111 miles with over 11,000 feet of climbing. You had a bad day.

Second, as someone who likes to simplify these things so that riding remains fun for me, my advice is do more rides that are challenging for you in some way. Instead of a 25 mile ride with 1600 feet of elevation, ride 25 miles with 3,000 feet. Instead of a weekend 40/4000 up it to 50/4000 or 50/5000. Or ride your usual ride but challenge yourself to hit it hard on specific sections. Earlier this year I found myself feeling slow on shallow gradients, so I purposely pushed myself over a few weeks (on my commutes) to hit those sections hard and keep my speed up on those. I'd been riding a lot of steeper hills, but neglected to hit the shallow grades with any real energy.
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Old 09-23-19, 11:38 AM
  #29  
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I was able to ride several centuries this summer: 2 solo 100 mile rides, one 150mile gravel race, and a smattering of other 65+ mile rides only having done max 2hr rides from Dec-May. The key is to make best use of limited time. I work from home so I train indoors during the day to stay on top of work stuff, so I make the best use of limited time. For 12 weeks I did nothing but sweet spot intervals (high end tempo/low end threshold zone), building up from 12min intervals to multiple 30min intervals over 2 hrs using trainerroad, which is my app of choice for indoor stuff. I do some racing, but I think structured training benefits any recreational rider hoping to be fitter and better able to handle long rides.
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Old 09-23-19, 12:02 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by sanmateoclimber View Post
  • I didn't carboload for multiple days or anything, but I did intentionally eat some extra carbs the previous day. Consciously hydrated more than usual that evening too.
  • I ate three packets of oatmeal and a banana for breakfast, maybe like half an hour before heading out. Also sipped plenty of water while I was getting things ready.
  • I filled two 22 oz bottles and popped one and a half nuun tablets in each. Then I refilled these (and added more nuun tabs) just before the Tunitas climb (gotta love that bike hut.) So all together, at the time of The Incident about 3:15 into my ride, I'd polished off more than two liters of water, all of which had electrolytes mixed in. This felt like plenty for the intensity of my riding and the weather conditions, and if anything probably more hydrating than normal for me. I am definitely a heavier sweater than your average rider.
  • Over the course of those threeish hours, I ate two SIS gels (maybe 180 cal) and 1.5 clif bars (maybe 350 cal,) ballpark total 530 calories. Given the significant breakfast and the fact that I'd only been out there for three hours, I definitely felt like I was consuming enough fuel.

So yeah. I don't think I clearly underfueled or underhydrated. I will say that I suspect it was a hydration issue somehow anyway, because on the long ride home I had some significant cramping in my thighs and noticed I really wasn't sweating as much as normal.
Dude you were so friggn under-fueled. And NO you weren't consuming enough food during the ride. And NO you did not have a significant breakfast.

Carbo loading is overrated. Your body can only hold so much carbs. Not worth putting extra stress on your GI night before. So, you didn't miss too much on that department.

Pre-ride: Your breakfast was weak. Packets of oatmeal are crap. Processed food....Don't eat that sh*t unless you absolutely have to. Sorry buddy but you got to go back to basics. Cook yourself some steel cut oatmeal night before. Drizzle a bit of maple syrup throw in a couple pieces of fruits of your choice. +Two scrambled eggs and an english muffin. A lot of food? You are a big gal. Keep it nice and clean. Eat this at least 1.5-2 hrs before the ride. You'll still struggle next time but trust me you will not bonk.

During the ride: If you are not carrying real food like a maybe savory rice cake or a sandwich or sorts you should be smashing gels and bars. If you are not eating a gel every 30 mins you will bonk 50-50. If you want to perform make it a gel every 20-25 mins. You don't like carrying it in your pockets. Tape them on your top tube or bottles. Drop that nuun BS. Have proper nutriotion in your daily routine instead. It's almost absolutely worthless in the grand scheme of things. Occupies a lot of real estate. Fill up one full bottle with SIS beat fuel or equivalent (is there another brand making similar product?). Take tiny sips to complement other sources of nutrition.

Fitness: You probably wasn't ready for such a ride fitness-wise. How do I know? You were cramping in the end despite having a sub-par (but still better than none) nutrition. In my book #1 biggest reason for cramping is hard effort than you used to/you can handle. Poor nutrition only turned the bad into a catastrophe.

Just keep riding your bike. Finding one's frontier can be fun but gets messy sometimes. Add some intervals to your training. Do 20x2-3 sweet spot intervals (preferably on the trainer). You don't need to be riding 70 miles before to ride 70 miles. I do a century once a year no problem. But I do lots of other things. Longer rides are not all about fitness but also pacing, having a good nutrition, knowing your limits. Power meter helps a lot on that. Also, lose some weight man. 6ft-195. To say it nicely, you are heavy. I am 6-4 & 174. Alarm bells start ringing if I go near 180. Do it gradually. Trust me you'll feel much better, especially on the climbs. I looked at Tunitas Creek climb. 9mi @ 4%. There a couple of mid double digit parts but it's just a long climb. After this thread you should be able to smash it next time!

Good luck in your next rides and stay safe out there brother!
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Old 09-23-19, 12:27 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by rower2cyclist View Post
Dude you were so friggn under-fueled. And NO you weren't consuming enough food during the ride. And NO you did not have a significant breakfast.

Carbo loading is overrated. Your body can only hold so much carbs. Not worth putting extra stress on your GI night before. So, you didn't miss too much on that department.

Pre-ride: Your breakfast was weak. Packets of oatmeal are crap. Processed food....Don't eat that sh*t unless you absolutely have to. Sorry buddy but you got to go back to basics. Cook yourself some steel cut oatmeal night before. Drizzle a bit of maple syrup throw in a couple pieces of fruits of your choice. +Two scrambled eggs and an english muffin. A lot of food? You are a big gal. Keep it nice and clean. Eat this at least 1.5-2 hrs before the ride. You'll still struggle next time but trust me you will not bonk.

During the ride: If you are not carrying real food like a maybe savory rice cake or a sandwich or sorts you should be smashing gels and bars. If you are not eating a gel every 30 mins you will bonk 50-50. If you want to perform make it a gel every 20-25 mins. You don't like carrying it in your pockets. Tape them on your top tube or bottles. Drop that nuun BS. Have proper nutriotion in your daily routine instead. It's almost absolutely worthless in the grand scheme of things. Occupies a lot of real estate. Fill up one full bottle with SIS beat fuel or equivalent (is there another brand making similar product?). Take tiny sips to complement other sources of nutrition.

Fitness: You probably wasn't ready for such a ride fitness-wise. How do I know? You were cramping in the end despite having a sub-par (but still better than none) nutrition. In my book #1 biggest reason for cramping is hard effort than you used to/you can handle. Poor nutrition only turned the bad into a catastrophe.

Just keep riding your bike. Finding one's frontier can be fun but gets messy sometimes. Add some intervals to your training. Do 20x2-3 sweet spot intervals (preferably on the trainer). You don't need to be riding 70 miles before to ride 70 miles. I do a century once a year no problem. But I do lots of other things. Longer rides are not all about fitness but also pacing, having a good nutrition, knowing your limits. Power meter helps a lot on that. Also, lose some weight man. 6ft-195. To say it nicely, you are heavy. I am 6-4 & 174. Alarm bells start ringing if I go near 180. Do it gradually. Trust me you'll feel much better, especially on the climbs. I looked at Tunitas Creek climb. 9mi @ 4%. There a couple of mid double digit parts but it's just a long climb. After this thread you should be able to smash it next time!

Good luck in your next rides and stay safe out there brother!
Seems a little over the top on some of your points. He was only out there for 3 hours. I can do 3 hours of climbing with only some cold cereal and maybe a bar and I'm 205 or so. I think the water issue is more important, at least it is for me.
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Old 09-23-19, 01:25 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by rower2cyclist View Post
Dude you were so friggn under-fueled. And NO you weren't consuming enough food during the ride. And NO you did not have a significant breakfast.

During the ride: If you are not carrying real food like a maybe savory rice cake or a sandwich or sorts you should be smashing gels and bars. If you are not eating a gel every 30 mins you will bonk 50-50. If you want to perform make it a gel every 20-25 mins. You don't like carrying it in your pockets. Tape them on your top tube or bottles. Drop that nuun BS. Have proper nutriotion in your daily routine instead. It's almost absolutely worthless in the grand scheme of things. Occupies a lot of real estate. Fill up one full bottle with SIS beat fuel or equivalent (is there another brand making similar product?). Take tiny sips to complement other sources of nutrition.
Sorry man, you're off mark, in my opinion. I've said it before around the various sub groups here, I think people waaay overrate nutrition on a ride and often confuse nutrition with endurance fitness. I did a 100 mile ride and burned 3562 calories and consumed 1000 calories over a little over 5hrs, and in another I did this summer I only took in 900 or so and burned 3400 (I generally have a NP of 210w on these). For 60-80 mile rides I might eat a 100 calorie fig bar and nuun electrolytes, or stop for a coffee, and definitely nothing but water 3hrs and under. I believe the figure is that most people carry 2000 calories of glycogen. So for a moderate endurance ride, there really isn't that great of a need to keep consuming stuff, not to mention that less experienced riders just burn fewer calories because they're slower (fewer watts leads to fewer kj of work/fewer calories burned)
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Old 09-23-19, 01:40 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by sanmateoclimber View Post
So, I've been good about getting in the saddle about three times per week since the Spring (less consistent during the darker months, but I try to compensate on an indoor trainer.) My weekday rides (twice per week) are usually in the low twenties mileage-wise, with some decent climbing that usually brings them to around 1600 feet of gain. Then I've generally been getting a longer third ride on the weekend. Two of the recent ones were basically the big middle portion of this longer ride (the middle 40 miles, with both the major climbs for 4300 ft gain.) Others have been all over the map but probably averaging 40 miles, with the longest being 51 miles and 4000 ft back in early August.

This was obviously a notable leap, but after I finished that "middle 40 miles" ride again last weekend, I could tell I had more gas in the tank. So I figured I could survive adding the 30 less hilly miles that would make it an out and back from my garage. And I mean I did make it, if not so gracefully. But I don't feel overly sore now 36 hours later and I'll probably do a moderate ride this afternoon.

Any advice from how someone got from here to comfortably handling longer endurance rides would be appreciated. I'm 34, not a particularly athletic guy, and I've got some extra pounds on me for sure. But I'm pretty capable of pushing myself, and my climbing times have been getting consistently faster (current Old La Honda PR 28:56 as a benchmark.) I know the biggest advice people are going to give me is TITS and expanding those weeknight rides to longer distances, but I only have so much time to spend on the road (and my schedule is undoubtedly going to falter as we tilt into the Winter months, too.) And I don't think 70 mile rides are only for wiry guys who ride 50 miles a day... I envy all the older dudes I meet out there who seem to have locked in the ability to go for a nice long Saturday morning ride at a nice reasonable pace without completely arranging their lives around cycling.
You're just not getting the hours in. I try for 10 hours/week. 8 is OK, less not so much. Mileage-wise, 200 miles/week is strong, 150 you do OK, 100 you're just getting by until summer. That's conventional wisdom and experience. However, you seem to qualify for the time-crunched cyclist program, conveniently laid out for you in a book and training program of that name: https://www.amazon.com/Time-Crunched...dp/1937715507/

Get the book and have a read. You will see that trainer time is not a waste, in fact very high quality time. Consistency is very important.

A lot of endurance ability is just from years of doing it, which not only builds physical ability but also mental. You learn how to pace, what the signs of things going wrong are, and the mental skills of getting 'er done. You can't learn that from a book. Just keep at it. Remember, failure is how you learn. Keep pushing your limits just like you did. You can't know where they are unless you go find them.
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Old 09-23-19, 01:53 PM
  #34  
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I'm with the folks who suggest it's more likely you went outside your performance zone, beyond what your body was prepared to handle.

At bit more distance, a bit more-challenging pace than the course justified, a bit more climb than you'd been used to ... That can conspire to sap a person's stamina. IOW, a fitness challenge where you found yourself beyond what your fitness allowed, I suspect.


Can't say that I've done more than a handful of really hard rides that went beyond my stamina. Did so several times running, back in the day. Energy sapped, no "oomph" left in the muscles, no amount of fueling and hydration seemed to improve things.

As others have suggested, about the only cure for it is: long, slow distance to get your "base" stamina fitness up. Plus whatever strength/stamina combination you need for the tougher and longer hill portions. Mileage. Ideally, more and more mileage, but also more mileage at the level of intensity you find you need on that route's various segments. So, improved stamina on hills that rough and long. Improved stamina on 70+ miles of distance.


Again, I've been there numerous times with running distance. Fueling never was much of an issue for me, running, out to ~15mi or so. Had to be well hydrated, and to hyrdate several times along the route. Beyond that, fueling became much more important, as the reserves began running low. Sometime soon after 20mi, sooner if on a hillier route and/or performing at a much faster pace overall, I could run out of stamina. No more zip in the legs. No more desire to go on. Sometimes mild nausea. Lots of unfocused disinterest with everything, hang-dog, no desire to do a thing for quite awhile.

"Cure" for me turned out to be: more mileage. In time, I got to where my weekly averages increased, where my percentage of tougher "hill" segments increased, and where I could do all of those things at a faster pace. But it took lots of time. Improved pre-route nutrition turned out to be far less important than my overall fitness and stamina on a similar route, similar distance, similar difficulty and pace. No matter what I could eat and how well I could hydrate, if I didn't have the mileage under my belt then I'd be "toast" somewhere around 18-20mi or so (running).

Sound familiar?

In time, with more interval training, more hill training, longer "base" mileage each week, I eventually became a fair middle distance runner. But it took a handful of years to get the mileage sufficient where I could push much harder on certain routes and not have it sap me.
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Old 09-23-19, 02:08 PM
  #35  
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I had my first and only serious bonk on a ride in Spain this past August. For me, it was a combination of factors, and I don't think there is particular culprit to the OP's bonk or mine. Sometimes there is a brew of challenges that produces a tough result.

In my case, I bonked on the last climb of a ride that was about 80 miles long and had maybe 7000' of climbing. the last climb was about 1200' or so and about 6-8% for most of the way.

It was not my fitness - I have ridden centuries nearly every Saturday all summer, and I've done harder rides before, including one earlier this year that was a similar distance but with ~9000' of climbing. It may have been my nutrition or hydration. I ate too little in the morning and didn't keep up during the ride. I probably also didn't drink enough. And it may have been the heat -though it was cool when I started out, by the time all this happened it was mid-afternoon and maybe 95 °F.

One interesting thing is that i knew the bonk was coming, but failed at prevention. I began to bonk in the dozen or so miles before the last climb,, and I stopped and ate a bunch of trail mix and bought a coke at a local cafe. I also drank plenty of additional water. But I was already so deep-in that the additional hydration and nutrition were too late. I wonder if anybody else has experienced this?

I got about 300' of climbing in that last climb and I simply could not continue. I have never previously stopped on this kind of climb. (A couple of times doing climbs of >3000', I have deliberately stopped midway through to take a break.) I was so exhausted, I could barely get my leg over the bike. After a time, I began to walk up the hill, but even that was too much. I had to stop every few hundred feet because the walking was too much effort. It was TOTAL exhaustion. Getting over that last hill (90% walking) was misery.

I had planned to ride the next day, but I needed to give my body a rest. The following day I did a much flatter (3000' total, I think) 90 mile ride (I was in Girona after all, I wasn't going to sit in town and not ride!) and I was OK, though I did it very slowly and was more tired at the end than I usually would have been. It took nearly a week before I regained my full strength.

It was an interesting experience. I don't recommend it.
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Old 09-23-19, 02:30 PM
  #36  
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Yeah I was also doing steep climb on a hot day. I was stopping every 50 feet and leaning over my bike, could barely hold myself up. I could pedal only until the next landmark or shady spot that I had set as a "goal" for myself. Then I would stop again and suffer, trying in vain to marshal up the tiniest bit of strength. I just wanted some cold water, some shade, and a cool dark place to lay down for a few hours and take a nap. Nauseous, could not eat. Felt close to passing out several times.

Funny thing was, if someone had told me that if I sprinted all-out in the big ring for 100 yards, I would have a ride home waiting, I probably could have done it. Much of it seemed psychological, in that my thinking could briefly overcome the exhaustion. It was as if I was deciding how to parcel out the last of my strength before I keeled over and died.

Felt weak for days afterwards. I felt as though I had done some serious damage to my body, maybe even permanent, unlike the fatigue I get from a conventional tough ride in normal weather. I would also not recommend the experience. IMO, it's not good for your body, doesn't result in any increase of strength or endurance, not fun at all, and can create bad associations between hot weather and pain that make me much less eager to ride in the heat.
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Old 09-23-19, 02:59 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
Seems a little over the top on some of your points. He was only out there for 3 hours. I can do 3 hours of climbing with only some cold cereal and maybe a bar and I'm 205 or so. I think the water issue is more important, at least it is for me.
You an I can go out pull that kind of ride with some cold cereal and a glass of OJ. Not sanmaetoclimber. Heck, sometimes I forget to take my water bottle in a hurry and go out and ride an hour without water. I do two early 5AM weekday rides (1-1.5hrs) on a banana. My body is used to it after many years. But this guy has to check every nutrition box. Every. Single. One. He does not afford to underdo it. I understand where you are coming from. But there is no over the top for him until builds the required fitness and endurance.

Originally Posted by hubcyclist View Post
Sorry man, you're off mark, in my opinion. I've said it before around the various sub groups here, I think people waaay overrate nutrition on a ride and often confuse nutrition with endurance fitness. I did a 100 mile ride and burned 3562 calories and consumed 1000 calories over a little over 5hrs, and in another I did this summer I only took in 900 or so and burned 3400 (I generally have a NP of 210w on these). For 60-80 mile rides I might eat a 100 calorie fig bar and nuun electrolytes, or stop for a coffee, and definitely nothing but water 3hrs and under. I believe the figure is that most people carry 2000 calories of glycogen. So for a moderate endurance ride, there really isn't that great of a need to keep consuming stuff, not to mention that less experienced riders just burn fewer calories because they're slower (fewer watts leads to fewer kj of work/fewer calories burned)
We don't know how hard he rode for the first three hours. We are all speculating here. 100TSS or 150TSS? Who knows. What we know, he was doing something he hasn't done before. That doesn't sound moderate. He also had a low-quality breakfast and didn't even give his body time to digest. Keep riding 60-80 miles on a fig bar and let proper nutrition to others.

Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
You're just not getting the hours in. I try for 10 hours/week. 8 is OK, less not so much. Mileage-wise, 200 miles/week is strong, 150 you do OK, 100 you're just getting by until summer. That's conventional wisdom and experience. However, you seem to qualify for the time-crunched cyclist program, conveniently laid out for you in a book and training program of that name: https://www.amazon.com/Time-Crunched...dp/1937715507/

Get the book and have a read. You will see that trainer time is not a waste, in fact very high-quality time. Consistency is very important.

A lot of endurance ability is just from years of doing it, which not only builds physical ability but also mental. You learn how to pace, what the signs of things going wrong are, and the mental skills of getting 'er done. You can't learn that from a book. Just keep at it. Remember, failure is how you learn. Keep pushing your limits just like you did. You can't know where they are unless you go find them.
This is good advice.
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Old 09-23-19, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by hubcyclist View Post
Sorry man, you're off mark, in my opinion. I've said it before around the various sub groups here, I think people waaay overrate nutrition on a ride and often confuse nutrition with endurance fitness. I did a 100 mile ride and burned 3562 calories and consumed 1000 calories over a little over 5hrs, and in another I did this summer I only took in 900 or so and burned 3400 (I generally have a NP of 210w on these). For 60-80 mile rides I might eat a 100 calorie fig bar and nuun electrolytes, or stop for a coffee, and definitely nothing but water 3hrs and under. I believe the figure is that most people carry 2000 calories of glycogen. So for a moderate endurance ride, there really isn't that great of a need to keep consuming stuff, not to mention that less experienced riders just burn fewer calories because they're slower (fewer watts leads to fewer kj of work/fewer calories burned)
I'm also of your opinion... He's off mark for sure. No need to eat every 30 minutes - you're not a rocket going into space burning 10 000 lbs of fuel per seconds...
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Old 09-23-19, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by rower2cyclist View Post
We don't know how hard he rode for the first three hours. We are all speculating here. 100TSS or 150TSS? Who knows. What we know, he was doing something he hasn't done before. That doesn't sound moderate. He also had a low-quality breakfast and didn't even give his body time to digest. Keep riding 60-80 miles on a fig bar and let proper nutrition to others..
TSS has nothing to do with calories, since TSS is relative to one's FTP. Someone can do 100 tss and burn 700 calories, where 100 tss for me is about 1100, so TSS is only relative to yourself. Yes, the ride might have been hard for him from a TSS standpoint if he's not trained to handle the TSS, but that doesn't change the fact that fewer calories are used. That's why I stated I believe a lot of cyclist's issues are doing stuff beyond what they're trained for as opposed to nutritional issues.

I'm willing to have a reasonable dialogue about this, so I'd appreciate if you didn't include the snarky dismissive comment regarding my own ride nutrition and maybe recognize that I have a lot of experience to share as someone who trains pretty seriously as an amateur and has experience with the upper ends of cycling endurance.
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Old 09-23-19, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by rower2cyclist View Post
You an I can go out pull that kind of ride with some cold cereal and a glass of OJ. Not sanmaetoclimber. Heck, sometimes I forget to take my water bottle in a hurry and go out and ride an hour without water. I do two early 5AM weekday rides (1-1.5hrs) on a banana. My body is used to it after many years. But this guy has to check every nutrition box. Every. Single. One. He does not afford to underdo it. I understand where you are coming from. But there is no over the top for him until builds the required fitness and endurance.
I agree that he needs to build his base and learn his body. It's probably a good idea to err on the side of caution as far as calories and nutrition.
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Old 09-23-19, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by hubcyclist View Post
TSS has nothing to do with calories, since TSS is relative to one's FTP. Someone can do 100 tss and burn 700 calories, where 100 tss for me is about 1100, so TSS is only relative to yourself. Yes, the ride might have been hard for him from a TSS standpoint if he's not trained to handle the TSS, but that doesn't change the fact that fewer calories are used. That's why I stated I believe a lot of cyclist's issues are doing stuff beyond what they're trained for as opposed to nutritional issues.

I'm willing to have a reasonable dialogue about this, so I'd appreciate if you didn't include the snarky dismissive comment regarding my own ride nutrition and maybe recognize that I have a lot of experience to share as someone who trains pretty seriously as an amateur and has experience with the upper ends of cycling endurance.
Ok, I apologize for the snarky dismissive comment. I could have phrased it better. Let me just say what he ate wasn’t proper give his level of fitness and demands of the ride he did.
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Old 09-23-19, 04:34 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
One interesting thing is that i knew the bonk was coming, but failed at prevention. I began to bonk in the dozen or so miles before the last climb,, and I stopped and ate a bunch of trail mix and bought a coke at a local cafe. I also drank plenty of additional water. But I was already so deep-in that the additional hydration and nutrition were too late. I wonder if anybody else has experienced this?
I have experienced a similar thing. It was a hot day, 87 miles with 8500 feet front loaded. Like a dumbass, I tried to stay with the group early on and rationed my water instead of stopping to refill my bottles. I should have been guzzling water and by the time I started to feel really bad nothing helped. Another rider gave me a pill, prilosec maybe, and it seemed to make it worse. It was even hard to do the long descent which had 2 small climbs at the bottom.
My brain stopped working, worse than usual, and I couldn't walk more than a few steps without feeling like I was going to hurl. Eventually, I got a large Coke and that helped me drive home.
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Old 09-23-19, 04:40 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by sheddle View Post
Does anyone else have the opposite problem? I've had rides where at the start I feel like total crap, can barely maintain speed on flats before getting tired for about 20-30 minutes before I really click into gear and get riding. It's a bit annoying, and seems to happen more often than me feeling like a total rock star and blowing myself up at the start.
Me on every ride. I get into it after about 5-7 miles. Prior to that I am like WTF no way this is happening. I accepted that the first 20 minutes is my warm-up and stretch period. I just ignore all feelings, pains, and quirks in that period.

On the other end I've never bonked but I've had extreme and sudden cramping at times in excessive heat and some point+70 miles when under a long sustained load (>80 avg of my max HR). No other feeling of tired, strain, discomfort, or warning. Just sudden debilitating cramps in calves and minutes after in quads out of know where. Brutal. I've noticed random twitching during short stops prior and that's the only potential warning it's coming. I think I have it narrowed down to salt/sodium when I am sweating excessively and subsequently drinking a lot to compensate. Regular "electrolyte" fitness drinks just don't have much unless that is all I drank but can't carry that many. Maybe I should start using some tablets or packets.

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Old 09-23-19, 04:46 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
Seems a little over the top on some of your points. He was only out there for 3 hours.
Agreed. I've neither seen nor heard of someone having a nutrition bonk in just 3 hours.

Within 3 hours:

Fatigue bonk? Yes.
Dehydration bonk? Yes.
Hyperthermia bonk? Yes.
Hyponatremia (sodium) bonk? No.
Nutrition (glycogen) bonk? No.
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Old 09-23-19, 05:42 PM
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I'm learning so freaking much from this thread.....love this place...

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Old 09-23-19, 07:16 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
Agreed. I've neither seen nor heard of someone having a nutrition bonk in just 3 hours.

Within 3 hours:

Fatigue bonk? Yes.
Dehydration bonk? Yes.
Hyperthermia bonk? Yes.
Hyponatremia (sodium) bonk? No.
Nutrition (glycogen) bonk? No.
I agree with the bottom line, but I will take to take this opportunity to muddy to water a bit on water, salt and heat.

Hyponatemia is easy actually easy to achieve in three hours and always accompanies dehydration, since water cannot be lost by sweating without essentially fixed sodium losses. I would maintain that trying to distinguish between the two is pointless and that sodium should always be replaced with water during activity whenever sweat losses are significant. I think most cyclists have a rule or a gut feeling for a temperature/distance at they need to switch from plain water to something with salt in it. In the clinical world, fluid is absolutely never replaced intravenously without sodium, regardless of the mechanism of loss.

Significant hyponatremia without dehydration is dangerous only occurs in athletes when big sweat losses are replaced or overcompensated with water alone, resulting in the syndrome of water intoxication. Brain swelling, seizures, coma and death, exceed most definitions of bonk. Milder “euvolemic” hyponatremia may have recognizable effects and I think I’ve had them, but that’s in the realm of anecdote.

Hyperthermia, at least as clinically recognized, virtually never occurs without significant dehydration in people with normal sweating. The first measure in any heat-related injury is to administer fluid.
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Old 09-23-19, 08:05 PM
  #47  
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I’ll also go with the pacing and conditioning causes, not fuel. I’m about the same size as you, I also have oatmeal and a banana before most rides. That’s usually enough for about 60 miles and 3000 feet. I carry a Clif bar, if the ride is harder, longer, or I’m less fueled starting out I will eat it.

For rides over 3000’, I use my heart rate to pace myself on the early climbs. Assuming it’s not unusually hot, if I keep my HR in upper 140s or lower on climbs then I can go the distance and finish strong.

I’ve also been riding six years now, it makes a difference. First year I definitely had to eat during a ride. Eventually reduced to just a mid ride Clif bar and in the last year or so only intermittently if I start to feel hungry. If I’m going beyond sixty-ish miles, such as a century, then I make a point to nibble a bit at each of the rest stops.
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Old 09-23-19, 08:18 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
Agreed. I've neither seen nor heard of someone having a nutrition bonk in just 3 hours.

Within 3 hours:

Fatigue bonk? Yes.
Dehydration bonk? Yes.
Hyperthermia bonk? Yes.
Hyponatremia (sodium) bonk? No.
Nutrition (glycogen) bonk? No.
Repeat after me people:

NUTRITION BONK...ONLY AFTER THREE HOURS OF BIKE RIDING.
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Old 09-23-19, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
You're just not getting the hours in. I try for 10 hours/week. 8 is OK, less not so much. Mileage-wise, 200 miles/week is strong, 150 you do OK, 100 you're just getting by until summer. That's conventional wisdom and experience.
So, my initial reaction to this is: "ouch, my poor thighs." I'm probably on my bike for six, six and a half hrs/week, and I think muscle soreness is a big part of my limitation there. That's not to say that I'm miserably sore all the time, but my current level of activity allows me to space out my rides enough so that I'm not generally riding on sore legs. Or sitting at my desk thinking about how sore my legs are all day. Or saying "oof" every time I get off the couch.

Does muscle soreness diminish significantly as you up your endurance? Do you just meditate it away until you achieve muscle nirvana? Am I that much worse about stretching/rolling than the average bear? Or maybe I need to deliberately back off the climbs for a while, so that I can focus on time and distance.

In general, thanks so much for the feedback, and I'll definitely check out the book and HIIT. This thread has been really cool and I feel motivated to push through this to a better place with my riding. Tonight I changed it up and did a weeknight ride with the same total elevation gain as normal but 50% more distance over a longer period of time, which seems like the the right direction to be moving. Plus it was just good to confirm I can still go out for a ride without ushering in a metabolic apocalypse upon my poor, poor body.
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Old 09-23-19, 08:45 PM
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Reinforcing what I said earlier:

Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
You're just not getting the hours in. I try for 10 hours/week. 8 is OK, less not so much. Mileage-wise, 200 miles/week is strong, 150 you do OK, 100 you're just getting by until summer. That's conventional wisdom and experience.
Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post
I'm with the folks who suggest it's more likely you went outside your performance zone, beyond what your body was prepared to handle.
Originally Posted by big john View Post
I agree that he needs to build his base and learn his body. It's probably a good idea to err on the side of caution as far as calories and nutrition.
Originally Posted by jimincalif View Post
I’ll also go with the pacing and conditioning causes, not fuel.
Then on to the current question:

Originally Posted by sanmateoclimber View Post
So, my initial reaction to this is: "ouch, my poor thighs." I'm probably on my bike for six, six and a half hrs/week, and I think muscle soreness is a big part of my limitation there. That's not to say that I'm miserably sore all the time, but my current level of activity allows me to space out my rides enough so that I'm not generally riding on sore legs. Or sitting at my desk thinking about how sore my legs are all day. Or saying "oof" every time I get off the couch.

Does muscle soreness diminish significantly as you up your endurance? Do you just meditate it away until you achieve muscle nirvana? Am I that much worse about stretching/rolling than the average bear?
To a degree. I usually have some residual soreness in my legs at pretty much all times, but taking even 2 days off in a row is something I only do maybe half a dozen times a year. I don't stretch, I don't foam roll, I don't do a lot of things that I should probably be doing. What do I do? I ride. A startlingly consistent amount, week in and week out. I'm not the fastest on the flats, and at 210lbs I'm certainly not the fastest up a hill... but I've got a big gas tank, and bonking is something I haven't done in a fairly long time. Not taken in enough water? Sure. All the time.

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