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Adventure Seeker
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been riding for about two months now. I ride about three to four times a week, typically 10 to 30 miles. About a month ago, I did a 40 mile ride, and at 2 hours (33 miles for me), I felt totally out of energy. I did hydrate plenty, alternating water and gatorade. I also ate along the way, bananas, pretzels, and a few other things. I figured I was just still getting in shape.
This last Sunday, I did another 40 mile ride and the same thing happened at the two hour mark. My average speed didn't increase over my previous ride.
I've been trying to eat better and hydrate plenty. I'm also using Look pedals now for more power transfer. What is enough so you don't get the bonk? Or am I just feeling fatigued due to being out of shape?
 

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Anti-Hero
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Sounds like your eating/drinking is fine. Just keep riding as much as possible- you'll start to feel better. You can also try eating a gel with a little caffeine (25mg if you aren't used to it, 50mg or more if you regularly drink coffee/energy drinks, etc.) about halfway through your ride. It could give you a boost to finish feeling stronger.
 

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No Crybabies
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both

May be a combination of bonk and fatigue. I have found that this is the difference. With fatigue, once you are there, there's no bouncing back. However, if you are well conditioned, you can bonk, but then when you get carbs back in you, you can go hard again.

Given your short length of training, I'd guess that it is mostly fatigue. Be patient, it takes years of regular training to develop endurance. Work up to it progressively, and don't get discouraged.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Fixed said:
Given your short length of training, I'd guess that it is mostly fatigue. Be patient, it takes years of regular training to develop endurance. Work up to it progressively, and don't get discouraged.
I'm just impatient! I used to be able to ride all day long comfortably, and I want that back yesterday! I also know bike fit is another hindering factor, but until the budget allows, I'm stuck with trying something until it works.
 

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What I think of "bonk" comes with lightheadedness and an empty tired feeling throughout the entire body.

I bonk a lot less now that I avoid eating in the three-hour window before a ride or workout, and eat about 200 cal per hour during. YMMV
 

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Bonking, in its truest, best form, is quite obvious. You get lightheaded, you can get chills, and you pretty much have to just lay down where ever you are. Also, it is very sudden, not like a gradual decline, but within 5 minutes you can go from feeling "ok" to just rotten.

When I ran in college, I would bonk every now and then, about 30 minutes after the workout. I would be in the shower and have to sit down I was so tired. This sounds crazy, but it is sort of fun-- when its over.
 

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Yea as somebody else suggested I'd try bringing a gel or two on the ride. Also what are you drinking? I use cytomax and its been pretty good to me for over a year now. I usually carry one or two gels depending on my length of ride and I always carry a nature valley bar just to comsume something solid. Another thing you may consider is lowering your pace for the first portion. One of my friends recently bought his first road bike and we were killing him on some 20 miles rides the first few times out. On the 3rd week or so I took him out and we dropped our pace by 2.5mph. that day he went strong for 40 miles and felt fine afterwards. I think you should decide if your goal is the pace or the distance. It sounds like you can keep your pace fine for that first 20something miles and if you keep at it youll add mileage to your ride while keeping that pace. Im sure you can knock out a good 50 miles if you dropped your pace a little bit.
2 weeks ago I did about 65 miles at a really hard pace for me, at mile 55 I had to stop because my thighs simply werent gonna take it, they were on fire basically. After a 15 minute rest that included 1 gel, 1 camel light, about 5oz. water, some stretching, and dealing with my friend pretending to hump me while im stretching as he waves to passing traffic..... I got back on the bike at started pacing at 18-21mph again... for the final stretch to my house I even did a 250yd sprint that went to over 30mph. Its pretty unreal what a good rest will do for you.
Also remember to rest before you need to, eat before youre hungry, drink before youre thirsty and change hand positions before you need to. People say these things alot and they sometimes get overlooked but they are extremely important. If your body has to inform you of discomfort or food/hydration needs than they probably have already taken a toll.
 

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I've just gotten back into riding after at least a decade off. I find that I get fatigued, and it just totally wipes me out so I can barely pedal. This is evidenced by muscle pain that lasts for hours after the ride. This is clearly different from bonking. Once you really bonk, you'll know it has happened to you. And while riding is extremely difficult once you've bonked, as someone said above, get some calories in you and everything is fine again.

I once bonked a mile from the end of a century. I lay down by the side of the road and slept for an hour. It was just as well, the guy I got a ride to the start with took another hour after I woke up and finished.
 
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