TriChat: IronMan Florida Training Week 17 – Things That Make You Go BONK!

It had to happen at some point; I bonked on Saturday’s long bike ride.  At least, I think I did.  I felt queasy, somewhat disoriented and exasperated.  Andreas, from Ultrabikex Studio, tells me often: the good thing about an IronMan distance is that you have plenty of time to get into trouble, adjust, and change strategies. Saturday was good practice.

I rode with a friend and we were on mile 91 of a 100-mile ride followed by a one hour run.   Instead of taking our usual route we took some back roads to avoid Miami drivers, who by anyone’s standard are crazy.  It’s a neighborhood I know decently well but with roads that curve and lead you back to where you started.  We were riding slow, looking at street names, thinking when the heck were we going to get to Starbucks, and it all was irritating me more than it normally would.  We finally caught our bearings, and I knew how to get to the oasis that Starbucks provided.  I felt my hands tremble, my head spin and I realized: this is a bonk – I must stop now.

run, running, parenting,

I know how you feel buddy.

Once there I ate a bagel and a coffee cake, drank some water and magically life began to return to me.  We were there about 15 minutes, and when I checked my watch those curvy, slow, exasperating roads that I thought added tons of miles added only two.

I have been taught to look at my workouts and learn from what went wrong.  Saturday, the bonk day, was hot.  It followed a hot 13-mile run on Friday so I certainly did not go into this ride fresh.  I also tried out a new nutrition strategy that I don’t believe worked for me.

I usually ride with Accelerade in my water bottles.  I switched to Perform because that is what is available on the IronMan course, and I wanted to mimic the race as much as I could.  I don’t think Perform did the trick.

I don’t usually eat solid food on my long rides, the Accelerade and gel tend to do the trick.  However at the 45 mile pit stop this Saturday I felt hungry;  I needed something more than a gel to keep me going.  I went for a high calorie banana nut coffee cake.  That satisfied my hunger a bit.  And then at mile 91, with my bonk, I felt I needed to eat again.

The Starbucks coffee cake that saved my ride

The Starbucks coffee cake that saved my ride

I am guessing I started my ride with a calorie deficiency from my run the previous day. So between the heat, and not having the protein in Accelerade things compounded into this bonk.  I am also guessing if it were the actual race, this bonk would come while I was running the marathon.

So I need to double-check what foods are available on the race course and then try to work with those.  Good thing I still have about three massive workouts left to try a different strategy.

cycling, miami,

My only non triathlete friend who says “sure” to riding 100 miles with me.

I’ve written before how a bad workout would lead me into a negative train of thought of how I won’t be able to get through this thing.  Thanks to my friends, and readers who send in messages, I’ve learned to let go of that.  This wasn’t even a bad workout.  I did what I had to do at a good, solid pace.  I did not finish the ride struggling and even had a decent run. Andreas was right, this distance affords you the time to bonk, recover, go on and still feel good about what you did.

Lesson learned.

As to the rest of the week, it was consistent and I hit most of my trainings.  This is how it went:

Monday: SWIM. More like a recovery swim.  I am still not taking the swim seriously …. what’s wrong with me???!!!???

Tuesday: Double duty. RUN: Mile repeats in the morning.  I ran my fastest mile ever and it felt awful and awesome all at once. STRENGTH: Killer arm/chest/back with Mike at Fitness Together.

Strength Training, Resistance Training, gym

With Mike at Fitness Together

Wednesday: BIKE. Spinning class.  A change of pace from the Ultrabikex computrainer but not as efficient.

Thursday: Double duty. SWIM: a decent but yet again shortened swim. STRENGTH: Mostly core workout with Brian at Fitness Together.

Friday: RUN 13 miles.  Began at 9:00am but by then it was already hot.  Struggled but got it done.

Saturday: BIKE: 102 miles. RUN: 4 miles. This was one of those just get down to business and knock off a brick.  Mission accomplished.

Sunday: Ideally I was going to swim but I was tired, my body was tired and I gave myself a rest day.  Spent the day with the family at the beach.

How was your training week? What do you do to avoid bonking?

key biscayne, miami, run, bill baggs park

A hot 13 miles. Thank goodness for the nice view.

10 thoughts on “TriChat: IronMan Florida Training Week 17 – Things That Make You Go BONK!

    1. Thank you! I’m proud when I pick myself up too … even if that means I’m answering comments days later. Thank you for stopping by.

  1. Have you tried carbopro in the bike? I dosnt like esting solids nor in the bike nor run so on those long workout days and ironman i had that on the bike and it worked wonders!!!
    You are doong awesome and will do great at Ironman Florida!! Keep pushing!!!

    1. I haven’t tried CarboPro but they sell it at Ultrabikex where I train on the Computrainer. I know lots of people who do … might try it for the next long ride. Thank you for stopping by!

    1. Absolutely, part of the long training rides is to practice everything including nutrition and pace so this stuff happens here and not on the big day!

  2. Oh wow!! Definitely get the “bonks” over with now so you don’t have them on race day!! I can’t imagine training in that heat either…that definitely puts nutrition/hydration into a different category. And don’t neglect your strength – your swimming will save you on race day!! So impressed; can’t believe you are 17 weeks in. Amazing work.

  3. P.S. I read a blog post once where she was trying to fit mini-bagels into a water bottle for the bike…you KNOW what nutrition works for you so you gotta have it with you in any way possible!

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