So I felt awesome all day yesterday, after cranking out a long, tough workout in the morning. Then I doubled up with an evening run…and I felt sluggish. I had no energy. I should have cranked out two loops of the reservoir – but I only got one in. Why? Because I simply bonked.
Let’s define that term…..
Bonk (pronounced bongk) – Verb, slang: to hit, strike, collide, etc.; to get bonked on the head; cars bonking into each other
Bonking in the sport of triathlon is basically the same thing as “hitting The Wall” in a marathon. It’s the point at which the body has run out of efficient-burning fuels (carbohydrates), and resorts to burning other stuff – like pure fat for energy demands. The result is a drop-off in performance quality, difficulty in focusing on your target, and other stuff like lite-headedness, etc. I think it’s pretty clear why this term illustrates the experience so colorfully, as this depletion of fuel provides the athlete with a feeling that resembles being bonked on the head. The Wall is what makes the marathon such a special race: the human body is set up to carry enough fuel to get you to about 20 miles – and then the last 10 kilometers you need to summon up the mental toughness to push on and finish. An Ironman carries the same concept: fuel wisely, or suffer total bonkatude.
If Yoda were a triathlete, he’d probably say: “fuel you must, or bonk you will.”
If Jeff Spicolli was my training partner, he would have seen my performance yesterday evening and said (and try to read this with a surfer accent) “duuuuude….it was like you fought Bonkzilla, and totally lost, bro…” (yes, that was a Fast Times At Ridgemont High reference…and if you never heard of that movie, Google is your friend)
Well today I learned several new math concepts:
4am training – adequate sleep = a lousy morning run performance
Two-a-day training – adequate calories = crappy evening workouts
I need to work on my nutrition. I worked hard yesterday, but because I did not eat well AND I did not sleep nearly enough last night, today was a complete mess. I got a short morning run in – but the rest of the day I felt like I was running on fumes.