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2013-08-19 11:55 AM


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Subject: First Bonk
I'm 2 weeks post my first Bonk at HIM Boulder. I was able to push through and still finish the race in 7:34. I had really trained hard this season for the HIM in Boulder. I went into the race feeling very good. I did race a sprint tri the weekend before, but didn't feel like that hindered me in any way before the HIM. Traveling to Boulder from Coeur d Alene, idaho was a long drive with family. A bit tired after the trip but still felt good.
I had problems with clogging in the straws on my aero bottle. I train and race with pertepum, carbo pro and hammer gels. I have always felt good with that nutrition during training and racing. (this was my 2nd HIM) Not sure what clogged the straw but wasn't able to get the nutrition on the bike that was needed. Entering t2, i knew i was in trouble. The craps started instantly and I was walking within the first mile of the run. I was taking in everything I had on me and water, coke etc at the aid stations. I was forced to walk about 10 of the 13 miles to the finish with some of the worst cramps I have ever experienced. Calf and quads cramping was the only thing keeping me from running. I stretched, massaged and walked it out, but they came back almost instantly.
I am glad that I was mentally strong enough to persevere and push myself through to the end. I take that away from this race as a positive to grow on.

Any help or advice on what to do next time. Nutrition wise? Training?

Swim 40min
Bike 3:10
Run 3:35

thanks


2013-08-19 1:47 PM
in reply to: cdamountaineer

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Subject: RE: First Bonk

How did your effort on the bike (heart rate, power, or RPE) during your HIM compare to your long bike sessions in the weeks before the race?

What did your training look like during the 3-4 months before the race?

2013-08-19 1:56 PM
in reply to: TriMyBest

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Subject: RE: First Bonk
I hope when you say "First", you mean "Last"...
2013-08-19 2:39 PM
in reply to: TriMyBest


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Subject: RE: First Bonk
Effort on the bike was similar to training rides. I'm a 18-20 mph rider. First half of felt felt good. Starting feeling cramping coming on around 30 miles. My training rides were usually more hilly then the race course, but I live and train at 2200 feet and Boulder race was up to 5700 feet. I think that the elevation played a role in outcome of this race.

Leading up to the race, I was riding 2-4 times a week and running 2-3 times a week. Riding averaged about 50-100 miles a week and running was 15-20 miles a week.

Thanks for any input.
2013-08-19 2:40 PM
in reply to: lifejustice


20

Subject: RE: First Bonk
Originally posted by lifejustice

I hope when you say "First", you mean "Last"...


Yes, I mean Last Bonk! Thanks for the much needed correction to that post! LOL
2013-08-19 5:07 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: First Bonk
Originally posted by cdamountaineer

The craps started instantly and I was walking within the first mile of the run.



thanks


Craps or Cramps?

ETA: I have had both problems.

Edited by joncolby 2013-08-19 5:16 PM


2013-08-19 5:26 PM
in reply to: joncolby


20

Subject: RE: First Bonk
Originally posted by joncolby

Originally posted by cdamountaineer

The craps started instantly and I was walking within the first mile of the run.



thanks


Craps or Cramps?

ETA: I have had both problems.



*CRAMPS* lmao sorry for the confusion
2013-08-19 5:26 PM
in reply to: cdamountaineer

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Subject: RE: First Bonk
Good news - not a bonk.

Bad news - while not getting nutrition on the bike is likely part of your problem, I suspect that Don may have a point in terms of pacing (and this may have been confounded being at altitude).

Shane
2013-08-19 6:19 PM
in reply to: gsmacleod

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Subject: RE: First Bonk

Originally posted by gsmacleod Good news - not a bonk. Bad news - while not getting nutrition on the bike is likely part of your problem, I suspect that Don may have a point in terms of pacing (and this may have been confounded being at altitude). Shane

This raises an interesting point that I don't have any experience with - quantifying the effects of racing at a higher altitude than where training occurred.

Since the OP appears to have attempted to ride by pace rather than than HR or power he doesn't have any objective data to analyze, but...

On similar courses and under similar conditions, he may have been able to get away with riding by pace, but factoring in the altitude, and the effect of the lower partial pressure of oxygen, and what I'd expect to happen, I suspect that he simply went too hard on the bike.  In other words, since there wasn't as much oxygen available in each breath, his respiration and HR had to be higher to provide the oxygen his muscles needed to maintain the same pace as he'd done previously at lower elevations, so even though he thought he was racing the same as he had previously, he was actually working harder.  (I know there is a question about fueling too, but IMO it's very unlikely that was the primary issue considering the cramping.)

Shane, have you ever seen any data regarding adjustments to pacing strategy based on relative elevation?  It seems to me that this would be one of those situations where pacing by HR would be a better option than power.

2013-08-19 6:40 PM
in reply to: TriMyBest


20

Subject: RE: First Bonk
Originally posted by TriMyBest

Originally posted by gsmacleod Good news - not a bonk. Bad news - while not getting nutrition on the bike is likely part of your problem, I suspect that Don may have a point in terms of pacing (and this may have been confounded being at altitude). Shane

This raises an interesting point that I don't have any experience with - quantifying the effects of racing at a higher altitude than where training occurred.

Since the OP appears to have attempted to ride by pace rather than than HR or power he doesn't have any objective data to analyze, but...

On similar courses and under similar conditions, he may have been able to get away with riding by pace, but factoring in the altitude, and the effect of the lower partial pressure of oxygen, and what I'd expect to happen, I suspect that he simply went too hard on the bike.  In other words, since there wasn't as much oxygen available in each breath, his respiration and HR had to be higher to provide the oxygen his muscles needed to maintain the same pace as he'd done previously at lower elevations, so even though he thought he was racing the same as he had previously, he was actually working harder.  (I know there is a question about fueling too, but IMO it's very unlikely that was the primary issue considering the cramping.)

Shane, have you ever seen any data regarding adjustments to pacing strategy based on relative elevation?  It seems to me that this would be one of those situations where pacing by HR would be a better option than power.






Thanks for the response. You bring up an excellent point. At elevation at home, I've never had a problem with the pacing on training rides and didn't think about the altitude change and needing to adjust my average speed. I think that, with the nutrition problem, set the stage for a long walk at the end. I will take that into consideration on my upcoming rides and races.
Thanks again
2013-08-19 6:53 PM
in reply to: TriMyBest

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Subject: RE: First Bonk
Originally posted by TriMyBest

Shane, have you ever seen any data regarding adjustments to pacing strategy based on relative elevation?  It seems to me that this would be one of those situations where pacing by HR would be a better option than power.




I haven't but I've also not really looked as I've only ever had athletes come from elevation to sea level to race, not go to altitude to race.

Shane


2013-08-19 7:02 PM
in reply to: TriMyBest

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Subject: RE: First Bonk

The two times I raced up Haleakala on my bike (sea level ot 10k feet), I decided to forgo my PT because the gradual increase in elevation would throw off my power goals.  I went with lightweight tubulars instead.  Essentially I would need to somehow figure out what power to start at, and then know how I should be lowering my power goal along the way as I got higher up.  So rather than dealing with that (couldn't simulate it in training as the highest I can go locally is 1400 ft) I just went by HR and RPE.

Now that I've got a quarq, it would be interesting to at least record the data just to see how my power relates to HR and RPE as elevation rises.

I know that there has been some discussion on ST about how racing at elevation can drop your power output, but your speed stays relatively the same (or sometimes faster) because of the lower air density (lower air resistance).  I could be wrong though...I know I was just browsing through the discussion once so I may be totally off base.

2013-08-20 6:04 AM
in reply to: cdamountaineer

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Montague Gold Mines, Nova Scotia
Subject: RE: First Bonk
Originally posted by cdamountaineer

Effort on the bike was similar to training rides. I'm a 18-20 mph rider. First half of felt felt good. Starting feeling cramping coming on around 30 miles. My training rides were usually more hilly then the race course, but I live and train at 2200 feet and Boulder race was up to 5700 feet. I think that the elevation played a role in outcome of this race.

Leading up to the race, I was riding 2-4 times a week and running 2-3 times a week. Riding averaged about 50-100 miles a week and running was 15-20 miles a week.

Thanks for any input.


How did the swim go and what did your swim training look like?

Shane
2013-08-20 6:07 AM
in reply to: Jason N

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Montague Gold Mines, Nova Scotia
Subject: RE: First Bonk
Originally posted by Jason N

The two times I raced up Haleakala on my bike (sea level ot 10k feet), I decided to forgo my PT because the gradual increase in elevation would throw off my power goals.  I went with lightweight tubulars instead.  Essentially I would need to somehow figure out what power to start at, and then know how I should be lowering my power goal along the way as I got higher up.  So rather than dealing with that (couldn't simulate it in training as the highest I can go locally is 1400 ft) I just went by HR and RPE.

Now that I've got a quarq, it would be interesting to at least record the data just to see how my power relates to HR and RPE as elevation rises.

I know that there has been some discussion on ST about how racing at elevation can drop your power output, but your speed stays relatively the same (or sometimes faster) because of the lower air density (lower air resistance).  I could be wrong though...I know I was just browsing through the discussion once so I may be totally off base.




This is typically the case until altitudes become quite a bit more than Boulder. However, this assumes that an athlete knows how hard to ride at altitude and does not suffer from adverse effects from being at altitude.
Shane
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