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Back to Racing Forum... and Bonk Training?(4 posts)

Back to Racing Forum... and Bonk Training?Marlon
Mar 4, 2002 10:20 PM
Whew... new girlfriend, finishing off the last year of an undergrad degree, and being introduced to the joys of North-Shore style mtn biking have taken me away from RoadBikeReview, but I'm back for the upcoming racing season, and with new stories from the Cat4-5 perspective...

Question for the fitness oriented vets out there: bonk training. Or, where you go out, say, for a ride in the morning without having had breakfast or any simple/complex carbs. Will it improve your fat-utilization on rides, or is it an invitation to disaster (especially when coupled with a cup of coffee)? I bring the subject up because it appeared in a recent issue of the Brit magazine Cycling Weekly. To me, from a biochem background, it sound kinda fishy... maybe plausible, but certainly not very healthy, at least not for prolonged periods of training.

Hope y'all well and training hard!
re: Back to Racing Forum... and Bonk Training?brider
Mar 5, 2002 7:47 AM
A fast way to dig yourself into overtraining. You will be (a) compromising the intensty of the ride, (b) making the effective distance of the ride much less than the actual odometer (those post-bonk miles just don't do anything for you), and (c) making recovery a much longer process. It's bad enough when it happens after fully feuling for the ride, let alone PLANNING for it.
re: Back to Racing Forum... and Bonk Training?Mainiac
Mar 5, 2002 9:08 AM
Well Put Bonking is NEVER Good
re: Back to Racing Forum... and Bonk Training?Wayne
Mar 5, 2002 10:25 AM
While I haven't actually seen the article somebody described it on another newsgroup and if I understand, they weren't actually advocating bonking but a type of ride to increase fat burning. I think the other two posters have pretty much hit it on the head as far as the value of going out to ride to purposefully bonk. What the article didn't say is the general principles behind increasing the % of fats burned at a given sub-maximal effort level (like 60% of Vo2max) they just gave you a workout to do.
Basically you can increase the % of fats used for calories by:
1) not eating, the longer it's been since your last meal the greater your reliance on fat.
2) going easy, the lower the effort level the greater the % of calories burned from fat.
3) going long, the longer you go the greater the % of calories from fat becomes
4) drink coffee (or caffeine is some form), although I think this is not 100% certain.
This all begs the question of the possibility that you train your body to rely more heavily on fat rather than glycogen/glucose at a given effort level (which is again I think what the article is claiming?) by doing these kinds of rides. I don't think there is any evidence for this. Beyond just getting fitter so that at any set submaximal power output you shift the fat/carbs ratio (and carbohydrate oxidation vs. non-oxidative ratio) I don't think you can "train" your body to rely more on fat.