Can bonking lead to death?

What is this “bonk” thing, you ask? You're lucky if you've never heard of it; it's such a bad race finish, so arduous that you feel as if a huge cartoon rock has just fallen on your head. Once you find your optimal routine, including nutritional requirements, pace strategy, stress management, and other physical, chemical and mental factors that concern you, you'll not only avoid having sex, but you'll run better. Once you get to the point of having sex, it's hard to escape this state over the course of a race, even if you slow down, consume carbs, or even stop to freshen up. I thought I had been loading carbs properly for the days leading up to the race to keep my glycogen level from dropping.

Many of the same factors can cause a hit in longer events, such as those lasting more than two hours. Don't try to find time gaps right from the start, otherwise you risk cooking yourself, and that's a safe recipe for Bonk Pie. Keeping with the notion of “training while running”, pay special attention, especially in endurance efforts where you will perform for a long time and sex is commonplace, to your nutrition. The time to avoid having sex in a race starts much earlier, in your training, and continues through the implementation of a pre-race plan of food and nutrition and race pace.

A stroke that occurs during a shorter event often indicates that one is not consuming enough fat burning for energy. So far, all of these tips have been mostly about the body, but failures of the mind can lead to the same amount of DNF. If so, this decreases the amount of glucose you could metabolize later in the race, causing nausea and weakness and a zombie ending that I can barely remember. If you're not prepared, a running blow destroys your stride, drains your body and spoils your mind.

Bonking actually prevents you from further damaging your body by trying to continue at least in most cases. The result is that it consumes stored energy in the form of glycogen and burns too much sugar in the blood. Recovering this debt early in a career is nearly impossible and can easily lead to a coup. Those two experiences almost qualified me for the Darwin Prize (opens in a new tab) given the stupidity of their root cause, and both would be considered extreme in the art of “holding each other”.

Putting time and energy into marathon training just to strike a punch before reaching the finish line is a race-day tragedy that many of us can, sadly, identify with.

Dolores Blicker
Dolores Blicker

Devoted foodaholic. Bacon scholar. Hipster-friendly coffee junkie. Friendly social media expert. Total web enthusiast. Professional zombie maven.