Preventing the Bonk in Life
By B. Imei Hsu, BSN-RN, MAC-LMHC, Artist
A professional trainer described a recent race involving a young athlete who ran out of steam just before the finish line. Slated to win, her body went from flight to a sudden near stand-still, while her competitors sprinted past her. Trainers and athletes call this response a bonk, when the athlete experiences a depletion of muscle glycogen or a brain depletion of blood glucose. This usually happens when the athlete either did not eat properly before the race, or in the case of an endurance race, the athlete did not replace the necessary protein-carbohydrate ratio needed to replenish glycogen stores. In this case, the young girl simply stopped running because there was no more “giddy yup” left in her leg muscles. As I’ve been reading about the kind of training and nutrition I will need to comfortably run my first 10K race and begin training for my first half-marathon, I’ve noticed similarities between a mild physical bonk I experienced after running more than 10K, and life experiences and challenges that can set you up for what I’m calling a life bonk. Here are a few ways to look at a bonk and how you may prevent a life bonk.
Watch this video to see runner Jonathan Raymond hitting the bonk just 100 meters from the finish line in the 2009 Canberra Marathon