Hitting the Wall – Bonk – Crash and Burn

In endurance sports such as cycling and running, hitting the wall or the bonk describes a condition caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles, which manifests itself by sudden fatigue and loss of energy. Milder instances can be remedied by brief rest and the ingestion of food or drinks containing carbohydrates. The condition can usually be avoided by ensuring that glycogen levels are high when the exercise begins, maintaining glycogen levels during exercise by eating or drinking carbohydrate-rich substances, or by reducing exercise intensity.

Your body stores carbohydrates (as glycogen) in the muscles and liver to be used later.  Your body stores enough fuel to last for about 90 minutes of exercising.  After that you will “hit the wall,” or “bonk”; no matter what you call it, it will not be pleasant.

Have you “Bonked”?  I know I have, and I look forward to doing it again.  After all isn’t that why we run, why we push are self?  I also love running on the hottest days, up the hills.  Should we look at “hitting the wall”, Hill’s, Heat as a bad thing?  Once you understand what they are, and that they will make you stronger and faster in a race.  Shouldn’t we look forward to them?

So the next time you have a tough work out.  When you “hit the wall”, run up a tough hill, or have a run on a 100 degree plus day, don’t complain.  Embrace it, Slow your pace, drink lots of water and enjoy the work out.  The next race you have I promise you will be glad you endured the tough workouts.


About Coach Bill

I am a 48 year old runner. Three years ago I ran my first half marathon and have not looked back since. I am married, have two grown son's. I work at Toyota motor manufacturing Texas building Tundra's and Tacoma's as a skilled team leader in the press department.
This entry was posted in Advanced Runner, Beginner Runner, Marathon Training, Running Coach and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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