Recognizing the Bonk (and how to stay friends)

hammercanada June 23, 2016 No Comments
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By Athlete Ambassador, Kyle Nesbitt

Its 35°c, you have been on the water for 3 hours drinking the rank tap water from the hotel room and after 3 years of racing together, you feel like throwing your teammate overboard for no reason. Sometimes we get caught up in the race movement so much, that we don’t always see when we are on our way into a bonk. I actually experienced this with my recent 40km canoe race with my teammate.

I used this opportunity to think to myself, what symptoms were we showing that could be easily recognized and I came up with the following list:

1) Slowing pace

2) Not noticing interfering objects

3) Wanting to sink the boat as you think it keeps turning itself right

4) Getting frustrated with your partner as you are convinced he is short counting his weaker paddling side

5) Not enjoying the race

We had actually been having a great race in the first 20km, it was only after the turnaround did we start to fall into these symptoms. No matter how often your race, you can’t always catch when you are in the pits of the race.

Upon our return trip and 30km in, I made us each take a Hammer Gel to see if we could improve morale. It only took a few minutes to take effect and we started making pace again towards the finish. We even managed to over take a few boats during this time to bring us into the finish, just a hair behind the next team.

I’m using this experience to learn from and not dwell on the frustrations from not catching it early. Each experience is unique and you just need to learn and carry on stronger from it!

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