HST Community      Age and Bonking

Age and Bonking | High Sierra Topix  

Age and Bonking

How do you prepare for the rigorous physical requirements of high elevation adventure? Strength and endurance are key, but are only part of a more complex equation. How do you prepare for changes in altitude, exposure, diet, etc.? How do you mentally prepare? Learn from others and share what you know about training in advance for outdoor adventures.

Age and Bonking

Postby tlsharb » Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:48 am

So I leave two weeks from tomorrow for another trip into the Sierra (Blackcap and ???). I started pondering what it would take to pop over Valor Pass and climb Goddard. Decided I should test out my abilities by going up the Great Gulf trail to the top of Mt. Washington (here in NH). Well, it didn't go so well. The first 6.5 miles and 3,000' climb were fine. But when we started up the headwall (1,800' in .8 miles) I bonked. It was like a switch went off-- first half of the wall felt fine and then "boom", my body said "done". The last half mile was awful. For years I biked, so I kind of know the feeling, but this has never happened to me before hiking. So I guess I'm now left pondering the question-- at 62 is this just the way it is (so probably best to forget Goddard), or if I had done a better job giving my body fuel along the way, this wouldn't have happened. Just not sure. I think I'll try the same trail one more the same trail one more time with a different approach to hydration and eating-- but I may end up with the same results. I'd love to hear from some other "seasoned" hikers what they think.
terry



User avatar
tlsharb
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:05 am
Experience: N/A

Re: Age and Bonking

Postby dave54 » Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:38 am

I also am 62. I have begrudgingly forced myself to accept the inevitable and have layover days. Even if I still feel good I force myself to stand down for a day, hangout in camp, and chillax.
The next few days just go better if I do.

Fueling yourself is also important. There are plenty of books and websites on nutrition timing and sports nutrition. Unfortunately they all are geared towards 20 something competitive athletes. A paucity of information on keeping older bodies in an active lifestyle.
=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~
Log off and get outdoors!
~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=
User avatar
dave54
Founding Member
 
Posts: 838
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:24 pm
Location: where the Sierras, Cascades, and Great Basin meet.
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Age and Bonking

Postby Jimr » Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:49 am

Bonk happens. I think you have a good plan. Feed and water the machine and see how it goes. The biggest thing is to keep the head out of "this is just the way it is 'cause I'm getting old". If you set your mind to that, then that is what you will experience. A lot depends on how much exercise you do regularly at this time. When was the last time you hiked up a significant slope? You may just need to put some miles under your feet for two weeks straight. Put some weight on your back and start walking locally every evening after work. You may be pleasantly surprised come hike time.
Believing is seeing.
User avatar
Jimr
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 1550
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:14 pm
Location: Redondo Beach
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Age and Bonking

Postby tlsharb » Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:26 am

Jim, unfortunately I do hike up significant slopes often (2-3 times a month), which caused me to think this wasn't going to be that hard. This was a little nastier climb than most. And the one thing that truly surprised me was that one of the guys with us is 73, and he climbed like a mtn. goat. The one difference this year from others is that I had a bout of sciatica this winter that knocked me down for 3 months. I've had to run and bike a lot just to get back into "medium" shaped after that. But I'm going to hit it again next week-- maybe Katahdin (that's a nasty one too :).
ts
User avatar
tlsharb
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:05 am
Experience: N/A

Re: Age and Bonking

Postby rayfound » Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:31 am

1800ft in .8 miles is really damn hard, I don't care who you are. After a 3,000ft climb? Yeah, don't get too down on yourself.
User avatar
rayfound
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 334
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:44 pm
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

Re: Age and Bonking

Postby Jimr » Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:43 am

tlsharb wrote:Jim, unfortunately I do hike up significant slopes often (2-3 times a month)


I see that as fortunate ;-) Maybe you just caught a case of the bonk. I've experienced it within the last year. Went for a hike with significant elevation gain on an empty stomach. ](*,) Face first into the wall.
Believing is seeing.
User avatar
Jimr
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 1550
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:14 pm
Location: Redondo Beach
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Age and Bonking

Postby Tom_H » Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:30 pm

I have hit the wall too. Probably nothing more than day hiking from now on. The part I can no longer handle is sleeping on the ground. No matter what kind of pad or air mattress I use, I wind up with excruciating back pain. Time to get another 4WD off-road motorhome and drive into places I can day hike.
Last edited by Tom_H on Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Tom_H
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 601
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:11 pm
Location: Elk Grove, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Age and Bonking

Postby paul » Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:44 pm

I think if it happens that suddenly it is the classic "bonk", where your body did not have the needed fuel. Sure you can't do what you could 10 years ago - but if you have the fuel going right you'll wear out gradually, not all of a sudden.
User avatar
paul
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 484
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 2:35 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Age and Bonking

Postby Jimr » Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:02 pm

Ya know, the Hetch Hetchy thread that jgaffney started got me thinking. Try adding some emergen C to you water and see how electrolyte replacement makes you feel. I started using the generic CVS brand of emergen C last year and use it on occasion. It does seem to help.
Believing is seeing.
User avatar
Jimr
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 1550
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:14 pm
Location: Redondo Beach
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Age and Bonking

Postby tlsharb » Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:40 am

JImr, never heard of the stuff, but I'll give it a try. Deed down, I would love to get on top of Goddard in a couple weeks.
ts
User avatar
tlsharb
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:05 am
Experience: N/A

Next

Return to Outdoor Boot Camp



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests