Three weeks ago, I ran my first 21K. I thought that all my training, all that long slow distance running and interval runs, would get me through that half-marathon. I thought I was running a decent pace and I thought I was keeping myself well-hydrated. But by the 18-kilometer mark I was exhausted and fatigued. I was gasping for breath. I felt the calves and my toes stiffening. Was this the “bonk” that runners talk about?
I read somewhere that glycogen, which supplies the fuel for long periods of exercise, gets depleted after around 2 hours. To maintain energy levels and avoid “hitting the wall,” the advice is to maintain glycogen levels by consuming some calories during the sports activity. So, in preparation for tomorrow’s Yamaha Run For Heroes 21K, I purchased a couple of energy gels. I even purchased a running waist pack so I can stash these gels. So will it work? Will I avoid the bonk? Will I beat my last 21K time of 2:27? I’m eager to find out.