Bonking is running out of gas either during a workout or a race. Not a good thing to do during a race but some research is indicating careful planning may turn a training bonk into a bonus.
Not that bad a concept. This really gets into some of the science behind the hard/easy day training concept. It does take time to recover from a run. The actual improvement from exercise is occurring during the recovery phase as the body recovers, rebuilding the muscles and glycogen stores.
In practical terms, she said, they should do some workouts within hours of having completed their last workout, such that there's not enough time to replenish muscle glycogen stores between workouts, and they should also leave their sports drinks and gels at home for some workouts (that is, intentionally under-fuel their muscles during training).
The benefits of this are more likely to be seen by endurance athletes. To me, this means more for those training to complete in triathlon or ultra long races. The average runner's training program would not call for sport drinks and gels during the workouts.
... athletes are able to perform at a higher level when they consume carbohydrate during training. Going five percent faster or farther in carbohydrate-fueled workouts will itself trigger greater training adaptations of certain kinds than going five percent slower or shorter in under-fueled workouts.
By extension, there are benefits to using this concept for the beginning runner. The challenge to the body coming from a sedentary life style to one where running is becoming a normal activity will be taxing the body. Providing moderate amounts of additional replenishment during the exercise should help the beginning runner get going. The recovery should be less painful and thereby the fun in running will be incentive to continue.
As with most advice
the best training recipe is probably a mixture of fully-fueled and under-fueled workouts. What constitutes the optimal balance between these two workout types is still unknown. You may need to experiment to find out what works best for you.
Do so carefully. Please don't plan to bonk frequently during your workouts. No matter how much it may benefit you, bonking takes the fun out of running.
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