The term 'blowing up' is often used in endurance sports such as cycling - meaning you have gone too hard for too long and you just can't perform anymore. Even after taking it easy for a bit you just can't seem to get going again.
Bonking is when you feel like you have run out of energy, not eaten enough, or not had proper nutrition. Blowing up is different as you were going full power, and bang! - game over.
The link between overheating and blowing up
We are seeing results that blowing up may have more to do with body temperature than previously though. We recorded body temperatures of athletes who were pushed to their thermal limits and when they did this - they came back saying it is hard to recover and get back in the race.
Did they just get too much blood diverted and not enough oxygen to the muscles, or is the body trying to shut down the heat generation or muscular activity to protect itself? It is not completely clear yet. It's still an open question that researchers and pro coaches are trying figure out.
In either case - high core body temperature seems to be the common factor. So blowing up is either caused by a too high core temperature or the high core temperatures can be an indicator and an early sign for potentially blowing up.
A reminder, getting a high core body temperature can happen in colder environments too. Energy production (watts/pace/speed) has the side effect of creating heat and if your body does not have the ability to remove that excess heat, your body starts to overheat and yes, this even happens in colder environments.
Therefore, real-time core body temperature monitoring is a great tool to track and analyse your performance and finding your core body temperature limits. That's where CORE comes in! A proper understanding of how your core body temperature changes and how it affects performance, combined with cooling strategies, might help you prevent the unpleasant consequences of overheating.