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Century pain...(4 posts)

Century pain...Little Giant
Jun 19, 2001 9:23 PM
Did my first century(126 miles to be exact)......but started to feel a fair amount of discomfort where my feet meet the pedals.....
is this normal????
Could be prevented/lessened a few ways.boy nigel
Jun 19, 2001 10:08 PM
Gigante Pequeno,

On my longer rides, I've felt footsie pain/soreness occasionally, though never really "a fair amount" of it, thankfully. I'd say that, besides your bum's feeling pain, your feet would be up there for prime candidates. They're stressed a LOT while riding. A few things pop to mind which may remedy these ill feelings:

1) Concentrating on pedaling in circles, rather than pushing down. This is particularly important on hills, when gravity can force us to push, push, push on those pedals. When on flats as well, focus on pulling up and through the top of the pedal stroke--it eliminates a lot of the pressure on the balls of one's feet.

2) On particularly long rides, I keep the tightness of my velcro straps (on my shoes) in check. Unless I'm riding to go all out (intervals or friendly competition with a riding partner), I loosen my straps JUST A LITTLE on hot days. This alleviates the pressure on the nerves/veins on the tops of your feet, promoting proper blood circulation. If I'm going up a long or steep hill, I may quickly tighten them for the effort and to maximize efficiency, then quickly reach down and loosen them afterwards a bit.

3) Wearing some sort of double-Coolmax or slightly padded cycling socks may help pad the soles of your feet as well. Many cycling socks are very thin, and have but one layer of thin fabric between your feet and your shoes. I tried my natural-colored Smartwool socks on a spring ride and felt they were too confining, however, and uncomfortable. I wear them in the winter, and they're great. Feet not only swell with exercise, but especially in hotter weather.

4) Very important: New insoles in your shoes. I'm shopping around for and looking into some Superfeet insoles at present. Cycling shoes have removable insoles which, particularly after a couple of seasons, can wear out. Though you can't SEE any difference, their shock-absorbing and supporting qualities lessen over time, like running shoes' soles. Buying these insoles (for about $20 or $30) supposedly makes your shoes like new again, support- and comfort-wise. Also, check that your shoes' soles are stiff enough not to flex. The flexing can cause hot spots or fatigue in feet as well.

I hope all this helps. On long rides, I also concentrate on wiggling my toes here and there and stretching my feet out a bit (pushing my toes skyward and holding them like that for a few seconds at a time). Comfortable feet are critical!

Congrats on the 126-miler; a splendid distance! Keep going!

Nigel (Proud and satisfied owner of a 2000 TCR2, purchased early this year)
Second the insole idea--worked for me. Check REIRetro
Jun 20, 2001 10:30 AM
I got an REI gift cert. a couple of months ago, and I already have one of everything REI makes that I need. The shoe guy at our local store sold me on getting insoles for my hiking and running shoes. They made a big difference even in well broken-in boots I thought were comfortable, so I went back and got some to fit my cycling shoes. My foot discomfort (never really had actual pain) disappeared, at least on rides up to about 50 miles (haven't gone longer since I put them in).
One tip--there's a big selection, and it turned out I didn't know as much about feet as I thought I did. Ask questions and listen to the answers.
re: Century pain...cyclopathic
Jun 20, 2001 9:41 AM
no it's not. Pain is not rare on/after longer rides, but not feet.
check shoes (I have a pair I do fine on 3-4hr ride but have problems on 8-12hr gig) also what kind of clipless you use? SPD? if so try to mingle with cleats move them forward/backward, diff shoes if not