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Numb feet after extensive ankling(11 posts)

Numb feet after extensive anklingBuzzy
Nov 27, 2001 5:12 AM
Short bio - mid 50s, back on the bike after 30 years and a recent surgery for ruptured achilles tendon. Doing about 100 miles a week for fitness and fun.

I went out yesterday for what I hoped would be a long ride (for me). I had scouted out seldom used rural roads in the Virginia country side, rolling hills and a lot of variation. My previous longest was 30 miles the week before, so I thought I might shoot for 40. In the end, my feet gave out before my legs.

I started with two water bottles and by 29 miles, stopped at a gas station to refill and continue. By 45 miles, I began to have trouble. Both of my feet became so numb, I thought I was doing harm. I could stop and stretch for a minute and the feeling came right back.

I am still using plain pedals. As a kid, I developed a technique which by reading posts here I recognize as ankling. However, I also know that the tension in both of my legs staying high, as I am aware that I keep far too much weight on the upstroke foot. For some unknown reason, I have allowed myself to develop a style that causes my down-stroke leg to also be pushing up on the up-stroke leg. On exercise bikes with pedal straps, I think relax, and immediately my reps jump up with less effort. I have tried to think knees up to get the weight off, but old habits die hard.

In the end, it was getting dark, so I had to violate my technique and move each foot up so that I was pedaling with arches over the pedal. That got me home. It was a 55 mile trip. It felt so good. I averaged 11.5 for the total trip with some wind and a lot of hills. Some of you are laughing at the slow speed, but for me the continued effort over time is reaping rewards in the aerobic dept. I am getting stronger, as I am hitting some of the hills with higher gears. So, the goal continues to be stronger, longer, faster and quicker.

My injured ankle is better today, the swelling from the surgery is down. I feel ready to go again.

I bought some SPD pedals by mail order, one was bad so I am waiting for a replacement. From reading from the experiences shared here, I will benefit from going clipless. I am ready to try the scraping poop off the shoe technique. I work a total hip machine at the gym, and that motion is one of my strongest, I have the machine at max weight doing the reps.

Any advice as to how to get the upstroke foot light on the pedal when I am finally clipless? I have thought to going knees up on a lift on each upstroke. I have thought of backing off from my ankling technique and work on the backwards pull at the bottom of the downstroke. I have thought of practicing by pulling only on the upstrokes for awhile.

Over all, I appreciate what most of you have found out, just go out and put in the miles. The efficiency will find you over time.
re: Numb feet after extensive anklingbikerduder
Nov 27, 2001 6:21 AM
No need to apologize about your time, man. The important thing is you are riding, enjoying yourself and as long as you feel good about your accomplishments, don't worry about anyone else. Congratulations on passing the 50 mile mark! You're well on your way to a century.

Having used SPD pedals for years, I'm sure you will like them, however I think the numbness may have more to do with your shoes than anything else. With me, numbness was always caused by poor fit on the shoe, especially with the older lace ups. Also, be forewarned that some people experience hot spots with SPD's, because of the small contact area. That was only a problem for me on really long rides. You will definitely notice an improvement in your cycling once you get used to them.

I have heard of ankling, but it seems like it has fallen out of favor. I have always been told to keep your foot fixed in one position - either toes down or heels down and stick with it. I'm sure you'll hear from some others here.
Difference - Ankling vs. Spinning??Buzzy
Nov 27, 2001 6:52 AM
I thought that what I have been doing - Ankling, was really spinning. Now is seems they are far different. Anyone out there who has made the move that can begin to explain the subtle differences.
Thinking=Badvanzutas
Nov 27, 2001 7:32 AM
Spinning just refers to pedaling at a high cadence. I would define it as pedaling with a cadence of 90 RPM or greater. Your body is going to hurt as you increase milage and time on the bike. Just get out there and ride, it will feel better every time. If you bought your bike from a shop, go back there when you get your new pedals and hang out for a while, sit on the trainer and talk about your position. Take in their advice. Most importantly, just ride.
Riding=GoodBuzzy
Nov 27, 2001 8:03 AM
I try to keep a cadence between 80-90 rpm.

I enjoy the LBS. Between this forum and other internet searches, I learn something every visit to the LBS.

riding=good

I especially like the great physicial response the day after an especially long ride.
Link to 411 - ankingBuzzy
Nov 27, 2001 6:49 AM
I found this article after I posted. Lazy leg is what I am doing
Link to 411 - anklingBuzzy
Nov 27, 2001 6:53 AM
2nd attempt for link

http://hauns.com/~DCQu4E5g/Ankling.htm
Link to 411 - spinningBuzzy
Nov 27, 2001 7:32 AM
This page helps some, especially this part -
Do The Pull-And-Push
Each time a pedal reaches 3 o'clock, pull straight back (parallel to the ground) with the front foot and push straight forward with the trailing foot. This action feels funny at first but if you work at it a bit, you'll find that it helps a lot, especially on hills. And, after a while you'll pedal smoother than ever because you're able to apply power through more of the stroke. This happens because the natural up-and-down pedal action is complemented by the new fore-and-aft motion.

b Does this match what many of you call spinning?

http://bicyclesinc.com/site/tip.cfm?ID=46
Just try pedaling with one foot...vanzutas
Nov 27, 2001 7:34 AM
you will find the holes in your stroke real quick.

Adam
Try pedalling with one foot.dzrider
Nov 27, 2001 7:33 AM
I do this on the trainer with my free foot resting on it. To do it smoothly I'm forced to pull the pedal back and up as well as kick it forward and push it down. With practice I can maintain my cadence (85 - 90 rpms) without clunking. When the clunking starts, I switch feet.

I also like to try to remain smooth on the pedals with the backs of my hands pressed against the small of my back and my upper body at the same angle it would take with my hands on the brake hoods. This helps me feel that my abs and obliques are supporting my legs, allowing them to move around freely.

Good luck, stay with it and don't obsess about speed. 100 miles a week is real accomplishment for somebody recovering from such a serious injury.
Try pedalling with one foot.Buzzy
Nov 27, 2001 7:57 AM
As soon as I get my SPDs back on the bike, then I fully intend to do that. I have a friend who trains with his wife on a tandem. mentioned the one foot training with the clipless and he had never heard of it. I noticed as I have gotten stronger, that in low gear on the hills, the lurching is more noticeable.

But the speed is good. I hit one 2 mile stretch yesterday with a slight down slope and a tailwind. Moving at 27 mph for 3-4 minutes was a real rush. I had riden this stretch before without the tailwind, and never noticed the slight slope.