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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 09-07-08, 07:33 PM   #1
cyclingfatty
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Oh my aching feet..

I've only been riding again for about a month, and I'm 37. When I get about 2 miles into my rides (I do road riding on a mountain bike with knobbys) my feet start to ache so bad that I can't go on. I have to get off the bike and get some weight on them to flatten them out and make them feel better. The pain is mostly in the outer part of my feet near the ball of the foot. I just wear normal sneakers when I ride with standard Redline platform pedals. I haven't put any money in to foot gear yet, as I'm only riding 4.4 miles at a time in a loop around my neighborhood. Do biking shoes help with anything other than keeping your feet attached to your pedals?

Some thoughts I had were maybe that bike shoes are solid and give you support you need, but then again, I was on my BMX bike as a kid if I was awake and I never remember any foot pain. Or maybe it's just that I'm out of shape..

Anyone have any tips or been in the same boat?
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Old 09-07-08, 07:34 PM   #2
10 Wheels
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Time to see a foot doctor.
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Old 09-07-08, 07:41 PM   #3
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Get shoes with very stiff soles. Cycling shoes not only keep you attached to the pedals, but they've also got very stiff soles. If you're not ready to get a pair of cycling shoes yet, go shopping and find a pair of running shoes or something with the stiffest soles you can find.

And pedal with the ball of your foot.
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Old 09-08-08, 03:52 AM   #4
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I have the same problem after 70+ miles in my cycling shoes. For me the secrets have been:
1. Good cycling-specific shoes (SIDI for me)
2. About every 20-30 miles, loosen my shoes and/or take them off for a minute (or less) and put them back on without "cranking" the tension on the straps.

This has made a huge difference for me!
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Old 09-08-08, 09:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewbert View Post
I have the same problem after 70+ miles in my cycling shoes. For me the secrets have been:
1. Good cycling-specific shoes (SIDI for me)
2. About every 20-30 miles, loosen my shoes and/or take them off for a minute (or less) and put them back on without "cranking" the tension on the straps.

This has made a huge difference for me!
I did 105 miles solo yesterday and foot discomfort was the second biggest problem - the first was finding water bottle refills (a big thanks to the guys at Fuquay Varina Fire Station #3 - best water on the planet!).

I was wearing Sidi Genius with Sole thin heat moldable inserts. The first 60 miles were great. The final 45 had me thinking about feet too much. I started adjusting the shoes - loose/tight/loose - depending on road grade. I was riding solo and that had me turning the pedals more than if I was drafting most of the time. I started coasting on downhills. The final miles have lots more hills so I reverted to my habit of pedal-mashing instead of turning circles.

As soon as I got home I pulled off the Sidi and put on soft soled sneakers and the pleasure was instant.

Here's the plan I have to resolve this problem:
- try thin insoles with a little more "squish"; the Sole product is great for arch support, but I don't really need arch support when cycling. They are wonderful in walking and hiking shoes however.
- continue to work on pedaling circles, especially on the hills
- more long rides regularly because I noticed my good habits deteriorating in the final miles
- make small adjustments to seat height, fore/aft, and tilt
- experiment with other seats

To the OP - when I resumed riding in the early part of this century I used an 80's mtb and then got a flat bar hybrid. I had lot's of butt and feet problems in <20 mile rides. Changing to drop bars and getting a better fit on my bikes allowed me to go further with less discomfort. Riding a mtb in the city means you are not changing position much so things like butts, hands, and feet get numb, tingly, and painful. If you are going to ride the mtb in the city - try some city slicks - you'll glide along like butter - save the knobbies for the trails. Getting some clipless pedals and shoes will let you pull and push the pedals and that'll offer some relief too, but pulling on the pedals means you'll be thinking more about seat details. It's fun figuring out all this stuff.
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