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Pain in hand / training system?

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Pain in hand / training system?

Old 07-30-08, 04:56 AM
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Pain in hand / training system?

two things i guess.

I was out riding yesterday and approaching 40 miles when i was almost home, i began to get a pain in the fleshy part of my left hand where my thumb is. Is there any hand/grip positions that you would recommend to be more ergonomic?


can anyone offer a training guide or plan to someone looking to be able to ride 50+ miles at a time... faster. I dont have many training goals, but i want to ride a century and beyond... i just want to know if there is some kind of system out there that everyone knows up but me.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-30-08, 04:58 AM
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Sounds like an overuse injury in the left hand, to me...
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Old 07-30-08, 06:13 AM
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Build core strength either by supporting your upper body while riding or by lifting weights, take your weight off your hands.
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Old 07-30-08, 07:12 AM
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You should move your hands around more. This will distribute your weight on different parts of your hand over a ride and will help reduce pain anywhere in particular.

Padded gloves and tape also help. I use some kind of thin gel glove and Cinelli tape, and I am good for at least 6-7 hours at a time, except when I don't move my hands for about 30 minutes (like on a 30 min descent, the whole way on the drops). There are a couple main nerves in your hands and you need to adjust to give them equal time, otherwise the one you're on more will hurt. Personally my karate chop side hurts if I stay on the drops too long (pinky side) so I look for gloves that protect that. My Specialized Body something gloves had a nice pad there and nowhere else. I can't find them anymore so I recently got a pair of Pearl Izumis (Pittard things) that have gel everywhere. Seems fine so far.

Core exercises, although never useless, will not help support your upper body weight unless you have an extreme upright position or you are pedaling extremely hard. Your upper body pivots on your bike around your saddle, and unless you have a non-standard saddle, there is no way your pelvis can remain anchored on your saddle. As an experiment ride in your normal position and take both hands off the bars. You'll start to pedal harder to keep from falling onto your bars until your pedaling force is enough to hold up your upper body. Yes, core does make a difference when you do this, but since you're usually not pushing your pelvis back with powerful pedal strokes, core strength will generally not make a huge difference in hand comfort. I'll say though that core exercises will help your back over long rides. I do abdominal stuff and dead lifts to help my back.

Century - I think Bicycling magazine has a standard "ride a century" article. I'll say this though - based on riding 40 miles I think you can do a century now. Just ride slower, eat and drink every hour or so, even stop and have a proper meal at mile 60 or so, and you'll finish it in perhaps 8-12 hours.

There are a billion articles on century riding. Search here:
In the top left there is a search window, just type century there and hit search. There are 6 articles in the first 10 things listed, and there are 207 articles returned.

A better way to train is to ride with a group. The sustained higher speeds enable you to work closer to your threshold for a longer period of time. You'll get faster, more powerful, and more aerobically fit. Then start out on your century like you do on the group rides when they start easy. Hold that easy pace for a while, then, after 60-70 miles, if you feel a bit antsy, start picking it up. Do the last 10-15 miles as hard as you can, imagine you're finishing off a long solo break in a road race (I have to imagine since I've never done such a thing - others may be able to relive an actual break).

Eat and drink frequently. Eat meaning gels, bars, whatever. No Maltitol (sp?) which is a laxative found in many low carb protein bars. Drink lots of fluids, I usually have 2 water, 1 electrolyte (Gatorade, Powerade) at the start (one is in my pocket), then I move to 2 electrolyte, 1 water when I refill. I'd refill every 30 miles, perhaps 2 hours or so. I have a gel every hour or so after the first hour goes by, depending on how hungry I am when I leave.

Finally, when you do your first century (if it's not an organized ride), ride away from home for 50 miles. Now you're committed One of my favorite loops is a 120+ mile ride, it's about 65 to get up there, 55 to get back. The first time I did it I decided against taking all backroads back and used Route 7 (a relatively busy road in CT) instead. Conveniently I can make it almost to the turnaround point before I need to refuel and there's a small store up there that's open whenever I've been there (Kent, CT).

hope this helps and good luck with your century,
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Old 07-31-08, 04:45 AM
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cool, thanks for that comprehensive post. I found a "10 week crash course" to riding a century and i have mapped a pretty intense route...


make sure to check the satellite view and have a look at the terrain
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