As I ride more long brevets, I start to really notice the subtle things that hurt/irritate on a bike. Right now, my biggest issue is my knees – they seem to start bothering me just beyond the 50 mile mark – mainly on the outside Iliotibial Band (ITB). I was able to get through a 200k with a bit of discomfort, but I now know that I need to work on either fit, or fitness to go too much farther, or I will be hurting. I’ve started working on my gluteus medius muscles after reading how weakness here can impact your ITB. We shall see how it goes, but it may take some time to balance out my legs enough so my knees aren’t paying the price.
As for the seat and shoes, I have so far been lucky with no issues. The Selle Anatomica just works. No soreness on the sitz bones, and no numbness after the 200k. On the other hand, after 10 miles on my Brooks Pro, I was ready to bust out the benjamins for another SA. Wow. My shoes are also great – both the 5-10 sneakers, and my Sidi Spyders have been stellar with no numb or irritated toes/arch. Good stuff.
On the neck front, I did get a little stiff at 200k. The bars on my Toussaint were about 1cm lower than on the Hilsen, so tonight I raised them as I didn’t have issues with this last year. This next week will likely bring a 300k attempt for me, so we’ll see how this change pans out. Oh yeah – I’m going to drop the seat just a half cm or so, as well. That may help the ITB in addition to the new exercises…