After 100 miles, feet hurt, why?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Pat Fleming, Jun 17, 2003.

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  1. Pat Fleming

    Pat Fleming Guest

    Last Saturday, I rode 210 miles. After 100 miles, the balls of my feet started to hurt. At 150
    miles, it was unbearable. Another pair of sox over the original pair relieved the pain until about
    180 miles. Then the pain returned but I was able to finish. The pain subsided in 24 hours. Has
    anyone ever experienced this? And what can be done to prevent it?
     
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  2. Erik Freitag

    Erik Freitag Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, "Pat Fleming"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Last Saturday, I rode 210 miles. After 100 miles, the balls of my feet started to hurt. At 150
    > miles, it was unbearable. Another pair of sox over the original pair relieved the pain until about
    > 180 miles. Then the pain returned but I was able to finish. The pain subsided in 24 hours. Has
    > anyone ever experienced this? And what can be done to prevent it?

    I can safely say I've never experienced this.

    Just a thought, but you may want to take a break whenever the pain becomes unbearable. Maybe cut
    back to 125 or 130 miles a day for a while.
     
  3. > Last Saturday, I rode 210 miles. After 100 miles, the balls of my feet started to hurt. At 150
    > miles, it was unbearable. Another pair of sox
    over
    > the original pair relieved the pain until about 180 miles. Then the pain returned but I was able
    > to finish. The pain subsided in 24 hours. Has anyone ever experienced this? And what can be done
    > to prevent it?

    Foot pain is generally caused by pressure points on your foot (places where your shoe contacts your
    foot in a way it doesn't like). I'd try a different insole and see if that helps. Another
    possibility is simply a different type of sock, perhaps a thicker one (since putting on another pair
    seemed to help). Have to be careful though, since your feet swell as they get hot and you pile on
    the miles, and you don't want to do anything to cut down on circulation (which might make the
    problem worse).

    Another factor could be a pair of shoes with soles not as stiff as you need. In general, stiffer is
    better, as it disperses the pressure of pedaling across more of your foot.

    Could also be that moving the cleat away from the ball of your foot (preferably towards the back of
    the shoe) might help.

    Back when I raced and wore shoes that didn't even come close to fitting (size 11.5 AA feet are
    difficult to find cycling shoes for!) I had to wear an extra pair of socks to take up the space.
    Like you, the balls of my feet didn't enjoy really long races, and I'd often pour water from my
    water bottle down my socks to make them feel better. Worked for a short time.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  4. Pbwalther

    Pbwalther Guest

    >Last Saturday, I rode 210 miles. After 100 miles, the balls of my feet started to hurt. At 150
    >miles, it was unbearable.

    Hmmm. I get pain usually in the ball of my left foot. I think it comes from being a little lazy and
    not lifting up just a tad on the up stroke (rather letting my other leg push up the leg on the
    recovery stroke). Anyrate the unloading of pressure makes a big difference. It happens on the left
    foot because that is the foot that stays clicked in. The right foot gets relief from the pedals
    episodically when I click out and put it down on the road. The pain goes away very fast though. All
    I need to do is stop and walk around a bit (like 5 minutes). So your situation sounds a bit
    different then mine. But then again everyone's body seems to respond slightly differently.
     
  5. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Pat Fleming" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Last Saturday, I rode 210 miles. After 100 miles, the balls of my feet started to hurt. At 150
    > miles, it was unbearable. Another pair of sox over the original pair relieved the pain until about
    > 180 miles. Then the pain returned but I was able to finish. The pain subsided in 24 hours. Has
    > anyone ever experienced this? And what can be done to prevent it?

    Often, tight shoes can cause pain in the soles that isn't obviously from tight shoes. The first
    thing to try is loosening the the straps/laces. If this is the problem, the relief should be quick.

    Another possibility is that the sole is flexing around the cleat, causing that area to bulge up.
    Stiffer soles or larger cleats might help, but moving the cleat further back may be effective and a
    good deal less trouble and expense.

    Another thing to consider is pedaling style. This may be affected by cleat position; a predominantly
    toe-down style may concentrate pedal forces on the ball of your foot.

    Many cycle shoe insoles are hard, rather than padded as most exercise shoes are. Such shoes benefit
    from the addition of insole padding when riding long distances. For my ultra-cycling, I bought a
    pair of shoes a size too long and wide, and added an insole with an elastomer component under the
    ball of the foot. This has been the only setup that has allowed me to "go the distance". These shoes
    are also handy for cold weather riding, since they accomodate thick socks without constriction.
     
  6. "Pat Fleming" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Last Saturday, I rode 210 miles. After 100 miles, the balls of my feet started to hurt. At 150
    > miles, it was unbearable. Another pair of sox over the original pair relieved the pain until about
    > 180 miles. Then the pain returned but I was able to finish. The pain subsided in 24 hours. Has
    > anyone ever experienced this? And what can be done to prevent it?

    Pat, I wear just a pair of thin socks and my mountain biking shoes with recessed cleats to ride,
    say, to work, which is only 15 or so miles. I know, though, that my feet will hurt with certain
    sock/shoe combinations over long distances, particularly when the weather's hot.

    When I'm going to ride a century or a double, I wear a pair of roomy road shoes with a pair of smart
    wool trail runner socks. The trail runners are thicker than the smart wool bike socks, but still
    only come up to the ankle. I think the thick wool absorbs vibration better. Even on a hot day these
    socks aren't too hot. The roomy road shoes accomodate the thickness of the socks and have great
    breathability.

    If I haven't worn this combination and I'm doing a longer ride than I originally expected, I find
    that readjusting the straps and laces of the shoe will give temporary relief. I suspect that when
    you added another sock, you put in another dampening layer, helping to relieve the vibration to the
    foot. Also, you have loosened everything up to accomodate the other sock, taking off pressure off of
    any part of the foot that might have swelled up.

    In doing your training rides, you might want to play around with different sock combinations. I'm
    lucky in that I have two pairs of shoes, road and mountain, to also trade out -- plus my husband's
    feet are not that much bigger than my enormous ones, and I've worn his bike shoes too from time to
    time. You might not have that flexibility, but if you do, try different shoes too.

    Warm Regards,

    Claire Petersky ([email protected]) Home of the meditative cyclist:
    http://home.earthlink.net/~cpetersky/Welcome.htm Singing with you at: http://www.tiferet.net/ Books
    just wanna be FREE! See what I mean at: http://bookcrossing.com/friend/Cpetersky
     
  7. After 100 miles can be a whole different territory. On my first double I got a burning hotfoot
    problem at mile 160 and at mile 180 it was completely unbearable. (I had only gotten it once very
    mildly before that and it took 90 miles to get it.) I was able to continue after getting off the
    bike, taking my shoe off and massaging my foot. After asking around I found a couple of things.
    Your feet swell on long rides so keeping them loose is important. The pressure on the ball of your
    foot combined with being squeezed from the swelling can cause the metatarsal nerves to become
    inflamed. This is an unbearable pain and should not be ignored (nerve damage can be the result). In
    addition to keeping the shoes loose you can move the cleats back so that the pressure is slightly
    behind the ball of the foot and you can get metatarsal pads or insoles with metatarsal bumps that
    keep the metatarsals spread out and therefore don't inflame the nerves. I found the pads at a
    medical supply pharmacy for about $12. They (combined with moving the cleats back) worked well.
    I've done four doubles since then and only on one of them did I have just the slightest little
    inkling of that problem.

    "Pat Fleming" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Last Saturday, I rode 210 miles. After 100 miles, the balls of my feet started to hurt. At 150
    > miles, it was unbearable. Another pair of sox
    over
    > the original pair relieved the pain until about 180 miles. Then the pain returned but I was able
    > to finish. The pain subsided in 24 hours. Has anyone ever experienced this? And what can be done
    > to prevent it?
     
  8. Of course the balls of your feet hurt-----you just rode 210 miles! It wasn't really unbearable after
    150 miles or you would have quit. Abuse yourself like this enough times and permanent injury will
    result. I have never reached the point where my feet hurt, as my rear end breaks down long before
    that. I predict that nothing you can do will ease the pain, other than riding less than 100 miles at
    a time, a limit that would be easy for almost all of us to accept.

    Steve McDonald
     
  9. "Steve McDonald" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > Of course the balls of your feet hurt-----you just rode 210 miles! It wasn't really
    > unbearable after 150 miles or you would have quit. Abuse yourself like this enough times and
    > permanent injury will result. I have never reached the point where my feet hurt, as my rear
    > end breaks down long before that. I predict that nothing you can do will ease the pain, other
    > than riding less than 100 miles at a time, a limit that would be easy for almost all of us to
    > accept.
    >
    > Steve McDonald
    >

    There are plenty of people with the same sentiment regarding 20 miles.
     
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