New to tr...want to ride LONG hours, don't care about speed

So my goal is to simply ride 4-6 hour long rides comfortably, not super concerned about speed (right now my avg is anywhere from 11.7mph-12.5mph), but in the past 4 years I haven’t been able to crack longer than 3.5 hrs due to total physical discomfort on the bike. I have been riding a 2006 trek 1500, and have just gotten a 2019 domane 5.2 disc three weeks ago, so still breaking in the fit, saddle, etc. I’m assuming sweet spot base low volume to start…I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 10 years ago and also have severe structural issues with my feet (bunions, hammertoes), so as of now I am using flat pedals due to not being able to find road or spd shoes that fit my needs. Doing higher impact intervals will kill me with the fibro, but cycling is perfect in terms of everything else, and I just wanna be able to ride ALL DAY when possible…suggestions on training plans and/or cycling shoes that are super wide and have a huge toe box would be AWESOME!!!

3 Likes

P.s. I am a 47 year old female, been cycling recreationally my whole life, but don’t have a competitive bone in my body…I’m 5’5, 160lbs, log about 5 miles of walking a day at work, and am rarely sedentary!!!

1 Like

Riding 4 to 6 hours at a shot, you may incidentally get fast :grin:

3 Likes

Mixing in pilates and yoga has done wonders for my on-the-bike comfort. I especially recommend pilates because a proper intense 1-hr session of yoga can interfere with recovery while pilates has never contributed to tiredness for me. The potential downside is that you definitely need instruction for pilates. I can’t imagine trying to learn it on your own.

2 Likes

I have hammer toes and find shoes with Boa Dials are the way to go… I use Shimanoe for MTB which are wider than the norm and Specialized for road.

2 Likes

And they come with 2 different wedges for arch support that you can attach to your insole via the builtin velcro patches. Or at least my S-Phyres did.

Hey @Tricia_Amberg!

I’d recommend taking a look at our Gran Fondo recommendations since that is the event type that most closely resembles your season objectives :slight_smile:

Cheers!

2 Likes

And if some metatarsal support is needed, Specialized footbeds are a good choice too :ok_hand: I have them in my shimano mtb

2 Likes

Bryce, if you follow that link the links to plans are broken. Someone might want to take a look at that.

Thanks so much…the flat pedals are not cutting it!!!

I use Bontrager insoles. They support 3 different types of arch height (my arches are extremely high)

2 Likes

You are “breaking in” the fit? Have you actually had the bike fit to you? The inability to crack 3.5 hours might be down to fit but ultimately it’s just a long damn time to be in the saddle! Even on an “endurance” bike I would expect at the very least discomfort to be setting in. I don’t have any specific experience of your condition and it might be best to discuss with a fitter so you can explain where you have the discomfort and so on.

Another thing to look at is the shorts you are using. High quality bib shorts make such a difference to comfort especially when paired with a saddle that suits your anatomy. Don’t assume the one that came with the bike does.

In terms of plan suggestions and based on your description above you might be a good candidate for traditional base rather than sweet spot. SSB introduces over unders from about week 4 on in the low volume plan and pretty much all of the other rides while not “hard intervals” may be stressful for you. SSB2 adds some VO2 work midweek also.

There are some harder sessions in traditional base but if you discovered certain areas were no go for you you could swap them out for different sessions or where there is a sprint simply pause the workout and scrub to after the sprint.

Build is probably the trickiest one to pick as they more or less all have a degree of intensity by design. I would suggest either sustained power or maybe half distance triathlon might be suitable.

For speciality the century plan might be an option as might the full or half distance triathlon plans.

All of the above assumes you want to avoid VO2 work as much as possible and concentrate on building your aerobic engine. Sorry if I’ve missed the mark.

1 Like

Giro Teraduro mtb shoes are roomy inside. They have pretty stiff soles and comfortable to walk in, but they are heavy.

You didn’t mention what type of “physical discomfort” you’re having but I would recommend seeing a reputable bike fitter to get you setup. They will take your physical limitations into account. A full bike fit isn’t a cheap thing and you may end up having to buy some parts (stem, saddle, etc) but it can make a big difference in how you feel after a few hours on the bike.

1 Like

The best thing I did was getting a bike fit. This led to getting a better saddle. I actually found it was back pain that stopped me cycling for long time. Doing yoga and strength training helped a lot.

2 Likes

I agree about the Traditional Base, substituting outdoor rides when possible at the same intensity as on the plan. Also get a good bike fit. Consistency is key.

2 Likes

Thanks for letting me know, I’ll resolve that today :+1:`

Bryce take a look at Lake shoes and the model mx241 wide, also their sizing page gives internal length and width so measure your feet (widest point when stood) as a fitter they haven’t let me down yet.

1 Like

Bont shoes are designed with a wide toe box. Worth a look.

1 Like
1 Like

In no particular order:

  1. Bike fit including saddle choice.

  2. Getting more fit off the bike to support those long rides. It is a long time to spend in that position.

  3. In general I don’t like leather shoes but if you have foot issues getting leather can make a huge difference because you can stretch it. I have wide Lakes and before ever riding in them the shoe stretchers were in there for a week to make room for my toes.

or

  1. Modern mtn bike flat pedals are awesome. I just put some on a road bike to help with knee issues. They haven’t let me down in any way. Wear shoes that are comfortable.
2 Likes