How to stay comfortable during endurance cycling
Endurance rides can be a seriously taxing activity on the mind, body, and spirit. If you’re not ready or don’t know the right practices, you can end up in lots of pain. While it’s impossible to be completely relaxed and on cloud nine while you’re riding long distances, you can use these tips to help you stay comfortable during endurance cycling.
Train your mind
When endurance cycling, half of the battle is in your mind. While you should never ignore excruciating and debilitating pain, you don’t want to focus on the soreness in your legs or the tension in your back. Focusing on normal levels of aching and soreness can make the pain feel much worse than it actually is. Having a mantra or focusing on one thing can stop your mind from wandering and concentrating on the pain. The most popular choice is paying attention to the ins and outs of your breathing to distract your mind.
Have the right gear
While you may feel tempted to find the most affordable gear, there are some things you need to invest in if you want to stay comfortable. Your most important piece of gear is your saddle. The positioning, contact points, shape, density, and material all hugely impact you. Leather bike saddles are becoming more popular due to their balance between rigidity and softness. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that your gloves, frame, and handlebar wraps can help dampen vibrations, as they can be a large cause of pain over time.
Be mindful of positioning
Don’t be afraid to reposition yourself throughout your ride. Being in the most aerodynamic position isn’t necessarily the most important when doing an endurance ride. You must sit in a position that’s most comfortable for you, not one that adds unnecessary pain to your neck and lower back. Other than finding the right position, you may want to work out your core muscles beforehand so that you have a strong support system to sit properly and hold yourself up.
Have a pre-planned stop
While stopping may be the last thing you want to do, there’s sometimes no avoiding it. Putting on new clothes and reapplying lubricating cream can make a huge difference. It also gives you a chance to break out your repair kit and fix any issues while giving yourself a good stretch. Furthermore, adding a stop can help you meditate and focus on your next stop instead of any soreness and aching.
With these few tips, you can stay comfortable on your next endurance ride and go longer and harder. Just remember to be ready, stay mindful, and always listen to what your body’s telling you.