Q: When I just ride with my buddies, all is well. But when I race, my left foot falls asleep after about 30 minutes. I have used Crankbrothers Candy pedals and just switched to their Eggbeater pedals. Any ideas?
-Jeff, who trips after a race
Mountain Bike Action: Having feet that fall sleep is usually caused by lack of blood flow. When we exercise at high intensity, like during a race, our body's main goal is to get blood to the exercising muscle tissue. For cross-country racers, that is the legs. This increased blood flow to your lower extremities will cause your feet to swell, making your shoes slightly tighter than when you first put them on. Your increased foot volume may cause arteries and vessels to be squeezed off, resulting in a lack of sensation in your foot.
Check your shoes’ fit and consider running them slightly looser. Same goes for your socks. Since you are using Eggbeater pedals, you will need a shoe that has a stiff sole to provide more support. If you are using a more comfortable (and flexy) trail shoe, this may exacerbate the problem.
Finally, you really want a profession to fit you to your bike. A rider who trail rides can get along fine with a fit that is “close.” The same can’t be said for a racer. You are pushing everything to the limit, and the slightest miscalculation in fit will be magnified under this abuse. And yes, racing is abuse. Jeff, you are dealing with a lot of variables, so if the problem persists, you need to consult a doctor.
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