Friday, May 6, 2011

IM St. George 2011 and Midfoot Cleat Position

Bike Position 2011

Note the mid foot cleat position. I switched to this position approximately 4 months prior to the race because of metatarsalgia I would experience during long rides the past few years. The forefoot pain was bad enough that it hampered my running. Other conditions I think this would be helpful in include: Morton's Neuroma, chronic calf cramping, Achilles Tendinitis, Plantar Fasciitis, any forefoot issues.

The change in cleat position completely eliminated my pain. I did make the necessary changes in bike position as recommended by Joe Friel, Steve Hogg, and others. I didn't do the modifications myself a la Joe, but had Don Lamson with D2 shoes custom fabricate a pair. These are great shoes, but I will make further modifications on future pairs. My original set up caused the mid portion of my shoe to rub excessively against the cranks. I eventually changed to speedplay pedals with longer spindles to accomodate. This has worked fine. Additionally, I would like mine to be slightly more forward than prescribed. Preferably 10 mm, though this link suggests 5mm worked for him.

One must have a real awareness of the bike handling issue that can occur. Turning sharply with either foot in a forward position will clip your front wheel. Unfortunately I learned this the hard way...a few times. I don't recommend this position if you are racing criteriums or technical mountain biking until you have gained substantial experience. My understanding is that Goetz Heine, originator of the position & Biomac shoes, has made custom bikes to help ease this issue.

Additionally, the mid foot position really fatigues my gluteals and upper quads tremendously in comparison to my more standard forefoot position. This has improved, but I would certainly plan on at least 3 months of habituation before any A race.

Shoot me any questions you might have.