Have you ever wondered if you would ever get comfortable riding your bike? Would the discomfort of sitting on the saddle ever go away? Just know that you are not alone in making the adjustment to sitting on your saddle for long periods of time and wishing the ride were over. With the bike portion of triathlon being the place where we spend the longest amount of time we want to be as comfortable as possible. Being more comfortable in the saddle does not have to be complicated or excessively expensive.
There are a number of different saddles on the market that provide great pressure relief and are easy to find in cycling stores, catalogs, and any triathlon shop around. Determining what saddle is right for you is all personal preference. Ask other women that you train with, talk to someone in the cycling or triathlon shop and they will more than likely be able to recommend a saddle that will be comfortable for you.
Once you find that saddle there will be an adjustment period of breaking it in to fit you. It really is like a pair of Berkinstocks‚Ä¶ the more you use them, the more they contour to your feet‚Ä¶ the saddle seems to be the same way. You can also help soften the saddle and help avoid chaffing by using Aquaphor (medicated Vaseline) around the edges to soften the materials a bit. Keep in mind that this may break the material of the saddle down more quickly, but I personally favor the comfort/changes I can make with the saddle over the potential shortening of the life span of the saddle.
Even with a new saddle and breaking it in, we may still have a need for pressure relief while riding. The longer we ride and more intensely that we train and race can change our position on the saddle. With this said, a key for us in strength in our core. As we fatigue while riding our pelvic position changes and this can create ‚Äúpressure‚Äù on the saddle leaving us feeling ‚Äúnumb‚Äù or ‚Äúsore.‚Äù Core strength can help make a difference in your position in the saddle (see D3 core work to assist you with this).
Another means of relieving pressure is to pop up out of the saddle every so often. If you are riding on a flat course there is a tendency for us to stay in the saddle to entire ride. Every 20-30 minutes can help with pressure ‚Äúrelief‚Äù and it is a nice change for the legs too!
So, enjoy the ride gals! That ‚Äúpressure‚Äù relief can be easily addressed and have you comfortable on that saddle in no time at all. Happy Training!