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Like a lot of other people I’ve used the extra time I have during the lockdown to do some more training!! And with no pools open and no gyms I’ve ended up doing a bit more cycling on my turbo.

And boom….week 1 and I’ve given myself my first lockdown injury.  Saddle sore! Partly because I haven’t done much on my turbo over the winter, also I have a new time trial saddle I’m not used to and also because turbo training is sweaty and with it getting a bit warmer it’s been even more sweaty.

So here are some tips for trouble shooting and preventing saddle sores.

  1. Check your shorts and cycling tights. Make sure they fit properly and that the chamois (the pad) is not worn out.
  2. Chamois cream. Use some chamois cream. Put it on your bits – everywhere AND on your shorts. It’s a bit like using nappy cream and isn’t very pleasant at first but you get used to it and don’t notice it as soon as you start cycling.
  3. Check your training. Be careful that you haven’t done too much too soon. Your bottom needs to adapt to training in the same way that your legs do.
  4. Turbo training is very static and lots of it will definitely cause more problems with saddle sore. Strategies are keep your turbo sessions shorter or mix up with indoor and outdoor riding. If you’ve got long rides to do perhaps do a bit outside and bit inside.
  5. Change bike: if you have several different bikes then maybe try using a different one that has a different position and saddle so the pressure is in different places and gives your bottom a break.
  6. Check your bike fit. Saddle height, angle and position can contribute to a sore bum so it’s worth investigating. You could do it yourself with a tape measure and spirit level and you might find some simple adjustments that help. Ultimately having a professional bike fit is the best answer and is usually really helpful.
  7. Check your saddle. If you’ve done all this and are still suffering then it might be time to look at another saddle. Especially if you’re just using the saddle that came with the bike. This is especially relevant for women who are often not using female specific saddles which are a different shape and can often help. Saddles are like buying shoes or jeans and is very personal. But there are lots of other options out there and it’s well worth exploring.
  8. Get help: If you have persistent saddle sores then get them treated with advice from a pharmacist and then your doctor.