Cycling Posture and Technique
If your cycling posture starts to feel uncomfortable during a ride, try pedalling standing up for a while. This way you use a slightly different set of muscles, while relaxing your buttocks for a moment. If your discomfort is persistent, you might want to adjust the height or position of the saddle or handlebar. Consult a bicycle or sports equipment dealer for more detailed advice on this subject.
Central to good cycling technique is correct transmission or gear use. A typical mistake made by beginners is to use a far too high gear for your fitness level, reducing pedalling cadence too much. Also, using a high gear places too much pressure on the knees and the achilles tendons.
For a more appropriate heart rate level, increase pedalling rhythm. Typical pedalling rhythm (cadence) for racing cyclists is 80-100 rpm. This corresponds to optimal power output. The high speed of top cyclists is not necessarily appropriate for beginners, but especially if you are using clipless pedals, you should try to bike hard at least for a part of your session.
For correct pedalling technique, work your foot throughout the pedalling cycle. In other words, don't just push the pedal down, pull it up, as well. For this you will need clipless pedals. Your technique will improve quickly if you keep your pedalling rhythm high. It helps if you make a conscious, mental effort to keep your feet pedalling smoothly and regularly. Thinking about how your body is moving will speed up the learning process, and before you know it, pedalling in circles is second nature. Once you have mastered correct pedalling technique, you will be cycling much more efficiently while using an increased number of leg muscles simultaneously.
The simplest way to continuously monitor your pedalling rhythm is to invest in a Polar Cadence Sensor that comes as an accessory to your heart rate monitor or cycling computer.