SV client, John Hanlon, recently undertook the RBS London to Edinburgh Cycle Challenge - a 5 day, 524 mile bike ride for RBS staff on behalf of The Prince's Trust charity.
The mammoth bike ride started on Monday 12 September in the City of London ended in Edinburgh at the RBS head office on Friday 16 September.
John, aged 61, from Chingford, is a member of Orion Harriers running club, and has been cycling as cross training whilst recovering from a plantar fasciitis injury.
John has been seeing Sophie for maintenance sports massages to the back and neck due to tightness accumulated here during cycling training.
Why did you decide to take on this cycle ride?
As a personal challenge and also to raise money for a great cause. I'm normally a runner but I picked up a plantar fasciitis injury in May 2016 after this year’s London Marathon.
[You can watch John's awesome video of his 27th marathon here: youtu.be/_1xbZVmERFs]
I haven’t been able to run since then because of the injury - so I got pedalling. Although I commute by bike to work from time to time, I've never ridden as far as 100 miles in a day, never mind five days on the trot.
As I trained for the challenge, increasing the mileage, I started finding new hindrances to bike riding, including shoulder cramps, knee pain, numb hands and feet and sore saddle contact points!
Thankfully, a trip to a bike fit workshop, adjusting all the contact points for reach, height, angle and flexibility limitations of rider helped sort me out two days before the trip!
What was the actual bike ride like?
We averaged eight to nine hours per day in the saddle with two pit stops for food and hydration.
It was a fantastic event with some unseasonably good weather throughout, if a little hotter than ideal.
I was glad to finish but so happy to have taken on the challenge.
The highs for me included the friendships one strikes up with fellow riders, the feeling of achievement as the days progressed and the mileage covered increased.
A low point was a bit of a bonk on day four whilst climbing the Kirkstone Pass in the Lake District, swiftly followed by a mellow high as I recovered after a short break. Better hydration strategy needed, I think.
What's your next challenge?
My next challenge is to get fit enough to lead the beginners London Marathon 2017 group for Orion Harriers. We have an unforgettable training journey every year with this group - all captured on my FB blog and YouTube channel.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Yes - having succumbed most years recently to injuries of some kind or other, whilst training for spring marathons, my message to people who may be in similar circumstances: remember if you love your sport enough you’ll get back, have a plan and patience.