Lesley preparing for the bike riding challenge

Summer Cycling Challenge

From Lands End to John O’Groats.

Lesley Hayward is cycling the length of the UK: from Land’s End to John O’Groats between Saturday 1st July to Sunday 16th July to raise money for Action For Elders to help older people in the community.

Lesley is an experienced heath professional, having worked for many years as a GP in York; she retired in 2020. Lesley is one of our trustees and advises us on health matters, she is also a very keen cyclist.

The Big Challenge

Inspired by the work of Action For Elders and her own belief in staying active in later life, Lesley set herself a highly personal challenge, to cover the most iconic of all long-distance cycle rides within the UK.

The Land’s End to John O’Groats route is known as LEJOG and covers approximately 1000 miles, so this is no mean feat. As Lesley explains:

“I’m an average, not elite cyclist, so this is a really big challenge for me, it’s way beyond my comfort zone.”

The Nitty Gritty

There will be a total of 16 days away from home: one day travelling to the start and another returning from the finish. In between there will be 14 full days on the bike and in case you think this is just another scenic ride, take a look at these facts and figures:

  1. The longest day is 85 miles of cycling, with 2,100 metres of climb, which equals 10 hours cycling.
  2. The shortest is 55 miles of cycling, also 2,100 metres of climb, equalling 6 to 8 hours cycling.

The Training Regime

Lesley’s training follows along the lines of our Balanced Lives programmes, paying close attention to physical exercise, mental wellbeing and nutrition.
“My training includes long rides, but not overtraining. I am doing some strength building and stretching; it’s a combination of moves that you would see in yoga or Action For Elders own Balanced Lives Tai Chi. It’s also about managing stress and believing in yourself.”

The Nutritional Side

Lesley comes from a medical background, so believes in looking at what you eat and choosing what you like.

Here’s Lesley’s Top Ten Nutrition Tips for all times of the day:

  1. Breakfast: Greet Yoghurt, Blueberries or oats and granola (seeds and nuts)
  2. Lunch: Salad, potatoes, wild rice, cottage cheese and lean meat
  3. Dinner: Two lots of oily fish per week or lean chicken
  4. Vegetarian Options: Beans, pulses of any sort or egg dishes
  5. Pulses include all beans, peas and lentils, such as: baked beans. red, green, yellow and brown lentils. chickpeas (chana or garbanzo beans). All are high in protein and fibre.

“A high protein diet is good, especially for people my age. Wholemeal bread is also a good source of protein, but white bread has no nutritional value.”

The Social Side

The social aspect is also key for Lesley:

“I’ve had to jiggle around with my training regime to make sure I train with other people. Going out and meeting up with like-minded people, either cycling or walking is so important. Don’t be worried about meeting people. As an individual you are just one person and what makes you who you are is the people around you.”

Long Term Goals

“I’m very passionate about what I’m trying to do. I aim to set up the way I’m going to be for the rest of my life, so I want to carry on with good nutrition and exercise.”

Lesley believes exercise and being active every day really is the key to good mental health and a longer life. She is looking forward to the next 30 years.

Support Lesley on her Bike Ride

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You Too Can Raise Money for Action for Elders

We are always looking for people to raise money for us; as demand for our services has never been higher. So, whether it is a cycle ride, a sponsored walk or hosting a tea party with friends and neighbours. Give us your ideas and do something amazing for your community.

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Email: info@actionforelders.org.uk

Phone: 030 330 30132

Post: Action for Elders, Elfed House, Oak Tree Court, Mulberry Drive, Cardiff Gate, Cardiff CF23 8RS

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Action For Elders is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales under number 7698491 and registered as a Charity number 1145996
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Registered office: Elfed House, Oak Tree Court, Mulberry Drive, Cardiff Gate, Cardiff CF23 8RS