Ian McConkey, Partner at Beachcroft LLP andManchester Law Society Council Member
“For a number of years I have been undertaking a variety of gentle sports events as a symptom of my developing mid-life crisis. In November 2011, I decided to give in completely give in to the condition and I entered L’Etape Du Tour 2011. The Etape is a cycle ride inFrancewhich takes place each year during the Tour Du France. The route is over one of the mountain stages which the professionals will ride in the Tour. The route for 2011 Etape on 11 July was from Modane Valfrejus to Alpe D’Huez in the French Alps. The 115 km route included climbing the Col Du Telegraph at 1566m, the Col Du Galibier at 2640m and finished with the iconic climb to the ski resort of Alpe D’Huez at 1850m There is strict time limit for completing the ride and for the novice rider, the greatest fear, is ending up on the “broom” wagon, which sweeps up riders who have failed to make the time checkpoints. The “broom” wagon was described to me as bus containing Lycra clad (mainly) men openly weeping whose cycling days were over.
My training regime in November and December consisted of buying kit and reading books on training. It became clear from those books that I should have started training 6 months before and I would have to adopt a training regime which would require me to leave my family and job and do nothing but cycle. After some thought, tempting as it was, I decided that wasn’t an option and looked for an alternative solution. In January 2011 I contacted Andy at Probalance Health and asked if he could train me. He was confident that he could get me ready for the event and I was reassured that with his own background in athletics he understood what I had let myself in for. I signed up for an hour’s training a week. The training consisted of core conditioning and strength work, neither of which I had ever done before. It was immediately apparent that in the training sessions I would push myself much further than I would if I was trying to do it myself. Andy motivated me to carry on long after I would ordinarily have given up. The sessions were very tough but varied each week and were specific to what I wanted to achieve. At the end of 6 months I felt fitter and stronger than I had ever done before and despite only managing to put in limited time on the bike, felt confident that I could complete the Etape.
On the day of the race I lined up with 10,000 other riders, of whom, by the end of the day, only 6500 were to avoid the broom wagon. The scenery was fantastic and apart from a couple of terrifying descents, was incredibly enjoyable until the base of the climb to Alpe D’Huez. The climb is about 1200 m in little over 12km. The road snakes up the mountain in 21 hairpin bends and the ramps between each bend are at a gradient of 10%. The temperature was in the mid 30’s and the roadside was littered with victims. With about 3 km to go, I thought I would be joining them, but the shouts of “allez, courage” from the crowd and the knowledge that I had pushed myself past the point where I wanted to stop in every training session with Andy, inspired to me push on and finish.
I spent two days after the event satisfied that my mid life crisis was out of my system. A week later I had signed up again with Probalance and began looking for the next event”
I’d like to thank Ian for this testimonial, and every session he did was to his maximum, if you are thinking of doing an event or just want to improve your fitness, please come and see us at Pro-Balance Health, you’ve seen how Ian has improved his fitness, why not make Pro-balance your first choice to help you improve your fitness.
Call us 0161 833 4777 or email: email@example.com.