by William Townsend on May 28, 2019
RACE ON - Active Root Ambassador Alison tells us how she started cycling at the age of 54 and how it has led her to the World Championships!
I'm 60 this year and I am training for the World Masters Track Championships being held in Manchester in October.
6 years ago I was overwieght (100kg) and unfit. I thought I'd get a bike and was shocked when I found I couldn't ride half a mile without getting out of breath. Most people would have given up then (including me) BUT something kept me going. I found a group of social cyclists and met a guy who took me out for a 3-mile ride, then 5, then 10 on my flat bar hybrid. I entered my first sportive - 13 miles........ fast forward to now and I now own 6 bikes - 2 roadies, 2 Track bikes, a MTB and a BMX!! I can ride over 3000 miles in a year including the 100 miles Ride London and 1000 of the miles last year were on the velodrome!
I have started training for the first time in my life. I took part in crit races where I was old enough to be some of the rider’s grandparent! I was lapped, several times. I rode in the Derby Velodrome track league doing a 120-mile round trip to ride. I got faster, I got thinner, I got stronger.
I took part in the UK Track Masters last year - I came 4th in the 500TT and Match Sprint! This year I’m trying again and also riding in the World Championships in the 60-64 age group.... and I'm aiming for a podium!
I've got a coach for the first time. I'm actually training..... and enjoying it. I'm riding rollers.... I'm riding a bike with no gears, no brakes and no freewheel... at over 30mph!
It's been hard. I've found muscle almost impossible to produce. I have a coach (a world champion Masters Track Sprinter who believes in me) and I am proud of who I am.
For the first time in my life I love telling people my age. I love it when I see their faces when I tell them what I do and that I also do Olympic bar back squats of 55kg, can ride a BMX and am over 33kg lighter!
Nutrition has been a challenge and I struggled with thick, sludgy energy drinks and heavy bars. They made me feel sick – not the best feeling when you are riding a bike! A couple of years ago at the Tour of Cambridge I met the guys from Active Root. They, like me, had a passion – this time for a product. Whilst I like ginger biscuits… I’m less keen on a strong ginger taste. The lads encouraged me to try it and WOW – I loved it! It is easy to make up and goes down easily (not thick and sludgy at all). I use all the flavours – often taking 2 bottles with different flavours in each for variety. I can carry extra sachets in my jersey for longer rides – or in my kit bag on track. I’ve found it easy to digest and my favourite is the ginger and peppermint which I find helps me to feel ‘on the ball’ whether it’s at the gym lifting weights, training on the track for fast efforts or leading a ladies ‘starter’ road bike Breeze ride. Training 5 days out of 7 whilst working full time and running a home is a challenge – so to have a sports drink I like, that’s a natural product and easy on the palate and stomach is fantastic. Active Root is so versatile.
I’m looking forward to sharing my track work with you over the next few months and my use of Active Root in that journey – it will be great to have you along for the ride!