Gym member, Carolyn Penney, took on the challenge of the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in Trento and came 5th in her age group. An amazing achievement that shows what our bodies are capable of with the right mindset. If you’re looking for some motivation to reach your goals, read what Carolyn had to say when she returned from her trip.
Congratulations on coming 5th in your age group, what a remarkable accomplishment! What made you enter such a challenging event?
I came first in my (old!) age group in the Tour of Cambridgeshire Gran Fondo – so I qualified to go and it seemed like a fun opportunity!
What was the most difficult part of the ride?
The 12-mile climb at 9% average gradient was hard – the longest climb I have ever cycled by far – particularly since most of my cycling has been in Cambridgeshire. The steep hairpin bends on the descent also proved a challenge!
How did you keep yourself motivated?
I like to keep fit generally, so it is good to have a goal to work towards.
How long did you train for?
My training just consisted of the exercise I normally do. Circuits with James Bamford, gym visits, Watt bike sessions and cycling with St Ives Cycle Club.
How did the gym help with your training?
For me the gym is great. It’s close to home; I can go just for a quick half hour or a longer session and I can vary my activity depending on mood and energy levels.
What do you like about the Sports Academy gym?
It’s small but it has everything I need. I often bump into friendly faces. The Watt bike is excellent for cycle training and the new running machines are a great improvement and give lots of walk and run options.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to take on an event?
I think you have to enjoy what you are doing. Most of my cycling is a social activity which keeps it light hearted. So, for me, the fun element is key. My advice? If you have an opportunity, just go for it!