New to long distance cycling, Donna Sadler talks about her determination and intensive training to ensure the Straumann Charity Bike Ride is a real success 

Donna Sadler CyclingI’ve always been an active person. I run marathons, play hockey, go regularly to the gym and ride horses, but taking up cycling is something completely different for me. I like a challenge so when Straumann asked me if I wanted to take part in the Bike Ride I thought to myself ‘Why not?’, and despite my lack of cycling experience I couldn’t think of a good enough reason not to.

My training is not just purely cycle-focused. I cycle around 80 miles at weekends, but during the week I concentrate on core strengthening and spin classes at the gym and play hockey to give me strength in all areas of my body.

I’ve recently had to change my entire diet to gluten-free having discovered I have an intolerance of wheat and gluten. I’m learning what I can and can’t eat, which is a big deal when it comes to fuelling up for long rides. Slow release carbs such as pastas don’t work for me and energy bars all contain wheat. I can’t have Jelly Babies because the powder on them is flour plus along with gels I find them too sticky, sweet and hard to digest. Finding products that are wheat and gluten-free is not always easy so I need to find something with a longer-lasting release to ride 100 miles a day across mountains and even out my energy levels rather than taking something that gives you spikes. If anyone has any good tips, please let me know!

In terms of sponsorship I have already set up my JustGiving page and talk about the ride a lot to my friends and family on my Facebook page. Getting the sponsorship timing right is important and I feel it’s still a little bit too early so I plan to really push for sponsorship from late June onwards.

Donna Sadler prepares for the cycling challenge aheadWhat has also helped me is speaking to fellow riders, such as my manager Heidi, who have been on previous Straumann Bike Rides. Straumann UK’s MD Steve Booth has been a great encouragement to me, he is always incredibly positive and has given me some really good tips to succeed.

So for now I am continuing with my training and getting the mileage into my legs. It’s a personal challenge for me. It’s not about how fast I am or if I’m in the top group – all I care about is getting to the finish. My friends and family all think I’m a bit mad doing this ride. However, my parents especially know how stubborn I am once I’ve set my mind to do something, and that I will do it and see it through to the end – however long it takes.

If you would like to make a donation visit the Straumann Charity Bike Ride JustGiving page

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