Column: Positive thinking ahead of big challenge

It was Tour de Yorkshire last week and cycling has become a big part of my free time at the moment as I count down to the biggest physical challenge of my life.

Wednesday, 9th May 2018, 5:40 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th May 2018, 5:56 pm
Dr Crichton training for his ride from Lands End to John OGroats

In September I will set off to ride 969 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats in just nine days – that’s 108 miles a day.

Why am I doing it? My parents don’t drive and cycling was my early escape to the freedom and to discover the great outdoors.

I’m using the time I spend on the Deloitte Ride Across Britain to raise money for the important work of a charity that’s close to my heart – Cancer Research UK. Cancer touches everyone’s life, personally or through friends or family, and I’m no different.

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Three of my four grandparents have lost their lives to cancer. Many Doncaster families will relate to this.

As a GP I developed an interest in cancer and I know the importance of research to bring forward the day when a cure is found.

I’m training by completing at least one 100 miles ride every weekend. Someone recently asked me what I think about when I’m in the saddle for up to seven hours a day?

I appreciate the Yorkshire scenery and try to keep thinking positive thoughts; highlights of the past week, memorable holidays or family occasions. Sometimes it gives me time to reflect and problem-solve those nagging work and family issues.

I break the ride into manageable chunks. The first third I’m feeling fresh and the miles are clocking up, stopping off for a snack, drink and to stretch my legs after about 35 miles.

The middle third, my legs are warmed up but I must remember to drink regularly. I talk to fellow riders, it’s one of the reasons I undertake organised sportives. I recently spent nearly seven hours riding with ex-jockey Ray Cochrane, who now manages Frankie Dettori.

The last stop is about 65miles and the half-way point from a physical effort point of view. Tiredness starts to kick in and the mind starts to wander “can I really do this?” Determination is what gets me through. I don’t want to let people down - family who support me and all the people who have sponsored me. Counting down the miles, 30 miles to go - about two hours remain, 15 miles to go about an hour left, nearly there and finally relief and elation when I cross the finish line.

If you would like to sponsor me please visit: David Crichton Just Giving Page