Danny Lotz, IT manager at Spinneys, on the thrill of the Cycle Challenge

We sit down with the 47-year-old to talk training, tips and being part of the Spinneys team

How many years have you been participating in the Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge, or is this your first time?

This will be my third Cycle Challenge.

What inspired you to take part?

I have to say a big thank you to a few friends – keen cyclists themselves, they were telling me how much they enjoyed the preparation and race day activities leading up to the Cycle Challenge. This convinced me to take it up myself.

What is it like cycling as part of the Spinneys team?

We constantly motivate one another, which is a big help. On days when the temperature is really high or the wind is blowing, there is always a team member saying ‘Let’s go!’. Like most things, exercising is always better with friends, and that’s what we have in the Spinneys team.

Are you following a specific training plan?

I try to commit to training three times a week with a rest day in between. On cycling days I switch things up – interval, endurance and hill climbing – to keep it interesting.

Have you adopted a special diet to help you prepare?

My diet hasn’t changed much from before I started cycling, however, I’ve noticed I now take it easy on the crisps and sodas! I would say I’m more disciplined in limiting the amount of food I eat, too.

What do you enjoy about cycling and the Cycle Challenge?

I loved cycling to begin with and when I saw the safe cycling tracks in Dubai, I knew it was the sport for me. I also get a feeling of freedom when cycling, especially when the speed picks up. All this is emphasised when you take part in the Cycle Challenge with 2000 other participants.

How have the build-up rides been?

I’ve really enjoyed them. I worked hard and was happy with my results, which all adds to it. Of course the complimentary breakfasts from Spinneys did the trick as well.

Do you have any words of advice for those attempting the Cycle Challenge for the first time?

Take it slow – many people start cycling, see some progress and then are eager to advance by piling on the extra hours or kilometres every week. The negative effects of pushing your body before it’s ready will set you back weeks in your training and your enthusiasm.