Lora Fachie's #champion Blog
Fresh from her gold-medal-winning success at the UCI Para-cycling World Championships, Lora tells us more about her training (which definitely paid off!), who her #champions are and her biggest challenge.
My routineMy training schedule changes depending on what phase of the year it is. It generally consists of six days of training and one rest day a week. One of the days will be an easier day where I only have one easy bike session for recovery. The rest of my training generally consists of hours spent on a turbo trainer (a frame that clamps on to the back wheel of a bike to hold it upright and in one place). Plus, I do two strength training sessions in the velodrome gym a week.
From April we will change our focus to road racing and will do some sessions on the road tandem together, as well as solo training sessions on my turbo. We are very fortunate to be funded by the National Lottery which allows us to fully focus on our training and do what we do.
A lot of what drives me is my desire to prove that being visually impaired will not stop me. I also want to make my friends and family proud and I enjoy being good at something.
My #championsMy sporting #champion is Kelly Holmes. It stems from when I was a runner as she did the same events as me – and what she achieved in Athens in 2004 was incredible (gold in 800m and 1500m). The amount of times she had to pick herself up from injury and disappointment throughout her career and still keep going proved what a strong person she is.
My non-sporting #champions are my parents. I know it sounds cliché but I really couldn’t have achieved what I have today without them. They’ve both worked really hard to give me so many opportunities in life; fighting to ensure that myself and my two brothers experienced a mainstream education rather than going to a blind school and they taught me not to accept no for an answer. They proved that being visually impaired would not hold me back as they are both visually impaired themselves and incredibly successful.
My biggest challengeMy biggest challenge to date has to be the London 2012 Games. From the moment it was announced in 2005 that London would be hosting the Paralympics, I had a dream of winning gold in London. When I was selected it was all I could think about - I desperately wanted to be a Paralympic champion at my home games.
The first two events were on the track and I finished 4th in them both, frustratingly just outside the medals. I was very disappointed but I still had two road events to go and road is my preferred event. The first road event was the time trial, my favourite, and it all started so well. The race consisted of three laps of the Brands Hatch road course. After the first lap we were leading. After the second lap we were still leading. It felt amazing! I was actually going to fulfil my dream. The support around the course was amazing, crowds cheering us on.
And then disaster struck. We turned a corner, changed gear to begin the climb and our chain came off. We stopped to get it fixed, and as we stood there we watched our competitors fly past. I was devastated and struggled to pick myself up, which meant we ended up finishing 8th in the final road race a couple of days later.
That was my London experience over. I felt like I had failed and let my friends and family down. I really struggled mentally for a few months after London. I completely fell out of love with tandem riding and at times I never even wanted to see a bike again.
Fortunately the amazing support of my family convinced me I hadn’t failed. I did get back on that tandem, and rediscovered my love for the sport. Becoming world time trial champion one year later definitely helped with this!
And it led to the achievement I’m most proud of, which has to be my Paralympic gold medal in the 3km pursuit in Rio 2016. Don’t be afraid to fail on the first attempt. You can learn from it and come back stronger. Not achieving something once doesn’t mean it will never happen. So keep on trying and one day that dream just might come true.