After cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats, Les Jones explains some of the lessons he learned along the way.

I have recently completed the challenge of cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats (Lejog).

I did it with four great mates from the dental sector – Chris Barrow, Sheila Scott, Ashley Latter and Simon Tucker.

We went under the banner of ‘Fivegoforth’.

It was tough…really tough, but it was also exhilarating, enjoyable and hugely rewarding.

In essence, it was a project, much like any other project, and it got me thinking about the key lessons I learned along the way that could be applied to your business.

So, I’m here to share these with you over a series of short blogs.

You have to fuel yourself

If I look at a piece of cake, I put weight on…so I normally don’t look, let alone pick it up.

However, that all changed on Lejog – if I saw a piece of cake, I grabbed it with both hands and I devoured it…and then I went back for another piece!

When you’re cycling up to 80 miles in a day over lots of big hills, you’re burning an additional 4,000 – 5,000 calories.

It’s one time in your life when you don’t have to worry about what you’re eating.

But that’s not strictly true…because if you don’t eat and drink enough you can find yourself in trouble – dehydrated, lacking energy and perhaps even a little light-headed – then the cycling gets really tough.

The golden rule on a long cycle ride is to never allow yourself to get hungry or thirsty, because if you do, it’s already too late, the damage is done.

Running on empty

It’s a great metaphor for what happens in many dental practices.

So many people spend their days expending energy, carrying out treatments and giving advice and guidance to patients – it can be exhausting and draining and before long, you’re running on empty.

Making sure you’re taking on the right fuel is essential to running a successful business.

And when I say fuel, I don’t just mean that you’re drinking and eating the right things at the right time, I’m also talking about fuelling your mind and your soul.

Beyond a certain amount of hours, everyone becomes less effective and more likely to make mistakes at work.

It’s the law of diminishing returns.

So, why not take time out to relax, to read, to do exercise or simply to switch off?

Giving yourself the time to recharge your mind and your body means you’ll be better equipped to take on the challenges ahead…just like we were on our bikes.


You can still sponsor the Fivegoforth team, just head over to the donations page.

Read some of the other lessons from Lejog: