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Me and my health: Sir Anthony McCoy on his lifestyle

 

Champion jockey: AP McCoy winning the Gold Cup on Synchronised in 2012
Champion jockey: AP McCoy winning the Gold Cup on Synchronised in 2012
AP McCoy with wife Chanelle

By Staff Reporter

Former jockey Sir Anthony Peter McCoy (45), from Moneyglass in Co Antrim, is coming out of retirement to ride in a charity race on September 15. AP McCoy, who rode a record 4,357 winners and was champion jockey 20 consecutive times, lives in Berkshire with his wife Chanelle, Lady McCoy (43), and their two children Eve (11) and Archie (6).

Q: Do you take regular exercise and if so, what?

A: When I was racing, I was quite lucky that I was always reasonably fit. I stopped exercising when I retired - you could say I let myself go - and I put on two and a half stone. In the last few months, I've started exercising. I'm riding in a charity race for a friend at the Curragh and 10 former champions are riding in it. I'm pretty much the tallest and probably the heaviest as well! I need to get myself in reasonable shape, so I've been riding horses, doing some gym work and some running. I've lost 10lb in the last six weeks, so I'm in better shape than I was.

Q: What is the worst illness you've had?

A: I haven't been ill as such, but I've been in hospital quite a lot because I've pretty much broken all my bones. I've broken my ankle, arm, wrist, lower back, middle back, all my ribs, my sternum and my collarbone. I have metal in my wrist and two metal plates in my back - I'm put together with metal, if you like.

Q: How healthy is your diet?

A: Before I retired, I used to eat once a day and then I ate once an hour! I am eating a lot better in the last couple of weeks because I am trying to get back in shape, which is not easy, but I feel like I am definitely getting in the zone more than I was. I'm starting to get a bit of the old me back. I'll eat Rice Krispies for breakfast and I try to have a healthy lunch. In the last couple of years I've been eating steak and chips, having not been allowed to for most of my career. If I have any opportunity to eat this, I will, but I find myself ordering fish as well. Maybe a bit of discipline is good!

Q: Any bad habits?

A: I'd say no, but most of my friends would probably say yes! I'm a bit of a chocoholic. When I sit down to watch the golf or football on TV I have a biscuit and then half-time comes and I get up to make myself a cup of tea and eat the whole packet - so that is not a great habit.

Q: Do you drink and smoke/if so, how much?

A: I've never drunk alcohol or smoked in my life. I decided not to drink because I didn't want it to have an impact on my career. If I'm not good, I don't want it to be due to that. I decided I didn't need it. I don't smoke. I would never have any desire to do either. I've probably a bit of an addictive personality and I'm probably a bit of a control freak, so it's not something that I've any desire to ever do.

Q: Do you take any supplements?

A: No. It's something I used to do a lot when I was racing - I used to take different supplements such as calcium, aloe vera and different vitamins. But I was more undernourished than I am now, so I've given them up.

Q: How do you take time out?

A: I have a much different life now. I never used to have holidays and I never used to be able to do what I wanted. I have more time to myself now. I get to play golf and I enjoy that. I suppose I've a less restricted lifestyle now. I'm a very lucky person - I never had to do a day's work in my life and not many people can say that.

Q: How well do you sleep?

A: I am a pretty good sleeper, although not as good as I once was. I sleep for five to six hours a night now, but when I was racing it was 10-12 hours a day - I used to sleep half the day.

Q: Do you worry about getting old?

A: I am beyond worrying about it now. I might have been worried 10 years ago, thinking was I going to have to retire. Now that I've retired, I have to accept it. I don't really care about getting old any more - I've had my fun.

Q: What is your go-to product that keeps you feeling healthy?

A: I suppose aloe vera - I just drink it a lot. I've got something in my head that it's good for me, kind of natural, so I always give it a go.

Sir Anthony McCoy is riding in the Pat Smullen charity race at the Curragh on September 15 to raise money for Cancer Trials Ireland

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