Warning: You might want to jump on your bike after reading this article. Please take appropriate measurements if required.
Can you imagine waking up at 4:45am in the morning, excitedly jumping out of the bed, almost taking your ceiling lamp out, singing with your radio and rocking up to the ride location ready for a tough ride?
Well, I wasn’t either until I met Dave, Harry and Lisa, the coaching gang from The Hurt Box (THB). And yes, they chose their company name with intention.
On my first ride with THB five weeks ago, I had a true fitness reality check. I knew I was not in shape. But I was not only “not in shape”, I was even beyond the “out of shape” classification.
I wasn’t sure what had a deeper dent, my legs or my ego. But I immediately knew, I arrived at the right address. Lisa, our female coach and National Track Champion, reassured me, if I follow the program, I will become fit and conditioned. There is no other way.
A promise too good to be true?
Well, I would know soon enough.
The training program is based on power and heartrate. As a sworn-in “no-number” cyclist, I was hesitant at first. So I chatted with Harry, the mastermind of Ridermetrics, a free available training software he programmed himself. Just to spell this out, there is a coach at THB, who thought all the current popular training software programs are not good enough so he built his own! I call this 100% dedication going all the way. And just for good measure, he improved the algorithms as there are error calculations in the most popular training software.
So, it didn’t take long and the power meter and a heart rate monitor was ordered. However, it’s one thing to collect data, but a totally different thing to analyse them and even more importantly to train accordingly.
Dave aka Steggles, THB coach, elite racer and an icon in Melbourne’s cycling scene, is the key to transform the data into a training plan. Plus, not only does he write the program, he does the training with you. Three times a week, he personally ensures we are in the hurt box (sorry, couldn’t help it).
But by no means does this mean we are digging deep the entire time, quite the opposite. Surprisingly, we are riding a lot of steady pace. As of rather sociable nature, it is a fantastic time to meet my fellow Hurt Boxers. They are quite a bunch, I tell’ya!
Although every THB rider has a different goal why they train – World Champs or for the local crit – there is one thing everyone has in common – they know how to have a good time on the bike – especially when a German tries to use American slang in Australia! This multicultural combination was asking for awkward misunderstandings. Let’s say this, not all American cycling terms are appropriate to use in Australian lingo, especially when juniors are around. I learned that the “did-she-really-just-say-that?” way! J
But back to the “you will get fit, there is no other way” promise, my initial data aversion and off-the-map-out-of-shapeness:
Like in a cheesy movie, everything is having an amazing turn to the better. There is this indescribable connection with my bike returning– it is hard to describe but those who got back into shape from a miserable unfit state know this awesome feeling.
I know this might sound over the top, but I couldn’t ask for a better Christmas present than being part of The Hurt Box. If you ever have been in that deep hole of unfitness, weight gain and lack of motivation, it is tough to get yourself out of there. THB was the key to get me back on track. Being motivated in the darkest hour to get up and excited to ride my bike while getting truly fit again is an awesome feeling. For those who have been there, they know exactly what I mean.
And the journey is just starting…