So, it’s your first time coming to us. Not sure what to expect or what to bring? Don’t sweat it, all your questions will be answered below.
What do I need to bring with me?
Bring your bike! Pretty much essential! And yes, bring it with both wheels in. You should have already filled out one of our questionnaires, in which you gave some details about your bike.
Other bits you need to bring with you:
- Water bottles. One or two depending on the length of session. Usually these will be between 45 mins to 120 mins, so we’d usually recommend two just to be sure. It’s not like the added weight is going to make a difference in here!
- A couple of small hand towels or similar size towels (like a tea towel). Why? You WILL sweat. You’re going to want something to mop your brow and dangle over your bike to keep it sweat free. We do have some awesome cooling fans, but even with those on, it will get pretty warm in there!
- Head band (if you like!) I’ve worn one in the HURTBOX before. Yes, I look like a fool but I don’t need to wipe my face every five minutes! Up to you…
- A comfy pair of cycling shorts (or something you’re happy to sit on the bike in for a decent amount of time). If you own a top quality pair of bib shorts then bring those. If you don’t, then bring your best pair anyway. Sitting on a turbo trainer indoors for any period of time limits your movement on the saddle. Wear the most comfortable pair of bibs you own.
- Cycling jersey or lightweight top, cycling shoes or trainers if you normally use trainers.
- On those wintery early mornings it can get chilly in our studio BUT you won’t be for long! So bring a hoodie or long sleeve cycling jersey too. Something that you can take off mid session when you’ve warmed up.
- Own an ANT+ heart rate monitor or got an ANT+ cadence sensor? We will hook these up to our software to record the data from them. Got Bluetooth devices? Sorry but we don’t support them at the mo. Not sure what ANT+ is? See NOTE at the end…
- Some sort of energy bar or energy gel.
- This is an important one, come armed with your TrainingPeaks password and/or Strava password! Why do you need to bring this? If you want your data to be synced straight to your TP or Strava account straight after your ride you will need to enter your password in our studio software. Don’t worry, we’ll never know this password and you can enter it in private but you must come prepared! There’s not enough time for lots of guessing or resetting passwords online. As an online security recommendation, make this password different to your other passwords you use online.
- Last but not least bring something to eat and something to drink straight after your session. The 30 minutes post your session is a critical time to get refuelling. You don’t need to eat a lot, just something small to keep you going until you get a decent meal in as soon as you can. Not sure what to bring? Chat to us and we will point you in the right direction.
ANT+ is a wireless signal that is used in many sports watches and sports sensors like heart rate monitors. A heart rate monitor measures your heart rate in ‘beats per minute’. Our studio software can record and display this data on screen for you during your session. Now while this isn’t an essential piece of data to have it can be useful and our team can help you understand the information it’s giving you, so if you’d like to get one and bring it along we recommend the Wahoo TICKR or the Garmin ANT+ heart rate monitor.
Both are sold at Wiggle and are currently around the £35 to £40 mark, the Garmin being slightly cheaper. The Wahoo TICKR is compatible with both ANT+ and Bluetooth so you could hook it up to a smartphone and use it record your heart rate during another activity. The Garmin is purely ANT+ so will only connect to a compatible watch or cycling computer.
We only recommended Wiggle because they are very reliable, their delivery is quick and in the unlikely event that you get a problem with your kit, their customer service is great.
Can you lend me a heart rate monitor strap?
No! You will get sweaty during sessions and sharing that between clients isn’t pleasant for anyone! We’d love to be in a position where we could afford to give out heart rate monitors too, but unfortunately we aren’t there yet.
What’s a cadence sensor?
This counts the number of times you complete a full revolution of the pedals measured in ‘rotations per minute’ or RPM. It’s usually a small device that attaches to your crank arm (the arm near the pedal). This device gives some really useful data and we highly recommend one of these. We’d recommend the Garmin Cadence sensor.
It’s about £28 from Amazon. It’s sometimes bundled with a speed sensor too, but you don’t need that for our studio. Speed readouts in the studio are irrelevant!
Why do you need to know your cadence?
If you know your cadence you can adjust it and there are specific sessions that we will run for you in the studio that will require you to pedal at higher or lower cadences than your natural selected cadence. Different cadences bring about different benefits all of which we can explain at HURTBOX
So where is the studio?
The HURTBOX Studio
38A Bond Street
Where can I park?
There is a car park on Bond Street on the left as you turn into the road. Charges do apply so bring some coins!
Monday to Saturday 08:00 to 18:00 is £2 for 2 Hours
Sunday 12:00 to 18:00 is £1.50 for 2 Hours
Outside of these hours, parking is free!
Please Note – there is a height barrier on entrance to the car park, so we would suggest if you are driving down with the bike, where possible keep it in the car!
Are there toilets or shower facilities?
Yes there are!
What time do I need to get there?
For your very first session we need you to arrive at least 25 minutes prior to the published start time. Why? Because we need to set your equipment up in our studio software and it can take a few minutes for each person equipment such as your heart rate monitor or cadence sensor. There can be up to 10 new arrivals to set up in some sessions and as you can imagine, if everyone has a sensor to set up, it can take a little time.
What do I do when I get there?
Park up, unload your bike from the car and put both wheels back in if you had to remove either of them. Leave as much of your stuff as you can in your car! There are some things you should bring inside and we’ll go through those in a bit.
Leave your phone in your car! If you can’t bare to be without it and want to take selfies while you are riding that’s great and don’t forget to tag HURTBOX! But if you don’t want to leave it in the car then turn ‘Airplane Mode’ on, or if you can’t do this at least turn off Bluetooth and Wifi. This will make sure that the signal from your phone doesn’t mess with the wireless sensors and kit in the studio.
Stuff to bring in from the car as well as the bike:
- Cycling shoes or trainers
- Your jacket/hoodies or long sleeve jersey
- Any nutrition you have
Put all of the above items in a smallish kit bag if you have one or a backpack. We don’t want anyone falling over any kit on the floor!
What to do next?
Come over to the studio and our member of staff will already be there ready and waiting! If you’ve already been before and are confident setting your bike up on our KICKRs then your name will be on the board next to the KICKR number you will be using. Stick to that KICKR as we may have set up other KICKRs specifically for other bikes with different gearing options.
If you’ve never put your bike in a turbo trainer before, no problem. One of our staff members will be ready and waiting to help. We can show you exactly how to do it.
What kind of ride will we be doing?
It will likely be a test BUT don’t be afraid! The test is called a Functional Threshold Power test or FTP test for short. FTP is the theoretical amount of maximum effort you can sustain over an hour period. Don’t worry, you absolutely won’t be riding at that effort for the whole 60 minutes! The whole session will be about an hour in total, but only a portion of that will be at that ‘difficult but manageable’ effort that’s required for the test results.
This test is really important because;
- It is the BEST way to track your improvement in fitness and strength on the bike. You will see an increase in the amount of power you can sustain during the FTP test if you train consistently and follow our training plans and importantly, more power = more speed!
- It also helps us determine the resistance that we apply to your bike whilst on our equipment each time you come back to ride with us. Getting the resistance right ensures that we are maximising the training benefit for you!
Let’s get going!
When everyone is set up and ready to get cycling, our coach will start the session and whilst you’re warming up they will go through the session plan and explain what’s coming up and why you’re doing what you’re doing. You’ll see on the projector screen the ride profile at the bottom of the screen. This blue bar will go up and down throughout the session. The higher it goes the harder the effort will be and the lower it is, the easier it will be.
Most sessions have specific intervals that last ‘x’ number of minutes and the coach will announce during that interval how long you have left at that intensity. Try to hang tough and ride out the interval but if you can’t, tell the coach. They may advise you to really stick it out or tell you it’s time to back pedal. When you back pedal there isn’t any resistance and you have time to recover and get ready for the next interval. To ease back during an interval you can’t just slow down your pedalling. If you do, all that will happen is the resistance will go up and it will get even tougher!
So you’ve come to the end of your first ride at HURTBOX. The coach will launch an FTP Test specific cool down or other sessions will have their own cool down built in. The coach will let you know when to stop and instantly our software will send your ride directly to your TrainingPeaks and/or Strava account. We’ll also send you an email with a summary of the ride and a file attached so that you can upload it to Garmin Connect if you like. We can discuss the ride and answer any questions that you have.
Our staff will help you take your bike off the turbo and load up your cars! Don’t forget to have a stretch out and take on some food and liquid too. This ensures that your body has the best chance of recovering in preparation for your next session with us!
And that is that!
If you have any questions at all or think we may have missed something email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.