When I was invited to this KITBOX event along with George, which meant a road trip to Manchester I was pretty excited. I went to University up there and had some of the best times of my life whilst at Uni, meaning there are a lot of fond memories. Only curveball was we had a gig the night before, the 15th Anniversary show for the release of ‘Neon Handshake’ by Hell is for Heroes. The line up included one of my favourite bands from back then, Vex Red! They were on top form that night, but we decided that we were going to give it our all on Monday so left half way through the second support band. We had a brutal 4am wake up for the drive so needed to be half awake at least….
fear inducing cycling training
Our first stop of the trip, the HSBC UK National Cycling Centre, a vast labyrinth of corridors leading to our meet point, the Velodrome. Here we would be taught how to ride round the velodrome on fixed gear bikes….with no brakes. Let me tell you now that it is terrifying to begin with, probably not helped by our instructor who told us in no uncertain terms that one of us would crash. Now maybe it is just me but the job of an instructor is to fill you with confidence whilst telling you of the risk, but no this man just filled us with fear and made me confident in the fact I was going to wipe out at some point.
If you have never ridden in a velodrome the track goes up really steep, so steep in fact that you would barely be able to walk up it on the curves. Imagine how we felt having to cycle round the bend…the method is you don’t steer you just power through it and the curve will take you round. Sounds hard and trust me it is, especially when both George and I had ran a 1:42 half marathon the day before. I managed to get round, not particularly speedy and was overtaken by some of the squad absolutely owning it. There were points where the quad pump was unreal, my body definitely isn’t as in shape as it used to be. We are lucky enough to have the Lee Valley Velodrome not too far away from us, even though it was terrifying to begin with I think it is fair to say that we both ended the session wanted to learn more and become much better. Time to book some sessions there, fancy joining us?
Next up it was time for a quick pit stop at Frankie and Benny’s for the staple Crossfitter’s breakfast, Bacon, Eggs and Pancakes. The manager didn’t quite know what had hit him when 12 Crossfitters turn up needed a refuel before the next stage of the Kitbox Athlete Training day.
full burn workout at gristone crossfit
That next stage of the training day was to head to Gritstone Crossfit for a killer WOD, due to it being the first week of the Crossfit Games Open there was a choice given, do we do a redo of our 18.1 workout to try and get a better score…or do we do the workout programmed by Richard Hill, AKA Tricky Ricky? After running a half the day before and then burning my quads out more with cycling round the Velodrome in the morning, I decided it was best to not disappoint myself by going for a redo and failing miserably, so I chose the WOD which consisted of:
WOD Programmed by richard hill
1 minute work, 3 minutes’ rest as a team of four
- 15 cal Assault bike into 35kg Ground to Overhead
- 15 cal Assault bike into 24kg American Kettlebell Swings
- 15 cal Assault bike into Handstand Push Ups
- 15 cal Assault bike into Burpees
I was extremely lucky to be in a team alongside George, Sarah and Farah. The minute absolutely flew by and this was an absolutely burner, my quads were locking up by round three on the assault bike. But thankfully I had awesome team mates who gave me all the encouragement I needed, it also felt empowering to know that to my left were some amazing athletes tackling 18.1 aiming for a top finish: Rhi, Sheli, Ricky, Dan and Joe.
I haven’t been in Crossfit too long but the community aspect and the encouragement always blows me away. As I finished my last burpee and had a little lie down on the floor everyone still standing who’d finished the WOD threw words of encouragement at those tackling the Open workout. I had crazy quad pump and couldn’t really walk without looking like I’d shit myself so just waddled over to watch the finish. Some amazing performances and work put in that’s for sure.
Next up was some weightlifting work which I actually skipped as I was feeling pretty beat by that point, but as everyone tackled their lifts one by one again the encouragement came flooding in. This helps so much and I’m almost certain that there were some PBs achieved. The weight these people can lift is insane, I can only dream of achieving such things…actually thats bullshit, I can train my ass of to achieve such things. You watch and see…
With the workouts over it was time to head back on the epic four hour drive back to London, and reflect on where I am currently at and where I want to be. I know my weaknesses and I’m going to chase them down and overcome them, slowly but surely.
Huge thanks to KITBOX for the opportunity to try out new sports, for the amazing kit and also for the chance to train alongside such powerful and inspirational athletes.
The kit was as follows:
Keep an eye out for a shoe comparison coming up soon with the Inov8 F-Lite 260, Nike Metcon DSX Flyknit and the NOBULL Black Trainer going head to head to see who comes out top.