22 July 2014

London (& Surrounding) Bloggers

What I've realised is that...

a) there are quite a few of us fabulous bloggers in London and the surrounding areas 

b) bloggers are very inclusive people 

c) we don't all know of each other...yet 

d) now and again we have a question we would like to ask other bloggers 

e) opportunities in the big blogger communities formed in the USA rarely ever allow for us UK peeps to get involved

f) sometimes we have things we would like to share with each other...

So I thought I would create that "sharing space" where we could get to know each other and see where this goes...

My BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) for the community are to host meet ups, celebrate what we do, develop our skills and expertise, create partnerships with each other (and brands, if that is something that interests you) and grow!

Here is how you can connect - 

Join our Facebook Group - {LINK}

If you have any further ideas please do get in touch with me either via the form on my 'Get In Touch' page or drop me an email at elle.linton(at)gmail.com

Elle :) 

21 July 2014

Living the simpElle life: Lucy

As we continue completing the steps towards achieving our individual goals, it's always great to hear about the journeys of others. What struggles have they faced? How have they felt? Where have they surpassed their own expectations?! 

No better way to find out the answers than to ask the questions in the form of this mini series - Living the simpElle life - where I talk to someone who has inspired me with their story.

I heard a great phrase last year -

"The Universe is made up of stories, not of atoms"

 - so that is what I want to share with you, stories, to open up the Universe to us all!

Each individual we meet embodies what this blog is about. They have dug deep to find motivation, they have sought inspiration and in doing so become inspirational to others. They have been empowered with knowledge to change and that is what their story will do for the rest of us...

Meet: Lucy Edwards

I met Lucy through the Team Naturally, Run group of ladies on Facebook. The group was created by Leah of Naturally, Leah who recently guest posted here on keep it simpElle with an Introduction to Whole 30. I've seen Lucy do all sorts...running, cycling, swimming...even all three at the same time! But I had no idea of the full extent of Lucy's journey...

...here's Lucy's story...
- {THEN} - 

Elle: What made you decide to start training / running? ...What were your plans / goals?

Lucy: I had never been a very active person, I wasn't interested in exercise at all up until about 6 years ago. I decided I fancied trying belly-dancing as it seemed a gentle way to get fit without working up too much of a sweat (plus I loved the costumes)! I danced with a group for two years and performed in live shows, which I really enjoyed. As I gradually became fitter I moved on from belly dancing to Zumba, then onto gym classes, trampolining and yoga.

I got into running in 2011 after hearing good things about the Couch to 5k programme. I downloaded the app, signed up for a 5k race and a gradually built up my distances and speed. At the time, 3.1 miles seemed a huge distance and I struggled to get past the first few minutes of running, but I stuck with it as I was determined to run a 5k race.

- {HOW} - 

Elle: What's your favourite way to workout?

Lucy: Currently I am obsessed with indoor cycling (aka spinning). I'm lucky enough to be a Project Manager for a state-of-the-art indoor cycling studio which is opening next month, I've been involved in every aspect of the studio from branding, design, marketing, instructor recruitment, sourcing the bikes and planning the soundtrack! I'm passionate about the project and I've been living, sleeping, eating and breathing indoor cycling for the past few months! At Cycle Rhythm, our classes are all about an empowering soundtrack, passionate instructors, a luxury environment and no membership contracts!

Elle: What's your typical weekly schedule?

Lucy: I'm currently training for my next triathlon as well as a half-marathon, so my weekly schedule usually involves 3 runs, 1 swim, 2 cycles or spin classes and a yoga class or strength training session. I do alter and change things around to fit into my plans for the week, and I always try to include a rest day.

Elle: What / who has been your inspiration?

Lucy: I recently met four time world Ironman champion Chrissie Wellington- her story of determination and drive to suceed really inspires me to go after my goals and not to give up. I'm also inspired by members of my triathlon club who have completed endurance events in tough conditions. 

Elle: What was the first big difference in you, that made you feel proud and excited?

Lucy: I noticed big improvements in my fitness when I was working with a Personal Trainer last year, I went from not being able to complete one full press-up to doing about 40 in a row!

Elle: Did you make any changes to your diet once you started training?

Lucy: I changed my diet around the time that I first took up belly-dancing. I lost 5 stone over a period of around 18 months, going from a size 18-20 to a size 12. I've maintained my weight-loss for almost 5 years now. Healthy eating and fitness has become part of my lifestyle, I couldn't imagine going back to the way I was before I lost weight and got fit! These days I try to focus on eating foods which will give me energy and sustain me for my active lifestyle.


Lucy - AFTER

 - {NOW} - 

Elle: How do you track your progress?

Lucy: I use a TomTom Runner watch to track my running distance/time/pace. I also keep an exercise diary where I make a note of the training I have done over the course of the week.

Elle: Have your goals changed since you started your journey?

Lucy: Yes, when I initially took up exercise I never dreamed I would be running a half-marathon, taking part in a triathlon or working in fitness one day! I've set new goals as I've progressed in my journey, I love a new challenge and I'm always signing up for events or races. My goal for this year was to take part in 12 races and so far I have completed 7 with several more lined up over the next few months. When I started my journey, my aim was to lose weight, but now I am more focused on challenging myself, feeling strong and improving my speed.

Elle: How do you keep yourself motivated?

Lucy: Signing up for a race keeps me motivated, I will definitely put in the training if I know I have a half-marathon or triathlon coming up. I am generally quite motivated, as I enjoy my training and look forward to each session.

Elle: If you could go back and give advice to the "before" you...or any other person contemplating changing their lifestyle...what would you say?!

Lucy: My advice would be to ease into it gently and don't feel pressured to change your lifestyle overnight. Try out lots of different classes and different types of exercise until you find something that is right for you. Exercise has to be enjoyable for it to be sustainable and I believe there is something which will appeal to everyone.

..so what d'ya think?! 

If you'd like to leave Lucy a comment below please do so or you can connect with her here - 

Twitter: @lucylunges
Instagram: lucy_lunges
Cycle Rhythm website: www.cyclerhythm.com

If you would like to share your own story please get in touch with me: {Contact Elle}

Until then, keep living that simpElle life ;) 

Elle :) 

18 July 2014

Introduction To Duathlon

Last weekend, I got to cycle at THE Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park velodrome which was built especially for the London Olympics in 2012. I attended a Women's Only session on Introduction to Duathlon.

It would be the first time I would learn all about how a duathlon works and get a proper chance to try out a BRICK session.

This was the agenda for the morning -

9:30am           Introduction
Bike, helmet and equipment check
Rules of duathlon racing
9:45am          Bike handling skills:
Mounting and dismounting your bike
Cornering technique
Effective changing gears
Developing efficient cycling
10:30am         Efficient run technique
11:00am         Transition set up and brick (run/bike/run) session
11:25am         Review with Q&As

Here are some notes on what I took away from the session:

# No helmet, no ride. Kinda goes without saying, but the amount of people I see cycling on the road without a helmet is surprising. I think they must surely not value their lives!

I currently have a Bern helmet which I love, but its not as breathable or aerodynamic as it could be! I've got my eye on a lululemon x specialized collaboration helmet which is coming out in August so that'll be my treat for completing all my training!

# No drafting allowed! Darn! I had just been told all about how much more efficient and easy your cycling is when sitting behind someone else only to find out I won't be allowed to do it in my event! I also have to take over a a certain distance, in a certain time! If only these rules applied on the road every day especially to four wheeled vehicles! (Oh wait, they do, they just never take any notice!)

# Transition. When you return from your run, you do not touch your bike until you have your helmet on securely.

Transition. There is a line, that MUST be crossed. You do not mount your bike before you cross the line to go for your ride. When you return, you dismount your bike before you cross the line.

# Transition. Having two pairs of shoes takes time. I now understand why I have been advised to get elastic laces for my shoes. I will definitely be looking into this.

# When taking a corner, the weight is on your outside leg which is straight. Sometimes this came naturally, other times it was awkward. I practice this now on my cycle commute.

# Use the easy gears for uphill, and the tougher gears for downhill.

# You can cycle much more efficiently with clip in shoes. It allows you to PULL as well as PUSH in your pedal strike. This uses your glutes and hamstrings which are some of the biggest and strongest muscles in your body!

# Running efficiently after cycling can be tough. We did some drills including high knees, butt kicks as well as isolating each leg to see which was strongest.

# Transition. Consider using a bright towel in your transition area to help you spot your bike / run shoes etc. Keep a snack / gels in your transition area to keep you fuelled for your event.

# Transition. Place your helmet by your front wheel with the clips open so it's easier to put on. Helmet closet to you, and shoes behind.

# Practice running after cycling as much as possible even if it's only for ten minutes. It will help your body get used to the feeling. I'm thinking that I could cycle home from work, drop my bike off, switch into my running shoes and clock up ten minutes of running. This will help me meet my July goal for BRICK sessions too and make the actual event on the day much more enjoyable!

After learning all of this, we had an opportunity to try a short BRICK session - run/bike/run. This was great experience. I realised I was pretty slow in the transition area, but then I wasn't competing with anyone at all.

Any more tips for me?! Products I need to know about?! 

Elle :) 

17 July 2014

NET-A-SPORTER - New Sports Category launched

NET-A-PORTER.COM, the world's premier online luxury fashion retailer, launched a new activewear category earlier this month! 

NET-A-SPORTER now offers customers in over 170 countries a stylish solution comprising high-performing pieces that will span across 36 brands in 11 sporting disciplines: tennis, golf, equestrian, run, gym and cross fit, yoga and dance, swim and surf, sail, outdoor, ski and après sport. 10 new designers will be introduced to the category: Monreal London, L’Etoile Sport, Musto Sailing, Weargrace, Ballet Beautiful, Falke Sport, Live The Process, LAAIN, Bodyism and accessories brands Jawbone and Liforme.

They have some very cute luxe pieces (i've had my eye on the liforme mat since I first set eyes on them over a year ago!).

What d'you think?! 

Elle :) 

15 July 2014

Why Whole 30?!

Just yesterday, I began my first ever Whole 30! This post is the why behind it and my expectations from completing it successfully!

I've watched countless other blogger friends complete Whole 30's over and over, reporting their responses to the 30 days in blog posts that make for interesting reading.

I have an understanding of the power of food - I've seen changes in my body this year alone since eating the alkaline way. Just last year, I completed a juice cleanse for 5 days and felt amazing - my skin was glowing, my energy was endless....and then I went back to eating the same stuff that had been creating havoc with my skin and energy.

Here's what I'm hoping to get out of the next 30 days:

1.. For Clearer skin

2.. To wake up feeling energised with no need to hit the snooze button 

3.. Reduce cravings for junk food and empty calories

4.. Increased energy levels, reduce anaemia symptoms 

5.. To supplement my workouts, make the most of the training I do, value the training I do by respecting my body and what I put into it, fuelling well for training, improved performance 

So whenever my willpower begins to subside, I'll come back to this post and remember why I'm doing this!

I'll also be keeping a diary - I bought a notebook especially for Whole 30 to write down what I eat each day, how I felt, my moods and inspiration! I've also taken all my measurements; not because I want them to change. I just want to know be able to know if they do change!

I'm sure I'll be sharing all my cooking concoctions over on Instagram so join me there if you are interested - ellelinton - but I'll be posting about my Whole 30 here every 10 days so look out for my post on days 1 - 10 next week!

Day 1. Meal 1.

To find out more about Whole 30, check out Leah's Guest Post from a few weeks ago - Whole 30 Introduction with Leah. Also check out the Whole 30 website at http://whole30.com

Soooo...here goes! 
Elle :) 

14 July 2014

Elle About Town, July 2014

One thing I love about London is that there is always something happening! This is my place to share the things that got my attention and what's coming up in my diary that I think will be worth writing about here!

Also, check out this post from Lunges & Lycra about events going on in July - The month in sweat July.

So here's my bit of what's gone down over the last month worth reading about!

Classes: Wednesday Evening Run Club with lululemon Covent Garden  

On July 9th, Jen (of Eclectic Cake blog) and I, headed up the first weeknight run club for the new Covent Garden Store. Jen planned our route around the river and headed up the group. I planned our workout interlude and kept up the tail end of the group. We were blessed with a glorious London evening - sunshine and a beautiful breeze - as we ran along the River Thames Embankment and stopped to train in the shadow of the London Eye.

If you're around town on a Wednesday evening, pack your running shoes and come join us! It's at no cost whatsoever and we are a lovely bunch!

Classes: Crossfit Level 1

After finally finding a box that suited my schedule, budget and super critical judgements of coaches / teachers / instructors I completed all 7 sessions of the Crossfit Foundations / Level 1. It was one of my goals to complete in June but I graduated the first weekend in July after my Clean and Jerk session!

Here are all the sessions I covered:
  • Session 1.1: Squats, Front squat, Overhead Squat
  • Session 1.2: Squats, Press, Push-press, Push Jerk
  • Session 1.3: Squats, Deadlift, Sumo deadlift, Sumo deadlift high-pull & box jumps
  • Session 1.4: Squats, Pull-ups, Push-ups and Ring Dips
  • Session 1.5: Squats, kettlebell swing, kettlebell snatch & Turkish get-up
  • Session 1.6: The barbell snatch
  • Session 1.7: The clean & jerk

I booked in for my first Level 2 the next week - however - I didn't have a plan B and almost got drowned in the rain cycling to class so had to turn back! I will get there though... keep an eye out to hear how Level 2 goes!

Classes: Nike Training Club at Nike, Westfield London 

I've just added another new class to my teaching schedule! I'm back on the NTC programme at Westfield London. Each and every Monday join me for that full body workout completely free of charge! Class starts at 630pm. Be sure to sign up via the Facebook app (you don't need a Facebook account) and I'll see you there!

My full schedule can be found on the 'Train with Elle' page here on keep it simpElle.

Eats: Gyms Kitchen  

I finally, finally made it down to this place - the UK's first protein based restaurant where nothing on the menu is a sin! I headed down there with Georgina (of Fitcetera blog) the day after Hackney Half Marathon! the perfect recovery in my eyes! I ordered a dish of grilled chicken and a huge salad with halloumi.

Total thumbs up in my eyes...but would have to be just a treat every now and again when I'm feeling lazy but still want to be healthy due to the location being far for me, and the prices a little on the high side. 

Coming Up....

Pretty Muddy... 
I'm kinda not prepared but still looking forward to my first ever mud run! I thinks its only 5km so can't be that bad, can it?!

QEOP Women's Only Introduction to Duathlon Training 
My first knowledge and practice session for duathlon training. I get to hear everything I need to know, ask questions and then put it into practice in a mini duathlon! I'll be sharing what I learn here as a means to let everyone else know what's involved in a duathlon and also as a resource for me to come back to during my training.

FitPro Live 
This week, I'll be attending my first fitness professional conference here in London! There are some amazing people speaking and great sessions to try out! After two days of non stop knowledge and experience I'm sure I will be exhausted but will be buzzing and ready to share what I experienced!

Got anything interesting coming up in the next month you would like to share?! 

Elle :) x

11 July 2014

London Winter Run

My plan for 2014 has been to "Out-train 2013" and also to "Out-run 2013". All of a sudden I'm half way through 2014 and the focus starts to turn to the start of 2015! I ran the Hackney Half Marathon and was keen to do another half...one in the autumn of 2014 and one in early 2015. That one in 2015 has worked out to be The Brighton Half (more to come on this soon!) so training runs close to this would be a bonus!! ...London though, is not full of runs in the winter...it gets cold and race organisers pack up and plan for the warm weather's return!

The Cancer Research UK London Winter Run is challenging people to keep running through the winter by taking on a 10km run on February 1st 2015. 15,000 people are expected to fill the streets making their way past London’s most iconic landmarks where they will brave the elements to raise vital funds to help beat cancer sooner.

Runners gather at ‘Base Camp’, which will be set up by the River Thames on London’s Embankment. From there they will set off along a stunning looped course featuring views of the London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben, the Tower of London and many more of London’s iconic sites. 

Areas of snow, being dubbed Snow-Zones, are anticipated to feature on the winter themed route, but runners won’t let that stop them making it to the finish as they conquer the cold in aid of Cancer Research UK.

The timing is great for people who set "getting fit" or running as their New Year's Resolutions! It'll also help to reduce some of the excess that has become Christmas! It also gives regular runners hoping to maintain their fitness throughout the winter something fun to aim for and is an ideal distance to conquer as part of a spring marathon training plan.

Register your interest now to get in on the early-bird price of £34 (for a limited time only). Entry price will rise to £39 on 16th July

For More information visit www.londonwinterrun.co.uk

I'll be there :) ...will you?! Let's run London in the heart of winter!

Elle :) 


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