Even if the sun seems to be hiding, it’s technically Summer! We’re half way through 2021 and the constant changes of the past 18 months are still occurring. Life hasn’t slowed down since my last life update though… so I’m noting down a few highlights from the past few months here!
I’ve Started Training For Another Duathlon
I’m about 3-4 weeks into a training plan ready to take on the London Duathlon in September. It’s been 7 years since I (first and) last did this event. I shared my journey and the event write up on the blog so it’s quite nostalgic to read through that content and remember the event!
My training plan is low volume cycling, running and brick training to accommodate everything else I do like teaching classes which sometimes accounts for my strength training and outdoor riding.
The distances have changed since I last did this event, so although the run distances are the same (10k and 5km) the cycling leg is 44km for the Full Distance. So this kinda takes the pressure off comparing my performances.
Getting A Bike Fit
Funny enough, I rode the bike leg of the London Duathlon in 2014 on a borrowed bike, after my own got stolen around 10 days prior to the event. I’d never ridden a road bike at that point so it was a learning curve riding a “new to me” and road bike for the first time on race day!
This year, I’ll be riding my Liv Langma. I started riding this model bike at the start of 2021, and it’s a different set up to the Avail so I booked in for a bike fit to check the fit and see what could be tweaked.
Turns out the Langma is a perfect fit for me, but we did adjust the saddle position (lower and backwards), sorted my cleat positioning, rewrapped some bar tape for comfort and moved the brake levers to make them more accessible.
My First Race DNF?
On the subject of races, I had what I think is my first Did Not Finish – although technically I didn’t start. I signed up for a cyclocross race in June at a local cycling centre. I went along with all the enthusiasm, but when I went out to ride the sighting lap I came off my bike and decided not to do the race.
In all fairness, I was partly ill prepared. I’ve never ridden cross clipped in and this course needed that. There were a ton of uphills and downhills as well as quite technical tracks. Oh and a serious staircase which I’d never encountered on this course before.
Since then though, I’ve gotten out on my cross bike to ride part of King Alfred’s Way and even done a off road skills session. Both of these I was clipped in for and they have given me some more confidence to get back to cross.
- What To Expect At Your First Cyclocross Race
- Review: Liv Brava SLR 2020 | Womens Cyclocross Bike
- Cyclocross Kit Essentials For The Winter Season
- I recently got to hang out with the team at Velovixen to shoot for their latest padded pants drop (pictured above). Way, way back in circa 2014 I won their Next Top Model Competition and did a shoot with them.
- I wrote a piece for Fit&Well on how to use a treadmill with lots of expert information and tips.
- Check out the Rutland Cycling write up of our bike-packing day trip on the KAW.
Level 2 Coaching Award
One of my cycling goals for 2021 has been to complete my Level 2 Award in Coaching Cycling with British Cycling. It’s thanks to the support of the Women of Colour Cycling Collective (WCCC) that I got booked on (at a reduced cost) and was able to confirm the ability to bypass the Level 1 course.
The courses are now delivered partly online, with a couple of face to face training days for assessments. I’ve had two of my online sessions so far, with 2 more to go I think before my first in person day in August.
I’m looking forwarding to completing the qualification in October and delivering sessions for the WCCC and beyond.
KISE 9 Year Celebrations
July 2021 marks 9 years since I launched my blog – keep it simpElle. I had no idea at the time it would be something I continued. It was just the best way to keep connected with friends I’d made all over the world in fitness.
KISE Custom Cycling Kit
I’d actually been planning on getting a custom kit for well over a year but I just couldn’t come up with a design that I really, really loved! Then I came across some of Lily’s previous work, got in touch and voila!
She perfectly brought to life my branding, my vision and my vibe. In Lily’s own words “to create her amazing one of a kind pieces we took Elle’s branding and assets and brought them to life using an asymmetric approach”.
Then Bioracer created the real life iteration and I could not be happier.
Strava Group Challenge
Strava recently launched their group challenges feature which in the surface looked pretty epic. However, upon setting up a challenge I realised there are a few limitations, like:
- maximum of 25 participants (including yourself)
- you need to be following someone in order to send them an invite
- you can’t share a link to invite someone
- you can’t add an image to the challenge
- and finding the challenge on desktop is nigh on impossible
When I got sent a limited edition gift box to share for a group challenge, I had grand ideas of inviting everyone I know. But alas, that was not possible.
In the end I created the ‘KISE 9 x 9 challenge’ – to complete 9 hours of activity in 9 days, starting on 9th July 2021 – and invited a few of my Strava friends.
Launch of Memberships
As a Ko-fi Ambassador, we get to try out upcoming features in their beta version and memberships, or tiers, was one such feature. I hadn’t planned on releasing them as early as I got to, but when the opportunity arose, it seemed like a no-brainer.
Here’s an overview of my 3 current memberships:
- Smoothie Bar Seat Membership: for those happy to throw in a fiver to support.
- Studio Membership: for those wanting access to my on-demand workouts.
- Athlete Membership: for those who ride, run, and are curious if some extra support could make a difference
Each membership comes with its own perks like access to private channels in my Discord Server, exclusive discounts and more. One off support / donations can still be made and my shop still has loads of stuff in it!
As classes have gotten a lot quiter over the last couple of months and I no longer have my Consultancy role, I need to focus on making my online classes viable and sustainable in the long term.
I recently upgraded my webcam to the Logitech Brio and start using OBS to create higher quality recordings so I’m excited to improve my little business.
What’s Coming Up?
As well as running the ASICS London 10km in a couple of weeks. I’m massively looking forward to the return of my local parkrun. I had asked for parkrun to be written into my training plan when it was initially due to return in June, so not having that motivation to get out and run has meant I’ve missed a number of run sessions on my plan.
On 7th August is the second annual Black Unity Bike Ride in London. I didn’t make the first ever event, but I’ll be rolling through this year (after parkrun, of course).
Other than that, I’ve got a couple of fun projects in the works which I’m looking forward to!
Have you got any events in the diary for the Summer?!