What is RIAK Fitness?
We started out in 2017 as a simple triathlon coaching business and whilst coaching is still at the heart of what we do, RIAK has become so much more. Nonetheless, our principles of Balance, Simplicity and Accessibility still pervade and inform everything we do (see Philosophy below).
COVID-19 has significantly shaped and changed the way we do things and as for many small businesses, the last 18-months have been extremely challenging. However, whilst some doors have closed, others have opened and we are extremely excited about the future. With the establishment of RIAK ONLINE and all our online sessions, RIAK is now able to exponentially increase its offering. To list just a few of the things we offer:
- Triathlon and endurance sport coaching from Ironman and marathon distance to sprint and 5k distance, no matter what your experience level;
- Recorded Audio Swim sets and coach briefed swim sessions;
- Online coached cycling sessions leveraging RGT Cycling’s immersive virtual training platform along with low-tech cycling sessions where all you need is a static bike and the live coaching feed;
- Online Strength & Workout classes always focused on building functional strength, muscular balance and mobility;
- Online run club sessions, which are now coached throughout via the live coaching feed and are suitable for everyone regardless of their experience level;
- We continue to provide first class triathlon and other coaching services, which are now massively bolstered by our online offering to the extent that we know of no other coaching outfit that offers such an array of resources;
- Cycle Seminars where we put on a an endurance/active recovery group turbo workout and then either one of our coaches or a recognised expert will do a ‘deep dive’ into a particular topic;
- Online Personal Coaching for those that don’t consider themselves ‘athletes’ and instead have weight loss and fitness goals in mind;
- Video Swim Assessments where we analyse a swimmer’s stroke from a number of different angles and provide them with a detailed report and drills to improve; and
- Training camps – our inaugural Provence based training camp has been a while in the waiting due to COVID, but just take a look at what is on offer, it’s an endurance athlete’s paradise!
We believe the key to achieving your fitness goals is consistency. At RIAK Fitness we feel the best way we can assist you in attaining that aspiration is by helping you to achieve balance in your life; help keep things straightforward for you and be as inclusive as possible. BALANCE, SIMPLICITY and ACCESSIBILITY are the corner-stones of the business and everything we do.
What this means in practice is that while we take cycling, triathlon and fitness seriously and want you to come back because you see improvements, nonetheless, we also take balancing your training with the rest of life’s demands equally as seriously. That is why we want every service we offer to be as simple and as accessible as possible so you have more time for life’s other demands.
One area where we are particularly vehement in our passion is inclusivity. Cycling is probably the greatest sport on this Earth in our opinion, but it has its issues with elitism, lack of diversity, chauvinism and sometimes, just a complete lack of logic. We like to think triathlon is much more inclusive but even so, it still has its barriers to entry. In short, at RIAK Fitness, we desperately want everyone to feel welcome and able to ask questions. There is no ego here. So we don’t care if your goal is to finish an Ironman or to improve your 5k time. We want to help as after all, we all know only what we know and it’s not like we get taught the intricacies of training when we’re at school! So no one can be expected to be an expert. The old adage that there is no such thing as a stupid question is completely applicable when it comes to joining our sessions. So don’t be shy! We’re here to help.
``I have been a keen cyclist for most of my life and a triathlete for about the last decade. I was once a lawyer and lived the stressful city life where every minute seems to count, especially when it comes to life outside of work, which sometimes felt like an interlude between bouts of working. That is why I am so passionate about the sessions and services RIAK Fitness provides. Everything we do is specifically designed to either educate or make life simpler for you.``
``I have been a triathlon coach for over four years. Originally it was on the side whilst I worked to earn as much money as possible to set up the business. Now it is not only my passion, it’s my career and one I absolutely love! Coaching and personal training is not obviously a noble cause. However, seeing the difference it can make to someone’s sense of self-worth as I have over the course of the last few years is really what it’s about for me. Often people seem to underestimate the importance of personal achievements outside of their careers and the effect they can have on how happy they are.``
Richard still runs many of our RIAK ONLINE sessions and coaching operations and specialises in coaching those with very busy lives struggling to juggle all of life's demands, as well as training consistently.
Matt is a BTF L2 tri coach, with a wealth of experience in coaching athletes of all levels. His coaching philosophy is founded on the idea that a coach’s role is to accelerate the rate of improvement for each athlete, whilst enriching their experience in the sport. An engineer by training, his approach is rooted in scientific research, whilst recognising that if we aren’t having fun, we are missing the point!
As an athlete, Matt has 20 years of experience competing as a swimmer up to national standard. He races triathlon up to domestic elite level in the British Super Series and has won medals at age-group national championships, all whilst balancing training with a successful coaching business, a day job in engineering, and a busy social life.
Matt offers individualised training plans and 1-2-1 coaching through ΔTRI (pronounced Delta Tri), and coaches squad sessions for Savage Tri Club in Basingstoke. Head to www.deltatri.co.uk for more info.
Matt now also runs some of our RIAK ONLINE sessions. In particular, you can find him on a Thursday turning and burning and imparting his impressive level of technical knowledge.
Tanya is a qualified England Athletics running coach, Level 3 Personal trainer and Sports Massage Therapist.
Coming from a background in rehab and performance means she has experience helping a wide range of abilities, from athletes to beginners. Her specialisms are in posture, hypermobility and strength and conditioning for endurance sports.
Tanya is dedicated to helping you achieve your goals and ensuring you enjoy the process along the way. She is an approachable coach who will work with you to achieve long lasting change. Her sessions focus on technique and functional exercises to help you regain your energy and ensure you feel confident in your daily life. Her enthusiasm will help you push yourself to achieve measurable results.
Along with many personal successes as a runner and cyclist Tanya has experienced her own setbacks, linked to overtraining and poor biomechanics. She is now more passionate than ever to help others avoid common pitfalls and can empathise fully with the many frustrations that come from falling in and out of training.
Tanya is the Run Club’s lead coach, which is now meeting online but outside of the COVID-19 crisis, can be seen dominating the asphalt in the vicinity of the RIAK Fitness Studio. She now also runs our fascinating and incredibly beneficial Prehab Strength sessions.
RGT Cycling is a virtual reality cycling simulator that is available for PC, Mac and Apple TV. It is used in conjunction with iOS and Android Apps and supported training hardware. Users from around the world are able to Go Beyond and connect, ride, race and train together in a virtual reality that recreates the captivating culture of real-world cycling.
We’ve worked with RGT for a while now and it is their Group Rides feature, which allows us to run structured group training sessions just as if we were in the studio.
Whether you run, cycle, work out at the gym, or do a bit of everything, Sundried has the active-wear for you. All of their active-wear is tested by world-class athletes who know what they want and need from their sports clothing and as a result, they can deliver professional quality sportswear at an affordable price. Sundried are champions of the zero waste movement and the reduction of single-use plastics with a number of their products made from recycled materials.
RIAK founder, Richard Akers also happens to be a Sundried Ambassador, so remember to use code ‘RIAK’ at checkout for 50% off!
Serre des Ormes
Located in the spectacular Gorges de la Méouge and within cycling distance of Mont Ventoux, Serre des Ormes is a ‘chambre d’hôtes’ that offers the opportunity to holiday and train with unparalleled vistas and sublime weather. Enjoy wholesome morning and evening meals, group rides with airport transfers available at this ideal getaway for those looking to take a break from the same old routes and experience something totally unique.
Honestly guys, take it from us, this place is paradise!
Milltag create bespoke performance cycle clothing for every level of road cyclist – from weekend warriors to the pro peloton. Established in London by expert graphic designers and dedicated cyclists, their innovative products utilise the finest technical materials and are ethically tailored by hand in Europe. Their blend of design knowledge, product development and hands-on customer service means they deliver the best and most distinctive road cycling apparel on the market.
Milltag are good friends of RIAK Fitness and our athletes proudly wear the RIAK branded kit conceived by their custom design team!
Born out of Milltag HQ on Ravey Street, Ravey CC love to write about, chew over and consume cycling as much as they like to ride, race and enjoy a post session beer and pizza. You’ll see them emerging from the heart of Shoreditch clad in the colour of kings and queens…purple. Shoreditch is an area of East London synonymous with modern design, and let’s face it, their kit has to be one of the best around!