Happy Friday! Each week, Friday Thrive shares my favorite articles, foods, drinks, and more from the week. This week I have everything from ultrarunning to homebrewed kombucha to share with you!
In an article for Runners Connect, Allie Burdick (blogger at VITA Train 4 Life) examines how listening to your body, rather than basing your run off of your GPS watch, can improve your running. Regular readers will know that I’m a proponent of training by perceived effort (and I’m quoted in the article, which is such an honor!). The most interesting thing I took away from this article is how checking your watch disrupts your stride and form as you briefly process whether to speed up or slow down. When you think about it, each time you check a watch in a workout does disrupt the mental and physical flow of the run!
Right now, there are two books on my currently reading list (not counting the Harry Potter books I am listening to on Audible). One is about nineteenth-century European history, the other is this one, Training Essentials for Ultrarunning. I am not currently inclined to run an ultramarathon yet and purchased this book for coaching, but regardless of what distance you are running, this books is fascinating. The author covers everything from gut training and treating blisters to developing a long-term training plan for distance running and creating race strategies. So many running books focus so much on the aspect of getting faster by running harder or more that they neglect the smaller things, while this book approaches training from the perspective of the small details mattering.
My workout of the week for Runkeeper is a five-minute fartlek run. I love workouts like these because the focus isn’t on distance, meaning that faster runners spend less time in the workout and newer or slower runners spend more time running. Since you are running by time and effort, the distances is adapted based on your current level of fitness.
The five-minute fartleks are done at 8K-10K race effort, or just a bit slower than VO2max pace but faster than threshold pace. The pacing makes these fartleks great for the earlier weeks of 10K training or for whenever you need a good boost of speed in marathon or half marathon training.
Kombucha! I have been wanting to brew my own kombucha for a few weeks now, so when we had to stop by the homebrew store for some sanitizing solution, we got all the supplies to begin to brew our own fermented tea. We made the kombucha on Sunday, using loose English breakfast tea, sugar, a scoby, and an unflavored kombucha as a starter. The process was really easy – I used this guide from the Kitchn. Unlike beer, there is less concern for complete sanitization, although I still sanitized the jar and neutralized my hands with vinegar before touching the scoby.
Once it’s fermented, which can take 7-10 days, we will flavor it, bottle it, and let it carbonate. I’m debating between lemon and ginger and berries for the first batch.
Currently, there are three fermentation projects: my sourdough starter, the first batch of beer (which is partway through the bottle stage), and the kombucha. I need to get new jars so I can make sauerkraut again!
I baked the banana bread recipe from Run Fast, Eat Slow for the second time in the past couple weeks. The recipe is high in fat (one stick of organic butter and two eggs) and low in refined sugar (1/4 cup of granulated sugar – I used brown sugar) and the end product is incredibly delicious and immensely satisfying. I substituted whole wheat flour for spelt flour, since I didn’t have any spelt flour currently in the pantry, but I think I will have to bake it again with the spelt flour. (I made the substitution by weight, not volume, since spelt weighs less per cup than whole wheat).
I’ll leave you with this photo of Ryan with the dogs. Charlie may be a sweet and snuggly puggle, but as you can see on his face, you do not mess with him.
Do you like banana bread? What’s your favorite type of quick bread?
What’s your favorite flavor of kombucha?
Would you or have you ever run an ultra?