From zero to 100 (miles)

Eating an elephant takes time

In the last three weeks, I’ve smashed out some exciting things - started a new job, run a few runs, and found a new favourite coffee brew method.

The Origami Coffee brewer

In the coffee brewing world, there are two broad categories of coffee making. Immersion brewing, where coffee and water hang out for a bit before the brewed coffee is freed from its prison into your mug of choice - for example the humble plunger/French press (check out the James Hoffman French Press method for some killer tips).

And there is also percolation brewing, where water passes through coffee without the awkward getting to know you phase - the Tinder or Grinder of the coffee world. This can either happen under pressure, like with espresso, or with the gentleness of a turtle-dove, like a V60, or my new toy, the Origami.

What makes the Origami different to the dozens of other brewers I have? Well, just like a cow after a paddock full of grass, it passes a lot of wind.

The grooves in the Origami allows more air. More air means it brews faster than a V60 - so the water travels through the coffee in a different way.

The resulting coffee is really amazing. Feels light - lighter than tea - but is full of flavour. It’s fast becoming my favourite way to brew.

I’ve been playing around with a few methods, with guidance from The Drumming Barista (check out The Drumming Barista's Top 3 Origami Dripper Recipes), but my favourite is currently this weird one from Kurasu in Japan. Posted below for future reference.

The Kurasu Origami Method

Coffee: 15g
Water: 270g (88-90℃)
1. During the first 30 seconds, pour 40g of water
2. During the next 30 seconds, slowly pour 130g of water 
3. Finish pouring 270g of water before the timer hits 80 seconds
4. Take the dripper off from the server

The really interesting thing about this method, is step 4: “Pour the remaining 270g at once before the timer hits 1:20. Then remove the dripper even there is some water left in the dripper and finish the extraction.

This seemingly makes a really big difference in the final cup. Amazing that the last 20-30ml of coffee still being brewed, can take the cup from amazing, to just okay.

Moral of the story - if you love nerding out to the coffee process, the Origami is the toy you need to go down a rabbit hole.

Need a pre-run cold brew to get you in the zone? Yeah - the Origami can do it - you can even use the V60 cold brew method I wrote about in my last post.

Running is hard. Drinking coffee is fun! If you like what you read, feel free to share this post or buy me a coffee! It’s easy and I’ll appreciate it for ever.

Buy me a coffee!

How to run 24km

In addition to having new coffee stuff to play with, over the last three weeks I’ve hit some running milestones I never thought I’d hit, both in distance and in time.

The actual numbers are really irrelevant for a blog post like this. The detail sort of doesn’t matter. Needless to say, 17 weeks ago, I could never have imagined it.

Which leads me to the point of this post really - running is an iterative process, that builds not on the work you did last week, but the work you did last month. It’s only because have had training guidance that I’ve been able to make it this far (and hopefully through the successfully completion of the race next month!).

When I started running last year, I used an online training tool to help me. It was free (freeish - it was a training programme that was available through being a member of Strava), and set out three main components for training:

  • Endurance - running slow for a long time

  • Speed - running fast for a short time

  • Recovery - running very slow for a long time

I learnt some pretty amazing things through that:

  • Running slower for a long time is much better for endurance, with much lower risk of injury, than training at your race pace.

  • Running faster for a short time is much better for lowering your time than trying to run fast for a long time.

  • Recovery is actually where all your gains are made.

  • Ignore what your watch tells you, and run based on how you’re feeling on the day. A run at five out of ten effort, after a hard day of work, will be a different pace and feeling than a five out of ten after an easy day at a spa. Listen to your body.

  • Make the hard stuff hard and the easy stuff easy.

  • The bigger the base, the taller the pyramid - the more time you spend doing the easy endurance stuff, the better you’ll do, even if you feel like you’re not doing much at all!

Whether you’re training to do a 5km, 10km or 100km event of any sort, finding a programme, free or paid, is worth it’s weight in running shoes.

A typical training week - week 1 vs week 17

Some people have asked what is involved in training for a run like a long trail race.

So here’s a bit of a snap shot of the training that the great people from Squad Run have been running me through. The idea with the Squad Run training is that you fit in what you can. They set out seven activities for the week, and assign different priorities to them - 1 through 7. If you only have the chance to do one run for the week, you do priority 1 etc etc etc. Easy.

Keep in mind, I’m not a runner, and my only goal is to finish the race on my legs and not in an ambulance. More experienced runners will have a much different training programme.

Week 1 - so many weeks ago

  • Day one - nothing! Yay - this training thing is easy

  • Day two - 50 minutes - start of slow and get faster every 15 minutes

  • Day three - 40 minutes - slow and slow - working the endurance. Very easy.

  • Day four - nothing! Rest and recovery. Loving this training.

  • Day five - 40 minutes of bombing down hills - walk up, run down - work those braking muscles in the leggies

  • Day six - nothing! Rocking this running thing.

  • Day seven - 90 minutes - long, slow run on the flat

Across the week, four runs that I could fit in around my life. All sort of achievable, but still challenging.

Week 17 - OMG will this please just end

Week one of easy happiness seems a long way away now. I’ve got just over 6 weeks to go until race day, I’ve just started a new job and winter is back in Wellington. This last week sucked and it sucked all the motivation out of me.

So, this is the week just gone.

  • Day one - Short recovery run - I didn’t do this cos I was tired and it was day one of a new job!

  • Day two - 25 minutes on the treadmill - 10 minutes very slow, 10 minutes at a 10km race pace, 10 minutes very slow - I got bored and stopped early. Watched Bob’s Burgers instead.

  • Day three - 50 minutes slow jog - after work in the rain. Cold and shitty. A shitty run that I didn’t enjoy. I did enjoy listening to the Do Go On podcast though.

  • Day four - meant to be a 12km run, but I did 6km instead because I couldn’t be f*&ked.

  • Day five - Rest! Nailed it. Loved it. Had katsu for lunch and went out for dinner and a bottle of wine - back to loving running again.

  • Day six - More rest! Hungover, so no running for me! Yay. I love running.

  • Day seven - 3 hour trail run. Did I pay for the lack of running during the week? Yes! Did I care? No! A hard run. Nearly cried at the end.

So, a snapshot into the training so far. I’m looking forward to reading this in a few months time to see where my head was at this close to the finish line.

Sometimes it’s just really, really hard. And that’s okay.