FORGING IRON | WEEK 01

Week 1 is in the books, and it was a tough one. Mental toughness is going to be crucial to maintain this trajectory.

MONDAY

The "official" start of my training kicked off last Monday with a brutal upper body strength session with David Gomez, one of the trainers I am working with. I quickly learned that David is a firm believer in supersetting every exercise with another for the sole purpose of breaking your spirit. Or, as he calls this process: Breaking Zach. Difficulty aside, I haven't had an upper body workout that awesome and totally demoralizing in a long time.

TUESDAY

My second day of training began with a 45-minute session on the bike trainer. If you don't know, a bike trainer is a piece of equipment that allows you to ride a bicycle indoors, by attaching to the back wheel of a bike and providing a flat surface that creates resistance when pedaling.

It may actually be a more boring workout than running on a treadmill.

I normally put my headphones in and try to keep a cadence with the music I listen to (mostly EDM, rock, or rap). I will look into virtual spin classes though, because right now I mostly stay hunched over my aero bars and pedal as fast as I can for as long as I can.

A few hours after my morning cardio, it was time for another strength workout, but this time focusing on legs with Jahmale Maxwell. Oh, and more supersets. Cool. My legs felt fine throughout the workout, but that was not the case for the three days after. Probably the worst parts of the workout were the single-leg hops (because I have zero balance), and the roundhouse kicks on the punching bag (because I have zero form).

WEDNESDAY

I started day three with a long run. Yes, I went for a long run the day after training legs. I figured doing this could potentially break up the lactic acid that had built up while I slept, and hopefully shorten my recovey time. This was bro-science at best, and I don't think doing this had any positive impact on lessening the soreness. Also, this was not really a "long run", but since I haven't trained for a long endurance event in quite awhile, this was a long run to me. Plus it was hot AF, even at 6:45 in the morning. This run, like so many others, turned into an interval workout. I have a hard time listening to intensely energetic music without that energy being translated into sprints. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing though, because High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a great way to build up cardiovascular endurance while increasing the body's ability to burn fat.

THURSDAY

No morning workout today, I chose to sleep in instead. It was everything I could have ever dreamed of.

But that evening was my third strength workout of the week, this time with Deano Hoffberg. This was easily the toughest workout of the week (until Saturday), because it was an hour of strict core work. My core is probably the part of my body that needs the most work, and she did her best to kill me. The long list of core exercises were grouped into small circuits, which were repeated a few times. I may have cursed loudly a few times with the pain.

FRIDAY

Took a day off. I was mentally and physically exhausted.

SATURDAY

Saturday was easily the most brutal workout day of the week, because I intentionally tried to find my limits.

The day began with an hour long hot yoga class, which also happened to be the first hot yoga class I had ever taken. When I got to the class, there was only one spot left, and it just so happened to be located right next to the heater. Lucky me. It's a good thing I had a large water bottle filled with Gatorade, because I have never sweat so much in my entire life. By the end of the class, the entire mat was soaked, as well as areas of the floor around the mat. I can't wait to do it again.

Right after the yoga class, I took some nutrients from Honey Stinger and Gu, and drove right to the bike trail. I was spent after that yoga class, and I knew that I needed to replenish my electrolytes more than I had if I was going to have a good workout, but I decided to push through it. I did 20 miles on my bike, averaging between 18-19mph, with some sprint intervals mixed in for good measure of course.

Since this was designed to be a BRICK workout, I went for a 3.2 mile run immediately following the cycling portion. This was brutal. Not only because I had already killed myself in hot yoga and on the bike, but because the temperature was over 100 degrees, there was very little shade, and I was running on blacktop. My pace for this was horrible, I think I was just completely fried at that point.

Note to self: there is sometimes a thing as too much.

SUNDAY

Took today (Sunday) off, but tomorrow morning calls for cardio and then I have upper body strength training with David in the afternoon. Rinse and repeat.

WEEK 01 SUMMARY

Here's a summary of the first week of training. I think I want to add one to two more days of upper body strength training in there, plus swimming: