Image Post

3 Most Important Bike Sessions in Triathlon

After nearly two decades of being involved with triathlon, both as an amateur triathlete, professional triathlete and coach, I had the opportunity to train and learn from the best coaches and athletes in the world.
Whenever I train with a renowned athlete or work alongside a coach with good results, I try to learn something and when possible add that information to the training I pass onto my athletes.

However, unlike any magic formulas or secret training sets, most sessions end up being very similar, with a certain structure that although is different in detail, ends up being part of one of the three workouts below.
As much as there are differences in the sessions of long and short course racing, some sets are the core of every distance at some point in the training plan, be it during a general or specific preparation.

Before we get to the specifics of the workouts, we need to understand the basic physiology of the event in which you will participate:

Short Course (Sprint or Olympic Distance)

Considered “short” races in triathlon, these events are still predominant, aerobic, but you’ll spend more time close to your anaerobic threshold, which means that a lot of your workouts need to be done at that intensity.

Ironman or Half Ironman

You spend most of your time on the bike in these long races, and cycling fitness is also a good base for a strong run split. Once you understand that cycling is also your run training, it will be clear that you need to spend a lot of time on your bike to build endurance in order to finish the bike leg relatively fresh to start the run.

Your cycling workouts will also have an impact during the race on race day.
Types of training

1) Endurance (Resistance)

Main physiological benefits:

>Conversion of fast-twitch muscle fibers to slow- twitch fibers

>Increases muscle glycogen storage

> Increases fat oxidation

Endurance sessions are mostly easy to moderate effort training which you can spend hours on without feeling too fatigued. Short course athletes should do in between two and three hours weekly, mostly at a very low intensity to also absorb all the hard work they do on the other days of the week.

Long course athletes should do between four and six hours, at a lower intensity in order to improve their endurance and efficiency of the use of fat as an energy source. Then as they get fitter, race specific sets should be added to these rides.

Workout Examples:

>Three hours negative split (first half easy, second half moderate)

>Five hours alternating between twenty minutes easy, forty minutes moderate
2) Anaerobic Threshold/VO2

Main physiological benefits:

>Increase blood plasma volume

>Increase anaerobic threshold tolerance

>Increase enzyme count in the muscle mitochondria

Anaerobic threshold or VO2 workouts are intensity workouts of the week, usually on a time trial format (individual or team), and ideally on hill repeats or on the indoor trainer. If on the roads, make sure it is safe and quiet so you can focus on the intensity.

It is advised that you often break the main set down in short repeats as these intervals help athletes to maintain a high intensity which would not be possible if they are a little fatigued from the accumulated training and do the training continuously as a one repeat set.

The combined volume of repetitions should be between fifteen minutes for VO2 sets, up to forty minutes to your anaerobic threshold. The ratio should be 1: 1(work: rest) to VO2 sets (eg: for each minute of work, you also get one minute rest) and the ratio of 2: 1 for the threshold set (eg: four minutes with two minutes rest).

Workout Examples:

>30 minutes alternating between three minutes maximum with three minutes of active rest (very slow)

>Ten reps of four strong minutes, with two minutes of rest
3) Strength

Main physiological benefits:

>Increased neuro muscular strength

Strength training is usually performed at a low cadence(between 30 and 60 rpm) or uphill, but short in time and high intensity. It is usually underlooked by most triathletes who train only based on heart rate zones, as during this type of training heart rate is irrelevant since the focus shifts to muscle load rather than aerobic load.

As explained before in previous articles published by ironguides, we favor a relatively low cadence or at least lower than the run cadence. We believe it is the most efficient way to race a triathlon event considering also the high aerobic load you get from swimming and running.

This strategy shifts the focus of cycling training, which should be largely related to strength training but bike specific. What are the best ways to improve strength on the bike? How to incorporate them into your week of training? Plus, what is the periodization during the year?

An easy way to explain the benefits of strength training for our triathletes is making an analogy with a sales strategy of “Pay for 1, take 2”, as when you work on strength on the bike, you will also improve your aerobic fitness and endurance.

Workout Examples:

>10 repeats with a maximum time of 30 seconds in low cadence, preferably up a hill with three minutes of rest

>30 to 60 minutes alternating between 1 minute hard in a low cadence with one minute rest
Periodization of your training cycle using the above training

In general, it is interesting to always schedule one workout of each of the systems described above for almost every week of the year. The only exceptions are race weeks, when you must consider the energy system to be used in that race as you don’t want to fatigue that same system too much on race week. If anything, just a quick recruitment session to keep it all firing is enough.
Short course athletes should avoid threshold/vo2max work during race week.

Long course athletes should avoid endurance training during race week.

Another important observation is in relation to the training details. The above examples show only the essence of each of the 3 important types of training, but your coach should adjust the amount of repetitions, length of them and intensity in your plan considering:

Your strengths and weaknesses
Experiencein the sport
Race day goals
Training goals for each training block

This way, you keep a little stimulus for all the main systems throughout the year, but you change the focus of your training and overload a specific system depending on the training goal for that program.
Enjoy your training!

Vinnie Santana

ironguides is the leading Lifestyle Facilitation company for athletes of all abilities. We provide coaching and training services, plans and programs, as well training education, health and fitness products to help you learn and live a healthy lifestyle. Come get fit with one of our monthly training subscriptions, event-specific training plans, coaching services, or a triathlon training camp in an exotic location! ironguides also provides Corporate Health services including Corporate Triathlons, Healthy Living retreats and speaking engagements. At ironguides, your best is our business!

Train with ironguides!

Personalized Online Coaching:  Starting at USD190/month

Monthly Training plans (for all levels, or focused on one discipline): Only USD39/months

Event based training plans:

Sprint Distance (USD45 for 8-week plan)

Olympic Distance (USD65 for 12 week plan)

Half Ironman (R$95 for 16-week plan)

Ironman (USD145 for 20-week plan)

X-Terra (USD65 for 12-week plan)

Running Plans (10k, 21k and 42k – starting at USD40)


Image Post

Ironguides Bangkok – April 2020 updates



ironguides Bangkok newsletter: Stay updated on what our group is up to!

Is this email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.

March 2020

Dear athletes, below the updates for the upcoming month:

*Classes cancelled until 30th of April.
*Bike challenge on Strava.
*Weekly virtual group rides on Zwift.
*Maintain swim fitness with strength sessions.

Enjoy your training,

Members Updates 

As all sport facilities remain closed and there is recomendation to stay home all classes cancelled from 18th of March untill 30th of April.
All memberships frozen for 44 days.

 Weekly Virtual Bike classes  

From Tuesday, 7th April we will start our weekly virtual meet-ups on Zwift leading by coach Ivan Vlasenko

Every Tuesday: Ironguides meet up on Zwift, 19:00 (60-75min, intervals)

How it works: 
You need Zwift membership and the right set-up at home, ideally including a smart trainer with resistance and the Zwift Companion app on your phone.
In order to be able to join the meet-up, you need to follow “Ivan Vlasenko” on Zwift and Zwift Companion Application.
Once you follow  he will be able to invite you for a “meet-up”, and you need to accept the invitation in the app. It will appear in your planned events in the app.
You must connect to Zwift and start riding by yourself by clicking on “ride” at least 5 minutes before the official starting time. You can select any map, it does not matter. DO NOT click on “Ride with Ivan Vlasenko” on the menu page, else you might miss the official meet-up.

Once “in the game”, you should be able to click on “join Ivan Vlasenko’s meet-up” on the bottom left of the screen. The blue button will appear 5 minutes before the start of the meet-up. We will all be cycling on the Zwift stationary trainer for a few minutes until the official start time, use this as a warm-up and make sure you are ready for the ride (water, food, towels, fan, AC etc).



The top Ironguides members with:
1. most hours on the bike,
2. most kilometers rode,
3. most elevation gained

in the period from 21st of March to 30th of April will be awarded with prizes!

1. Upload all your bike training sessions from 21.03-30.04.2020 (indoor and outdoor)
2. Must have an active IG membership
3. No limit hours

Ride ON


How to maintain swim fitness while all swimming pools closed?

Luckily, you can still get a good swim workout without swimmimg. Here is a circuit you can manage right in your room. Only body weight is required.

Warm up: 7-10min various hand swings, add jumping jacks at the end of warm up as it require a similar shoulder movements as swimming.

Main set:
1) Hands swings. The principe is to twist back and forth with both hands. Try to unwind them as easily and calmly as possible. It develops the flexibility and mobility of the sholder joints.
2×15 times forward, 2×15 times back with 30 seconds rest in between
2)  Rowing on a slope. This drill is designed to develop a sholder girdle and proper crawl swimming on long arms.
You need to bend over, relax your hands and try to swim – 3×20 times with 30 seconds rest in between.
3) Forearm plank. Press the floor away from you with forearms. You should form straight line from shoulders to heels.
4×30-45seconds with 45 seconds rest
4) Push ups. 4×10-15 repeats with 45 seconds rest in between.
5) The boat. This exercise for your back muscles.
Position – lying on your stomach. Raise straight arms and legs at the same time, stretching your arms forward and legs as far back as possible. Try to lock in this position on the top and then slowly dropping down.
2×10-12 repeats
6) Regular squats. A little bonus if you keep your arms extended over your head ‘streamline style’.
2×15 repeats with 30-45 seconds rest in between.
7) Kicking. Lying on your back, flat against the floor. Lift your legs over the floor and kick.
4×15-20 seconds wth 30 seconds rest in between.
8) Crawl in plank. Get ready in plank position and do alternate strokes with your hands.
3×25 seconds.

Important: do everything calmly and properly. No rush

Camps Calendar 2020     

Our camp calendar is now confirmed for 2020. Each camp will have a different purpose and focus on either a specific distance or skill. We may be adding more events in 2020. Stay tuned via newsletter and Facebook group!

23-24 May, HUA HIN – Ironman & Long Distance Cycling Camp

Long distance camp. Ideally for athletes racing Ironman events in the middle of the year or if you want to get some long hours done to build a base for the rest of the season. Registration now open

1-2 AUG, HUA HIN – Hills & Skills Camp

All about up and down. This camp has the goal to improve your technical skills in the hills. There will be technical sessions as well as practical.

23-25 OCT (long weekend), LOCATION TBC – Mixed Camp

With a 3 day weekend, we will have the opportunity to mix things up a bit more. We are planning a combination of all the elements of the other camps: skills, hills, long sessions, race simulation. Location to be confirmed, either Phuket or Hua Hin

Q1 2021 – Ironman 70.3 Specific

Following the 2020 camp, this camp will prepare you both physically and help you set your strategy to perform at your best at the Ironman 70.3 distance

Open Water Swim Session @Taco Lake

Coached sessions

Open water Swim Session – May (date TBC)

Open water wim session 
0800-0830 – Arrival & Gear prep
0830-0915 – Warm up (800 to 1600m or open water skills workshop)
0915-1000 – Race Simulation + cool down (1600m)

Total distances (approx):
Beginner – 2,400m
Intermediate – 3,000m
Advanced – 3,200m

-Free for members
-600THB drop in non-members (book here)
-Includes access to the lake, a personal safety buoy, locker & shower.

*Taco lake is ~1h drive from Central BKK


Coached Sessions

  • Where: Racquet Club (Map below).
  • Time: 7.30pm-8.50pm
  • Monday and Thursday, Advanced and Beginner levels. 


  • Free for club members and coached athletes (2x a week)
  • 600thb for drop in athletes (book & pay online, in advance)


Monthly coached velodrome sessions:

*Next velodrome session: March 14 

Where: Velodrome inside Rajamangala Stadium (Hua Mak) on Ramkhamhaeng road.

When: Saturdays @7.30-9.30am (technique drills starts at 7.30am)

*Free for club members & coached athletes
*350thb for drop in athletes (book & pay online, in advance)

What if it rains or we cant use the velodrome due to any race/event:
*We do a bike technique & skills drills instead. Same meeting point


Weekly Coached Sessions

Where: Thephasadin 400m track
When: Wednesdays @6.30-7.50pm


*Free for club members & coached athletes
*350thb for drop in athletes  (book & pay online, in advance)

Membership & Coaching Service Offers

Drop in Sessions (book & pay online, in advance)

  • Cost: 350thb run & velodrome sessions, 600thb swim sessions. Payment in advance, non-refundable due to limited slots per class.

Triathlon Club Membership – 3 months option 

  • 3 months membership: 6900thb
  • 6 months membership: 11900thb

Includes access to weekly swim, bike run sessions, training plans library, article & apparel/helmet voucher. (more)

Personalized Coaching:


  • Access to all sessions
  • Personalized training plan
  • Email with your coach
  • Apparel voucher

Starts at 5.900thb/month (more)

Sponsors & Discounts: 


Find the discount code inside your training plan / login area:

TRI-DASH THAILAND: 10% OFF at any event during 2020 – use our coupon code on the members area when registering for the race

 Training Plan library 

Training Plans library updated (workouts in 3 levels Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced):

* 9 Training plans (3 distances in 3 levels): 
Ironman, Half Ironman, Short Course & Duathlon training plans available

* Documents:
-11-page Ironman 70.3 race manual
-Traveling guidelines, Big day – Race simulation workout.
-21 race workouts to your short course plan, ironman recovery guidelines
-guidelines on nutrition, recovery, stress & core training

Access training plan area and sponsor discount codes HERE

Canned Training Plans now in THAI language

โปรแกรมฝึก (ไทย) หรือ คลิก เพื่อดูภาษาอังกฤษ. Training Plans (in Thai) or click here for training plans in English ironguides มีโปรแกรมฝึกที่เหมาะสมกับประสบการณ์และรายการแข่งที่คุณตั้งไว้เป็นเป้าหมาย ทุกโปรแกรมที่ตั้งอยู่บนหลักของ The Method ™ ให้รายละเอียดสำหรับแต่ละครั้งการฝึกสำหรับระยะเวลาที่ดีที่สุดในการเตรียมตัวเพื่อให้คุณอยู่ที่จุดสตาร์ดด้วยความรู้สึกที่ฟิต สุขภาพดี และมีความมั่นใจ

Online Booking system for drop in classes   

Online Booking system for drop in athletes

In order to maintain quality of our sessions as our group grows, we now require advanced booking for drop in athletes via our website – it’s a very easy and simple system and takes less than 2 minutes. Please understand that no more cash payments will be accepted. Note that tri-club members aren’t required to book their presence.

The aim is to increase workout quality to club members while still providing the opportunity for non-members to come in casually & allowing new athletes to try out.

How to make your booking online:

1) Access > booking option is on the top of the page > Select desired class

2) Select date > Confirm availability > Fill in name + email > Send

3) Confirm details > finalize payment via paypal > receive confirmation email. No refund since when you book a class you take one limited slot.

 Maps – Squad location

Racquet Club @google map – Map 1

Racquet Club Map 2

Velodrome @ Rajamangala Stadium (Hua Mak)

Running Track by National Stadium BTS (next to MBK)

In This Issue

Squad Sessions – Updates:
• Cycling
• Running

• Events & Races Calendar 
 Members Updates 

Articles & Videos:
Exclusive squad article & Training Plan

 Tri Gear: ironguides Apparel

Membership & Coaching Service Offers 
 Free eBook: ironguides’ Triathlon Secrets

Squad location 

Website Refresh

We refreshed our website! Did you notice? Check out our new look at

Keep Up With Us

Friend on Facebook Facebook

Copyright © ironguides, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences



Forgot Password?

Join Us