Image Post


Strength training is a hot topic right now, check out the Instagram profiles of the top pro’s and you will see they are regularly hitting the gym in a quest to improve their performance. What i see a lot of though is acrobatic movements rather than real strength training, it seems there is a belief that the most complex movements must be the most effective movements for gaining strength. The reality is these movements are not really going to improve your absolute strength and they are putting you at very high risk of injury.

It seems single leg exercises are what athletes think are needed, i see time and time again athletes head to the gym and will be doing single legged squats or single leg deadlifts and then extremely proud of the soreness and pain they endure for days after. The rationale for these exercises comes from the fact when we are running we are in contact with the ground with only one leg at a time, while this is true we need to look also at the fact we are in contact with the ground for an extremely short period of time not balancing on one foot for extended periods of time.

Lets take a step back and look at what strength is and how is it going to enhance your performance on race day.

Strength is the ability to produce force against external resistance, it is this applied force that brings about movement. When we look at strength training the goal is to increase force production of the muscle.

Our muscles simply contract and relax in response to instructions from our brains to bring about movement. A particular movement is brought about by the brain signalling for several muscles to work together, the individual muscles themselves only know how to contract or relax not perform a certain movement.

So strength training to increase force production is about creating the maximum possible stress on the muscle. So we want to be looking at exercises that allow this to occur and these are the large compound exercises used in power lifting such as squats, deadlifts, pull ups and bench pressing. These exercises allow us to lift heavy weights and apply maximum stress on the muscle. If we then look at single leg exercises you can see that these would not allow us to lift heavy weights and create the same stress to our muscles to bring about strength developments, rather they are working sub maximal strength, you may get better at standing on one leg but your not going to get stronger.

So why in endurance sport when we are performing at very sub maximal levels of muscle contraction would increased strength benefit performance.

If we take the 112 mile bike section of the ironman race as an example, taking squats as an exercise that shows leg strength. Say we can squat 60kg, each pedal stroke may just be using 1% of this maximal force but say we improve the squat over a period of time to 120kg, now with our increased strength to go the same speed we only need to use 0.05% of our maximal force production. The end result of this would be that we require less energy to go the same speed or we go faster for the same energy requirement! The end result is enhanced performance.

The above is a very simple way to see how strength training can impact endurance performance, also we can see that strength training is not complicated, you do not need fancy moves and complex programming in order to build strength you simply need to lift heavy and there are very few exercises that allow us to do this.

I often here people say they do not want to incorporate strength training as it will lead to weight gain that will negatively effect performance. The reality of this is rarely true, lifting heavy weights alone is not enough to increase muscle size, the main component to increasing muscle size is eating and eating lots. You need to have a large calorie buffer if you want to increase muscle size and as an ironman athlete this is very unlikely to be the case.

If we look at some top level sports people who used weights we can see the result as performance gains not size gains, as runners tend to be those that fear weight gain the most one name that jumps to mind is Sebastian Coe who used strength training and the power lifting moves i mention above when he was breaking world records and winning olympic titles over middle distance running events in the 1980’s, Seb was very strong but could not be described as anything but skinny throughout his carrier. Seb was said to be ahead of his time in terms of performance and it is interesting to see top runners starting to adopt this style of lifting once again and we are once again seeing performance levels take a big step forward.

I can imagine a lot of you are reading this and thinking what about core strength, surely that needs to be included. Again this is something we see in pictures, all sorts of gymnastic moves, crunches and plank variations that are aimed at improving our core strength, but as with the principles of strength i outlined above and why single leg is not the way to build absolute strength the same goes for core strength.

Our core or trunk muscles are designed to work isometrically, they contract hard not to perform movement but to prevent movement in our spine. A strong core allows the body to move well and perform optimally.

If we perform a heavy squat with good technique our core muscles are working very very hard, they are having to resist the force of the weight we are lifting during the movement to keep our spines in a neutral position. A body weight plank on the other hand while can be very painful is never going to exert the same force on our core or lead to the same level of strength adaption as a heavy lift such as a squat will do.

When looking for performance we need to be looking at training that is going to enhance our performance not waste our time. As endurance athletes we do not have time to waste and want the biggest bang for our buck in training sessions. Strength training can deliver exactly what we want and when we build a program that is based around the heavy compound movements we can achieve great gains with very little training time.

Enjoy your training and make it count!

Alun “Woody” Woodward – ironguides Coach

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 – November 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.

Dear athletes, below the updates for the upcoming month:

* Open water swim sessions cancelled on 1st, 8th and 22nd  November – Hua Hin camp, Tri Dash race and Laguna Phuket Triathlon on these days.
Monthly brik session (bike+run) at Sky Lane confirmed on 14th November.
* Open water swim+run session at Taco lake confirmed on Sunday, 15th and 29th November.

Enjoy your training,

Members Updates 

* Swimming classes at Raquet club every Monday and Thursday, 19:30
* Run classes on Thephasadin Stadium every Tuesday, 18:30
* Virtual bike sessions on Zwift every Wednesday, 19:00 (highly reccomended for those who have smart trainers).
*Monthly Sky lane brik session (bike+run) confirmed on Saturday 14th November, 7:30am
* Open water swim+run session at Taco lake on Sunday 15th and 29th November, 8:30am

Weekly virtual bike session on Zwift 

We keep our weekly virtual meet-ups on Zwift leading by coach Ivan Vlasenko

Every Wednesday: Ironguides meet up on Zwift, 18:30 (75min, main set: short intervals/hill repeats 30-180sec to improve your VO2max)

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).

Open Water Swim+Run Session @Taco Lake

Coached sessions

Weekly Brik session – Open water Swim + run off the lake – every Sunday 8:30am (except race weekend and public holidays)
Please note only 2 sessions in November (15th and 29th November). Final open water practice before LPT on 15th.

Open water swim session 
0815-0830 – Arrival & Gear prep
0830-0900 – Warm up (800 to 1100m or open water skills workshop)
0915-1000 – main set

Total distances (approx):
Beginner – 1,600m
Intermediate – 2,000m
Advanced – 2,500m

-600THB (book here)
-Includes access to the lake, a personal safety buoy, locker & shower.

*Taco lake is ~1h drive from Central BKK


Coached Sessions at Racquet club 

  • 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 “Sky Lane brik” session:

Next Sky Lane session: 14th November

Where: Happy and Healthy Bike Lane, Suvanabhumi airport

When: Saturdays @7.30-10:00am (warm up starts at 7.30am)

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


Weekly Coached Sessions

Where: Thephasadin stadium 400m track
When: Tuesdays @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 & cycling, 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)

Hua Hin training camp. Calendar for 2021 is coming soon!   

Training Camp in Hua Hin with Coach Vinnie Santana,

Photo: final camp of 2020 (31.10-1.11)

More information – or


Sponsors & Discounts: 

Training and racing gear:

Online shop “Sport360” and Compressport Thailand offering you off season deal (buy 2 get 1 free), use promocode ivans360 and get another 10% off


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

Running Track by National Stadium BTS (next to MBK)

In This Issue

Upcoming Races Special – Coach Course Review
 Profile The Colless couple  
 Articles from the Coaches  

 Tri Gear: 2014 trisuit and bike jersey are ready 

 Special Offer: Off-Season Triathlon Training Subscription Plan
 Free eBook: ironguides’ Triathlon Secrets

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