Jan. 24, 2014
Friday Rest Day Book Review! Ok, I’ve introduced my training plan, and read two books about doing the event. Now I introduce you to book that breaks down all the aspects of training in detail: Going Long, by Joe Friel and Gordon Byrn. 372 pages.
As you may or may not know, Joe Friel is a major figure in triathlon coaching. You can read more about him and his blog here. He also writes the Triathlete’s Training Bible, which is, as its title suggests, one of the most thorough books about triathlon training you’ll ever read. It’s also fairly intimidating and dense. I own both, but this book was much more approachable. I honestly think reading both would be good, but I’ll review this one.
The book is broken down into 4 parts: Getting Started, Ironman Training, Beyond the Basics, Finishing Strong. The first two are probably fairly self-explanatory. The first part discusses what you need to undertake an ironman, and the second breaks training down into overview, and chapters on swim, bike, and run. The third section has chapters on strength training, nutrition, training the mind, and presents some case studies. The fourth talks about peaking, racing, and recovery.
The details in this book are amazing! I recommend reading through it once, and then reading individual sections in more detail as you need the info. I was obviously drawn to the second part, the Ironman Training section. It explains in detail what you need to train for each of the three sports. In each chapter there are drills, and detailed workouts you can use during your training. As a self-coached athlete, this is a great way to get and idea of what to do during a training session and how to execute it – you’re not “reinventing the wheel.” I also appreciated the Case Studies, as the authors lay out sample weeks for various different types of athletes, from “Novice Nick” to “Kona Ken.” Again, I’m sure it’s not a replacement for the Triathlete’s Training Bible, but it’s an incredibly good book for the self-coached athlete to read prior to planning their training.