Triathlon Science

April 4, 2014

I wasn’t sure what to do for April, but I thought some more technical/resource books might be good. So that will be this month’s focus! We’ll start with:

Triathlon Science, Edited by Joe Friel and James Vance (2013), 664 pages.


This is a big book! Probably because each chapter/section is written by a different author, like an encyclopedia. I admit I did not read this entire book. The chapters I read were great. I can tell you some of the part I thumbed through were far too technical for the average triathlete – Like me :). I mean, they even have sections talking about DNA and have diagrams of the cellular structure of muscles. Interesting, but not necessary to know!

To give you a better idea of the topics in the book, I’ll tell you the book is broken down into 11 sections, with 3-5 individual essays written by a different author in each one:

Physical Attributes of Triathletes
Technical Execution and Efficiency in Each Event
Environmental Factors and Equipment Options
Physiological Function in Triathlon Training
Training Modes and Methods for Triathletes
Training Strategies in Triathlon
Training Base Building for Triathlon
Multisport Event-Specific Training and Racing Tactics
Sports Medicine for Triathletes
Nutrition for Triathletes
Psychology of Multisport

It’s definitely a reference book, and clearly written to be that way – no way could you read or remember all that info. It’s the best for a really nerdy triathlete who really wants some specifics in each area. It’s not good if you want something where everything ties together nicely and gives you specific instructions. Also, I think each section is meant to be more of a

I read the Nutrition and Psychology sections – shocking, I know. The nutrition second was fairly basic compared to Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes but it’s a good place to start if you’re new to nutrition. I also found the psychology section fairly basic, but that’s probably not surprising either coming from a psychologist. :) It’s a great introduction if you’re new to sports psych. However, there isn’t the detail or direction you’ll find in 10-Minute-Toughness.

I also read and really liked the Technical Execution and Efficiency in Each Event section – good pictures and descriptions of techniques for swimming, biking, and running. It likely wouldn’t be enough for someone very experienced in any of the sports, but it’s good for a beginner. For example, the swimming chapter shows common mistakes and drills to use to correct your form. I very much recommend those sections for average triathletes like me. :)

Overall, great book for either your reference desk, or to check out from the library and read the sections you need.


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