Thursday, March 05, 2009

Triathlete’s Training Bible

I have recently become a big fan of the public library. This stems from an accumulation and subsequent need to purge various book purchases. I have read “Into Thin Air” twice and will probably re-read “Atlas Shrugged.” Regarding references I have more than once consulted “A Guide Book of United States Coins” as well as a couple of self help books. Beyond that books just take up space on a shelf.

I also have a few collectibles including hard to find gaming books such as “Confessions of a Poker Player” and “Foster’s Practical Poker.” I am also fortunate enough to have a few books signed by the author in the realm of mountaineering and racing. Boulder is a popular stop on outdoor adventure book tours.

A few weeks ago, I came across the “Triathlete’s Training Bible” (TTB) by Joe Friel. Friel is a well known coach and has authored multiple books in addition to providing web based coaching as well as one-on-one coaching. I began following his blog after viewing the DVD series “The Science of Triathlon” and picked up the 3rd edition of the TTB at my local library. I immediately started digesting it and found that not only did it contain more information than I could digest in 3 weeks, but I was also taking notes and wanting to photocopy pages. At this point I figured I better give the author his due and purchase the volume as it was worthy of shelf space.

Friel outlines in strategic and tactical terms how one should approach endurance training in the long term multiple seasons as well as short term, individual training weeks and workouts. There is also enough science to convince the professionally coached and self coached athlete that there is value in planning for a season to ensure execution at races is optimal.

The book is not geared to the casual recreational athlete who seeks out “training” as a mental release or time for meditation. Each meal, phase of a workout or period of recovery is part of a master plan for targeted optimal performance. I look forward to reading the book and completing the exercises as I enter a life stage where winging it has caused more harm than benefit. While my aspirations are relatively low, I am becoming a believer in a balanced approach to fitness versus the mantra of “Just Do It!”

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