In a triathlon, especially the longer distances, you spend more time on the bike than swim or run. And hence in training, a lot of time is spent on the saddle. For me in particular, this saddle time is very important. Even if it is to simply learn not to fall off the bike! And so, I jumped at the chance to review the Bicycling Big Book of Training from Rodale, Inc. (Runner’s World/Bicycling/Running Times).
The planning and prep part of the book talks about training components, zones of training, nutrition, hydration and includes strength training recommendations. While this is obviously focused on cycling, I found that the information here could translate to a long distance running event. Eg – how to figure out what part of your leg needs some extra strength and flexibility. We all need that!
Another favorite breakdowns in this section was the “toys” needed for cycling. Anyone getting into triathlons will tell you how easy it is to get sucked into buying the bigger better gear. And that is not just the bike I’m talking about. In a simple one pager, the book helps narrow down the choices for the ‘newbie rider’, the ‘fitness focussed rider’ and the ‘serious rider with cash to spare’.
Part 3 of the book that focuses on the Ride had the biggest gains for me. I devoured a chapter called Road Skills in this section. While most of what is described here might be known to a seasoned rider (I say might, because I don’t really know if it is common knowledge), it was a wealth of information for this newbie rider.
The book also has training plans and strategy advice for three most common endurance events – centuries, charity rides, and gran fondos. This would be a chapter for me to revisit when I’m ready for my century (metric century for now). It also talks about different types of bike racing.
This book is great for beginner and intermediate cyclists. It answers a lot of questions that commonly come up. It is a good resource whether you are planning to ride in a group or planning to race (bike or triathlon events).
This book is authored by Danielle Kosecki who is a category 2 roadbike racer for CityMD Women’s Racing Team and the health editor for Glamour magazine. The Bicycling Big Book of Training is available in bookstores now: ISBN 978-1-62336-299-7; 288 pages; paperback; $16.49. You can also buy the book at the publisher’s site here.
I was sent a copy of the book to review. All opinions are my own. I was not compensated monetarily for this blog post.