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Base Building for Cyclists: A New Foundation for Endurance and Performance Paperback – January 1, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Thomas Chapple is a licensed elite-level USA Cycling and USA Triathlon coach. He has competed at the national level in downhill mountain bike racing, and regionally in road and track. Since he started coaching in 1997, he has enabled competitive athletes to advance from the local ranks to placement at national and world championships.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 302 pages
  • Publisher: VeloPress (January 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193138293X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931382939
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #229,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Don't buy this book if you're short sighted and want to get faster next month. Do buy this book if you're a student of the sport of cycling, and the associated physiology. Friel's Bible dedicates several chapters to offseason and base preparation, but Chapple builds on this and expands it to an entire book.

Sound, detailed and correct. This isn't a "cycling for dummies" type book where you open it to a given page, do some canned workout, and magically win your next Cat 4 race.

Start reading it after Thanksgiving, plan through the holidays, and execute.
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I'm a recreational cyclist, getting in a ride a week at best of around 25-35 miles, while otherwise hitting the gym 2-3 times a week. I was frustrated because my speed wasn't improving, my weight loss had bottomed out (although I knew I could lose a bit more,) and I often found that I was getting head colds and such every could of months. Then I found "Base Building for Cyclists".

I've read this book cover-to-cover, and applied Chapple's philosophies. My cycling endurance and speed has improved, I lost another 8 lbs of unproductive body fat, and I got even more excited to get on the saddle and out on the road.

Chapple's approach is simple: Riding hard all the time will not improve your cycling performance. He proposes a program of training that starts out slow and builds from there. How you train depends on what areas you need to improve. I needed to build my endurance, and learned to ride slower to train my body to burn fat using carbs for the fire, rather than just burning the carbs. Results: longer rides and faster speeds after a few weeks of progressively harder rides (and no more over-extending and getting sick!)

It's an interesting book in that you're way past page 100 before you get to the training plans. He spends a lot of chapters giving you the background you need to develop your own program. This is good - you understand what to eat and when, how to balance aerobic and anaerobic training, where strength training fits in and what exercises to do, and how your body processes food for your muscles. He does all this in a very readable form. To me, this is outstanding.
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Format: Paperback
AWESOME!!! Thomas Chapple shows that he is a very skillful teacher!Base Building is right on the money! It takes you through step by step of creating a stronger, healthier, and fitter bike racer. The logic behind the concepts are sound and based on science. The style of writing is understandable & witty. You will feel like Thomas is having a conversation with you. It's like having your own highly qualified coach with you whenver you need him. I still find myself referring to the book often. I have read many different cycling books and this is the only one that dedicates in itself to the most important step of training: the base period. Thomas sheds considerable light on a topic few really understand, he makes very applicable to the needs and expectations of each rider. If you bought only one book on training this should be the one. After reading "Base Building", all of the previous books that I've read on training for cyclists make alot more sense to me. Well Done Thomas!
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Format: Paperback
I used this book this past season for my training following the beginner-level program. It worked fairly well, but I do have some criticisms:

-The beginner level is aimed at people who haven't been training regularly at all. I found the cardio portion to be too slow. I actually lost fitness over the winter from having to keep my heart rate down to such low levels.

-The weight training is too fussy. You're better off following the Friel book and keeping your exercises basic and to the point. Doing all sorts of moves on the ab ball won't make that much of a difference during the season.

One of the best parts of this book, however, are the training charts. You can just photocopy the sample training programs and you're good to go. The authors do a great job of distilling the information into concrete programs that are easy to follow.

I've found the best way to use this book is as a companion book to The Cyclist's Training Bible. With both books together, you would have all the information you need to set up a successful structured training program.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm training for my first 200 mile ride this May and wanted to find a guide to help me maximize the small amount of time I have to train. This book is easy to read and follow, and I'm really seeing results. The material covers race training as well so it would be useful for people who want to train see gains for racing. The most difficult part is keeping the intensity low because it's my natural inclination to want to push it to the max.

On a recent 100 mile ride, riding at a lower perceived exertion rate than I ever have, I finished slightly faster than last year, *and* feeling refreshed. I credit all the base training I did this year following the plan in the book with my success.
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