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The Cyclist's Training Bible: A Complete Training Guide for the Competitive Road Cyclist Paperback – October 1, 1996


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Periodization," nutrition, stretching, peaking--who knew that so much went into riding a bike? Joe Friel's The Cyclist's Training Bible is jam-packed with information, easily the most authoritative book on cycling to date. Friel, a lauded coach and masters athlete from Colorado, adopts the principles of Dr. Tudor Bompa, whose periodization training methods were used first by the dominant Eastern European athletes of the 1960s before becoming popular in the United States.

About the Author

As an age-group competitor, is Colorado State Masters Triathlon Champion.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Velo Press; 2nd edition (October 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1884737218
  • ISBN-13: 978-1884737213
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.7 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,857,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

"Joe Friel has a masters degree in exercise science and has trained endurance athletes since 1980. His clients include elite amateur and professional road cyclists, mountain bikers, and triathletes and duathletes. His clients have included national champions, world championship competitors, and an Olympian.

He is the author of several training books and is a contributor to several magazines and websites around the world and offers clinics, seminars, and camps for athletes and coaches. He also consults with national sport federations and with businesses in the fitness industry. He is the cofounder of TrainingPeaks.com and TrainingBible Coaching.

As an age-group competitor, Joe has been a Colorado State Masters Triathlon champion, a Rocky Mountain region and Southwest region duathlon age-group champion, and a perennial USA Triathlon All-American duathlete. He also competes in bicycle races.

For information on coaching, speaking, or consulting services, contact him by email at jfriel@trainingbible.com or through his blog at www.joefrielsblog.com.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

178 of 194 people found the following review helpful By J. Grattan VINE VOICE on April 14, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is a little unclear for whom this book has been written. Professional, world class cyclists have their own training systems and don't need this book. It's difficult to see how 9-to-5ers who race on weekends have the time to follow a training program as complicated as this one.
The author starts by describing the basic cycling abilities of speed, endurance, and strength and goes on to describe the advanced abilities of muscular endurance, speed-endurance, and power. His training program consists of "periods" that emphasize the specific training of those abilities in varying proportions.
Those periods are Base I,II,III, Build I,II, Peak, and Compete. Throw in the factors of frequency, duration, intensity for all of the training periods, as well as lactate and cardiovascular monitoring and you have got yourself one complicated program. There is a lot of overlap in the training: to say that this manner of riding is this kind of training can seem somewhat arbitrary.
As a long-time runner and cyclist, I can attest to the fact that numerous training books exist for runners that are far easier to follow than is this one. There are a few basic workouts that can make one a successful runner. It is the opinion of this reviewer that the author would better serve those likely to buy this book or a next one if he would make the effort to simplify and reduce his descriptions of basic physiological systems and the corresponding training needed. And the author does readily admit that some cyclists are successful without going through such a complicated schedule. There must be some middle ground here.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Duane Gran on May 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a bold book in my opinion, and the author doesn't cut corners. Friel states up front that cycling requires tremendous dedication and makes no apology for this nature of the sport. Other books are soft in comparison. Sometimes I re-read this book simply for inspiration to train well because the author is so passionate about optimizing one's ability.
The only downside may be that his training advice is very hard to follow for most people. The natural inclination is to do fairly idle rides without purpose, but the book emphasizes always riding with a purpose and gameplan. The very act of organizing a yearly calendar and planning for peaks can be daunting. In fairness, he does provide some good advice for riders who have limited time to commit to the sport, but one can gather from the tone of his writing that the book is really meant for the individual with at least 15 hours a week at his or her disposal for training. Afterall, this is the cyclists training *bible*.
I have found personally that the book was helpful for me to become versed in the language of cycling training. I use a coach on my team for my training regimen, but this book has educated me so that I understand that purpose for what I do. This alone has improved my dedication and enjoyment in following a regimen.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
A practical approach to managing training time for the cyclist who "has been training and racing for some time". A good implementation of periodization (including annual plan) emphasizing importance of recovery. Cyclists wishing to optimize workouts and improve performace will benefit from this book, however this highly structured optimization will cut back on the fun group rides and spinning sessions; Friel's Training Commandment 5 is "Train with Groups Infrequently". For more technical background see "The Bicycle Racing Guide" by Van der Plas and for the less experienced cyclist see "Richard's Cycling for Fitness" by Schubert.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
What a great book. Friel's approach to training is excellent, and easy reading for someone who WANTS to race faster. Friel himself is a very accomplished bike racer, and his son Dirk is on fire this year (just raced against him in Arizona.) Now, if this New England snow would just melt... NOTE: Ths book is for experienced, motivated cyclists, probably too much too soon for beginner cyclists or those w/ little patience.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
this is the most comprehensive book on training for cycling that I have read. The book is not filled with "I-already-knew-that" information such as buying a bike, proper equipment, and other information intended for beginners. The book provides the reader with the information necessary to establish a custom annual training schedule.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
If you buy only one cycling book... You will have to look very hard to find such a good cyclists' training guide. This book very clearly and simply shows how to effectively create a training program to meet your objectives and work within your constraints. Friel puts all aspects of training (sleep, nutrition, periodization, testing, balancing with the rest of your life, etc.) into perspective and provides a scientific foundation for all of these areas.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
I am confident that this book can help you put together a training program that will improve your cycling, BUT it seems that Friel's methodology is built on results of an assessment that the typical cyclist cannot very easily (or affordably) get. Friel sets out in Chapter 5 a series of tests (assessment) that must be done before developing a training program. This makes sense, but the critical tests must be done on a CompuTrainer, an SRM PowerMeter or in a lab. Ask yourself if you have access to any of these or if you are prepared to spend the money to get the necessary testing done ina lab. If not, find another way to develop a training program.
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