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Your First Triathlon, 2nd Ed.: Race-Ready in 5 Hours a Week Paperback – April 1, 2012

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  • Your First Triathlon, 2nd Ed.: Race-Ready in 5 Hours a Week
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Editorial Reviews


"Whether you're a beginning triathlete or a seasoned pro, Joe Friel is the leading authority on triathlon training." -- Ryan Bolton, Ironman winner, Olympian

"Joe Friel's wealth of knowledge in triathlon is astounding and he has a wonderful way of sharing that knowledge with all athletes: beginners to elite professionals. If you are looking to get off to a great start in this sport, you have come to the right place!" -- Siri Lindley, Triathlon World Champion

"Any new triathlete would greatly benefit from this book, and if you were to buy just one book for your first triathlon, this would be the one!" --

"Joe does the hard work for the beginning triathlete by condensing, prioritizing, and simplifying all the science and practical experience which he has mastered over decades of coaching."   -- Barb Lindquist, 2004 USA Olympic Team

"25 years of active multisport coaching has proven that Joe Friel has an unprecedented understanding of endurance sports. As a multiple triathlon world champion, I would consider Joe as one of the leading figures in triathlon coaching today. Joe's professional approach and practical understanding of sports physiology has helped many endurance athletes of all abilities reach their full athletic potential." -- Simon Lessing, 5-time Triathlon World Champion

"With his book, Your First Triathlon, Joe Friel uses his expert knowledge to help new triathletes use the same training principles that have made The Triathlete's Training Bible such a success." -- Gale Bernhardt, USA Triathlon Olympic Coach

From the Back Cover

Get ready for your first triathlon with the sport's #1 coach!

Triathlon is the hottest new fitness challenge. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are swimming, cycling, and running their way to a healthier lifestyle. Finishing your first triathlon is an unforgettable experience, a milestone that can set you on a path to lifelong fitness.

America's top triathlon coach, Joe Friel, has a practical training plan that will get you to the starting line in race-ready shape—all in just 5 hours per week. With his friendly advice and a sensible training plan, you'll quickly gain the fitness and the confidence to enjoy your first triathlon.

Your First Triathlonoffers training plans for beginners as well as plans for more experienced runners, cyclists, and swimmers. Four easy-to-use programs for sprint- or Olympic-distance events provide realistic workouts that will shape you into a triathlete.

Training plans:Easy to follow in under 5 hours a week
Workouts:Clearly explained for swim, bike, and run
Technique:Effective drills to polish your form
Tips & tricks:For race-day check-in, a stress-free swim, and laying out your gear
Tri gear:What you need and don't need
Nutrition & weight loss:Practical advice for dropping extra pounds

Your First Triathlongives you the preparation and confidence you need to cross the finish line feeling great—and excited for your next race.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: VeloPress; 2 edition (April 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1884737811
  • ISBN-13: 978-1884737817
  • ASIN: 1934030864
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,665 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 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 or through his blog at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Steven Spicer on January 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am training for my 1st Triathlon and was trying to decide on which Friel book to select. After reading the reviews on the "Bible" book, I selected this one. There are many elements of the book that i find good, but when it comes to the actual training part, I am immediately turned off and discouraged. His exercises require way too much "thinking" that takes the fun out of even beginnning to try and train. In order to start running, I have to remember so many different "series" of steps that I have to: a) take the book with me which in itself is inconvenient; b) right everything down and repeatedly consult the piece of paper; or c) hire a "coach" (or one of my kids) to read the book or paper to remind me of what I need to do. Not good in my opinion. I find the same with the bike training. Mr. Friel may be an expert in his field and I respect him for that, but the reviews on the "Bible" book seem to reflect what is in this book, and that in my opinion, Mr. Friel needs to "dumb" things down a tad and make it a little more simple and as he emphasizes, fun for the beginner triathlete. I say, don't purchase it for the training, simply for a nice overview of basic nutrition and equipment needs. I have found some very effective training for triathletes on a website dedicated to beginning triathletes.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm more a runner than a triathlete but triathlon is always something that's been in the back of my head. Your First Triathlon is a good general book with a lot of good information. It is not too overwhelming (leaving aside the training plans) and covers everything fairly well including quite a bit on strength training and nutrition which you don't always find a ton of in other books or it is very cursory.

The initial few chapters were great introduction and well written. I thought the fact that the author acknowledged this can be a lifestyle as well as the need for support to be helpful for newbies. This is no small goal you've set out for yourself. The gear and what is required vs. what is nice to have broke things down well. The only irritant I have (and this is a common complaint for me for triathlon books so far!) is there is the assumption you already have a bike. Repeatedly you are told "Don't buy one" (not unique to this book) and not given a ton of advice if you do not have a bike (any bike) for what you should do. Just told "Don't buy one now you'll regret it". That is all well and good if you have a bike or someone to borrow one from. For those of us who have not been on a bike for a while and who do not possess one I'd like to see some one (anyone!!) actually offer up an opinion of what you can do in this situation.

Well, since no other has done that, I will tell you what I did. I did not have a bike. So, clearly, I need a bike. I also didn't want to invest thousands into a sport I wasn't sure I'd like and for a bike that might be too specific too it. I mean I can see myself going casually riding and maybe with a group but beyond that not so much - not planning on going for 5 day rides or something.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tom Demerly on May 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
The girls at work formed a group to do their first triathlon six months ago and now the race is only 8 weeks away!

Author Joe Friel gives you more than hope in "Your First Triathlon". Friel's book gives you the key insights you need to have a great first race experience.

Joe Friel has authored a library of volumes on triathlon preparation but distills his knowledge into one-stop shopping for the beginner in "Your First Triathlon". If you only have time for one book before your triathlon, make it Joe's.

For people who habitually turn to the "quick start guide" of any instructional book you'll need chapter 11, page 169. This section walks you through the week before your first race, how to deal with pre-race jitters, what to bring (and more importantly, what to leave home)and how to set up your transition area. It also provides a step by step narrative of how your race will unfold and what to do when. This answers all the questions posted on triathlon forums by new athletes.

Joe writes in a delightfully conversational voice. It's like meeting him at the coffee shop where he walks you through your training plan and first race. His readable, accessible tone are reassuring and inspire confidence. They help you own the fact that you really can do this!

In reading "Your First Triathlon" I was impressed by how many basic concepts Joe Friel included that are worth revisiting. He knows what it is like to start the sport on a borrowed bike or your old touring bike from college that you'll be blowing the dust off for your race.

Mostly, Joe's instructional insights and reassuring tone convince you that your first race will actually be fun. When you follow Joe's advice and insights you'll see, he's right! Have a great first race!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Crigger on March 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I honestly felt that the book would have been a good book, but unfortunately the Kindle version I received did not include the training tables which was why I had bought the book in the first place.
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