- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Rodale Books (September 9, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1579542700
- ISBN-13: 978-1579542702
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 61 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #942,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Lance Armstrong Performance Program: Seven Weeks to the Perfect Ride Paperback – September 9, 2000
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It's hard to argue with success; it's even tougher to emulate it. But if you want to train like a Tour de France winner, you couldn't do much better than learning the tricks of the trade from two-time champion (1999 and 2000) Lance Armstrong.
In The Lance Armstrong Performance Program: Seven Weeks to the Perfect Ride, Armstrong teams up with his coach, Chris Carmichael (whom the U.S. Olympic Committee named 1999's Coach of the Year), to offer the ultimate insider's guide to becoming a better rider, based on the regimen Carmichael has been fine-tuning for Armstrong since the early 1990s. Noting that athletes of all levels focus best when aiming for specific goals at the end of short windows, the authors describe the performance program as consisting of "three specialized weekly training programs that build on your current fitness level" followed by a week of "recovery riding between each program." They provide an easy-to-administer fitness-level self-test in the form of a three-mile time trial (beginner, intermediate, or advanced), and they then define the key operative terms that make up the bulk of the actual training, including Tempo, HighSpin, PowerIntervals, Sprints, and Training Zone. A brief section of workbook-style pages provides readers with a user-friendly outline for the entire seven weeks.
Here is week 3 for an intermediate rider:
- Monday: day off.
- Tuesday: 1 hour in zone 2 with 20 minutes Tempo on flat terrain.
- Wednesday: 30 minutes in zone 1; recovery ride.
- Thursday: 1 hour in zone 2 with 15 minutes Tempo on flat terrain.
- Friday: 45 minutes in zone 2 with 10 minutes HighSpin on flat terrain.
- Saturday: 1 hour in zone 2 with 15 minutes Tempo on flat terrain.
- Sunday: 1.5 hours in zone 2 with 30 minutes on hilly terrain.
Though clearly the focus, the performance program itself makes up less than a third of the book. Other subjects covered include cycling equipment, essential maintenance and repair, riding in bad weather, road hazards, mental toughness, and the pros' eating habits both on and off the bike, to name just a few. What the book is not is the story of Lance Armstrong's remarkable recovery from testicular cancer (see his autobiography, It's Not About the Bike, for that). Rather, Armstrong and Carmichael have produced a detail-packed training manual, sprinkled with photographs and tales of the racing life, for those who spend a large percentage of their time on two wheels--or dream of it. --Patrick Jennings
America's romance with Lance will undoubtedly soar with his second Tour de France victory and the success of his autobiography, It's Not about the Bike [BKL My 15 00]. Compared to other training guides, this covers the same basics with a straight-to-the-point style, bullet lists, and good organization. Just as people wanted to be like Mike, cyclists want to be like Lance. "What Would Lance Do?" sidebars provide anecdotal tips, but does it really matter if Lance likes to wear sport sunglasses to protect his eyes? It may be motivating to know his heart rates for time trials versus climbing, but does that really help someone training for a Century? Carmichael, Armstrong's coach for the past decade, offers helpful and useful tips in "Listen to the Coach" sidebars, and two chapters, "The Heart of Training" and "The 7-Week Success Plan," offer the best training advice for beginners to advanced cyclists. Readers who can't get enough of Lance will be drawn to the title, but the real draw is Carmichael's Training System, sure to inspire cyclists to peak performance--when tailored to individual abilities and goals. Brenda Barrera
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
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In simple, clear terms, thankfully absent the mind-numbing details of other cycling books, Armstrong and Carmichael destroy the myth that training harder means going faster. Anyone who thinks that huffing and puffing until your thighs throb and burn is the way to grow stronger, is going to be outraged by this book. "How can you become stronger when it does not feel like you are working out? How can anyone reach ultimate fitness unless they pedal until it hurts?", they will wonder.
In a book that covers every aspect of cycling important to a rider, Armstrong and Carmichael lay out is a program for riding slower and riding less, but gaining strength and fitness you cannot reach the old fashion way of continually pushing beyond your aerobic limit. What Lance has proven beyond all doubt by his fitness level is that the key to expanding your aerobic limit is to stay within it. Forget the burn: if you burn you are lactating and if you do so every time you ride then you are loosing fitness, not gaining it.
It is a wonder that they decided to publish this book before Armstrong retires. We could have watched him perform for years and never guessed his secret. But his now open secret is safe, because it contradicts decades of training practice, so it is doubtful his opponents will use and capitalize on it. You may not be a world-class rider, but this is certainly a world-class book that will benefit any rider who applies its lessons.
This program is perfect for beginners, or anyone who is just trying to get an idea of how to start a good program that can be maintained and adjusted to your fitness level. The book is full of anecdotes on Lance and Chris, much of which are unnecessary, but they make for easy reading. The book reads like a motivational biography with important fitness and cycling details spaced throughout. It's easy to read, but I would stress that this is certainly geared more towards a beginning cyclist who is just looking for an easy-to-follow program. In the process, you learn a lot about Lance, and you may even get to the point where you can identify with him and feel motivated by his experiences.
I highly recommend this book for any beginning cyclist or individual interested in both anaerobic and aerobic endurance training.