Top positive review
21 people found this helpful
GOOD FOR BEGINNER OR ADVANCED, GREAT FOR LONG-COURSE TRIATHLETE
on January 11, 2007
I was thinking of moving up to the half- or full-ironman distance triathlon, and this book seemed a logical choice. As far as I know, it's the first volume dedicated to half-iron training and racing. The author spends the first few chapters going through the basic theory of training and "design science," but then dives right into the specific detail of the three sports and training for this distance. The individual chapters on swim, bike and run are as useful and detailed as any other triathlon book, with some later advances in bike aerodynamics, power metering, and running technique.
But the best and unique aspect of the book are the specific workouts, case studies and race strategies for the half-iron distance, including categories for beginner, veteran, and elite triathletes. What works for one group may not work for others. He does give separate examples for different levels, and beginners should stay with the simpler stuff in the book.
If you have read either Friel's TRAINING BIBLE or Byrn's GOING LONG, you'll feel at home with Rodger's similar approach, but his style and emphasis are different. His writing style is clear like Friel's, but he has more personal anecdotes and humor to go along with the scientific training principles. He used to train astronauts at NASA, so there is plenty of science and technology in the book, but also a lot of heart. Since he started later in life, he has more sympathy for beginners and the average or aging athlete than a pro triathlete or someone who coaches mostly pros. But make no mistake: he's a hard-racing, top-ranked age grouper with lots of world championship racing, especially Ironman and ultradistance, so some of the material can be quite challenging, but also inspiring.
Nice photos of famous folks at Kona, as well as good drawings and diagrams to illustrate swim, bike and run technique. About the only thing that could have been better would be to use the larger page format of the TRAINING BIBLE books, especially for tables and graphics, though for the money this is a well-printed publication.