Required reading for the hardcore triathlete

Read all about it!  Credit: Russell Cheyne/Allsport
Dont have a life? Dont want to get one? Feel like taking your hobby and turning it into an analogy of the Apollo space program?

The following books are related in that they take their triathlon-oriented topics as far as possible, without dumbing-down a thing.

If knowledge is truly power, then getting intimate with the following books is a literary steam engine.

All of these books are available for order through any of the major online booksellers,, Barnes and Noble and included. Check these sites for prices and ordering instructions.

The Ergogenics Edge
By Melvin H. Williams, Ph.D.
Published by: Human Kinetics

A thorough overview of what-is-what in the world of performance-enhancing supplements. From boron to bee pollen, this book describes what they can or cant do for you.

In addition to listing the effects and side-effects that research has pinned down, Williams discusses the legal and ethical questions surrounding each ergogenic aid as well. A good source in helping you gain an edge while helping you evade bad advice.

High-Tech Cycling
Edited by Edmund R. Burke, Ph.D.
Published by: Human Kinetics

An in-depth survey of the most cutting-edge cycling topics that are currently on the high-speed forefront by a collection of top sports scientists.

Optimal cycling position, pedal cadence, biomechanics and equipment are explored with the "X-acto knife" of hard science.

Not the easiest book to read, but certainly one of the most valuable if you have the patience and/or background to absorb the information and apply it to your bike training.

Dynamic Nutrition for Maximum Performance
By Daniel Gastelu & Dr. Fred Hatfield
Avery Publishing Group

An outstanding and comprehensive guide to understanding sports nutrition on a molecular level.

Part one discusses nutrients in great detail, while part two looks at metabolism, anatomy and digestion.

The third section digs into three of the highly sought-after results athletes strive to achieve with sports nutrition: weight loss, carbo-loading and muscle-building.

The fourth segment lays out specific plans for different sports, with triathlon being one of them. A hardcore education in the connection between performance and diet.

Fixing Your Feet
By John Vonhof
Published by: Wine Press

Pounding on the pavement for untold miles takes a major toll on your feet, as they are the contact points for all of the aggregate stress that running puts on them.

Chapters address preventative maintenance, skin toughening and taping, orthotics, and common injuries such as Achilles tendonitis and plantar fascia blisters, as Vonhof takes blister control to a new level.

Road to the Top
By Dr. Joe Vigil
Published by: Creative Designs, Inc.

Dont try this at home. In other words, triathletes reading Vigils book should know that one of the most respected running coaches in the world expects nothing less than a maximum effort both in intensity and volume from his athletes.

Hence, trying to use one of his programs within the context of triathlon training is suicide. However, theres a great amount of material that is of value to a triathlete gunning for the next level in his or her running.

A complete primer on the science behind world-class endurance running, an excellent section on how to work at altitude, and a similar section on dealing with heat.

Possibly the greatest reason to have the book is the highly motivating quotes that this charismatic coach peppers throughout.

Serious Training for Serious Athletes
By Rob Sleamaker & Ray Browning
Published by: Human Kinetics

A classic for triathletes, this tome presents a series of integral methods that guide you in scientifically producing a long-term training program.

If you have the discipline to work through Sleamakers program for several years and perform the meticulous record-keeping he advises, the value will be that your personal journal will be a masterwork text that no amount of money could buy.

From the data you will have collected you will not only be able to continue to improve by using proper increases in training load, you will be able to time your peaks and know when your body signs are telling you to back off or pick it up. You will then have a copy of Serious Training for Serious Athletes that has been written for you and you alone.

Building Your Perfect Bike
By Richard Ries
Published by: Bicycle Books

If triathlon training and racing isnt enough of a hobby to keep you occupied in your spare time, how about getting into building your own dream bike?

Imagine going to a race using a bike that youve built to your own wants and desires and being able to train and race on a bike that youve seen put together from the ground-up. This guide is well-organized and beautifully photographed.

Discuss This Article