Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Read Any Good Books?

I recently read a couple of books you may find enjoyable and informative:

Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald. Matt is a coaching colleague who I have always found to be level-headed with his training advice and have a firm foundation in research. Both qualities stand out in this book which hit the shelves in the last few months from Velo Press who also publishes many of my books. I never thought it possible to write an entire book on this topic. Writing a blog post on weight management for serious athletes seemed long when I did it some time ago. I was expecting a lot of meaningless fill with a book on the topic, but it is anything but that. I found every page to be sprinkled with ideas on how to manage your weight for better performance. And the book is extremely well researched. He often presents both sides of an issue and then explains why he sides with one of them. I find that an enlightening way to deal with topics so burdened with old wives' tales and misinformation. Matt has done a great job. I'd highly recommend reading it even if you don't need to lose any excess poundage. You'll come away with a better understanding of your physiology and also of food.

Trizophrenia by Jef Mallett. I don't usually read books like this but I have followed Jef's comic strips in our local paper (The Arizona Republic) and in VeloNews. In his comics he seems to frequently express something I've done or thought of myself while training. His book is no different. As a triathlete he has a good sense of what others in the sport are thinking. If you're a triathlete I'm sure you will enjoy the book. It's a quick read and will leave you contemplating what you do so seriously many hours a day while chuckling at the same time.

And a little bit of self-promotion... I'm currently working on a book which won't be out until next fall at the earliest (one chapter done!). I've received many questions from athletes over the years basically asking how to apply the principles described in my Training Bible books. This book does that. Based on a periodization model, you simply read the chapter related to the period you are just starting in your training and it will take you through all of the details including not only the period-specific workouts, but also testing, nutrition, mental challenges and common problems. And it will offer sample training plans for your race preparation. I think it's going to be a great book for helping you coach yourself more effectively.