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Slow Fat Triathlete: Live Your Athletic Dreams in the Body You Have Now
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Slow Fat Triathlete: Live Your Athletic Dreams in the Body You Have Now

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  546 Ratings  ·  81 Reviews
The idea of participating in a triathlon may sound out of the realm of possibility for those without a typical jock-athlete's honed build, intense focus, and competitive mindset. But now Slow Fat Triathlete opens the door to those who may not come quite so equipped. After years of obesity, poor health, and self-doubt, Jayne Williams took part in her first triathlon in 2002 ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 8th 2004 by Da Capo Press (first published April 7th 2004)
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Aug 12, 2008 Kate rated it really liked it
fuck yeah dude. this totally got me through my triathlon. she's all like, "yeah, you're going to do dumb stuff like fall and be sweaty and muddy and gross and you're going to look like an asshole. and people are going to take one look at you and think you can't do shit because you're a fatty. but you know what? fuck them and do it anyways." really realistic and awesome and inspiring. a little light on the technical stuff, though, but there's a million other books out there for that shit.
Jul 31, 2008 Anna rated it really liked it
I've been waiting for a book like this for a long time. I run, I bike, I swim, and yet I'm still the weight that I am and this book tells me to forget that and train anyway.
Don't let her account of her many ailments throw you off at first - she is leading to a very good point about working around these things and knowing your limits and surpassing what you thought you could do.
It's a feel good book that doesn't get all sappy.
Jun 01, 2009 Jen rated it liked it
Unapologetically NOT written by an expert, Jayne Williams simply tells her story of being almost 300 pounds with a variety of injuries and health issues to competing in triathlons. It's packed with humor and aimed for those who want to try something that they may never excel in, but who think the journey is worthwhile. Excerpt from page 2: "Hang with me for a couple of pages while I convince you just how unlikely it was that I would ever even start training for a triathlon, let alone work my way ...more
Jamee Zielke
Sep 01, 2013 Jamee Zielke rated it really liked it
A friend recommended this book after I complained about another book I read that claimed to be targeted at moms who run, but was actually targeted to athletes who happen to have children but mostly just love running and everything about being athletic. That might seem like the same thing, but really it can be very different.

Anyway, like the author, I am a slow fat 'athlete'. I am just working on running though, not swimming and cycling, and I have no desire to do a triathlon. And I say 'athlete'
Jan 03, 2010 Jnoblitt rated it really liked it
I loved this book. Main idea: no need to look like a greyhound in order to enjoy sports. This book is very funny but also very effective. Made the training approachable and enjoyable. It was my main source for doing my first-ever triathlon and it worked really well. After the race I sent her a note and she wrote me back to say congrats. I'm a big fan!
Jun 09, 2015 Dawn rated it really liked it
Loved this book. She's a regular person, a lot like most of us...was kinda out of shape, overweight and decided she wanted to do a sprint (short) triathlon. The whole book is about not letting it intimidate you. And she keeps you laughing as she describes the event.

On the transition from swim to bike: "OK, now you've got your cycling gear on. Grab your bike off the rack and trot to the bike exit. you remember where the bike exit is, right? When the moment is right get on your bike and pedal smoo
Jo * Smut-Dickted *
Feb 13, 2014 Jo * Smut-Dickted * rated it really liked it
This is a book that will motivate you. Not as expansive as Triathlon for the Every Woman: You Can Be a Triathlete. Yes. You. but has some great moments. Even though it's a bit older the info is still good. Has some interesting race recaps that can be quite funny. I'm more of a slow triathlete (not so much on the fat) but it is good to read books from folks that consider a 10 minute mile to be an accomplishment. I enjoyed this one - and I read the DTB. That tells you something!
Apr 16, 2009 Jessie rated it liked it
I hope to NOT actually be a slow, fat triathlete by August. But Jayne certainly shares my view of why I'm really doing this whole thing - to get out there and just have a good time. So this was an important read to get my head in the right mind set.
Aug 01, 2011 Nicole added it
A self-proclaimed “Slow, Fat Triathlete”, author Jayne Williams announces to the health and fitness world that a person does not need to fit a slim-trim mold to compete in athletic endeavors! From page one, Williams describes various types of road and off-road challenges that may appear daunting to someone not seasoned in the arena of self-inflicted torture! William’s realistic ability to view herself as not in perfect shape, in her forties, and willing to laugh at her “foibles” prevails. Repeat ...more
Aug 06, 2010 Celeste rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010, running-related
I bought this book because, after seeing the title, I thought it was a book about athletic pursuits geared to those of us who are not made completely of muscle.

Like my rating, I thought it was ok. It wasn't horrible, and the organization of it flowed in a pattern that made sense to me. I felt like I learned a few things too, and it made me go from no desire to try a triathlon to perhaps doing one once the kids are older.

But the writing was not that great. The conversational tone was not the prob
Mar 12, 2008 Christine rated it really liked it
As an aspiring athlete who identifies strongly with the title (which I'll admit took me aback a bit at first) I found this book to be a great resource. It's full of encouragement, mystique-busting information (for instance describing the details of what transitions are and explaining much of the lingo) and really practical advice. It's also often extremely funny - I didn't expect to laugh out loud while reading about triathlon training! I've been thinking of doing a sprint triathlon for over a y ...more
Apr 28, 2009 Jen rated it really liked it
We sell this book in the store where I work my second "get out of the house and meet people" job, and the title alone intrigued me. As a wannabe triathlete myself, I wanted to see what it was like for someone more athletically challenged (as well as fighting the battle of the bulge). Williams delights and amuses throughout the story. She offers excellent training tips interspersed with her "race reports," narratives describing her experience at a particular event. It made me even more interested ...more
Christopher Sears
I think this book serves its purpose well. You will need to read this book with another triathlon book if you want to get all of the knowledge that you need to really get started. However, this book does put a personal face on triathlons.

I found the writing style to be too cutesy for my tastes. I did enjoy the fact that she made triathlon sound fun, but I would prefer "just the facts."

I found the website that accompanies the book, and I was a little disappointed to hear that Jayne is having heal
Elaine Meszaros
Dec 03, 2014 Elaine Meszaros rated it it was amazing
Williams describes herself as "nearly asteroid sized and shaped" when she decided to start running. Within two years she was competing in her first triathlon. She freely admits that yes, she is fat and yes, she is slow. But she also competes and has a great time. She pokes fun at herself as she sprays down with Pam to get into her wetsuit and mentions that her sprint and jog look virtually identical. There’s a 95% chance I won’t be doing a triathlon anytime this decade, but Williams’ book was a ...more
May 11, 2013 Tanya rated it it was amazing
What a great book for anyone, and I mean anyone, considering a triathlon. I had already begun my training for my first triathlon when I accidentally found this book on Amazon while searching for my brand of exercise clothes. As I trained alone for my events last year, it was comforting to have someone's personal experience to lean on as I approached my first raceday. Now, even months past my events, I still recall tidbits of advice gleaned from Jayne's experience, which helped me get through my ...more
Amy George
Jan 31, 2014 Amy George rated it it was amazing
It was a quick and easy read with short chapters and lots of stories. I read it in an afternoon when it would NOT STOP SNOWING. This was perfect for where I was at with no triathlon experience. She gave lots of entry-level explanations and walk-throughs which were great for a person like me wanting to devour information on the subject, but this was more of a motivational, "You can do it!" book than a practical training book. The self-deprecating humor became tiring after awhile, but the constant ...more
Feb 05, 2011 Patricia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: how-to
Dreaming about doing a triathlon next October. Quite funny as sit sick in my recliner in Dec. But hopefully I'll get some ideas for the upcoming months.

Finished this book the first week in February a week after getting back into the exercise swing. Now I'm doing PRE training following lots of Jayne's advice. This book was funny as well as informative and an excellent reminder that I'm doing this MOSTLY for fun and partly for fitness. I find it works well to "train" for something to keep my atten
Apr 26, 2013 Naomi rated it it was amazing
My favorite training book so far. OK, I will admit it...I am not in the skinny minnie training program so this book offered some great advice for training not only for Tri's but could be applicable to any training regimen. This book packed quite the punch for its 170 pages and is loaded down with lots of important information from a journal of her trainings and races, as well as important must haves and not so important must haves as part of your racing routines and gear. This book was incredibl ...more
Jul 02, 2010 Sarah rated it it was ok
I wanted to love this. I'm slow (really slow), not exactly fat but certainly not endurance-athlete skinny, and training for my first triathlon. While Williams is very encouraging that anyone can do a tri, she's trying so hard to be funny that it got annoying quickly for me. I'd recommend Triathloning for Ordinary Mortals over this as an accessible beginners guide to triathlons.
Oct 12, 2009 John rated it liked it
Inspirational in the sense that it tells the story of a slightly overweight, well-off woman who decided to start training and competing in triathlon. Nice in the sense that it keeps your expectations slight, encouraging you to train for shorter distance competitions instead of doing the full Ironman from the get go. Frustrating in that less time is devoted to the ins and outs of training than I would like and much more is devoted to shopping for gear than I like.

A good motivational book; a bad t
Jul 01, 2012 Judy rated it liked it
This book contained a little more information than I needed. As someone just starting to run, it was suggested by a friend who thought I might find it motivational. If I had any desire to do a triathlon maybe it would be more motivational. My husband just finished his first triathlon a few days ago and is already re arranging our summer plans so he can do a couple more. The book was interesting and definitely gave me food for thought. It is a book I will hang onto in case I ever consider trainin ...more
Mar 03, 2012 Hilarie rated it really liked it
I loved this book! After reading this I realized I can be fat-fit! Its definitely not the ideal, but working out is good for any body. When I competed in my first sprint-length triathlon, my husband said, "I'm sure there will be slower and fatter triathletes there. The point is it doesn't matter!

I'm now reading Women Food God- to help with the eating side, so maybe someday I'll just be a slow triathlete- or even remove both titles altogether. :)
Feb 16, 2010 Emma rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Jayne Williams is an unapologetic slow, fat, triathlete and she wants us to know that we can be, too. More motivational than how-to, Williams tears down triathlon myths (for example, I totally thought it was all Ironman stuff) and lets the truth hang out in all its glory by using her own experiences as an example. Her strategy works...I actually do think I could be a triathlete, someday...if I really wanted to, that is.
Colleen S.
Mar 11, 2012 Colleen S. rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: athletes, nonfiction readers, sports fans
A fun nonfiction book detailing how one "normal" woman in her forties went from couch potato to triathlete. Lots of self-deprecating humor, how tos, and useful lists for anyone interested in learning about the sport, the book is also worth the read even for those of us who have no intention of going tri. My younger sister is a triathlete, and learning a lot about the sport helps me to talk to her about her hobby and feel like I'm keeping up with her lingo.
Aug 13, 2012 Lori rated it liked it
Great inspiration book, not only for those of you contemplating your 1st triathlon but for anyone who is out of shape and needs some inspiration. I'm giving it 3 stars only because I skipped a portion in the middle that explained tri-stuff that I already knew. But the beginning deserves 5 starts - hilarious. I SO identified with her. I felt many times I had no business doing a triathlon...but I did it anyway - and so can anyone who has the mind to. Quick read!
Dec 28, 2015 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Shelves: health-beauty, 2015
I wish I had read this book several years ago when I made a New Years resolution to do a triathlon. I ended up skimming the first half of the book because it was information I already know. I liked the information presented as it mostly aligned with what i tell people about my experience with triathlon. I recommend it to people thinking about getting into triathlon or who just want to be more active and need a goal.
Mar 24, 2008 Karen rated it really liked it
What a great book. I too am slow, fat and want to be a triathlete. The author paints a picture of how it is to be involved in a sport where the majority are thin, fast and amazing creatures. I really liked the fact that although she is slow she still finished and was happy about finishing. She is also very greatful to the people who help out at the events. I have tried to incoporate that into the events that I have been involved in.
Cindy Dyson Eitelman
Didn't inspire me to become a triathlete, but if I'd been leaning that way, it would have. I put it on my to-read list awhile back before my enthusiasm for such things disappeared. But I already had a copy, so I figured why not?

It's a great book. Full of inspiration, useful facts you'd never guess until you'd been there, and droll anecdotes from one who did. I'll donate the book to the library and maybe someone somewhere will get some good out of it.
Sep 03, 2008 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This was recommended by a friend at work. It's what I was hoping the The Nonrunner's Marathon Guide for Women would be—a motivational book for athletes like me. I was slightly discouraged that the author ran her first 5K faster than I've ever done one but felt better when I reminded myself that she's a lot younger than I am. I was very intrigued to learn that some triathlons have a separate division for women over 150 pounds; I might have a hope of competing in that class.
Ray Charbonneau
Apr 09, 2011 Ray Charbonneau rated it liked it
Shelves: sports, how-to
Lightweight, breezy style makes getting off your ass unfrightening. But the book has so little depth, in the training and racing information, and in details about the author, that ultimately I found it trivial. I can see where this would rate higher for a certain type of person, but I'm not that person.
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