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The Triathlete's Training Bible

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  2,163 ratings  ·  114 reviews
This new edition of The Triathlete's Training Bible covers all of the specialized training needs of triathletes, including completely updated nutrition, recovery, and weight training information. The book also contains seasoned advice on the mental aspects of training. Author Joe Friel shows how to achieve greater fitness by examining personal strengths and weaknesses, and ...more
Paperback, Second Edition, 368 pages
Published February 9th 2004 by VeloPress (first published 1998)
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Tuomas Apparently the difference is quite significant (the 4th edition was completely rewritten):

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Aug 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fitness, favorites
I was thinking about runners this morning. The way they look. The way they move.

I don’t mean the champions of distance running. Despite the impossibility of their feats (26 miles at a 4:50 pace, 50 miles a day for 90 days, etc.), the competitors themselves srike me as very real, fundamentally human. Lank simians new-cast in nudity on the savannah, running a gazelle to exhaustion.

But then I think about one of these Olympic track stars. A guy like Usain Bolt. His whole life dedicated to the stag
This book is advertised as suitable for people of all levels, but it's definitely not meant for novices. It's too technical and comprehensive for the intimidated beginner, and none of the example training plans are suitable for those just starting out. The most helpful information for beginners is tucked away on a few pages in the final chapter. I'll keep this as a reference, but I now need to get a better novice guide. ...more
Jul 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't think that this book will move from my "currently reading" list for a while.

I purchased it shortly after I registered for my first triathlon--the 2011 NYC Triathlon. I didn't crack it until I was on vacation in Jamaica last February, about my fourth rum-based cocktail in, sitting under an umbrella is a nice beach chair. Looking at the insane work out plan that basically says I needed to start training about seven years ago if I want any chance of finishing this race and will immediately
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really useful information! And now that the pools are closed and there are no races, I finally managed to finish it.
Mar 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't have to finish reading this book to say it's the best book out there on triathlons. Might be a bit too complex for a newbie or a recreational athlete, but if you've been in the sport for awhile and want to improve without a coach, this seems to be the book to get. It's not full of boring basic stuff. I've read (or at least skimmed) a couple dozen books on triathlons and this is the first one I'm reading cover to cover. Lots of good info in here on periodization, peaking, creating an annu ...more
Rishav Kumar
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you can’t afford a trainer and your goal is to run a triathlon of any distance this will act as your trainer.
Rob Hammond
Nov 23, 2020 rated it liked it
A book that could have been written in a third of the words. It does contain some useful insights, though it's a lot of effort to tease them out from the fluff in between. ...more
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book, will make sure to come back to it for specific workouts and for creating the training calendar for the next season.
Douglas Lord
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just as Walt Whitman kept writing and rewriting Leaves of Grass year after year, so does Friel continuously ponder, tinker, and rethink each bit and piece of his advice. Sure, Transcendentalism may have helped a few dudes intuit their way through the world, but triathlon helps them swim, bike, and run their way through it. This new fourth edition contains all the building blocks of the previous three with some added twists; six sections deal with the various aspects of the sport and are labeled ...more
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book for anyone interested in endurance sports. The specific focus is on triathletes, but much of the advice and planning in the book can be applied to any endurance sport. This book is extremely comprehensive (as the title suggest). It includes training plans, quizzes about your mental toughness, advice for resting, and everything else you can imagine to help you succeed. Even as a casual/amateur triathlete, I gained a great deal from this book.
Very comprehensive, recommended to triathletes of all age and ability.
I found the self-assessment tests particularly useful, something I have not met in any other book for triathletes.
Michael Walczak
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this cover to cover this weekend and it was just the book I have been looking for. I was a bit lost on how to improve my weak swimming skills and maybe a bit misguided in my use of my heart rate monitor. I have taken a lot inspiration and enjoyment from reading running books while training for a race in the past, such as the famous Born To Run, and Eat and Run and Finding Ultra about veganism and ultra-endurance sports. But after last season and while trying to cross over to triathlon, th ...more
Tõnu Vahtra
Feb 15, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“But there always have been, and probably always will be, five ingredients for success in sport: Purpose: Know exactly what your goal is. Passion: Have a burning desire to achieve it. Planning: Determine how you’ll go about achieving it. Perspiration: Work hard, following your plan to achieve it. Perseverance: Don’t let anything get in the way of achieving it.”

For now I completed the book in one go but probably will come back to it again and again this year while preparing for first full IronMan
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: triathlon
Amazingly concise and practical

I have read a lot of high-quality sources about triathlon before picking up this book, but this book still surprised me. Most training books explain the general principles, which are essential, but not very concrete and give a training plan in the appendix, which is generalized and too short to cover an entire season. The author manages to strike the perfect balance between the two and gives a very detailed and clear framework for creating a training plan. In addit
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rereading in the new edition after a long gap.

This is - still - the Bible. Essential for anyone serious about training for triathlon, although not perhaps the best for a complete beginner in endurance sports. It looks like the current edition has undergone a complete rewrite (as opposed to earlier revisions which underwent tweaks and edits between versions).

As with many of his fellow writers in the field (looking at you Matt Fitzgerald…), Friel is pushing his own agenda here a little. Some of h
May 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A complete understanding, not a plan.

If you’re looking for an easy to follow triathlon training plan, this is not it.

If you want to understand the reasons behind building a plan, and understand how much work actually goes into being a coach, than this book is for you. It’s a lot of information, but if read actively with an effort placed towards understanding and retaining what you have read, you’ll learn how to develop an effective training plan for yourself and maybe even others.

Most importan
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finally understand Joe Friel! I had tried to get serious with triathlon with a previous edition of the training bible, but it went way over my head. Now with a few more seasons under my belt and especially having followed a simple plan last season, the contents of this book really clicked. I love that he starts with the mental side and systematically dissects all parts of training. A fully scientific way to go about training. Love it! I got a coach this season and this book really helped bring ...more
Bethany Zakrzewski
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very very very necessary.

The only thing that makes this tough to get through is that this is not your personal coach. It is a book of coaching. So the book will speak to a spectrum of people and takes a lot of weeding out the most appropriate recipe for success on an individual basis.

Also if someone is dedicated to a sport to read a book on it's most intricate skills, you're likely already overambitious by nature. It's important to be clear with yourself at which level you are starting and buil
Adrien Lemaire
Oct 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book would be better off without the author's self-promoting and advertisement of his co-founded service TrainingPeaks.

But it's a good read, and I learned a lot of vocabulary and methods through it. It felt like it was intended for me, starting my 4th year in the sport, but due to recurring injuries (which pushed me to buy the book), I'm better not considering myself as the intended target, and take things a bit slower than suggested.
I will keep it close by throughout my journey in the sport
Oct 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference, how-to, 2019
Good read but with some dated examples as the version I read is quite old (1998). For example, the cycling computer is touted as something "new" that not everyone might have.... whereas anyone today likely has 2 or 3 computers between their handlebar-mounted cellphone, gps watch, and heartrate monitors.

Some of the training methods are still applicable and it's a good intro read. However the serious competitor (which I am not) probably needs something more up to date.
Bud Winn
May 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was hooked into training by this point and commited to my first race at Castaic Lake in August 2008. I had borrowed a friend's Mountain Bike for my first race and had no clue what I was doing. Fast-forward 12 years, and triathlon has been a large part of my life and I enjoy the sport - this book was my first real intro to structured training and I followed it from 2008 to June 2011 when I finally got my first coach. ...more
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Provides knowledge to effectively create your own training plan. Introduces key training concepts and techniques that are well-researched and have been effective for elite athletes for years.

More useful for experienced triathletes that require more specific training regimens (vs. novices that will see improvements as long as they are consistently training).
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great tips and advices

You have to take advantage of more than 30 years of coaching experience. It’s good to know that you are not alone when it comes to training and having a “normal” life, you can find tips on how to manage your life and your training.
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is absolutely jam-packed full of useful information. It was a little more advanced than what I needed as a very beginner triathlete, but it's one that I could come back to again and again if I want to pursue training and racing more seriously in the future. ...more
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Extremely dense and comprehensive, written more like a textbook which made my eyes glaze over every once in a while. It's definitely aimed for an athlete that's more experienced and serious than I am, but some really good takeaways in terms of how to plan a season and structure a week. ...more
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
The better use of one's time would be to go for an extra Brick session. "Bible" also accurately describes the relevance of the book in the 21st century. ...more
Sergey Korsensky
Great book

Slightly long , but has all the information needed to start ordered and structured training. Serves as a great intro material.
Frida Ted Mosby A.
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is very well-written and amazing.
Anders Risager
Used it as a guide and training aid in the beginning
Fiona Marks
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hugely helpful guide to training at competitive level for triathlon. Lapped up every page!
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“It is not a matter of how much you train, but of how you train. —RICK NILES, TRIATHLON COACH” 1 likes
“But there always have been, and probably always will be, five ingredients for success in sport: Purpose: Know exactly what your goal is. Passion: Have a burning desire to achieve it. Planning: Determine how you’ll go about achieving it. Perspiration: Work hard, following your plan to achieve it. Perseverance: Don’t let anything get in the way of achieving it.” 1 likes
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