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Book Review: The Cyclist’s Training Bible, 4th Edition
 
By Stephanie Chase
Date: 6/5/2009
Book Review: The Cyclist’s Training Bible, 4th Edition
 

Book Review - The Cyclist’s Training Bible, 4th Edition
 Since the first edition was written in 1995, cyclists have relied on Joe Friel’s Training Bible for workouts, training programs and general advice. The newest edition is updated with using and analyzing your training using power meters and more...


The Cyclist’s Training Bible, 4th Edition
Joe Friel

Since the first edition was written in 1995, cyclists have relied on Joe Friel’s Training Bible for workouts, training programs and general advice about how to reach one’s full potential on the bike.

While seasoned cyclists will refer back to the book as a useful guide for refining their training or to gain knowledge about the new advancements made between editions, The Cyclist’s Training Bible is perhaps most fruitful for as Friel puts it, “highly motivated riders in their first 3 years of training to race.”

For those who love the methodical focus and reward that comes from a systematic training plan and are looking to become more competitive, Friel’s book offers tools for cyclists to analyze their strengths and acknowledge their weaker skills to help hone and structure their own programs. Packed with worksheets, charts, visuals and a dense index and references for further reading, The Cyclist’s Training Bible is an arsenal of encyclopedic information for ambitious riders.

For those already familiar with Friel, the entire book has been updated with a couple of key improvements to note. As power meters have replaced heart rate monitors for many as the preferred and more accurate means of analyzing training, Friel includes intensive discussions on the benefits of using power. For those without power monitors, Friel also has charts and various tests one can use to determine training zones.

 The focus on training intensity is also part of Friel’s discussion on periodization. For those unfamiliar with the term, Friel has incorporated this theory of Dr. Tudor O. Bompa, a prominent figure in exercise science, as means of varying intensity and volume throughout one’s training program. “Structured training and methods” Friel notes in one of the early chapters, “are critical for achieving peak performance.”

Of course, these peaks are a result of a honed combination of harder training blocks coupled with recovery. Both fatigue and the need for ample recovery are constantly emphasized throughout the book as many focused and competitive athletes can struggle with knowing when to rest and let their bodies rebuild. Simply put by Friel, “fitness = workout + recovery.”

Chapters in the book also discuss unique needs for women, masters, novice and junior cyclists; fuel, nutrition and diet; planning workouts and using a training diary. For those overwhelmed by the technical terminology, there is a useful glossary for navigation. Strength training and stretching exercises are also useful sections to build all-round fitness and reduce injury. While the Training Bible may appear as dense and daunting as War and Peace, Friel’s central idea is simple and concise: “train hard - rest harder!”

The Cyclist’s Training Bible, 4th Edition
Author Joe Friel
Publisher: Velo Press - 2009 $24.95
Binding: Paperback - 8.5½ x 11 inches
Pages: 330 - Black & white graphs, tables, and illustrations
*ISBN: 9781934030202

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