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Day 34 – Triathlon Books

Updated: May 13, 2022

140 Days until IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga

Books Are Wonderful Things.

For the younger readers here, a book is like a blog on paper. 

If you look for triathlon books on, you’ll find plenty. In fact, you might be overwhelmed by the staggering number of people who write about triathlon.

Maybe I exaggerate, but there are many books to choose from and the choice of which to read can be difficult if you are new to the sport.

As a side note – which really is not a side note because we are still in the main body of text – if you don’t know which should be your first triathlon book, consider joining a local triathlon club if possible. You’ll get a better introductory education to triathlon that way than through a book.

I have noticed a pattern among the few triathlon books I’ve read. They can be classified as either training books or perspective books.

Training Books

The Triathlete's Training Bible by Joe Friel

My favorite training book

The training books tell us how to do some aspect of triathlon. My favorite in this group is Joe Friel’s “The Triathlete’s Training Bible.” You are not going to curl up on a couch in front of the fireplace to read this book for the day. This is a book you will want to study. Friel carefully explains what the latest scientific evidence has to say about training the body to perform. It will not give you a race plan, but it will tell you how to create one that is specific to your needs. Other books in the training category include Don Fink’s “Be Iron Fit” and the current book I’m reading, Dan Golding’s “Triathlon: Winning at 70.3.”


here seems to be an abundance of books in the training category.

Perspective Books

Books that explore why we race or why we care about endurance sport or tell stories of great endurance feats make up the second category. These are books that offer perspective rather than attempt to make us faster. The first book like this that comes to mind is “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall who tells the fascinating story of an entire culture that raises its young to run great distances.

My favorite book in the philosophical category is Scott Tinley’s “Finding Triathlon. How Endurance Sports Explain the World.” Tinley boldly asks, “Why do sport at all?” and offers the most satisfying answers of anyone I’ve read. I enjoyed the book so much that it’s featured in a TriRiot video.

That’s about all that I can pull from my mind today. This morning’s swim workout was a doozie and I’m beat.

Until tomorrow…

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