Friday, August 31, 2012

Book Report : Training for an Ironman

The per-month goal this month was to read two books. I chose two books I got for Christmas last year, and they both revolve around Ironman, either training or racing.

This book was co-authored by four guys who appear to have a good set of credentials to be able to write a book like this.

I liked this book, it is almost entirely about training for an Ironman, it's a 26 week program that they say is geared toward making you faster, but then they describe ways you can tailor it to your own needs.

The first few chapters talk about the principles of their training ideas. They talk about the key ideas they think are critical to success at ironman. This covers everything from the value of weight training, to the value of making sure you have good form.

The middle section, the majority of the book, is a week by week detailed account of the training they recommend broken down by phases. At the start of each phase they give you general guidelines to follow (like, 'up until now the schedule has been pretty flexible, but you should stop skipping workouts now if you have been') as well as a brief description of the weeks including when rest is coming. At the end of each phase they do a little Q&A portion which covers everything from what to do if you're feeling like you need more work in a specific area to how you should pick a new bike (just get one you like.)

Then there is a chapter that is a much more condensed version of the previous chapters.

The end chapter goes over getting ready for race week.

Should you read this? I have not executed this training plan, so I have no idea how effective it is. If you choose to do all the workouts it can get pretty busy, there are a couple of weeks that have more than 20 hours of training (mostly on the weekend.) But they do offer a barebones plan where you only do key workouts, and that is a much reduced plan. They say that will get you to the finish.

The tone of the book is playful, there were even a few times I thought it was witty. The read is pretty quick because basically it's a training plan and when it comes right down to it there just isn't that much text in it.

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