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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 5 March 2014
OK, first things first - I was at secondary school with Martyn, so I have a sort of twisted inside view of this. I can confirm that he was utterly useless at football and by his mid-teens was already turning into a fairly sedentary lump. Not exactly "big-boned" but at least "well-padded".

It was therefore quite a shock a few years back when he popped up on Facebook with pictures of him running and cycling (and apparently no-one chasing him with knives). Not only that, he was doing triathlons. And not only that, he was doing the hardest type - the Ironman races.

This book takes you through how the hell he turned from dough-like couch potato (apologies for the mixed carbohydrate metaphor) into a lean, scraggy racer who has won stuff (there's a chapter all about how to win things, which mainly consists of doing your research and being old).

Be warned - his language is on the squishier side of ripe, so if you are easily offended this may not be for you. However, he produces some turns of phrase that had me actually laughing out loud and I mean that in a way that is no longer covered by the over-used 'lol'. His description of getting out of the freezing English Channel onto a boat was one of the funniest lines I've read anywhere in ages.

You don't have to be particularly into triathlons, keeping fit or even sport in general - for most of the book Martyn himself appears somewhat taken aback at what he finds himself doing. And it's not all knob jokes either - one chapter was surprisingly moving.

And this glowing review is not simply because I know him. To be honest I half expected it to be a load of old toss, but apparently he has been honing his writing 'style' in a regular column for a triathlon magazine. Which, like his physical exertions, seems to have paid off.

Buy it you buggers. You won't regret it.
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on 21 October 2014
One of the worst sporting books I have read; the author is arrogant, swears gratuitously thinking he is being funny and spends a great deal of time mocking others needlessly. There is nothing special within this book and I would suggest 'Can't Swim, Can't Bike, Can't Run' to readers of this genre instead; a likeable writer, who doesn't put others down for cheap laughs.
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on 19 May 2014
I bought this on recommendation from a friend in my running club. It was quite amusing with a couple of laugh out loud moments - the bike chain and spin class moment. A thoroughly enjoyable read but don't buy it if you're looking for any advice on running/improving.
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on 28 July 2014
Having read Martyn Brunts monthly column in 220 Triathlon magazine I knew what to expect and was not dissapointed.
Yes a lot of the stuff in the book has come straight from the pages of 220 but it was nice to see it fleshed out with some more personal info. I have to say I was not prepared for the tears to be rolling down my face, not from laughing either, mixed in amongst all the funny stuff was an extremely sad story that will have anyone in tears.
For a man who is constantly putting himself down it is quite clear that he actaully really does know what he is doing but this is not a training guide so if that is what you are looking for keep looking but if you want a funny insight into what it takes to take on a triathlon then buy this book, you will not be dissapointed.
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on 17 August 2014
A lot of beginners don't want to join triathlon/ sports clubs as they feel they wont be good enough or laughed at by more experienced athletes, when in fact they actually turn up and they are usually welcoming and there are many people of all abilities to support each other and make lifelong friends. The author of this book, however, is one of those stereotypical middle age men who have found they are ok at triathlon and become completely condescending to those people who finish just before the cut off time as 'maybe they're just sh*t' and their achievement is no where near as good as his. He is one of those people that do put off others from joining the sport.

If you would like to read about Ironman, i'd recommend Chrissie Wellingtons' (Four times Ironman World Champion)- A life without limits as you'll finish it feeling uplifted and wanting to join such an amazing sport by someone who has actually attained something rather than feeling put down by such an elitist age-grouper.
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on 18 July 2014
I got the kindle copy on the basis of the first "look inside" making me chuckle. And there were plenty of chuckles through the book. The narrative did feel more like a shaggy dog story than a cleanly thought out tale. There were several rambling diversions which could have been cut out and not lost the thread of the story. An enjoyable and easy read none the less and one that made me reflect with a smile on my own sporting "prowess".
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on 2 January 2016
As I embark on my triathlon training as a fat unhealthy thirty something, I stumbled across this book and saw the many similarities between myself and the esteemed author. You may notice the name on this review begins with Miss but I am a Mr as I'm using my better halves account as I'm too lazy to create my own. I currently tip the scales at 18st and although the author was a quite frankly anorexic 15st he has done his job in hammering home a confidence and belief that I could actually finish my first triathlon without drowning, soiling myself or both. I will warn those who vote for Lib Dem or the Green Party that some of the language in this book may not be to your taste but for a narcissistic potty mouth like myself I actually gave the book an extra star. On a serious note, this is a great book and I would recommend to anyone not easily offended and I'm sure somewhere in here is a small snippet of actual advice on completing a triathlon.
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on 26 March 2014
There seem to be many of these 'fat man to fast man' type books - this is yet another of them. It seems from the very many 5 star reviews that either he has many book reviewing friends or that everyone else read a different book to the one I read.

The writing style is at best, basic and what others are describing as humour wouldn't even make the grade of a working man's club comedian. As you'd expect, it's an undemanding read and reveals nothing about either the Author or his motivation. You do get to read a lot of sub-Viz type expressions from the 1990s however.

There are worse examples of this genre around but there are also much better.
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on 4 March 2014
Just as I hoped Martyn stuck to his tried and tested 220 writing style ie rude, pouring scorn on his friends and family but also ripping it out of himself. This is the reason I read the 220 magazine starting at the back page every month. I now know which t-shirt to wear to a race, how to manipulate my race results to maximum effect and more importantly how to taper (avoid white vans). I have stalked him through his blogs since he swam the channel with Robin Corder and team mates. Just go out and buy it and have a laugh, worth every penny
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on 21 April 2015
I guess it's difficult to write about how you completed several IMs, some of which on Team GB, and still sound humble. Martyn Brunt however doesn't manage that. I think it's great that he's acheived so much but as an author he comes across demeaning to those who aren't as good as him. (that's pretty much 90% of those reading his book) In addition the book is literally littered with personal digs at his friends and in-jokes which you'd expect to find in something written by a 7 year old who had to read it out in front of those who featured rather than a book which is supposed to appeal to a wider audience.
The test of these books as far as I'm concerned is "does it inspire me to get on my bike / pull on my trainers and emulate what I've read" and in this case, despite battling my way through the whole thing, the answer to that was a resounding no.
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