I have bought many exercise books but nearly always they have been lacking with no real depth of explanation.
This one is an absolute gem though! Ackland presents a very readable yet exhaustive breakdown of the training model setting out in great detail exactly how a training program should be scheduled and why.
Where he succeeds over most other books I've read is that he doesn't offer you a program (although there are examples at the end of the book) but rather he teaches you the fundamentals of how to train and why so that you can build a workable series of training programmes yourself.
I have learnt so much from this book and it was well worth the three months I had to wait for delivery! To be fair to Amazon it was the becuase the publication date kept being delayed!
The only thing this book does not do is present any real background on the human body and the aerobic and cardio vascular function. It's all about the training aspect rather than a book on human biology.
This is in now way a criticism though as in my opinion a total focus on the how's and why's to train was what was needed, and what I hadn't found in previous books.
I can see me reading this several times over the next few years and delving into it constantly when I want to change my training routines.
Whether you are a coach or a competitive athlete this book is superb. It is set up in three parts, the first of which is "Training Basics", giving an understanding of training and the physiological background. The second part is "Taking it to the Next Level", a comprehensive analysis of a programme and how to develop it. The third part is "Specific Sample Programmes" for triathlon, duathlon, multi-sport, rowing & kayaking, road cycling, mountain biking and finally distance running programmes. For me, it is extremely well set-out and presented. It brings you all the current up-to-date thinking on the physiology of endurance sport training and putting together more effective training plans. A wonderful reference book.
The best summary of endurance training techniques that I have read. Clear explanations without undue physiological explanation. I had this out from the library for 6 weeks and decided to buy it as it will be one that I go back to in the future.
This will prob creep up to 5 stars when I put it to proper use when preparing for next years riding. The most appealing thing is that it allows a top down engineering approach to achieving (or at least having a good crack at) a properly identified goall