Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
Concise, accessible, crammed with useful information
on 15 January 2014
This book is concise enough to read in a single sitting, well organised so that you can quickly return to specific topics, and crammed with useful information so that you'll want to do that.
Topics such as endurance, speed, force and power are covered in a few short pages each but later incorporated into the generic training programme in the excellent 'periodization' section; diet, testing and heart rate are dealt with clearly and accurately. Often the key principles are covered simply in just a paragraph, followed by a short section on how to apply them; there are plenty of facts and figures to allow you to quickly use the information and benefit from it. I was easily able to put together my own, personalised training plan based on the recommendations and understanding that the book provided.
Occasionally, there are glib statements (for example, "These days, it seems as if you can't even lift a glass of orange juice in public without garnering dirty looks") and, conversely, a few points could usefully have been expanded on (I had to read the periodization section more than once) but, for the most part, it is as concise and to the point as it can be whilst still getting the message over. The book does provide some quotations and examples as evidence or reinforcement but avoids trying to show off (as some other books do); it is enough to convince you without boring you. And a measure of the clear layout is that I often re-read a section when training on the bike indoors - very good for checking you're doing it right. If you don't already own a heart rate monitor, the book may persuade you to use one although it does tell you what to do if you don't have one; I'd recommend using one to maximise the contribution the book can make to your training - you can get one for less than the cost of a good tyre for your bike...
It is true that the book doesn't contain much, or anything, that is revolutionary or that might not be found on the web. But our understanding of human physiology hasn't been revolutionised in recent years (at least, not at the level of the cyclists this is targeted at). All in all, it brings invaluable information together in a handy format at a very reasonable price.