The Cyclist's Training Bible (Anglais) Broché – 21 mars 2003
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I work about a 50-60 hour week and raise a family. There is no way I could have achieved the level of cycling proficiency I have without this text. It makes the amount of time I decide to spend training pay dividends on race day.
This book has two potential drawbacks. First, it is possible to get too wrapped up in the minutae of planning each and every workout for the next six months. Friel offers literally hundreds of possible workouts to choose from, and a system for selecting workouts that will help you approach each ride with a specific purpose. So long as you have some ability to read and apply both principals and a suitable level of detail, this book can not be beat.
My second issue is that I have worn out the binding from so much use and now need to buy a new copy.
The main drawback of the book is its complexity. The book never claims to be a one-size fits all sort of plan so there is a lot of information that will allow the reader to customize his or her own training. This can be overwhelming at first. The best approach to the book is to read it through a couple of times to get a feel for what is being said. Once this is done, the material will feel a lot less overwhelming. In any case, there is some effort to be put into understanding the book just like there is effort that must be put into training to achieve the result of better performance.
Short of going out and hiring a coach to do your thinking for you, this book is the best way to start training for competition.
What I like about Friel's book is that it lays out all of the principles behind the programs. Knowing the principles allows you to make reasonable adaptations to the programs. For me it's helped make good decisions concerning what to cut when I find myself short of time in some given week. Do I cut the long ride? Do I cut the power work? Would it help to add a couple of miles to my commute to make up for it? After reading Carmichael's books I was still mostly clueless when it came to making those calls. After reading Friel's I feel pretty confident that my decisions are at least not egregiously stupid.
The book might be too detailed if all you are looking for is a few simple programs you can copy, or some ideas for different sorts of training to add to your routine. The book would be overkill for that.
This is really a book for serious self-coached cyclists who want to plan a training season and who want to be able to make good trainnig judgements as they proceed through the season. It would also be useful for the coached cyclist who might be more strongly motivated if they understood more of the why and wherefore of their routine.