Book Review: The Bicycling Big Book of Training


I was invited by Rodale Inc. to review Danielle Kosecki’s The Bicycling Big Book of Training.  

I have a not-so-secret life-goal to race Ironman Kona.  Unfortunately, the girl who grew up riding her bike to the pool, the movies, and all around town has since grown up and forgotten how to ride her bike – see My Epic Fail and What I Learned.   So when Rodale (Runner’s World/Bicycling/Running Times) gave me the chance to review The Bicycling Big Book of Training Everything you to need to know to take your riding to the next level I jumped at the opportunity.

“The book is organized into five parts that cover the necessary components of a successful training and racing regimen.

Part I:  Plan explains how to get your body in shape and how fitness translates into on-the-bike performance.  You’ll learn the different ways to assess your fitness and how to use those test results to get the most out your training.”

What I liked:  It explained the importance of microcycles, training logs and equipment in simple terms that didn’t get too technical for a novice.  It explains training zones and how to test yourself so you can become more efficient.

“Part II:  Prep outlines nutrition and hydration recommendations, strength training routines, and stretching exercises that are crucial for daily workouts and race preparation.”

What I liked:  I always struggle with nutrition, not what to eat, but when.  In “Prep” breaks out what to eat for your different training rides.  It also details strength training and flexibility exercises as well as recovery stretches and rolling.

“Part III:  Ride breaks down the three most common endurance events:  centuries, charity rides, and gran fondos.  With customized training plans and strategy advice for each, you’ll know what to expect on race day.”

What I liked:  Everything you wanted to know from braking to cornering to how to descend to how to climb – it’s all here – even how to fall!

“Part IV:  Compete is all about racing.  After covering the basics, you’ll learn the skills required to competitively tackle discipline-specific events:  road racing (one-day road races, criteriums, and time trial), cyclocross, and mountain biking.”

What I liked:   The do’s.  The don’ts.  “Don’t look back, but don’t be a sucker.”  It’s an overview of the events, but yet all the details are here.

‘Part V:  Tend addresses how to keep your body healthy all year.  Topics include over training, recovery, ideal cycling weight, and injury care and prevention – everything from road rash to saddle sores.”

 What I liked:  I loved the power to weight ratio and the chapter on rest and recovery.

The Bicycling Big Book of Training is a great resource and belongs in your hands if you are like me and want to take your riding to the next level, but don’t know where to begin.  It’s an easy read and a valuable resource you’ll keep in your training bag for easy reference.  The Bicycling Big Book of Training is available now;  288 pages; Paperback; $16.49.

Are you reading to take your riding to the next level?  What are your cycling plans in 2015?

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