Favorite Books - Endurance Sports (Cycling, Triathlon, Running)


What are your favorite books related to cycling, triathlon, or just endurance sports in general, and why?


I am looking for one for adventure racing - so if anyone has recommendations I’d love to hear them


How bad do you want it? by Matt Fitzgerald is an awesome book about the mental aspects of endurance sports.

The brave athlete by Leslie Patterson and Simon Marshall was ok I thought. It has lots of practical exercises in it. It covers a lot of issues so it ends up being a pick and choose sort of book.


Lise you might like This Road I Ride by Juliana Buhring. It’s not about a race but it is about her riding her bike around the world - first woman to do it. Buhring became an ultra-distance racer after that and has had some great success.


If anyone is into Ultra Running I have a couple that were good. Re: cycling - there is The Rider by Krause that I’m reading currently.


My two favorite: Once a Runner and Again to Carthage by John L. Parker. By far, these are my favorite books about running. For me, the author just nails all that goes into putting out a top performance. In Again to Carthage, which is a sequel to Once a Runner, the author does a good job of having the main character deal with the issue of getting older and having one last go at it. I guess, for me at least, I have not seen too many authors really capture the feeling of hard training and what it does to the athlete, both good and bad. He gets the monotony, the doubt, the small victories, etc. It’s definitely not portrayed as a glamorous lifestyle.

Two honorable mentions are Iron War by Matt Fitzgerald and Hell on Two Wheels by Amy Snyder. Iron War is about the epic Ironman duel between Mark Allen and Dave Scott. While both of the athletes clam that Fitzgerald’s work is more fan fiction than fact, it’s a gripping read, especially in the latter third. Hell on Two Wheels chronicles the 2009 Race Across America (RAAM). For the first third, I thought, “Wow, it would be cool to do that.” In the second third, I thought, “Nah, F that.” The last third is pretty intense as she makes the race sound like the riders are right next to each other. Pretty good reads.


LOL Ian, I thought doing RAAM and the TransAmerica race would be awesome too until I saw movies about each one. I do not do well with sleep deprivation and could easily imagine myself falling asleep on the bike and going over the side of a steep road! Hell on Two Wheels sounds awesome though.


Thank you Stephanie


For endurance (although rowing endurance) - I enjoyed listening to The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics this summer. It made for a great listen on a long drive down to Oregon and back.


“Rusch to Glory” by Rebecca Rusch. She goes over how she got into adventure racing through her getting into endurance mountain biking and winning leadville. Very inspiring.


Thanks. I’ll look at that.


new book might interest some might interest some http://www.joefrielsblog.com/2018/03/the-all-new-cyclists-training-bible.html


I have this in pre-order through Amazon. I really like Joe FRiel.


I just find that his character development is pretty thin. He’s also pretty weak on original plot creation.


Here are some of the books I read and liked:

  • Roar by Stacy Sims - focused on the female physiology for training and nutrition
  • The Racing Weight - interesting perspective on how the number on the scale is nowhere as important as the weight at which an athlete can perform at his/her best
  • How Bad Do You Want It? - Mastering the Psychology of Mind over Muscle - I liked the stories about athletes’ struggles and how they overcame hurdles that were getting in the way of their performance.

Books I am reading/using now:


Effortless swimming. It’s a YouTube channel, not a book, but it is awesome


I am reading Roar right now. Thanks for more reading ideas.


you are kicking my ass; note to self make more time for reading books and not research articles!! nothing like a good book ive a heap of ones on the mind and body (ie mental strength, intuition, focus) as this area of health and performance FASCINATES ME (and translates to corporate and business)


Just finished reading an interesting book called Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance by Alex Hutchinson. He’s a sports science journalist and the book looks at different aspects of physical limitations and includes to great historical research/science. Lots of stuff about VO2 as well as heat, fuel, mental toughness, pain, lactate threshold and hydration. What’s really interesting is that in spite of all we know, we still don’t know much of anything!

Some interesting takeaways:

Pacing is complex but it seems we judge what is sustainable by how we feel but also by how we feel in comparison to how we expected to feel at that point during the race.

Pain tolerance is both a trainable trait and a limiting factor of performance.

VO2 max is a pretty good predictor of performance.

A high fat low carb diet works just fine for endurance but if you want a good sprint you absolutely need carbs.


On the back of the coaches corner today.

I have a gazillion books, it is so hard to pick one as many of my books are necessity. for example i cannot go to the local library and find a book on heavy metals and fibromyalgia and about where they come from in the environment (and online is a source of major error and false articles) so i have to go off and spend $$$ on toxicology books etc.

science books are great, and boring. Medical books are great, and boring. herbal books are boring and some are fascinating, Books on whats wrong with us and how to heal are full of truths and half truths so read what you are drawn to and learn for yourself. some authors are great, some mediocre and others have an agenda. pick nuggets from what you read that feels applicable to you. or go to a well read well educated expert!

learn about yourself, your story, your ancestry your strengths and weakspots and build from there. get curious.

A few that spring to mind in no order:

The Five Levels of Attachment: Toltec Wisdom for the Modern World Hardcover – February 21, 2013

by don Miguel Ruiz

World’s Healthiest Foods, 2nd Edition: The Force For Change To Health-Promoting Foods and New Nutrient-Rich Cooking Paperback – May 28, 2015

by George Mateljan

cook books by Derval O’Rourke – she was a client of mine who learnt to cook and then went on to be a chef; never mind her achievements on the track! Her philosophy is a strong irish one which is simple food and natural and home cooked.

The Wind Is My Mother: The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman Paperback – February 1, 1998 by Bear Heart

Cycling Science (Sport Science) Paperback – June 21, 2017
by Stephen S Cheung (Author), Mikel Zabala

go to for me as well as a heap of science books, medical texts and clinical papers on a-z of what I see in the clinic

Textbook of Functional Medicine Hardcover – 2005
by Sidney MacDonald Baker (Author), Peter Bennett (Author), Jeffrey S. Bland (Author), & 7 more

also the textbook of natural medicine https://www.amazon.com/Textbook-Natural-Medicine-Joseph-Pizzorno/dp/1437723330/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1551100421&sr=1-1&keywords=textbook+of+natural+medicine

Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance Hardcover – February 6, 2018
by Alex Hutchinson (Author), Malcolm Gladwell (Foreword)

Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome 1st Edition
by James L. Wilson (Author), Jonathan V Wright (Foreword)

In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness Kindle Edition
by Peter A. Levine PhD (Author), Gabor Mate (Foreword)

books by Michael Pollan are always interesting.

Netflix has some interesting documentaries but they can be biased.

Best podcast show is danny lennon… cos hes Irish :slight_smile:

Andrea x