As part of my coaching I have a number of go to coaching books that assist me with planning and preparing training programmes for the athletes I work with. This is my Top 10 list of coaching books.
1. Fitzgerald, Matt (2014) 80/20 Running – Run Stronger and Race Faster by Running Slower Penguin
This revolutionary training method has been embraced by elite runners with extraordinary results and now you can do it too.
Respected running and fitness expert Matt Fitzgerald explains how the 80/20 running program, in which you do 80 percent of runs at a lower intensity and just 20 percent at a higher intensity, is the best change runners of all abilities can make to improve their performance. With a thorough examination of the science and research behind this training method, 80/20 Running is a hands-on guide for runners of all levels with training programs for 5K, 10K, half-marathon and marathon distances.
In 80/20 Running, you’ll discover how to transform your workouts to avoid burnout.
- Runs will become more pleasant and less draining
- You’ll carry less fatigue from one run to the next
- Your performance will improve in the few high-intensity runs
- Your fitness levels will reach new heights
80/20 Running promotes a message that all runners, as well as cyclists, triathletes, and even weight-loss seekers, can embrace: Get better results by making the majority of your workouts easier.
2. Daniels, Jack (2013) Daniels’ Running Formula 3rd Edition Human Kinetics
Get in the best shape of your running career with the help of Daniels’ Running Formula, the book that Runner’s World magazine calls the best training book. Premier running coach Jack Daniels provides you with his legendary VDOT formula to guide you through training at exactly the right intensity to run stronger, longer and faster.
Choose a program to get in shape, target a race program, or regain conditioning after layoff or injury. Train for competition with programs from 800 meters or 1500 meters to 2 miles, cross country races, 5K to 10K, 15K to 30K and marathon events. Each program incorporates training intensities to help you build endurance, strength, and speed. With Daniels’ Running Formula, you’ll track the time you spend at each level, train more efficiently and optimize results.
Completely updated with new chapters on altitude training, seasonal programming and treadmill training, Daniels’ Running Formula, Third Edition is the most comprehensive, accessible, and instantly applicable edition to date. Customisable to your current fitness level, competition goals and schedule, the formula is the ideal solution for any race, anywhere, anytime.
Whether training or competing, get the results you’re seeking every time you lace up with the workouts and programs detailed in Daniels’ Running Formula.
3. Friel, Joe (2009) The Triathlete’s Training Bible – 3rd Edition Velo Press
The Triathlete’s Training Bible is the bestselling and most comprehensive reference available to triathletes.
Based on Joe Friel’s proven, science-based methodology and his 28 years of coaching experience, The Triathlete’s Training Bible has equipped hundreds of thousands of triathletes for success in the sport. The Triathlete’s Training Bible equips triathletes of all abilities with every detail they must consider when planning a season, lining up a week of workouts, or preparing for race day.
With this new edition, you will develop your own personalised training plan and learn how to:
- improve economy in swimming, cycling, and running
- balance intensity and volume
- gain maximum fitness through smart recovery
- make up for missed workouts and avoid over-training
- adapt your training plan based on your progress
- build muscular endurance with a new approach to strength training
- improve body composition with smarter nutrition
The Triathlete’s Training Bible is the best-selling book on triathlon training ever published. Get stronger, smarter and faster with this newest version of the bible of the sport.
4. Allen, Hunter & Coggan, Andrew (2010) Training and Racing with a Power Meter – 2nd Edition Velo Press
Hunter Allen and Andy Coggan, PhD have completely revised the book that made power meters understandable for amateur and professional cyclists and triathletes.
Power meters have become essential tools for competitive cyclists and triathletes. No training tool can unlock as much speed and endurance as a power meter, for those who understand how to interpret their data.
A power meter displays and records exactly how much energy a cyclist expends, which lends unprecedented insight into that rider’s abilities and fitness. With the proper baseline data, a cyclist can use a power meter to determine race strategy, pacing, and tactics.
Training and Racing with a Power Meter makes it possible to exploit the incredible usefulness of the power meter by explaining how to profile strengths and weaknesses, measure fitness and fatigue, optimize workouts, time race readiness and race using power. This new edition:
- Enables athletes to predict future performance and time peak form
- Introduces fatigue profiling, a new testing method to pinpoint weaknesses
- Includes two training plans to raise functional threshold power and time peaks for race day
- Offers 75 power-based workouts tuned for specific training goals
- This updated edition also includes new case studies, a full chapter on triathlon training and racing and improved 2-color charts and tables throughout.
Training and Racing with a Power Meter, will continue to be the definitive guide to the most important training tool ever developed for endurance sports.
5. Friel, Joe (2012) The Power Meter Handbook: A Users Guide for Cyclists and Triathletes Velo Press
In The Power Meter Handbook, Joe Friel offers cyclists and triathletes a simple user’s guide to using a power meter for big performance gains.
In simple language, the most trusted coach in endurance sports makes understanding a power meter easy with no advanced degrees or tech savvy required.
Cyclists and triathletes will master the basics to reveal how powerful they are. Focusing on their most important data, they’ll discover hidden power, refine their pacing, and find out how many matches they can burn on any given day.
Once they understand the fundamentals, Friel will show how to apply his proven training approach to gain big performance in road races, time trials, triathlons and century rides.
With The Power Meter Handbook, riders will:
- Precisely match their training to their race season
- Push their limits step by step
- Track fitness changes–reliably and accurately
- Peak predictably for key events
- Vastly improve training efficiency
Power meters aren’t just for the pros or racers anymore. Now The Power Meter Handbook makes it easy for any cyclist or triathlete to find new speed with cycling’s most advanced gear.
6. Sleamaker, Rob & Browning, Ray (1996) Serious Training for Endurance Athletes 2nd Edition Human Kinetics
SERIOUS Training for Endurance Athletes provides the tools to create training programs and workouts that will pay off in competition. Endurance athletes, coaches, and multisport fitness buffs will learn how to design, schedule, execute, and monitor training programs for top results.
Rob Sleamaker joins with Ray Browning, seven-time Ironman Triathlon winner, to produce a much improved version of the highly popular earlier edition.
You`ll learn to:
• set up and manage your personalized training schedule;
• use the S-E-R-I-O-U-S system of training—Speed, Endurance, Race-pace, Intervals, Over-distance, Up-hill Intervals, Strength;
• add variety to your workouts;
• develop a winning nutritional program;
• prepare mentally for races; and
• stay motivated to train and win.
The authors share their expertise in a fun and informative way, drawing from their own experiences as champions. Plus, the book features the latest training advice for running, cycling, mountain biking, swimming, rowing, cross-country skiing, cross training, duathlons and triathlons.
SERIOUS Training for Endurance Athletes is your guide to high-level fitness and performance.
7. Janssen, Peter (2001) Lactate Threshold Training Human Kinetics
Whether you’re a runner, skier, cyclist, triathlete, or rower, as an endurance athlete you need to race and train as fast as possible without hitting the wall from high levels of lactic acid in your bloodstream. Elite athletes and coaches know that increasing lactate threshold is essential to success. Now you can use this knowledge to push your performance to the limit.
Lactate Threshold Training is an advanced training guide to help you improve endurance performance. This innovative book explains the theory behind the training and presents practical programs to improve your lactate threshold and race faster than ever before. The book also includes discussion on the use of EPO and the struggle against doping in endurance sports.
Many elite athletes and coaches are using this innovative concept in their training. The book includes:
• heart-rate based training programs,
• tests for self-assessment of lactate threshold,
• scientific guidelines to avoid over-training,
• advice on nutrition, and
• workout examples of elite endurance athletes.
Author Peter Janssen, MD, is recognized as one of the pioneers in lactate threshold training. Dr. Janssen has put together this complete and comprehensive training manual through research, training and testing of elite endurance athletes. If you want to take your endurance performance to the limit, this is one book you won’t want to miss.
8. Bompa, Tudor & Haff, G. Gregory (2009) Periodization – 5th Edition: Theory and Methodology of Training Human Kinetics
Learn how to train for maximum gains with Periodization: Theory and Methodology of Training. Guided by the expertise of Tudor O. Bompa, the pioneer of periodisation training, and leading periodisation researcher G. Gregory Haff, you’ll learn how to vary the intensity and volume of training to optimize the body’s ability to recover and rebuild, resulting in better performance and less risk of injury.
Translated into nine languages, Periodization: Theory and Methodology of Training has become one of the major resources on periodisation for sport scientists, coaches, and athletes throughout the world. Since the introduction of this groundbreaking training theory by Tudor O. Bompa in 1963, periodisation has become the basis of every serious athlete’s training. Now in its fifth edition, Bompa’s classic text combines the concepts central to periodisation and training theory with contemporary advances in sport science, physiology, and coaching.
No other text discusses planning and periodisation in such detail or with so many specific, practical examples from a variety of sports. With the fifth edition of Periodization, you can learn the principles, objectives, and components of a successful long-term training program and how to plan the right program to achieve your performance goals. Periodization also contains proven strategies for optimal peaking and specifics on training for better motor ability, working capacity, skill effectiveness, and psychological adaptability.
Better organized and easier to read, the fifth edition of this definitive text presents the latest refinements to Periodization Theory:
- New research on rest and restoration, specifically countermeasures used in facilitating recovery plus practical suggestions for implementation
- How the use of sequential training and delayed training effects can produce optimal performance at major competitions
- A comprehensive discussion, grounded in scientific data, on applying various methods of peaking to ensure optimal performance for competition
- New information on how concepts such as conjugated sequencing and summated microcycle structures can maximize strength gains and direct training
- Expanded information on the development of sport performance characteristics, including speed training and sport-specific endurance
Chapter summaries will help you review and reference major concepts throughout the text. Plan and document each training program with ease using the duplication-ready annual and four-year training plan charts included in the appendix.
When it comes to designing programs for optimal training, Tudor Bompa’s expertise is unmatched. The fifth edition of Periodization: Theory and Methodology of Training presents the latest refinements to Bompa’s Periodization Theory to help you create training programs that enhance sport skills and ensure peak performance.
9. Newsome, Paul & Young, Adam (2012) Swim Smooth: The Complete Coaching System for Swimmers and Triathletes 2nd Edition Wiley Nautical
Transform your technique and become a better swimmer with this remarkable new approach to freestyle swimming. Written for both fitness and competitive swimmers, Swim Smooth contains the latest breakthroughs in swimming to help you radically improve your speed, enjoyment, and success. Hundreds of full-color photographs and three-dimensional graphics help you put theory into practice while detailed advice offers help for intermediate, advanced, and elite swimmers alike. The book’s approach lets you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your stroke and drills and training tips let you make the most of your time in the water. Swim Efficiently. Swim Fast. Swim Smooth.
10. Scott, Dave (1986) Dave Scott’s Triathlon Training Simon & Schuster Inc
The author, a four-time (who went on to become a six time) triathlon champion, discusses training routines, motivation, nutrition, race strategy, and proper swimming, cycling, and running form.
So there is my top 10 list of books that I use as my go to for theory and methodology of the training programmes that I prepare. Obviously it is not a complete list with a number of key reference books from my university studies as well.
If you would like further advice feel free to contact Coach Ray.
Coach Ray is the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi – Endurance Sports Consultant.
Coach Ray specialises in assisting first timers and recreational athletes to achieve their sporting goals. He can be contacted at www.qwik.kiwi, firstname.lastname@example.org and 021 348 729. Make sure you sign up to his monthly informative newsletter.