By Read Scott Martin
7 Weeks to a Triathlon is a useful, completist how-to for beginning triathletes at any level of personal fitness, with a second section for experienced competitors to improve their results. Two courses of 7-week trainings are presented as countdowns to your next tri-event.
The authors comport with a bootcamp, personal-training-style. If lengthy in places the publication is extremely well organized, with helpful detail. The self-help exhorting is kept to a minimum. Cross-training exercises are presented with black and white photos of what Brett Stewart, the fitness instructor, and Lewis Elliott, the professional triathlete, recommend.
I am using my copy as a notebook. I fit into the Clydesdale category (slightly over 200 pounds for now) and the two training schedules fell into Goldilocks territory for me – one too easy, one too ambitious. The exercise regimens have blank lines beside each week’s one-page schedule, for writing notes and setting your own goals. The glossy paperback cover will shed beads of sweat and water spills, and fits easily into a large purse or gym bag.
The authors are sensible with their advice about how to choose a bike for your first race, the difference between training in a pool and open water swims, what kind of equipment you do (and don’t) need to compete, what to pack for your first triathlon, and tips on how to avoid easy-to-make training mistakes that can cause exercise-induced injury. The book is blessedly free of brand names. As one is likely to use only one of the two workout schedules, the book is 137 pages but it reads half that length. If you are wondering what to look forward to at your first event, they assay a description of that as well.Recommend.