220 Triathlon Show and The Well-Built Triathlete Book Review

I’ve not done a blog for ages. Life has simply been rather busy with work, coaching training and other such things.

However, I attended the 220 Triathlon Show at the weekend to do a seminar and a few people asked me to put my presentation online, wanted to know what had happened to my blog and I also was recommending Matt Dixon’s book. Thus, I was compelled to put a few words up this evening.

Seminar Presentation

My seminar was an exploration of the use of science to inform on training and racing. Click on the following link to get the slides: 220 Triathlon Seminar Slides

Matt Dixon: The Well-Built Triathlete

Matt-Dixon-640x400

One of my ambitions is to write a book on triathlon training. Although I’ve got around 50000 words done, I think it’ll be a few years before I start chasing a publishing deal.

In the meantime, I thoroughly recommend Matt Dixon’s The Well Built Triathlete. I first came across Matt when he was presenting on the TriSpecific Triathlon World Summit and bought his book as a result. Training theory and prescription is an area that I’ve studied for many years and I’ve rarely come across anyone that has made so much sense.

Nearly all books written on training have taken a ‘top down’ approach, exploring optimal ways to train. However, the vast majority are reliant on science that has not been tested in the real world and use periodization models that simply are impossible to apply.

Highlights on the book:

  • Using the Four Pillars approach:
    • Stress and endurance training
    • Recovery
    • Nutrition
    • Functional strength
  • The Four Magical Principle of
    • Consistency
    • Specificity
    • Progression
    • Patience
  • How Dixon considers training and life stresses as one metric
  • Dixon’s understanding that most triathletes have a mortgage to pay and a family to keep happy.
  • Simplified training zones that are primarily based on Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE).

I’d like to see:

  • A bit more on psychology
  • The swim, bike and run sections are a wee bit superficial (but still good).

The book gets a 10 out of 10 for planting some great training seeds in my mind and 7 out of 10 for overall content. It’s certainly a must read for all endurance coaches and budding triathletes.

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