Book Review: Triathlon – 20 Weeks to Success

Triathlon 20 Weeks to Success in 5 Hours a Week – Mark Barfield

What’s it all about?

Triathlon: 20 Weeks to Success in 5 Hours a Week, by coach Mark Barfield, is dedicated to helping change a novice triathlon wannabe (with limited time) to a race-finishing triathlete in 20 weeks.

Focusing on a pool-based, sprint-distance triathlon, Triathlon: 20 Weeks to Success promises to get you ‘triathlon-ready in time for your race without your training taking over your life’.

The Good

Triathlon: 20 Weeks to Success offers an easy-to-follow training plan for the 20 weeks leading up to a sprint triathlon. Using novice-friendly language, the training plan starts with an hour-and-a-half to two hours of gentle training per week based around the trainee’s comfort level and builds to just under five hours per week. Because the plan uses the athlete’s perceived effort, incorporates walking into run sessions and plenty of rest into other sessions, the book does live up to its claim that it is suitable for any fitness level.

The Great

Triathlon: 20 Weeks to Success breaks down each triathlon sport and offers advice on equipment, skills and technique. There is also a thorough chapter on transitioning.

In addition, the case study profile, which follows novice triathlete Sarah as she trains for her first race following the Triathlon plan, is interesting and somewhat unique to the book. Though the descriptions of Sarah’s successes and trials are a bit dry, it is encouraging and interesting to follow someone who is on a similar path as the reader. It’s also nice to know that despite being a complete novice and having time constraints (including children and work), Sarah is mostly able to stick to the programme and completes her first race.

The Not-So-Great

Triathlon: 20 Weeks to Success covers most of what you need to know to complete your first triathlon, if you can get through the book. The writing style is lacklustre and somewhat staccato, making it more of an instruction manual than a must read.

Some typos and errors at the beginning of the book also distract from it being overall sound in its knowledge and advice.

Worth Reading?

Triathlon: 20 Weeks to Success is not a book that most will pick up and read from cover-to-cover. However, if you’re looking for a training plan that won’t require weeding through a lot of technical lingo, the 20-week training programme is worth a look.

The remainder is thorough, but not as interesting as some other triathlon books on the market.

Trigirl Review: 3 stars out of 5

Click here to buy from Amazon: Triathlon: Twenty Weeks to Success in Five Hours a Week