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Swap your gear for a quiet corner as we explore stories where triathlon’s essence bursts from the page.

Venture deeper than the punishing distances to explore the heart and grit encapsulated within, providing a foundation to the myths and teachings of this formidable challenge.

Ready to plunge into the narrative depths of triathlon’s greatest tales?

Best Triathlon Books:

  1. The Triathlete’s Training Bible
  2. Your First Triathlon
  3. Going Long: Training for Triathlon’s Ultimate Challenge
  4. Iron War: Dave Scott, Mark Allen, & the Greatest Race Ever Run
  5. Triathlon for the Every Woman
  6. The Complete Triathlon Guide
  7. IronFit Secrets for Half Iron-Distance Triathlon Success
  8. Swim, Bike, Run
  9. Fast-Track Triathlete
  10. Triathlon Science
  11. 80/20 Triathlon
  12. The Well-Built Triathlete

#1 The Triathlete’s Training Bible

  • ✍️ Author: Joe Friel
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 1998
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Strategy and Coaching

“The Triathlete’s Training Bible” is the definitive guide for triathletes of all levels, penned by renowned coach and triathlon authority Joe Friel. This comprehensive book serves as the cornerstone of any serious triathlon training program, offering scientific-based methodologies, detailed workout prescriptions, and insights into the physiological demands of the sport.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned athlete, Friel’s expertise will equip you with the knowledge to tailor your training to your personal goals and optimize your performance.

#2 Your First Triathlon

  • ✍️ Author: Joe Friel
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2006
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Strategy and Coaching

Embark on the incredible journey of triathlon with Joe Friel’s “Your First Triathlon,” a book crafted to guide newcomers through their inaugural race. Comprehensive yet accessible, Friel outlines a clear, condensed training plan and prepares you for each leg of your first event.

Covering nutrition, gear selection, and race-day strategies, it’s an ideal companion on the path from training to the finish line. Find your inspiration, knowledge, and confidence all within these pages, ensuring your first triathlon is the beginning of a lifelong passion.

#3 Going Long: Training for Triathlon’s Ultimate Challenge

  • ✍️ Author: Joe Friel and Gordon Byrn
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2003
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Strategy and Coaching

In “Going Long,” authors Joe Friel and Gordon Byrn collaborate to provide an in-depth look into preparing for long-distance triathlons. This book targets athletes aspiring to take their endurance to the next level, particularly for Ironman-distance events.

Packed with sophisticated training philosophies, expert advice on nutrition, and injury prevention, “Going Long” is an essential manual that challenges athletes to push their limits while promoting a healthy balance in training and recovery.

#4 Iron War: Dave Scott, Mark Allen, & the Greatest Race Ever Run

  • ✍️ Author: Matt Fitzgerald
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2011
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Biographies and Autobiographies, History

“Iron War” tells the gripping story of one of the most iconic moments in triathlon history – the fierce competition between Dave Scott and Mark Allen during the 1989 Ironman World Championship.

Author Matt Fitzgerald not only recounts the epic battle on the lava fields of Kona but also delves into the psychology and physiology behind the athletes’ performances. This book is a celebration of the human spirit, endurance, and the ethos of the triathlon community.

#5 Triathlon for the Every Woman

  • ✍️ Author: Meredith Atwood
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2019
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Strategy and Coaching

“Triathlon for the Every Woman” is a relatable and motivational guide by Meredith Atwood, alias “Swim Bike Mom”. This engaging book is designed to help women from all walks of life discover the transformative power of triathlons.

Atwood shares her journey, provides practical advice for balancing training with life’s responsibilities, and encourages readers to overcome self-doubt. It’s a call to action for any woman who has ever contemplated the challenge of a triathlon, proving that with the right mindset, anything is possible.

#6 The Complete Triathlon Guide

  • ✍️ Author: USA Triathlon
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2012
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Strategy and Coaching

“The Complete Triathlon Guide” comes directly from the experts at USA Triathlon, the national governing body for the sport. This book is a treasure trove of knowledge, offering tips and techniques from top triathlon coaches.

If you’re looking to improve your times, refine your training, or just get a comprehensive understanding of the various aspects of triathlon, this guide is a dependable resource. The collective wisdom contained within its pages will help ensure your training and race day unfold with the precision and dedication worthy of a professional.

#7 IronFit Secrets for Half Iron-Distance Triathlon Success

  • ✍️ Author: Don and Melanie Fink
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2014
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Strategy and Coaching

Don and Melanie Fink’s “IronFit Secrets for Half Iron-Distance Triathlon Success” provides triathletes with a detailed roadmap to mastering the 70.3 distances.

With tailored training plans and techniques that have been honed over years of coaching and competing, the Finks deliver time-efficient workouts for the busy athlete. The book’s focused guidance ensures that triathletes will arrive at the starting line well-prepared, poised for personal bests, and equipped for an exhilarating race experience.

#8 Swim, Bike, Run

  • ✍️ Author: Alistair Brownlee and Jonathan Brownlee
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2013
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Biographies and Autobiographies

“Swim, Bike, Run” is the engaging autobiography of Olympic champions and brothers, Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee. This intimate account reveals the passion, dedication, and brotherly bond that propelled them to the top ranks of the triathlon world.

They share personal stories, training insights, and the highs and lows of their remarkable careers. “Swim, Bike, Run” is not just for triathlon enthusiasts but also for anyone inspired by the relentless pursuit of sporting excellence and the power of sibling support.

#9 Fast-Track Triathlete

  • ✍️ Author: Matt Dixon
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2017
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Strategy and Coaching

In “Fast-Track Triathlete,” elite coach Matt Dixon presents a revolutionary approach to triathlon training. He challenges the notion that more is better, advocating for high-quality training over high volume.

Dixon offers strategies that enable time-crunched athletes to achieve long-distance success without sacrificing life’s other priorities. This book is a guide for those who aim to excel in triathlon while maintaining a balanced, sustainable lifestyle.

#10 Triathlon Science

  • ✍️ Author: Joe Friel and Jim Vance
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2013
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Strategy and Coaching

“Triathlon Science,” authored by Joe Friel and Jim Vance, serves as a culmination of evidence-based research and practices in the field of triathlon. The book dissects the science of the sport, covering topics such as physiology, biomechanics, nutrition, injury prevention, and race psychology.

With contributions from over 20 of the sport’s leading experts, it provides readers with a holistic understanding of what it takes to optimize their triathlon training and performance.

#11 80/20 Triathlon

  • ✍️ Author: Matt Fitzgerald and David Warden
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2018
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Strategy and Coaching

Discover the secret to achieving more by doing less with “80/20 Triathlon” by Matt Fitzgerald and David Warden. This innovative book introduces athletes to the 80/20 rule of training, where 80 percent of workouts are performed at a low intensity and 20 percent at moderate to high intensity.

This method has been scientifically proven to improve performance while reducing the risk of injury. Through detailed training plans, the authors guide triathletes of all levels to train smarter, not harder, for optimal results.

#12 The Well-Built Triathlete

  • ✍️ Author: Matt Dixon
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2014
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Strategy and Coaching

“The Well-Built Triathlete” by Matt Dixon flips the script on traditional triathlon training. Dixon, an elite coach with a fresh perspective, emphasizes the importance of balance and recovery in crafting peak performance.

This book provides a comprehensive approach, focusing on all aspects of an athlete’s life, including strength, nutrition, recovery, and mental strategy. It’s a holistic guide to becoming a resilient, well-rounded triathlete who can perform at their best year after year.


What are the best Triathlon books of all time?

“Iron War,” “Your Best Triathlon,” “The Triathlete’s Training Bible,” “Going Long,” and “How Bad Do You Want It?” are the best Triathlon books of all time. Each provides unique insights into the sport’s physical and mental demands.

What is the best Triathlon book for adults?

“Your Best Triathlon” by Joe Friel is the best Triathlon book for adults. It offers advanced training concepts in an accessible format for seasoned athletes aiming to improve their performance.

What are the best books for Triathlon fundamentals and strategy?

“The Triathlete’s Training Bible” and “Going Long” are the best books for Triathlon fundamentals and strategy, delivering expert advice for athletes of all levels to develop endurance and race smarter.

Jane is a social worker and founder and author of thefamilyconscience.com - a parenting and family travel site. She's a swim parent with two children swimming competitively at regional level and is also a swimming official. Both she and her kids regularly take part in triathlons and are members of a triathlon club. The Family Conscience offers advice for motivation and positive mindset for teens and tweens - particularly important when it comes to sport!

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