'Going Long' reviewed .
'Going Long' book reviewed and compared to Dave Scott's 'Triathlon Training'.
All the contributors to the books being reviewed have the race result credentials and/or coaching successes, so the only way you can really argue the advice is by saying your physiology is different. As a side note to the previous point I think to reach another 10% of the market the authors could have put a section in which relates more specifcally to woman. John Hellemans did this and he is rewriting his book so it is possibly more suited for woman. That said much of what is in the two books reviewed here is relevant to everyone.
Both books have very well written sections on nutrition and these sections are my favourite. The overall gist of the nutrition information is very true(to me) and great from the perspective that applying it in reality is useful to my situation. Even though the science behind some of the advice is not completely proven, the advice still fits with my experience and understanding. I will still be having a slightly bigger pre-race breakfast than Dave Scott's book recommends and it will vary a bit from his. These people that start their day off with a couple of slices of toast are different to me ; toast is just too light and fluffy for me and I like to start with a full tank. Chrissy Wellington's pre-race breakfast is also like Dave Scott's. I am a bit doubtful of Dave's pre-race breakfast because the version I have of Dave's book was written in 1984 and it wasn't until several years later that he laid down his fastest times(which are still competitive today).
Both books break the triathlon disciplines of the three individual sports down and go into detail on technique and equipment. This sort of information is obviously essential and another topic both books do well is on strengthening training exercises you might do in a gym for example.
Both books are very 'to the point' and there is no waffle in them. Having been involved in endurance sport for over 20 years now I have heard most of the advice before, but can still open up either book on any page and find something that has dropped from the forefront of my memory. To do well in 'long distance triathlon' there is a certain amount of knowledge and preparation which is unavoidable. The only alternative for anyone who wants to see what their potential can/could be is to have a coach with all the knowledge.
Both books have plenty of information for making up training programmes and how they should be constructed. I haven't been using these training ideas/programmes in recent years as I just try to fit in training whenever possible. I know what is required and any more pre-planned structure which is inflexible doesn't suit me; for instance I have to change when to do the hard sessions based around tiredness due to unforseen work/life committments.
I find Dave Scotts book slightly more 'easy to read' as it is less wordy and the lettering is bigger. Being a visual person Dave Scott's book appeals more aesthetically with it's many photos( those photos have defined to me over the years who were the first big 'ground breakers' in triathlon at the highest level).
The above said however it is pretty clear that there is more content in 'Going Long', and that content doesn't repeat itself so really you are getting alot of 'bang for your buck'.
'Going long' has a great section on the mental preparedness for long endurance racing.
'Going long' is obviously a bit better in that it is more 'up to date'(written 24 years after Dave's book), but there are still some invaluable pointers in Dave's book that are not found in the book 'Going Long'.
'Going long' could easilly be a bit daunting for someone new to triathlon, and to the authors credit this is well catered for in that advanced sections are highlighted.
Dave's book did certainly hit the spot for me when I was relatively new to triathlon back in 1988. It looks like there is still a market place for other books or internet sites with information tailored to those new to the sport. The most specific thing that comes to my mind is working out one's anaerobic threshold. Both books suggest this should be done in a laboratory but for 90% of people I don't think this is going to happen. This anaerobic threshold(AT) is then related to making up the training programme in both books.
I have been reading the 'Going Long' book a bit more and starting to understand it ; they do actually suggest using HR as a measure of one's anaerobic threshold(AT) and even give some tests to work it out. I re-read that section of 'Dave Scotts' book and now understand it. Now I remember 20 years ago it took me several reads to comprehend that section also and the reason is I am just reading it in a relaxed manner but also it isn't totally straight forward. So below I will explain another take on anaerobic threshold(AT):
Prior to the 2008 'Challenge Wanaka' a group of us did a training course with Dr John Hellemans in Wanaka and a nutritionist and exercise physiology specialist assisted also. We all wore HR monitors on a tough road pass over the Crown Range while cycling and afterwards all the data was downloaded onto a computer. Afterwards we had individual discussions regarding the results and my records showed my HR stayed below 160beats/min. I did push close to max so 160 was said to be close to my AT. On the day of 'Challenge Roth' 8 weeks later I wore a HR monitor but really rode by perceived exertion ; but I did glance at my HR monitor every time I pushed beyond my comfort zone and sure enough my HR would just be sneaking over 165 beats/min or so. The bike rode flew by and I did look what my HR was doing at least every 15mins and can say it was sitting at about 160beats/min the whole way ; did run out of 'steam on the 2nd lap of the run but I put that down to poor pacing on the run(my first time over this distance).
So there you have it, the above paragraph explains how you can use your HR to roughly guage your AT. The above is an example of a training test to find your AT and the 'Going Long' book uses a different one involving a cycle time trial which I believe would be equally as valid.
If there is anything that can be read as 'a bit critical' in the above book review then this following note should counteract that. And that is all the invaluable information I have gleaned from Gordo's old website and his new one at 'EnduranceCorner.com'. Also his co-author provided some great images from ironman Kona in 2008 for this site and he also has a great website. Also there is more very useful information from Dave Scott on the internet and my favourites are the swim tips he made which can be found on 'Youtube' or the swim tips on this website. With certainty I would say that the advice they have provided in their books and on the internet is essential to compete well in 'long distance triathlon'.
'Going Long' link
The above was compiled by:
G Baird BSc(physiology), BVSc, dipTeaching.
Copyright © 2006 www.triathlonshots.com - All Rights Reserved.