Best cycling training books for your library
Cycling training books are a great way to learn more about how to train for cycling or discover how to analyse your training more effectively. You might find though there aren’t as many resources available as with other sports like running.
That being said, there are some good books that have helped me over the years to grasp certain concepts and get more out of the gadgets and software I use when training on the bike.
In this post, I’ll go over some of my favourite cycling training books and offer a short review on what they offer.
1. Training and Racing with a Power Meter
Training and Racing with a Power Meter is a book is written by Andy Coggan and Hunter Allen, who you might know from TrainingPeaks.
As the title suggests, it’s a manual of how to get the most from your power meter, whether in training or in competition.
It’s a book that covers everything from basic use and functions, right up to advanced metrics like quadrant analysis. What’s also nice about the book is that it includes a lot of cycling workouts where you can practically apply the principles you learn. These workouts include everything from longer, low intensity training, to higher intensity interval work.
It does a great job of showing you how to analyse your workouts post-ride or race, which is half the benefit of training with power, though focuses on a lot of features that are only available in their own software of TrainingPeaks or WKO+. Don’t get me wrong though, these programs are great and worth the investment if you’re considering purchasing some training software.
For mountain bikers, there’s some really interesting stuff on pedalling dynamics in the book that is well worth a read!
2. Tom Danielson’s Core Advantage
Whilst we probably know now that Tommy D’s main advantage was synthetic testosterone, his book Tom Danielson's Core Advantage is still a great resource for riders wanting to add core work to their training plan.
The book starts off by educating the reader about the structure of the body and what demands cycling places on the muscles and tendons. It then goes into a lot of illustrated core exercises that will specifically benefit cyclists.
What’s great is that it starts off at a very beginner level, and progresses to some pretty advanced movements that really challenge the key areas where cyclists are traditionally weak. After introducing each of these exercises in isolation, the final part of the book groups them together into core strength sessions, giving suggested hold times and repetitions.
Buy this book if you are getting niggling injuries or discomfort when you’re riding, or if you’re trying to close those smaller gaps in your cycling fitness.
3. Joe Friel’s books
Most people in cycling know who Joe Friel is, and whilst I don’t agree with some of his work (especially not the paleo diet for athletes), he has a terrific understanding of training theory and lots of coaching experience, and I credit the Mountain Biker's Training Bible as sparking my curiosity with all this stuff!
Some of the books that he has written include The Cyclist’s Training Bible, The Mountain Biker’s Training Bible and The Power Meter Handbook. These books are all well written and structured in a way that’s easy to follow and understand.
As a mountain biker primarily, it is worth saying that some of the training suggestions in The Mountain Biker’s Training Bible are quite outdated, but there’s still plenty in there to learn about, from avoiding overtraining to off-the-bike strength training and stretching.
The Power Meter handbook is definitely a recommended read for those new to training with power or riders who might not feel they’re getting the most from their device. It’s a good resource for learning how to use a power meter and how to analyse the myriad of data that they produce.
What cycling training books would you recommend to cyclists wanting to learn more about training? Leave your tips below and I’ll try and get hold of them!