The Essential Reading List for Aspiring Triathletes

Mar 27, 2023
Juan Lopez Salaberry

Completing a triathlon is no easy feat. It requires dedication, focus and the right kind of motivation to stay on track with your training plan. If you're an aspiring triathlete looking to make this dream a reality, reading can be an excellent way to get inspired and stay motivated. From books about nutrition and hydration to stories from experienced athletes detailing their journey through various races, there are plenty of great reads for those who want to take on the challenge of competing in a triathlon. Here's our essential list of must-read books for aspiring triathletes that will help them reach their goals and complete their first race!


1. "Swim, Bike, Run: The Complete Guide to Triathlon Training" by Matt Fitzgerald – This book is an absolute must-have for triathletes looking to get a better understanding of the sport and its components. It covers everything from training plans and nutrition to hydration and mental toughness.

2. "Fast After 50: How to Race Strong for the Rest of Your Life" by Joe Friel – This book is a great resource for older athletes looking to compete in triathlons. It's filled with tips and advice on how to stay strong and healthy while training, as well as strategies for dealing with age-related issues that may arise along the way.

3. "Triathlete's Training Bible" by Joe Friel – This comprehensive guide from triathlon coach and author, Joe Friel, is filled with almost 400 pages of priceless advice and sound training principles for anyone looking to take on the challenge of a triathlon.

4. "Going Long: Training for Triathlon's Ultimate Challenge" by Scott Molina – Written by U.S. triathlete and coach Scott Molina, this book offers invaluable advice on how to train for a long-course triathlon such as an Ironman event. It covers everything from nutrition and hydration to interval training and race strategy.

5. "The Courage to Start: A Guide to Running for Your Life" by John "the Penguin" Bingham – This book isn't specifically about triathlons, but it's an inspiring read for anyone who wants to take on the challenge of a long-distance race. It focuses on the mental aspects of running and offers motivation and advice from experienced runners.

6. "Iron War: Dave Scott, Mark Allen, and the Greatest Race Ever Run" by Matt Fitzgerald – This book tells the story of the intense rivalry between triathlon legends Dave Scott and Mark Allen during the 1989 Ironman World Championship. It offers valuable insights into the mental and physical challenges faced by elite triathletes.

7. "The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment" by Eckhart Tolle – Although not specifically about triathlons, this book offers wisdom on mindfulness and living in the present moment, which can be applied to athletic training and competition.

8. "Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen" by Christopher McDougall – This fascinating story explores the world of ultramarathons and the culture of the Tarahumara Indians, who are renowned for their incredible long-distance running abilities. It offers inspiration and insight into the world of endurance sports.


We've put together this essential reading list for aspiring triathletes, but what about experienced and veteran athletes? We want to hear from you! Let us know which one is your favorite triathlon or sports-related book that everyone else must read. Whether it's a story of your journey through a race, an inspiring tale of perseverance and determination or a book full of tips and advice, we want to hear your thoughts. Let's keep the conversation going!

Happy reading!



Fitzgerald, Matt. Swim, Bike, Run: The Complete Guide to Triathlon Training. Simon & Schuster, 2012.

Friel, Joe. Fast After 50: How to Race Strong for the Rest of Your Life. Velopress, 2015.

Friel, Joe. Triathlete's Training Bible. Velopress, 4th Edition, 2016.

Molina, Scott. Going Long: Training for Triathlon's Ultimate Challenge. Human Kinetics, 2004.

Bingham, John "the Penguin”. The Courage to Start: A Guide to Running for Your Life. Simon & Schuster, 1999.

Fitzgerald, Matt. Iron War: Dave Scott, Mark Allen, and the Greatest Race Ever Run. VeloPress, 2011.

Tolle, Eckhart. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. New World Library, 1999.

McDougall, Christopher. Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen. Vintage Books, 2009.


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