Tag Archives: Literature

Ultrablues

Ko tekma le izgovor, da napišeš knjigo o teku, in ko potem ta knjiga sploh ne govori o teku…

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V prvi tekaški knjigi, v katero sem investiral, Od jogginga do maratona, Galloway definira naravni razvoj tekača preko Začetnika in Rekreativca v Tekmovalca, ter nato Atleta s končnim napredovanjem do Pravega tekača, tiste ultimativne in najpopolnejše izmed vseh faz, ko točno veš, da boš pretekel svojo dnevno dozo km, čeprav ne točno kdaj, ko ne postaneš tečen zaradi dneva brez teka, ko mirno prebereš najnovejši članek o škodljivosti teka, si zavežeš superge ter žvižgajoče premeriš Rožnik po dolgem in po čez, ko brez problema ugasneš budilko ter odtečeš mrzlo vlažni jutranji krog mnogo preden raznašalci časopisov zalaufajo svoje mopede in, ko lahko brez slabe vesti po dveh kilometrih odviješ zaradi slabega počutja nazaj domov. Glede na to, da si počasi domišljam spogledovanje z včlanitvijo v ta najpopolnejši tekaški klub, se (morebiti neupravičeno?) začenjam počutiti dovolj kompetentnega, da tudi sam izrazim svoje mnenje o nedavno prebrani knjigi.

In ker gre za malce posebno knjigo, upam da ne bo recenzija izzvenela preveč tehnično, rutinirano, v smislu: “Knjiga je sestavljena iz zgodb treh tekačev, katere povezujejo priprave na skupno ultra tekaško tekmo. Iz treh zornih pogledov na preko 450 straneh spremljamo njihove težave, užitke ter motivacijo, dnevno žongliranje s časom ter odpovedovanjem. Predvsem se mi je zdelo zanimivo…bla bla bla…bla bla bla…”

Ker knjiga, ki jo pišeš celo življenje, potrebuje precej več. Za takšno knjigo razumeti, moraš takšno knjigo tudi živeti. Ob predpostavki, da sem jo razumel, oz. ob predvidevanju da mi bodo avtorji oprostili, če je nisem razumel, moram napisati, da sam tudi želim napisati tako knjigo. Knjigo, ki so jo napisali Pravi tekači po Galloway-evi definiciji, čeprav so morebiti izpustili kakšne razvojne stopnje, preko katerih smo ostali morali. In bolj ko premišljujem o knjigi, bolj se mi dozdeva, da je bila tekma Zion le izgovor, da so napisali knjigo. Tako kot eni tekmujejo(mo) zaradi tako ali drugače povzročene potrebe po samodokazovanju, dokazovanju drugim ali pa zgolj zato, da lažje treniramo. Tudi sam sem se mnogokrat spraševal zakaj si nadevam štartne številke in se gužvam na štartnih črtah, v končni fazi zakaj sploh pritiskam tisti rdeči gumb na Polarju in zakaj imam ta Excel za računanje raznih številk. In zakaj še vedno ne znam odgovorit na najbolj zoprno vprašanje, ki ti ga lahko postavi novinar z več navadnimi čevlji v garderobi kot supergami: “Zakaj tečeš?” Odgovor, za katerega moraš napisati vsaj knjigo, in Samu, Boštjanu ter Žigi, vsem prekaljenim tekačem, ki imajo vsaj toliko kilometrine na tipkovnici kot v supergah, je to uspelo. To je tista nit knjige, ki sem jo npr. pri McDougall-ovi “Rojeni za tek” pogrešal. Knjiga je samo en dolg odgovor na to zoprno vprašanje, na katerega odgovarjaš celo življenje, katerega odgovor je netekačem bolj kot ne nerazumljiv. Ko veš, zakaj si vsakič obuješ superge, greš ven iz te tako tople cone udobja se učiti o sebi, okoliškem svetu, svojim (ne)omejitvah, svoji lenobi, in če dovolj dolgo vztrajaš pride sem ter tja do tistega nenadkriljivega občutka svobode, tistega občutka lahko delam kar hočem, tukaj sem sam, tukaj mi nihče nič ne more, to je moj happy place. Nekakšna ekspresija samega sebe, za katerim omejeni na drugih področjih tako hlepimo.

Temu primeren je tudi zelo kratek opis tekme same, Ziona namreč, glavni poudarek je na tisti bolj pomembni tekmi, tekmi življenja. Tekmi življenja, na katero so nas prijavili in po najboljših močeh pripravili starši, tekmi brez štartne številke in brez jasnih opisov prog, okrepčevalnic in vmesnih postankov, na kateri vmesni časi pomenijo bore malo in tekmi, v kateri prvi niso nujno prvi. In te tri svoje tekme so odlično popisali, se v bistvu popolnoma razgalili in več ali manj nič zamolčali…

In če zaključim ta moja malce neurejena razmišljanja, s knjigo sem dobil več, kolikor sem od nje pričakoval, zaradi katere bom v nadaljnjih tekih še bolj užival kot sem do sedaj, preko katere bom še žaje pretekel svoje napačne odločitve in naredil še en korak več proti včlanitvi v ta klub, v katerem me že čakajo Samo, Boštjan ter Žiga. Zaključil bom pa na zoprn način: “In ti? Zakaj tečeš?”

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(Apologies to all my English readers that this post is only in Slovene language. The above mentioned book is unfortunately also available only in Slovene.)

Photo credit: Ultrablues Facebook page

 

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Triathlon training books

Many of us amateur athletes are self-coached, for various reasons. It may be due to lower ambitions, because of financial constraints, lack of good coaches or something similar. I, for instance, enjoy coaching myself because I like experimenting with new training principles and blending them with established facts, observing effects and analyzing results. I firmly believe that training is pretty much art, with some science thrown in-between. There is so much to learn, how your body reacts to certain stimulus, what are its strengths and weaknesses, how your body is trying to tell you certain things. And by being your own coach, there is no one else to blame for your results. Or more importantly, no one takes credit for your successes  😉

With or without coach, some basic universal principles still apply. Following are the books which I use for coaching myself:

 

The Triathlete's Training BibleThe Triathlete’s Training Bible

Well, the title pretty much sums it up. It’s the training bible for triathletes, now in the 3rd edition. Very well written, with a lot of emphasis put on training basics, periodization, progress tracking and racing strategies. It covers all distances, from sprint to Ironman, has sections specific for women, younger and older athletes. So if I would recommend one triathlon book, this would certainly be it!

 

 

 

 

Your Best TriathlonYour Best Triathlon

Building on the success of the Triathlete’s training bible, in Your Best Triathlon the emphasis is put on training plans for sprint, olympic, half-ironman and ironman distance triathlons. For any given distance and training period, the training plans for all three disciplines are provided. Not an essential reading, but recommended for ones, who struggle to organize their training weeks.

 

 

 

 

Triathlon ScienceTriathlon Science

This book’s main purpose would best be described as a go to reference book. It deals with pretty much every topic relevant to triathlon training and provides scientific backgrounds. Each section is written by a respectable science writer on that field, so the books chapters are not closely “bound” together, and can be read as sections easily. Only for the most enthusiastic ones, who wish to understand the scientific foundations of triathlon.

 

 

 

 

Strength Training for TriathletesStrength Training for Triathletes

This nicely illustrated guide shows a plenty strength training exercises for swimming, biking and running. The exercises are organized by sport and muscle group, allowing you to quickly find the best exercise for their unique training needs. What I also found very useful in this book is the periodization principles of strength training that are also very well presented. Recommended for ambitious athletes.

 

 

 

 

Training and Racing with a Power MeterTraining and Racing with a Power Meter

This is a bible for everyone, who owns cycling power meter. The scientific rationale for using power meter is nicely presented along with training protocols and workouts. Also, great emphasis is put on testing your progress and searching your weaknesses. In the new version is also a whole section devoted to triathletes and their training and racing specifics. A worthwhile investment to get the most out of your power meter.

 

 

 

 

The Cyclist's Training BibleThe Cyclist’s Training Bible

Written in the same manner as Triathlete Training Bible, this book covers everything regarding cycling, from training, periodization to racing. A nice read even for us triathletes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Runner's BodyRunner’s World The Runner’s Body: How the Latest Exercise Science Can Help You Run Stronger, Longer, and Faster

The Runner’s Body offers in a friendly, accessible tone, the newest, most surprising, and most helpful scientific discoveries about every aspect of the sport—from how best to nourish the runner’s body to safe and legal ways to increase oxygen delivery to the muscles. Full of surprising facts, practical sidebars, and graphical elements, The Runner’s Body is a nice resource for anyone who wants to become a better—and healthier—runner.

 

 

 

 

Lore of RunningLore of Running, 4th Edition

Often deemed as the Bible for runners, this 900+ page reference book provides incomparable detail on physiology, training, racing, injuries, world-class athletes, and races. The only section that is not relevant is the section on nutrition. The author, Tim Noakes, repeatedly instructed all owners of the book to rip those pages out, as he now endorses a more Low Carb approach to endurance training. Since writing this book in 2002 he reversed his opinion to “get as much carbohydrates as possible” in your diet to “as little as possible”.

 

 

 

 

Which Comes First, Cardio or WeightsWhich Comes First, Cardio or Weights?: Fitness Myths, Training Truths, and Other Surprising Discoveries from the Science of Exercise

Alex Hutchinson, a physicist, award-winning journalist, and contributing editor of Popular Mechanics magazine, reveals the little-known and often surprising truths that science has uncovered about exercise. A book that ranges from cardio and weights to competition and weight loss, here are fascinating facts and practical tips for fitness buffs, competitive athletes, and popular science fans alike. Nothing essential, but a nice collection of various scientific topics related to exercise.

 

 

 

 

The Athlete's Guide to RecoveryThe Athlete’s Guide to Recovery: Rest, Relax, and Restore for Peak Performance

The Athlete’s Guide to Recovery is a comprehensive, practical exploration of the art and science of athletic rest. Sage Rountree details daily recovery techniques, demystifying common aids like ice baths, compression apparel, and supplements. She explains in detail how to employ restorative practices such as massage, meditation, and yoga. All in all a nice overview, but nothing vital that hasn’t been covered in other books such as Triathlon Training Bible.

 

 

 

 

Swim Speed Secrets for Swimmers and TriathletesSwim Speed Secrets for Swimmers and Triathletes: Master the Freestyle Technique Used by the World’s Fastest Swimmers (Swim Speed Series)

4-time Olympian, gold medalist, and triathlon world champion Sheila Taormina reveals the swim technique used by the world’s fastest swimmers. Much of her emphasis is put on the high-elbow underwater pull, with many drills and tips for efficient swim stroke. Not an essential reading.

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