Chrissie wellington to the finish lineI’ve been reading up a storm over the weekend so have got a backlog of reviews to publish now. Because I’m in the end days of my own marathon training, and because, to be honest, I haven’t had quite enough time after my period of (non-running-related) ill-health earlier in the year to build my strength and resilience to go alongside my running stamina, I’m having to be very careful with myself at the moment: lots of early nights, and on a long run weekend, a very quiet Saturday and a restful Sunday after the run. All good for reading, of course!

I downloaded this on 22 September and decided to get on with reading it as soon as I can, as the last NetGalley book I had as a protected file readable only through Adobe Digital Editions expired before I could finish reading it (and only 3 days after its publication date!). This one publishes on 03 October and is very well worth picking up if you’re a budding or practised triathlete.

This is very decidedly (and states in the introduction) NOT her autobiography, which she published a few years ago (and which I’m even more keen to read now). It’s an excellent resource for anyone training for or even considering the sport of triathlon. Although I’m not a triathlete myself (can’t ride a bike, will only swim in hotel pools or warm waters, badly), I can vouch for the running sections being accurate and telling it how it is, so it will be very useful for tri folk.

The book has a good mix of personal stories from Chrissie, tales of the woman she mentored for a year, handily giving more of an amateur’s view, questions and answers from her magazine column which cover all sorts of aspects, training schedules, tips and diagrams and lists of terms (slightly silly and realistic, in two lists) at the back. It covers choosing a race, training for the three disciplines and how to combine the training, how exactly to manage the transitions, in huge detail (I bet this is super-useful, and reading through this part made me VERY glad that all I do is start, run along and stop!), psychology, nutrition, race day and a section on the ante- and post-natal triathlete (I liked how she included notes from her husband in the latter, making it clear it’s not just the birth mother who is affected by this period).

The tone is relatively informal yet informative, and there’s a fair bit on giving back, using your role as a positive and volunteering – including her work for parkrun, particularly junior parkrun (hooray!). A hugely useful resource for triathletes and a good insight into the discipline for those of us who choose not to.

Thank you to publisher Center Street for choosing me to read this book via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

I’m currently reading Lynsey Hanley’s “Respectable” which is a tough but interesting read about class in Britain, and will be starting one of my NetGalley novels soon. Reviews to come: “More Adventures from Black Pony Inn” and Arnaldur Indriðason’s “The Shadow District”, first in a new series of Reykjavik mysteries. What are you reading?