Swim Bike Run – A Review

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up this book in the Works, it just jumped out at me and for less than £5, I had to buy it.

Swim Bike Run
Swim Bike Run

I’ve just finished reading it and would like to share a review of it with my followers.

Firstly, this book is probably most suited to triathletes or those who already take part in endurance sport. In some parts, the Brownlee brothers talk about the intensity of their training which would probably put off a lot of first time people. They talk about training 7 hours a day, which is probably what I do over a 5 day period. When reading this book, you have to bear in mind that they are world class, elite athletes and what they do is their passion and their career, which means more hours cycling, running and swimming.

Throughout the book, there is narration from each brother and they tell their story of their triathlon journey from young boys to Olympic champions in 2012. It’s really interesting to read how the brothers differ as people although they are training with the same intentions, they have different ways of doing things. I know which brother I like best!

I hoped the book would inspire me and it definitely has, in one point, Al says about how important it is to keep drinking on the cycle, so I took that on board in the triathlon I did last weekend and tried to take a sip of my water on the bike. I’ve never been able to keep my balance and take one hand off the handlebars for longer than a couple of seconds before, so why I thought I could do it in a race, take a drink and put the bottle back in the cage, is beyond me. I ended up falling off. But it goes to show the belief the guys gave me in myself.

Another thing I’ve taken from the book is this quote:

To make it you have to love training more than anything else, and in particular you have to love the bike

Those that know me well know that I’ve been naively waiting for a eureka moment, when I’m suddenly able to ride like a pro. That’s never going to happen on it’s own. So I’ve booked myself on to a cycling training workshop for intermediates, led by a local charity in Nottingham. My confidence has come on loads since September, but I can’t be falling off my bike every time I get thirsty, so need to learn to love cycling to be able to get out on those long, hard rides and stack up the miles in order to be able to take on the challenges on the cycle of a triathlon course. I hope the cycle training and later bike maintenance courses will help me to take control of the bike and my cycling.

The book also made me reflect on my own relationship with sports. I highly doubt I’ll get picked to be in the Worlds or Olympics now, but reading the experiences of the Brownlees in their 2012 triathlon was pretty awesome. I wasn’t really into triathlon back in 2012, so didn’t see their race, but now I’ve read what they experienced, I’d like to watch some of the highlights, this Gomez guy seems very interesting too.

Brownlee, Brownlee, Gomez, Kitzbuehel 2012
Brownlee, Brownlee, Gomez, Kitzbuehel 2012

In summary, I think those who are already into the triathlon mindset will gain the most from reading this book, there are coaching tips, example training sessions and these guys are local heroes (if you’re British). I’m not sure if some parts may scare off those curious about triathlon or encourage them to get out and start training. The ending was a bit anti climatic, but I think it’s better that way, as the brothers’ story is not over yet.

If you’ve read this book, let me know what you took from it.


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