Are you a newer triathlete looking to move up in distance? A veteran looking to "go longer" and improve your time? An elite trying to qualify for Kona or the 70.3 world championship? An Ironman athlete who wants to use this race as a tune-up for the big one? Someone looking for a good all-around book on the three sports of swimming, biking, and running? You've come to the right place!

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Rave reviews from and Barnes and Noble!


I was thinking of moving up to the half- or full-ironman distance triathlon, and this book seemed a logical choice. As far as I know, it's the first volume dedicated to half-iron training and racing. The author spends the first few chapters going through the basic theory of training and "design science," but then dives right into the specific detail of the three sports and training for this distance. The individual chapters on swim, bike and run are as useful and detailed as any other triathlon book, with some later advances in bike aerodynamics, power metering, and running technique.

But the best and unique aspect of the book are the specific workouts, case studies and race strategies for the half-iron distance, including categories for beginner, veteran, and elite triathletes. What works for one group may not work for others. He does give separate examples for different levels, and beginners should stay with the simpler stuff in the book.

Perfect Distance: Training for Long-Course Triathlon by Tom Rodgers

Reviewer: Barnes and Noble

Reader Rating:

January 16, 2007: Although this book is marketed as half-ironman training manual, it's a pretty good all-around book for beginners through advanced triathletes. If you already have TRIATHLETE'S TRAINING BIBLE in this series, you'll like the long-course specialized training and updated technology tips, but if you don't have it, it has a lot of the same fundamental approach. It's a much bigger book than most other triathlon volumes (372 pages), as big as the TRAINING BIBLE and bigger even than GOING LONG. Lots of excellent diagrams, drawings and photos to describe technique and inspire. This book has a unique perspective on the sport since the author came from a background training astronauts at NASA for long-term spaceflight. He drops a few stories from this experience and from his own racing career into the book, and I found these spiced up the training manual subjects. The coverage of each of the three sports is comprehensive, and beginners through intermediate could do well with nothing but this book for info.

Tom Rodgers in the award-winning documentary, BICYCLE DREAMS.

Tom Rodgers excerpt from BICYCLE DREAMS

Other reader comments via email

Perry S., Florida:

  • I was afraid the book might be just a rehash of stuff from the Friel books, but after buying it I couldn't stop reading, finishing it in two days. There was so much in it specific to the half-iron distance I'd never seen before. Then I suprised myself by going out and qualifying for the 2007 Ironman 70.3 World Championships!

Angela S., Oklahoma:

  • I got a copy of the book at one of the author's triathlon camps. It helped me so much over the following three months I decided to hire Tom Rodgers as my personal triathlon coach and race in my first half-iron event!

Ken Mierke, Virginia, Triathlon coach and author of Evolution Running:

  • I just bought and read your book. NICE WORK! Very comprehensive.

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