Here are some reviews of the 3 books I’ve read in November which you might be interested in.

Fuelling the cycling revolution, Nigel Mitchell

What are the main ideas? The author, Nigel Mitchell is the head of nutrition at professional cycling team Canondale Drapac. He shares lots of the strategies he uses with professional cyclists and covers topics such as losing and gaining weight, fuelling before, during and after races and hydration.

How would I describe the book to a friend?  It’s a book about food and healthy eating for cyclists written buy a guy who in charge of nutrition and food for a professional cycling team.

Things I liked  I like the way he uses things he learned from his clinical work in hospitals to help cyclists, and how he shares this.  I like the way he talks about cycling and nutrition making the connections throughout the book. He often gives examples of what the pro’s do making it a fun and interesting read for anyone interested in cycling.

If I implemented one idea from this book right now, which one would it be?  The section on gut health was really useful and something I definitely need to look at. Get some probiotic yogurt and try some fermented food to Improving my gut health

The Line: Where sport and medicine collide, Dr Richard Freeman

How would I describe the book to a friend?  The book is written by Dr Richard Freeman, who was the sports medicine doctor with British Cycling and Team Sky until 2017.  He describes lots of the innovative methods he helped to develop as well as talking about case studies of athletes he helped.

He covers a range of things that are genuinely helpful to the average keen weekend cyclist and age group triathlete such as back injuries, sleep, crashing, saddle sores, weight management, mental health and sepsis. He also talks about the culture and environment he worked in and how cycling has developed. This includes his involvement with the drugs scandal surrounding British Cycling, Bradley Wiggin’s and the infamous jiffy bag

What are the main ideas? The book is a mixture of ideas and advice that are useful to every day cyclists combined with stories and experiences from his time at British Cycling and Team Sky.

Things I liked  It’s easy and interesting to read with lots of fascinating stories and case studies. There’s some genuinely useful information about various issues such as back injuries, saddle sores in women, concussion and sepsis.

If I implemented one idea from this book right now, which one would it be?

  • Share information about saddle sores in women!
  • Make sure I do my hip flexor stretches and core work to stop my back from hurting!
  • Avoid anti-inflammatory pain killers in the first 3 days of an injury!

They boys in the boat, Daniel James Brown.

How would I describe the book to a friend? The main purpose of the book is to tell the life story of Joe Rantz and his life as a poor working class American in the 1930s. Joe went on to win an Olympic Gold medal in rowing and the book explores the history of rowing giving a flavour of the popularity of the sport in during that period. The book also describes the sport of rowing, the coaches, the athletes, the boats, boat builders and the training.

What are the main ideas?

  • The Class divide in 1930s America and the difference between East and West
  • Dust bowl America and the depression
  • World politics and Nazi Germany immediately prior to World War II
  • The growth in popularity of rowing

Things I liked:   I enjoyed reading about life in dustbowl America during the 1930s depression. This was an eye opener for me about what life was like and what started the depression. I also enjoyed reading about Nazi Germany and the politics of the Berlin Olympics and getting an understanding of the political situation immediately prior to World War 2.  I’m interested in sport so it’s always fun to read about another sport. It was really interesting to read about the history of rowing and how huge it was as a spectator sport in the 1930s

If I implemented one idea from this book right now, which one would it be?

  • I am actually in inspired to have a go at rowing.
  • The book also reinforces the importance of strength as well as cardio vascular fitness in rowing and there are many connections to swimming and cycling.
  • I noticed the connections between rowing and stroke rate and stroke length to swimming with stroke tempo and stroke length.
  • I was interested in the idea of a flow state when the team worked together as one, each trusting and committing to the team.