Nine must-read books to make you faster on the bike

Looking for some brains to improve your brawn during lockdown? Look no further

With the uncertainty over the coronavirus lockdown, plenty of cyclists have found themselves at a loss when it comes to training.

Many of us have found ourselves with an abundance of time to train, but no races to actually stick in the diary.

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But with no clear idea of when racing will return, now might be the perfect opportunity to load up on training expertise, ready to put into practise once normal life resumes.

With that in mind, Cycling Weekly have compiled a list of just a few of the best fitness books out on the bookstands to help you ride faster than ever.

>>> 11 cycling books you should read

Each product has a ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Best Deal’ link. If you click on this then we may receive a small amount of money from the retailer when you purchase the item. This doesn’t affect the amount you pay.

The Cyclist’s Training Bible by Joe Friel, £11.65

This best seller by coach Joe Friel does exactly what it says on the tin.

A holistic guide to all aspects of training, this bible gives you an insight into training with the right intensity and volume, how to get the most out of every workout, adapting your training plan through the season, making up for missed workouts, avoiding over training, strength training and even a nutrition guide.

Buy now: The Cyclist’s Training Bible by Joe Friel, £11.65



Training and Racing with a Power Meter by Allen Hunter, Andrew Coggan Stephen McGregor, £18.13 on Kindle

By now pretty much ever cyclist has an inkling of the potential a power meter can having in improving your riding, but turning that into real-world results can still be a major leap.

Training and Racing will give you the expertise needed to deliver on the potential of using a power meter, including helping you predict your peaks in form, avoid fatigue, specialise in short and long-distance races, and features power-based workouts to try.

Buy now: Training and Racing with a Power Meter by Allen Hunter, Andrew Coggan Stephen McGregor, £18.13.

Faster: The Obsession, Science and Luck behind the World’s Fastest Cyclists by Michael Hutchinson, £5.78 on Kindle

For fan’s of Cycling Weekly’s own Dr Hutch, Faster is a unique exploration of the training, nutrition and psychology behind some of the best, including British time trial star Alex Dowsett.

Looking at the details of physiology, calories, technology and even genetics, Dr Hutch offers wit and genius in his addition to the fitness library.

Buy now: Faster: The Obsession, Science and Luck behind the World’s Fastest Cyclists by Michael Hutchinson, £5.78 on Kindle 

Endure: Mind, Body and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance, by Alex Hutchinson, £3.99 on Kindle

How fast can humans be? That is the question central to Alex Hutchinson’s wide-ranging investigation into human achievements.

While not a cycling specific book, Hutchinson’s edition explores the limits of human endurance and how we may be limited as much by our head and heart, as by the muscles that carry us.

From climbing Mount Everest to running a two-hour marathon, this book has insights into the most amazing physical endeavours.

Buy now: Endure: Mind, Body and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance, by Alex Hutchinson, £3.99 on Kindle

The Cycling Mind by Ruth Anderson, £11.16

British Cycling’s lead psychologist Ruth Anderson offers up her professional expertise in The Cycling Mind, demonstrating the importance of the mind when it comes to performance.

Anderson has insider knowledge of how British Cycling has dominated the Olympics in recent years and track athletes master their own minds to improve performance.

Buy now: The Cycling Mind by Ruth Anderson, £11.16

The Obree Way: A Training Manual for Cyclists by Graeme Obree, £21.75

One of the most unique minds in cycling, Graeme Obree’s exploits are deeply ingrained in cycling history.

The Obree Way takes his unconventional methods and uses them to improve your riding.

Written in a conversational and entertaining way, this book gives Obree’s insights into training, psychology, diet and the logic behind them.

Find out how to get more oxygen into your blood with breathing techniques, how how resting is the key to training, and how stretching can make you faster.

Buy now: The Obree Way: A Training Manual for Cyclists by Graeme Obree, £21.75

Ride Strong: Essential Conditioning for Cyclists by Jo McRae, £15.99

How can off-the-bike exercise make you faster on two wheels? Jo McRae has the answer to that ever-more relevant question.

With an informative and accessible style McRae covers the biomechanics and anatomical details behind training without the bike, focusing on flexibility, core and strength.

Buy now: Ride Strong: Essential Conditioning for Cyclists by Jo McRae, £15.99

Bike Fit: Optimise Your Bike Position for High Performance and Injury Avoidance by Phil Burt, £18.99

An often over-looked detail of performance is the bike fit.

Setting up your machine properly can not only add watts to your performance, but can help you avoid those familiar injuries and pains that often stem from a long or intense ride.

If you suffer from numbness in the hands, knee pain, or even wearing out your shoes on one side, British Cycling and Team Sky physiotherapist Phil Burt can help you out.

This book includes diagrams, case studies and step-by-step guides.

Buy now: Bike Fit: Optimise Your Bike Position for High Performance and Injury Avoidance by Phil Burt, £18.99 

The Official Tour de France Road Cycling Training Guide by Paul Knott, £17.60 (released on August 6, 2020)

An upcoming addition to the catalogue of fitness books, Paul Knott’s official guide will tap into the minds of riders, coaches and experts with experience of the toughest bike race in the world, the Tour de France.

Amateurs are often hungry for a peep behind the curtain of being a professional rider and Knott’s books, set for release in June this year, promises to give exactly that.

With guidance on how to plan your season, training and nutrition strategies and how to unlock your data, this book will feature all the expertise from the pros.

Pre-order now: The Official Tour de France Road Cycling Training Guide by Paul Knott, £20.99 (released on June 11, 2020) 

There are no doubt plenty more than just these nine out in the world, so if you have more recommendations, feel free to share them with us via the usual channels.