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Book Review: OneHourIronMen by Bob Shuler

Posted Aug 26 2010 5:22am

"TAKE IT EASY AND DON'T FORGET TO EMBRACE AND ENJOY THE DAY."

I recently purchased (inscribed and signed by the author) the book OneHourIronMen (OHI Press, 2010), by Bob Shuler, aka IronBob . This is definitely a book by a fan, written for fans, of the IronMan. Subtitled "Family, Career & Iron distance racing: BALANCE WITHOUT BREAKING THE BANK," this 159 page book (though some pages are blank), is one man's vision of a path that can be taken to complete an IronMan. By the time the book went to press, Bob had completed a second  IM and now has plans for many more.

The book is wide-ranging, with 9 chapters plus a preface. Through these chapters, Bob explores what worked for him and how his preparation and gear differed from his buddy Arnie, who has joined him for this journey. If you have a question regarding preparation for the IronMan, chances are that Bob has it covered in this book, including a training plan. He goes into such detail as when to trim your hand and toe nails, so they are not an issue come race day. Bob writes for the IronMan rookie and is focused on getting to the finish, rather than actually racing for time. It's a nuts and bolts approach to the sport.

I have some suggestions for improving subsequent editions. First, the book is not laid out in a sequence that I would consider flowing. The preface and 1st chapter could easily be combined. And, while Bob has spent innumerable hours studying a variety of statistics, to me they are not that important and should be relegated to the final chapters, so they become almost an appendix of sorts. That being said, I really enjoyed the bullet-point narrative of the Ironman Championship (Kona) history. One other suggestion is to remove the prices of gear (and possibly brand names) from future editions - nothing dates a book more than seeing outdated prices or manufacturers who have come and gone.

If you are thinking about trying a long course triathlon, are interested in the history of the Ironman, like reading about multisport gear (and who doesn't?), or just want to support one of our own, buy this book, over on Ebay.
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