These are the books that have most helped and inspired me and other mad Cows in our quest for "endless" triathlons. Please email me your favorites, webmooster @madcows.org

Recommended by Don Schug

Born To Run by Christopher McDougall

Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt? In search of an answer, Christopher McDougall sets off to find a tribe of the world's greatest distance runners and learn their secrets, and in the process shows us that everything we thought we knew about running is wrong. Isolated by the most savage terrain in North America, the reclusive Tarahumara Indians of Mexico's deadly Copper Canyons are custodians of a lost art. For centuries they have practiced techniques that allow them to run hundreds of miles without rest and chase down anything from a deer to an Olympic marathoner while enjoying every mile of it. Their superhuman talent is matched by uncanny health and serenity, leaving the Tarahumara immune to the diseases and strife that plague modern existence. With the help of Caballo Blanco, a mysterious loner who lives among the tribe, the author was able not only to uncover the secrets of the Tarahumara but also to find his own inner ultra-athlete, as he trained for the challenge of a lifetime: a fifty-mile race through the heart of Tarahumara country pitting the tribe against an odd band of Americans, including a star ultramarathoner, a beautiful young surfer, and a barefoot wonder. With a sharp wit and wild exuberance, McDougall takes us from the high-tech science labs at Harvard to the sun-baked valleys and freezing peaks across North America, where ever-growing numbers of ultrarunners are pushing their bodies to the limit, and, finally, to the climactic race in the Copper Canyons. Born to Run is that rare book that will not only engage your mind but inspire your body when you realize that the secret to happiness is right at your feet, and that you, indeed all of us, were born to run.

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The No Om Zone by Kimberly Fowler

A no-chanting, no-granola, no-Sanskrit practical guide to yoga. No OM Yoga trades Sanskrit terms for plain English. As the name implies, there’s no chanting in No OM classes. People who want to benefit from yoga—from increasing their flexibility to lowering their stress levels—don’t have to pay to chant along with songs (or instructors) they don’t really relate to. Strong, fundamental poses that can be adjusted to your own ability are taught instead of the intricate “pretzel poses” people often associate with traditional yoga.

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Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald

How to get lean for peak performance. How would your performance change if you were at your optimal
body weight? Imagine what it would feel like to set out on a run weighing 10 pounds less than you do right now. How much would it affect your efficiency, your endurance, or more simply, your self image?
When was the last time you saw a marked improvement in your fitness? Do a few extra pounds stand between you and a faster race? Your questions about optimal body weight will be answered with Racing Weight.

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Total Immersion by Terry Laughlin

The revolutionary way to swim better, faster, and easier. Although swimming is an essential life skill, traditional teaching and coaching methods have made it difficult to master because they teach an awkward, exhausting style of swimming. Total Immersion is a foolproof approach to teaching, brings results far faster than conventional methods and helps any student master a fluent, efficient and beautiful technique.

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Triathlon Swimming Made Easy by Terry Laughlin

Outlines and resolves triathletes’ nearly universal conundrum: They instinctively train for swimming, by doing what works in running and cycling – more miles – but get nowhere. Because humans are hard-wired to be inefficient in water, more laps just make your "struggling skills" more permanent. A triathlete’s first goal should be to swim easier, not faster, because improvement comes far more quickly to those who focus on movement economy than on laps and more laps. Laughlin also describes three mistakes made by every "human swimmer" and a 5-step process for correcting them.

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Freestyle Made Easy (DVD) by Terry Laughlin

See how to "do" Total Immersion. The Total Immersion Freestyle: Made Easy DVD is the culmination of years of swim coaching efforts and responds to every bit of feedback Total Immersion has gotten from swimmers and TI students on what aspects of their learning experience they needed help with. The Total Immersion Freestyle: Made Easy DVD particularly applies to those who have had trouble with kicking, sinking, breathing, or any kind of discomfort.

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Stretching by Bob Anderson

For everyday fitness and for swimming, cycling, running and other sports. This is the book that people tell their friends about,that trainers suggest for virtually every sport andactivity, and that medical professionals recommend topeople just starting to get back in shape. Stretchingfirst appeared in 1980 as a new generation of Americansbecame committed to running, cycling, aerobic training,and workouts in the gym - all of which are commonplacenow. It features stretching routines specific to avariety of people, including sports enthusiasts,travellers, children, gardeners, and people inwheelchairs. There is also an abbreviated version of eachroutine for people in a hurry, new information on thestretching vs. warming up debate, and new and improveddrawings. This 30th anniversary edition features two-colour inks to better define the muscle groups helped byeach stretching exercise.

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These a few of my most used links...

http://www.bicycling.com/ - Lots of good info on cycling.

Their monthly print magazine is a great deal at $11/year.

http://www.active.com/swimming/ - Great swimming tips in videos.

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