Posted by Diana Burrell on 10/6/2004
This summer, I decided to find a goal that would really challenge me, and after a lot of searching, I decided that a triathlon would fit the bill. Next thing I did was look for books about triathlon training. Everything scared me. Then I saw Jayne Williams' book and said, "Ahhhh, now we're talking."
I love love love this book. It is on my nightstand, and I've read it twice. The title was funny to me, but it could be confusing to other people. (For example, I told a friend about it and she said, "But you're not fat ... or slow, for that matter.") So if you're skinny or not quite fat, don't let the title put you off. This is a book for people who want and need to get moving more, no matter what their size.
Now that I've devoured the book, I have to get as serious about training! Williams has the right tone between serious athlete who'll push you and a good buddy who'll laugh with you as you struggle out of your wetsuit. You just want to sign up for a triathlon TODAY as you're reading it because she makes you feel this is something you can absolutely accomplish.
I highly recommend this book if you dream of achieving your triathlon goals but worry how you'll actually go about doing it. This book will cheer you on the whole journey. Go for it!
(1/13/06 update) I completed my first sprint-distance triathlon in July 2005 -- woo-hoo!-- and I'm training for two more in summer 2006. And yes, I'll be reading this book again. And again.
Posted by Bret Waters on 4/3/2004
I bought this book on a whim, and found it to be an absolutely delightful read. I'm an inactive 45-year old guy who sometimes thinks of doing something inspiring like trying a triathalon, but am always stopped by the embarassing realization that I have developed the body of an inactive 45-year-old. In this book the author - using a light, witty, and enjoyable writing style - encourages us to let go of such silly excuses. As the author says "Absolutely nothing good ever comes from worrying about what other people think of you." With that, she encourages us to get out there and "Live your athletic dreams in the body you already have", instead of sitting on the couch and waiting for your body to somehow improve on its own. Hard to argue with that. All in all, I found this to be a enlightening and inspiring book. Highly recommended.
Posted by Maggie Spilner on 9/7/2005
She's funny, she's devoted and she's fat. And she's not young, either. So if you're a woman, no longer a teenager or a 30-something, you will find this book funny (sometimes hilarious) and refreshing. It will answer all the questions you'd be afraid to ask a seriously competitive athlete. (Not Ms Williams is not competitive, but she sees it from the light of a person who's happy she can move, much less win.)
I'm 53 and getting ready for my first paddle/bike/run (I hope!)
While I'm sorry there isn't a simliar guide for paddlers, I'm just as happy I won't have to wriggle in and out of wetsuit. This book was just the guide I was looking for to give me some idea of what my first event will be like. And since I too tend to injure myself a lot, due to back issues, I was happy to see that others are just as willing to risk that as I am... gave me perspective. (However I'm more likely to injure myself carrying my boat or bike than riding and paddling!)
Enjoy the book and enjoy your race.
Funny, warm and inspiring.
Posted by Squeek on 9/30/2004
After reading this book, I am also proud to call myself a Slow, Fat Triathlete! Jayne gives inspiration and motivation on every page in a warm, good humored style. This is not a book filled with training logs, nor does it supply technique, or go into equipment in depth. However, it is choc-full of laugh-out-loud personal accounts from training and racing, and makes you want to get up and get moving!
It is definately geared toward getting people motivated to do their 1st triathlon, not people trying to take their performance up a notch. And to that end, this book does its' job beautifully. I loaned my copy to my sister who is gearing up for her 1st tri in the Spring and she keeps her hubby up at night laughing while reading in bed. She loves it!
This is a great, funny, warm, and inspiring book for anyone looking to do their 1st triathlon, or us "back of the pack-ers" to know we're not alone! Great book Jayne!
This is for ANYONE just starting out....
Posted by K. A. Stevenson on 8/4/2004
Do not let this title fool you! This book is for ANYONE who has just discovered the thrill of wanting to compete in a triathlon. "Slow Fat Triathlete" will help ANYONE who has never experienced a triathlon - even if they are rail thin. Also, just calmly brush aside the word, "fat,"(which the author amusingly refers to as the "f -word" in her first sentence) - because if you get involved in THIS sport, you may soon be a LOT slimmer.
What if, after a lifetime of HATING to exercise, you suddenly woke up WANTING to exercise? We ALL know the reasons to exercise as a means of achieving better bodies, better health, and increased longevity. Yet how many of us EVER find that "magic pill" that will suddenly make us ENJOY exercising?? Exercise for many of us has ALWAYS been B-O-R-I-N-G.
Well, for me that "magic pill" came in the form of wanting to start competing in triathlons.
As Jayne Williams reveals in her witty and utterly self-confident style, triathlons do NOT have to be of an "Ironman" caliber where you swim 2 miles, ride 120+ miles and run 25 miles. In EVERY state (including Alaska), you will find many "sprint" triathlons consisting of a 400-yd.swim, 12-mile bike, 2-3 mile run/walks. They also have "Olympic" triathlon events that increase the ante to a 1/2-1 mile swim, 25-mile bike, and 6- mile run/walks. Likewise, they have 1/2 Ironman triathlons as well.
How is this possible to suddenly ENJOY exercising? Well, for many of us, it is the lure of the fun and competition. Come Race Day and the pay-off arrives after all the hours of hard exercising. You race, talk and have fun with fellow competitors, get a "goody bag" with t-shirt and neat free items, often enjoy a dinner or gala event following the race, travel to different events, and most of the time you get a medal just for crossing the finish line! Likewise, if you are REALLY good (or it's a really small race!) you get a prize if you are one of the first three finishers in your age division.
Having expressed my enthusiasm for my newly found sport, let me say that Jayne Williams and "Slow Fat Triathlete" saved my passion and "career" as a triathlete! I am the type of person who when interested in a subject, promptly logs onto amazon.com. After perusing various books, I generally order a great deal as I seek to gain different information.
In this case, I promptly ordered the top 15 triathlon books and virtually ALL of them were written for the seasoned triathlete hoping to shave a few pts. off their time. With the exception of Dave Scott's book, they were written so far above my level of competing, that I was absolutely discouraged and ready to throw in the towel. Even the various websites online (even for beginners) did not offer the kind of information that I was seeking.
And then I finally got to "Slow Fat Triathlete," which answered all my questions (and then some!) in a captivating, somewhat quirky style. It was the "Siren of the Triathlon" and it called to me with every page...
After I read the book, I actually sat down and read it again, with notebook in hand, to jot down the various advice that it contained. Now remember, I had already read about 10 other books on triathlons that contained none of this information! To be fair, although these top books were written by GREAT triathletes, I often think that the authors are so far removed from their first triathlon experience, that they cannot comprehend the vast amounts of knowledge that those training for and entering their first triathlon need.
I didn't even know what T1 and T2 were and suddenly I was confronted with various charts full of abbreviations in other books! I even signed up with the most elite and widely recommended online coaching forum (and certainly not cheap) - and they didn't have a clue as to the level that a real beginner needed.
Jayne Williams' book is smart, funny, and somewhat "indelicate" in spots. (After a look at her website, I have to side with her mother...) But it is the most inspiring, knowledgeable book on triathlons that I have ever read. The author hails from Harvard and Berkeley and yet her writing is so hilarious at times that you will swear that she writes for SNL! She covers everything from what equipment is a must, to which flavors of energy gel taste great, to pre-race instructions, to how to get out of your wetsuit, to what brand of sports bra can enable even the most "abundantly endowed" woman to compete!
For the first time ever, I actually wrote Oprah's staff, BEGGING for this author to be on the show. (I hope that Williams' editor and/or agent follow through!) This book DESERVES to become a best-seller!
If you are thinking of entering a triathlon or simply want that "magic pill" that will lure you to WANT to exercise, BUY THIS BOOK. It has my HIGHEST recommendation. The resources and websites in the back (and her husband's terrific artwork sprinkled throughout) just contribute to help make this the BEST TRIATHLON BOOK OUT THERE!