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Faster: Demystifying the Science of Triathlon Speedby Jim Gourley
Synopses & Reviews
Triathlon is among the worlds most gear-intensive sports. The gear you select and how you use it can mean big results—or bigger disappointment.
FASTER takes a scientific look at triathlon to see what truly makes you faster—and busts the myths and doublespeak that waste your money and race times. In this fascinating exploration of the forces at play in the swim-bike-run sport, astronautical engineer and triathlete Jim Gourley shows where to find free speed, speed on a budget, and the gear upgrades that are worth it.
FASTER offers specific, science-based guidance on the fastest techniques and the most effective gear, answering questions like:
• Which wetsuit is best for me?
• Whats the best way to draft a swimmer?
• Should I buy a lighter bike?
• Deep dish or disc wheels?
• Are lighter shoes faster?
• Whos right about running technique?
Gourley reviews published studies in peer-reviewed journals to show what scientists have learned about swim drafting, pacing the bike leg, race strategy for short and long-course racing, and the fastest ways to handle transitions.
FASTER will change how you think about your body, your gear, and the world around you. With science on your side, you'll make the smart calls that will make you a better, faster triathlete.
EVERY TRIATHLETE WANTS TO GET FASTER. But while training delivers big gains early on, eventually hard work only maintains the status quo. You can try to buy speed with gear upgrades, but costly high-tech equipment doesnt always deliver the results youre chasing.
FASTER puts free speed at your fingertips. Aerospace engineer and seasoned triathlete Jim Gourley teaches athletes how to turn knowledge into power by exploring the forces that matter most in triathlon. You will find out how to get the most out of training, gear upgrades, and technology.
Even the fittest triathletes are subject to the laws of physics—like drag, friction, and rolling resistance. By understanding the forces that act on you and your gear in swimming, cycling, and running, you can build up a real advantage on race day. Youll also get the truth behind the latest trends and fads in technique, training tools, and product design. And, with science on your side, you can make the smart calls to become a better, faster triathlete.
Jim Gourley is a teacher, a writer—and yes, a rocket scientist. His articles on the science and technology of triathlon and cycling have been widely published in Triathlete, Inside Triathlon, LAVA, Peloton, and Bicycle Times magazines.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to become a fast triathlete, but it sure doesn’t hurt! Astronautical engineer and triathlete Jim Gourley reveals the physics underlying the swim-bike-run sport of triathlon. Through clever and unforgettable examples Gourley shows triathletes how knowledge—and a few fascinating tricks of physics—can make them faster in training and racing.
Triathlon demands great fitness, but even the most gifted triathletes are subject to the laws of fluid and aerodynamics, friction, and rolling resistance. Gourley explains how triathletes and their gear interact with the physical forces that determine their speed and performance.
Faster will change how triathletes think about their bodies, their gear, and the world around them, informing their technique and gear selection and helping them gain free speed.
About the Author
Jim Gourley is a successful triathlete, multiple Ironman finisher, and a finisher of the Race Across America, one of the most difficult endurance races in the world. Gourley earned a degree in Astronautical Engineering from the United States Air Force Academy and has written on the science and technology of triathlon and cycling for the last four years. His articles have appeared in Triathlete, Inside Triathlon, LAVA, USA Triathlon, and 3/GO magazines.
Table of Contents
Physics: So easy a triathlete can do it
The triathlete's battle against the universe: Forces and how they work on you
Get a grip - the importance of friction
Feel the flow - the triathlete's introduction to aerodynamics
Jumping in head first - how smart triathletes use their brains on the swim
Everybody in the water - the body and the medium
Catching a clue - is it better to cup your hands or keep them flat?
Fishtailing - the benefit of drafting other swimmers
Salty dogs and flash freezes - is there really such a thing as "fast" water?
Floating the question - what's a wetsuit doing for me, anyway?
Like a sturgeon - would I be faster if my suit had scales?
Going in circles - how the smart triathlete crushes the bike with brainpower
Let's roll - the body and the medium
Knowing what's watt - the fundamentals of power on the bike
A weighty matter - the (relative benefit of lightening your load
Mass effect - the ups and downs of being heavier on descents
Aero head - the smart way to get fast
Heads up - the finer points about aero helmets
Let's have "the crosswind talk"
Light at the end of the tunnel - why don't competing manufacturers' wind tunnel numbers match, and what are we really supposed to get out of their data?
Where the rubber hits the road - can my choice of tires really make me faster?
An eccentric discussion - what's up with elliptical chain rings?
Finding your happily ever after - looking at the run phase of the triathlon in context
Dropping (your concept of) the hammer - how to finish faster by going slower
It's the economy, stupid - what the smart athlete knows about pacing an Ironman effort
Don't stand so close to me - can you really draft on the run?
Beyond barefoot (I) - the benefits of forefoot striking you may have heard before
Beyond barefoot (II) - the benefits of forefoot striking no one told you about
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