Faster: Demystifying the Science of Triathlon Speed

Overview

Triathlon is among the world’s 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 ...

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FASTER: Demystifying the Science of Triathlon Speed

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Overview

Triathlon is among the world’s 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?
•    What’s the best way to draft a swimmer?
•    Should I buy a lighter bike?
•    Deep dish or disc wheels?
•    Are lighter shoes faster?
•    Who’s 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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An easy-to-read, witty book that will save you time and money." - Jordan Rapp, 5-time Ironman champion
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781937715021
  • Publisher: Velo Press
  • Publication date: 8/13/2013
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 265,646
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet 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. 

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Table of Contents

Introduction
 
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
 
The Swim
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?
 
The Bike
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?
 
The Run
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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