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Faster: The Obsession, Science and Luck Behind the World's Fastest Cyclists Paperback – 27 Mar 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (27 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408843757
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408843758
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 1.7 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 186,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"If you want to know how to turn yourself into a Merckx or a Froome, read "Faster."" --"The Guardian" "Spoonfuls of anecdotal sugar help the science bits go down." --"Podium Cafe" "Based on his relationships with other top cyclists, exercise physiologists, and researchers--and his own willingness to be a guinea pig--Hutchinson dives deep into the science of speed." --"Life by The DailyBurn " "Fascinating, convincing, and witty." --"Outdoor Fitness"

If you want to know how to turn yourself into a Merckx or a Froome, read "Faster." "The Guardian"

Spoonfuls of anecdotal sugar help the science bits go down. "Podium Cafe"

Based on his relationships with other top cyclists, exercise physiologists, and researchers--and his own willingness to be a guinea pig--Hutchinson dives deep into the science of speed. "Life by The DailyBurn"

Fascinating, convincing, and witty. "Outdoor Fitness""

Book Description

A fascinating and funny investigation into cyclists' incessant pursuit of speed by one of the sport's top professionals.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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If you're a runner, a triathlete, or especially a cyclist, this is the book for you. The legendary Dr Hutch walks us through the art and science of producing a world class cyclist, with frequent references both to the author's own experience as the dominant athlete in domestic time trialling in the UK for many years and to the extraordinarily successful British Cycling approach which scooped almost all the Olympic track medals, a good proportion of the road medals and a couple of Tours de France over the last few years. For a book about the science of training this is amazingly easy to read, and the authors self-deprecating sense of humour really shines through as he takes us through the basic biology of performance, training, nutrition, coaching, psychology and genetics.

This isn't really a book on how to train, or a sports science book. It's really an overview of how the whole fits together, and an explanation of the philosophy that's been so successful for the GB cyclists, often contrasted entertainingly with the author's own home grown attempts to do similar things. You won't come away from this book knowing what to eat and which interval sessions to do three weeks before your A race, but you will have a much better understanding of why you need to think about these things and how they contribute to your overall performance.

If you are interested in endurance sport, or in how to make a faster cyclist from a slower one, you should read this book, if only so that there are fewer people who annoy me by talking rubbish about lactic acid.
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Format: Paperback
Absolutely delightful read. It's fascinating for anyone who has ever wanted to go faster because Hutchinson has tried it all and he writes incisively about what works and what doesn't. But it's not a training manual for cyclists, though there is plenty of tips to be found. It is a a witty expose of a lifetime obsession, enlivened by hilarious observations about the crazy things cyclists do. This had me laughing out loud on the bus and reading paragraphs to my non-cycling wife. I loved the book and immediately ordered The Hour when it was finished.
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This is one of those books that reads far better than it has any right to given the subject material. I think the first thing to say is that this book is not a coaching program for enthusiastic cyclists to follow, it is rather a study of what makes some cyclists faster than others. Although the book looks at a lot of complex subjects including physiology it is remarkably accessible and most readers should be able to follow the explanations and arguments contained within the book. Think of it a bit like TV science documentaries which explain how things fly or the theory of relativity in conceptual terms but which avoid the mathematics and deeper theory and related learning so as to allow a basic understanding of a complex subject and you won't be too far from the level at which this book is pitched. The book is not an academic text books and is a fine example of a popular science book in raising awareness of concepts which are usually the preserve of exercise physiologists, coaches, engineers (cycling equipment) and elite level athletes. The book looks at the human body, how oxygen is taken in and transmitted around the body and used, how muscles work and the different demands of different cycling disciplines. The book moves on to consider diet, psychology, cycling equipment, coaching and the role of genetics. If that all sounds a bit dry and intimidating the writer has a real gift for making his subject accessible and for those who have read "The Hour" by the same author this book is blessed with the same dry, observational wit. Michael Hutchinson clearly has a deep passion for his subject but he also retains a sense of perspective and whilst engrossed in his subject also see's the absurdity of aspects of what he write about, that is really rather unusual.Read more ›
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I would recommend this to anyone even vaguely interested in cycling. Whilst some of the technical details might be more interesting to the competitive rider, the narrative and humour is always made entertaining and interesting. Hutchinson is not only a brilliant wit but an accomplished and experienced athlete and this he uses to the best effect in this book. Buy it!
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I really enjoyed reading this book. The strong personal element from Michael shows through, he is self-deprecating enough to make his experience just off the very peak of British cycling both highly informative and amusing. There is just enough technical background to cover the important points and to inspire further research in various areas.
This is not a text book or a manual; it's a very readable, personal experience of training, racing and exploration of anything that might make him cycle faster. Some of his views and interpretations of the science are very personal and and sometimes only relevant at a certain point in time; however he is honest to point this out and sometimes offer a more modern version.
Thoroughly recommended for anyone who has every wondered about what it takes to move faster under human power (cycling, running, swimming etc...)
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