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Marko Albert at Faster Wind Tunnel

Interview with Marko Albert, Professional Triathlete

This past week we had a chance to sit down and interview Estonian pro, Marko Albert, 20 year veteran to the triathlon sport.  Marko has been coming to the Faster Wind Tunnel since 2012, just after we opened.  In the last year in a half, he has visited us 5 times to work on maximizing his aerodynamics and biomechanics.

 
 

“Last year from the changes that were made here, I was faster and better in Ironman Hawaii.”

 

Marko Albert Wind Tunnel

 

“I like to give myself the absolute best preparation in anything I do. I don’t go to the start line thinking maybe.”

 

When asked about the upcoming Ironman World Championships in Kona:

 

“If I could crack that top ten for me already, for me that would be a big deal.”

 

Watch the full interview with Marko Albert here:

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Improve Your Running Right off the Bike

At Faster, many of the triathletes that use the wind tunnel are not only looking to improve their aerodynamics, ride faster and stronger, but are also looking for gains that will allow them to be more fresh for the run segment.

 

We have seen many amazing triathletes kill it on the bike segment of the race, but lose momentum in the run.  Even before the big race such as Ironman – the run training leading up can cause recurring injuries or imbalances that impact how the athlete feels and performs on the bike!

 

But…it doesn’t have to be this way.

As part of our educational series at Faster, we are excited to have 20 year physical therapist, triathlon coach, and USA Triathlon contributing writer, Tricia Davis to educate you on how to improve your run.

 

tricia-300x300On October 25th, come spend some time with Tricia Davis, PT, and certified USAT and Slowtwitch coach learning efficient running form.

 

Skilled running means fewer injuries and faster times. Learn about:

  • running training
  • cross training
  • skills and drills
  • dynamic warm ups
  • proprioceptive training
  • and great core workouts will be demonstrated

 

Come ready to move and learn all the secret weapons to remain injury free during the season and drop your run race times with ease.

 

Register by clicking HERE.

 

 

The Best Way to Prevent Foot Pain

By Tricia Davis, PT

Having healthy and strong feet is vitally important to anyone participating in weight-bearing sports – especially for triathletes.  Pounding on one foot during the running stride is the first thing that comes to mind here.  But, what about the power you deliver through the pedal into the cranks on your bike, or having nice flexible “flippers” in swimming?

Take care of your feet

Take care of your feet!  They have a lot to do.

 

 

If you have ever had foot pain, you know all too well how it affects every step and move you make during the day.

With your feet, you can not simply “immobilize” them or “let them rest for a day or two.”  Many problems can occur below the ankles.   From plantar fascitis, tendonitis and bunions to the neighboring tissues in the Achilles or peroneal tendons that affect your balance.  Not to mention the pain from a hammertoe, neuroma or from ingrown toenails.  The list could go on and on here.  That is not what this post is about.  The best way to avoid most of these issues is with PREVENTION.

 

Heres how that works:

 

Strengthen your intrinsic foot musculature by making those small specailized muscles do something!

Walking on soft uneven surfaces, scrunching your toes up and splaying them out to grip the earth is a good start. How about picking up corks or marbles? Sounds like a good party trick!

 

Stretch your calves and plantar fascia- use a towel or a strap and pull your foot toward your shin.

Pictured below – hold at least 30 seconds and do 3 times per foot

 

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Work on your balance and ankle strength- standing on an air disc or BOSU ball works well for this.

Really challenge your balance and try barefoot so you can use your toes.  Stand on one leg for 1 minute and do 3 reps per leg.  If that is too easy- try it with your arms crossed over your chest.
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Once you progress – try closing your eyes or doing a single leg dead lift or mini squat on the standing leg.

If you have a balance board this would be a good time to climb on that barefoot.DSC_0019

Keep the muscles pain-free and flexible.

How about a good foot massage if you are not ticklish?  Really get into the arch and around the ball of the foot.  Use a lacrosse ball, frozen water bottle, self- massage stick or foam roller for your feet and calves before or after a hard workout.DSC_0016

Keep your toenails trimmed, but not too short!

Nicely trimmed toenails don’t just look good, they last longer.  This is something that you really need to stay on top of.  It would be nice to get a weekly pedicure, but at least keep your toenails trimmed every couple of weeks. Too long and they will bump into your footwear, too short and you might run the risk of having the edges grow or dig into the sides of the nail bed.  Keep them nicely filed too – for your bed mates sake!

Have a good hard look at your callouses.

Large, thick callouses can mean trouble!  Its your foots way of trying to protect itself from large forces, shear, friction or pressure.  Consult a podiatrist if you are worried or notice something new, don’t wait for them to become painful before getting help (remember PREVENTION).

 

Now get out there and take care of your FEET! Stop taking them for granted.

 


Tricia Davis, PT

tricia

Tricia Davis, PT

 

Tricia Davis is Co-owner of Potential Energy Training and Nutrition, USAT and USAC Certified Coach, wellness and injury prevention specialist.

Tricia is a hyperkinetic, Canadian trained physiotherapist of over 20 years and athlete. Good at seeing the big picture, she is able to focus on the most important specific details for you to achieve success. Tricia thrives most in helping those with limited time by providing evidence based training and skill acquisition in order to make training the most efficient way to attain goals while reducing risk of injury. Tricia is passionate about health, wellness and efficiency in sport while maintaining a balance in all aspects of life.

Email: Tricia@potentialenergytraining.com

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How to choose the most aerodynamic wheel selection.

With Ironman AZ coming up this weekend in our backyard, we want to educate you on the importance of wheel selection in regards to an event or race.

 

There are many wheels out there. As a rider, you might be limited to the wheels you train on or you might have a few sets of ‘race wheels’. Many ‘race wheels’ are made from a higher quality of carbon, have some sort of aerodynamic profile to them and include a higher quality of hub. Not all carbon wheels are created equal in terms of quality of design, carbon used (we’ll go into a blog on this topic!), and the aerodynamic advantage.

 

 

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Again, not all wheel selections are created equal when it comes to aerodynamics. When wheels are tested in the Faster wind tunnel without the bike, the result is actually going to be different once you add the bicycle into the mix. A wheel on a bike will change the airflow and the aerodynamic effect the wheel has. Also when you add the same wheel onto a different bike, it’s going to have a different aerodynamic effect compared to the first bike. Throw in different tires, and you still have different results for the same wheel! This is why wind tunnel testing is a great resource to finding what wheel set-up will work best with your particular bike.

 

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The other piece that comes into play when choosing the best wheel set-up is the course conditions (is it flat vs hilly) and the speed and direction of the wind. When we advise athletes on wheel selection for Ironman Kona, the wheel selection is very different to what we would suggest for the use at Ironman Arizona.

 

Most questions we get when athletes are looking for the right wheel set is: “do I go with a disc wheel?” “Do I use a lower profile wheel in the front and higher profile wheel in the back?” to “will I get blown over if I use high profile wheels?”. Again, these answers depend on the course profile, wind direction and speed and also the rider’s skill – if they are a lighter rider, can they handle a higher profile design or will they fight the side forces from the wind?

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This rider is testing out the Edco 65’s, 85’s, and 105’s. Which combo do you think is faster?

 

When athletes use the Faster wind tunnel and test a selection of wheels on their race set-up, we are then able to piece together the best options for different situations that they may encounter at their event. For instance, we can find out what wheel selection would be optimal for a wind coming from the side vs head-on. Again, every bike and wheel set-up is unique so what might be ideal for your friend’s bike, might not work the best for yours.

 

If you have questions concerning your wheel set up and would like to schedule a wind tunnel test, please contact us!

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Improving Efficiency on the Bike with Pedal Selection

With new and improved products coming out every year in the cycling industry, we like to use the technology we have on hand in the 3D fit lab and wind tunnel to dive in and test how some of these products perform for their intended use. The Edco 3AX pedals that we tested can enhance rider comfort, increase power output through improved biomechanics, as well as improving knee health. At Faster, we understand that every person is unique, so what works for one person, might not have the same exact result for another rider. However, after seeing many test candidates, you can get a general idea of what a particular product might do for that rider.

 

This past year, Edco came out with the new 3AX pedal that was a 2016 Eurobike award winner for innovation. What exactly does the Edco 3AX pedal do that no other pedal does? It allows your feet to sway on the axle a few degrees in an arc. It self aligns whether your feet pronate or if you have a neutral foot. This allows for improved biomechanics for a more natural knee, hip, foot alignment during the entire pedal stroke. From a fitting, performance, and healthy knee perspective, this is a very exciting innovation!

 

We decided to put the Edco 3AX pedals to the test to see what we could find.  Melissa Ross (pictured), tested out the pedals on her bike for a couple of weeks and came into the Faster 3D fitting studio to see how the 3AX measured up against her previous pedals, the Look Keos.

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After tracking Melissa’s pedaling efficiency with both pedal systems, fitting guru, Jake Grantham determined that the Edco 3AX gave Melissa a 5 mm linear correction on her left knee.  With more time on the Edco pedals,  more adaptation would allow for the muscle memory to add even more of a positive linear correction of Melissa’s left knee.

 

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So, what does a linear knee correction mean in practical terms? Think about how you would put pressure on a wrench.  If your arm was pushing at a slight angle, your force would be diverted. So by making the arm more linear (perpendicular), you are able to drive more force into the wrench.  Same thing goes with your pedals and crank arm. The linear correction to Melissa’s knee means she will be more efficient with both legs in her pedaling and allow for improved power transfer on the bike!

 

If you have questions concerning your bike fit, please give us a call at 480-970-1300 or email Jake: jgrantham@ride-faster.com.

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