Thursday, September 2, 2010

A few words with Rappstar

We posed a few questions to Jordan Rapp has he progresses in his recovery and makes plans for the future....

Based on your recent Tweets it sounds like you are now back to full training already which is fantastic news for all fans of professional Ironman racing. Cleary the road to recovery is never easy. Can you share some of the ups and downs you have been through as you returned to "finding your legs"?

It's not yet full training, as my run volume is still limited. But I'm swimming a lot and riding a lot, and if you factor in time spent doing rehab exercises, then I would say I'm at least working on my running a lot! My legs started to come back around once Jill and I got back to Penticton. Really since we got up here in mid-July, there haven't been too many "downs." Earlier on - April, May, June - there were a lot of downs, but lately it's been mostly up, though there's the inevitable flat spot.

You are back in Penticton for the summer training, what is it about this part of Canada that is so appealing? What's your favorite Canadian beer? (if applicable)

I really only have good memories of being here. I love training here. I love the pace of life and the size of the town. No driving on the freeway, no LA traffic, and great training for swim, bike, and run right out your door. And, of course, unlike in California, this is actually *our* house. The Okanagan is Canada's wine country, and it is the home of some excellent vineyards. The favored local beer is Kokanee, which is good, but I'm not much of a beer drinker. I love the local wines, but the consensus opinion is that alcohol inhibits nerve growth, so I haven't had a drink since I got out of the hospital, and for at least a few weeks prior.

What plans do you have for the rest of 2010?

Right now, it's a sort of secret. I have told people, but no one that has been in a position to put it in print yet. So you'll have to wait.

Prior to your accident you had a solid race in Abu Dhabi and also got to enjoy the experience of visiting the UAE. What other destination races appeal to you beyond the races themselves?

The list is really too long to cover. Visiting Abu Dhabi reminded me of how much bigger the world is than North America. I traveled a lot internationally when I was younger; my family lived in Japan from 1982 - 1989. But I have not traveled that much outside of North America as an adult, and visiting Abu Dhabi really made me appreciate the size of the world again. Of course, not every race can be a destination race, because there's a lot of training that needs to be done as well. In the short term, I think I'd very much enjoy the new Challenge race in Copenhagen, where my coach is from, or the TriStar 111 race in Estonia, which looked awesome.

Will Rev3 be a focus for 2011?

Certainly some of the races will be. But I'm not sure what other tricks besides Costa Rica they might have up their sleeve. They are wily folks, so there might be even more things than that planned that I don't know about so I can't say that I'll do them all... Yet. But it's a great series, and I'm absolutely planning to focus on their races. ITU LD World Champs is in Las Vegas - on the Silverman course - next Nov. 5th, though, and I've said to my coach that will be my primary goal for 2011, so I need to talk with the Rev3 folks and my coach to see if the race in Cedar Point will be on the same date and if that date allows enough recovery for ITU LD WC. It should be a punishing bike course, and I really want to win that race.

Listening to your body and analyzing the hard data in training sessions is something you've embraced early on in your career. The numbers (I assume) are starting to climb back up now that you're back to your normal training levels. Can you explain what it's like to have "patience" with yourself. In other words, many times athletes "rush" the process after an injury. How have you taken steps to let your fitness come back to you at a pace your body can handle and absorb?

I've tried to remove myself as much as possible from the decision making process and trust my coach, who is way better at being objective about things that I am. My approach has been to just let Michael decide the process, and then I just follow his plan. I have very little patience. But I'm pretty good about doing what my coach tells me. So I tried to rely on my discipline in following the coach as opposed to letting my own impatience get in the way.

Ok - now the fun questions....when will we hear of a Little Rappstar arriving into the world??? (Canadian Citizen I assume)

I can promise the arrival won't be in less than nine months, but hopefully in less than a year.

Has your experience with the accident forced you to think about what you'd like to do after competitive racing? Author? Professor? Rappstar?

I thought about it a lot even before the accident. Maybe too much. I've certainly pondered the idea of going back to school to study engineering further. And I've thought about designing the bikes instead of riding them. But for now, I try to focus on today, since that's what's gonna actually give me a career that I can hopefully retire from with some level of satisfaction.

Predictions on Hawaii...inparticular, Chrissy Wellington. Can she break into the top 10?

Absolutely Chrissie will not be in the top ten. The top-ten men last year were separated by about 12 minutes. Even with her phenomenal performance at Roth, which is a much faster course than Hawaii, she was still more than double that margin back of Rasmus Henning. Assuming a similar percentage, that'd put her somewhere in the top-20, which would be an improvement on her 23rd overall last year, and still a phenomenal performance. I think Chrissie will win, but I think she'll have a fight on her hands with Julie Dibens, who I expect will arrive in T2 at least with Chrissie. In the men's race, I think it'll be a new winner. I have my fingers crossed for Chris Lieto, who is a good friend. He's racing even faster this year than he did last year, and I think several other men have upped their game as well.

Thanks you Jordan and best of luck with your training for the remainder of the year.

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