Jordan Rapp – Pro Triathlete, Slowtwitch CTO

Sponsors: Specialized, Zoot, Target Training, Spider Tech, 1st Endurance, Zipp, Quarq, Nomatec Map, Cobb Cycling, The Mauna Lani Bay Resort, Tequila Patron, Zico, Speedplay

Charity: World Bike Relief

Jordan Rapp, or Rappstar, is a US Top Pro Triathlete, having achieved 1st place in several Ironman Championships, including two US Ironman National Championships, Ironman Canada, Ironman Texas, Ironman Arizona, Leadman Bend Epic 250, Leadman Las Vegas Epic 250 and the ITU Long Distance World Championships. Thanks Jordan!

Q. Is this year’s Top 15 at Ironman Worlds quite an achievement, ready to hit the top 10 next year?

A. I made it to 10th at 23 miles, but then wavered on the final leg to finish 13th. The first goal of the year is to win in Melbourne. Melbourne is clearly a championship race, and it is the homeland of the country that has dominated Ironman for the past six years. It’s like showing up in Germany and winning. You have to be prepared to RUN in an Ironman. So that’s my number one goal for this season. My second goal is to have a race in Kona that I am happy with. That means, first of all, running in all three sports, especially swimming. If I can swim well in Kona, I think the rest of the pieces will fit in place. In terms of where does that mean I end? That is more difficult to say. I think a good race in Kona will put me in the top 5. My best career? I think of the top 3, but the place in the top three I think depends a lot on the conditions of the day. I think I still have work to do to win Kona. That’s a race that very few people go into and say, “If I have my best race, I will win this race.” I’m not there yet. I can win I think so, but for 2013, that would mean both good luck for me and bad luck for some others.

Q. Does any entertaining story about the field, racing or training come to mind?

A. I guess it depends on who you entertain. Overall, I wish I had a better memory of racing. I remember very, very little of my careers. I think my brain turns them off, because a lot of runs are really painful too. But I do remember at Ironman US Champs in 2012, transitioning back the last 30km of the bike and singing Sesame Street songs that I had been watching with Quentin. That was entertaining for me, though not for anyone else.

Q. What type of diet does an elite triathlete follow, or would you consider yourself a type of man who eats what I want because I will burn it off? I imagine you need large amounts of fuel (calories), do you track calorie intake and burn?

A. I don’t count calories. I just try to make sure I eat “enough.” If I’m hungry, I eat. And of course, I’ve been doing this long enough to get a pretty good idea of ​​what “enough” is. On the days that I train more, I eat more (though usually smaller meals). And on quiet days, I eat less, though probably larger main meals and fewer snacks. As for the breakdown, I guess I would probably consume 30% fat, 30% protein, and 40% carbs, but again, that’s just an estimate, not accurate. As for what I eat, I am very particular. I make most of my food myself. I try to buy quality organic food. I try not to buy food with too many ingredients. Above all, I would say that I try to eat “real” food.

Q. Besides running, biking and swimming, how else do you prepare yourself mentally and physically for the demands that a triathlon places on the body and mind? Yoga? Massage? Strength training? Etc.?

A. Eat well. Get enough sleep. Those are the two absolutely most important things. I work with Blair Ferguson from Ventura Training & Athletics, a trainer who specializes in MAT (Muscle Activation Techniques) and RTS (Resistance Training Specialists) techniques, but it is difficult to give a short answer to what he will do specifically. I guess you would say that we are trying to identify and address specific weaknesses and imbalances. The exact way we do it depends on what the specific weakness or imbalance is.

Q. Being an avid mountain biker, are you considering any ultra mountain bike races this coming year, like the Leadville 100?

A. Leadville on the wish list, but not on the 2013 wish list. It is too difficult to prepare well for something as demanding as an Ironman other than preparing for the Ironman. And something like Leadville is not worth doing without the necessary preparation.

Q. Is there a specific discipline that you have been concentrating on lately, does it seem like the swimming part (including unfavorable conditions) is what could have set you back last year at the World Cup?

A. As I am preparing for Melbourne, I am concentrating on specific Ironman preparation. A big mistake that I think people make is saying, “I’m bad at X, I need to fully focus on that.” It is important to train your strengths, so that they remain strengths, as well as your weaknesses. I have changed a few things about how I train for swimming, but I have not changed the way I balance my training for an Ironman.

Q. What technologies or fitness devices do you train and / or compete with?

A. I use a Quarq power meter on the bike and a GPS watch while running.

Q. Any fitness gadgets that you would say is a must-have for an aspiring triathlete or endurance athlete in general?

A. Stopwatch. A power meter for cycling is the best investment you can make as a cyclist, both for training and for racing, but it is not necessary. A GPS watch is the best tool you can buy for running, but it is not necessary either. In my opinion, the only thing really necessary is a stopwatch.

Q. Any thoughts on triathlete Lance Armstrong?

A. I wrote a long post about him on my blog here which I think says it all:

Q. When do you feel like fucking …?

A. Chocolate chips.

Q. A couple of songs (if you listen to music while performing) that beat you in practice or races?

A. I generally don’t listen to music when I train.

Q. Any basic advice for those (the general public) looking to compete in an Xterra triathlon or a general triathlon?

A. It is closer than you think. Some people think that triathlon means Ironman, but it does not. But even people who know sprinting often feel out of reach. “I could never do that!” it is something that is heard a lot when describing triathlon to people. But it really is much more feasible than you think. The Ironman motto is “Everything is possible”, but I think it applies to triathlon in general. If you want to do a triathlon, you can do a triathlon. You can walk in the “race”. You can swim breaststroke or backstroke for a while to take a break. You can stop and rest. Triathlon may look intimidating from the outside, but it is truly incredibly inviting and inviting.

Q. Gear cabinet? Any athletic team or team that you swear by while running?

A. I think my power meter is the most valuable tool I have for racing, especially Ironman, but I like to think that I could run with nothing but the basics.