The RappStar in all his racoon stripped glory!He's tall and thin. You would expect him to run like the wind, and he's not too bad on two legs, but it's on the saddle of a bike that Jordan Rapp has really set himself apart. Part of this is his meticulous attention to detail regarding the bike equipment he uses and the training that he does for the bike. You can see that in the way he rides - he's very dialed in on the bike. Comfortable looking, yet very aero and able to push out some impressive power numbers for a long time.
The other thing about Rapp is that he's patient. He's bided his time, trained hard and figured the whole long distance race game out before jumping up directly into the bigger races, like Ironman Hawaii. He has chosen not to take his qualifying spot to IMH for the past few years, preferring to hone his craft and carve out wins at IM Arizona and Ironman Canada - in both cases against very strong competition.
The former top ranked rower with the Ivy League rowing palmeres is, despite his strong bike leg, really a great all-rounder, swimming near the front of the race and then closing with a strong and steady run. This all-around tri-fitness and strength was no doubt developed with a nearly two year stint training alongside friend and Olympic Double Triathlon medalist, Simon Whitfield.
So here goes. 20 Question with, Jordan Rapp aka the RappStar!
1. What made you switch from rowing to Triathlon?
I got injured. I thought about bike racing, but everyone seemed fast and I did not understand drafting!
2. Of the three sports in Triathlon what is your favourite?
Cycling. But I am liking running more and more.
3. Clinchers or Tubulars?( You knew that was coming!!)
Depends. For Pro men tubulars, for everyone else, clinchers!
4. Compression socks - yes/no?
Training and recovery - yes. Four hour marathon - yes. Sub 3 marathon - no!
5. What is the most important leg in an Ironman triathlon?
The run, because that's what takes you over the finish line.
6. There is a good chance that you may be in the mix when Lance Armstrong makes his possible return to triathlon and races Ironman Hawaii in 2011 or 2012. What will you say to Lance when he rides by you, or you ride by him?
Nothing. Remember, Peter Reid and Tim DeBoom tried to talk at IMH one year in Hawaii - "Talking is for training", is what I think they said.
7. What is training with Simon Whitfield like?
You realize that hard work, day after day after day, is what creates extraordinary performances and wins races.
8. Will Whitfield ever make the jump to Ironman?
Maybe. I think he would get bored. He really loves to race, and Ironman isn't really a race.
9. You do all the back-end programming for the Slowtwitch web site. What really goes on behind the scenes there?
I could tell you, but then I would have to kill you!
10. You recently married a Canadian(former national team member Jill Savege). Any possibility of a passport change from US to Canada? We would love to claim you as a Canuck!
Not any time soon. Too much paperwork.
11. What is your favourite place to train?
Swim - Brewster, NY. Bike - Antelope Valley( near Slowtwitch HQ), CA. Run - Elk Lake, BC.
12. Do we really know what we are doing with Triathlon Training these days, or is it still throw it up against the wall and see what sticks?
Some people do know and some people don't - just like everything else in life. If you get injured or never improve - you know it isn't working.
13. What is so special about Specialized.[Rapp recently signed on with Specialized]
Everyone rides their bike everyday at lunch.
14. What's the deal with the bacon? I thought you were a health freak!
I eat good bacon(organic). Bacon is real food. A caveman could eat bacon!
15. What's right about triathlon these days?
Rudy Garcia-Tolson finishing Ironman Arizona last fall.
16. What's wrong with Triathlon these days.
Entitlement. Stuff like, people littering on race courses because they expect someone to pick it up!
17. I thought triathletes are supposed to be all buffed out. You are the classic ectomorph - tall and skinny with minimal muscle def. What's the secret to your success?
18. Is training/racing really all about charts, graphs and numbers?
It's about what works. Use your brain. If it means charts, graphs and numbers, that's fine. Results speak the loudest!
19. Any plans for life beyond Triathlon?
Not any time soon. I would like to work for Zipp one day.
20. The wine you nicked from the VIP area at IMC, was it any good?
They were empty. Wanted to get matching set from my first Ironman in '97.
Bonus: You have been training in Clermont, FL. Why there and not Maui with Whitfield and Co.?
Clermont was way less expensive and we needed to apply for Jill's Green Card.
Thanks, Jordan. Best wishes this year.