Grassroots Profile Interview: Rick Lapinski
PowerTap: Tell us about your first triathlon and your journey to Kona since.
Rick: My first triathlon was actually an off-road triathlon in northern Wisconsin in 2006. I was that guy who swore I'd never wear spandex. So after wearing jammers in the swim I put my soccer shorts over them to head off and ride. Nope, no padded bike shorts, what was I thinking?! After that race I was hooked, and haven't looked back since. The scary thing is that I promised myself I would never run again after 4 years of college soccer (we ran enough there, especially when our coach was ticked off).
2008 was my first Ironman (Coeur 'd Alene) and it was awesome. I wouldn't qualify for Kona until my 3rd Ironman which was IMAZ in 2010. I've been fortunate enough to race here in Kona in 2011, 2012, and now 2013!!
PowerTap: Tell us about your season so far; at which race did you qualify for Kona?
Rick: I qualified last year at Ironman Wisconsin, just 4 weeks before racing in Kona last year. I'm glad that I did because I was able to structure this season to peak one time...now! I raced the 70.3 in Kansas which went well. Then married the love of my life Brittany at the end of June, so that was a great mid-season break! Came back to race the Steelhead 70.3 and now the big one.
PowerTap: What are you most looking forward to about Kona this year?
Rick: I'm definitely looking forward to racing Kona fresh. I haven't raced an Ironman since racing here last year, so the memories of pain are so far gone I'm ready to get that feeling back!
PowerTap: How do you incorporate power into your training? What metrics do you pay attention to on the bike during a race?
Rick: I have been training with power for about 6-7 years now and it's made all the difference in the world. Off-season sessions are much more effective and having power out on the road for those long rides is crucial! There are a few metrics I key in on. Obviously it depends on the session, but for those race "dress-rehearsals" it's great to focus on keeping that power steady throughout.
PowerTap: What's been your favorite bike workout as you've prepared for Kona?
Rick: A 5 hour ride broken out as:
- 1 hour warm up/build to race power
- 3 hours broken up into 5 mile intervals (5 miles at ironman power/5 miles at just above ironman power/5 miles at half ironman power)
- 1 hour at ironman power
PowerTap: Have you previously raced Kona? If so, how has it gone and what are you hoping to do differently this year?
Rick: I've raced here in 2011 & 2012. 2011 was a great year, and is my Ironman PR. Last year was my 3rd Ironman in 5 months and 2nd in 4 weeks...so it went as well as it could have. It's always great to be on the big island. This year I'm fresh and hungry!!!!
PowerTap: Will Kona be your final race of 2013? What else is on tap for 2013?
Rick: Kona is my final race for this season. The rest of the year will be spent on my mountain bike and building my coaching business, L3 Endurance.
PowerTap: What's your plan for the off-season?
Rick: I'll get things rolling again November 1st. The structure is pretty chill until the first of the year.
PowerTap: What bike are you racing in Kona? What was your first 'serious' bike?
Rick: I'm racing a Ceepo Viper and I love it!! The folks over at Ceepo are incredible I work with as well!!
My first "serious" bike was a Giant OCR3 Carbon. I thought I was a bad ass on that bike. I actually just sold it to a friend of a friend last summer.
PowerTap: If you could give one piece of advice to Age Groupers who might be trying to qualify for Kona – or are reaching for a major triathlon goal – what would it be?
Rick: Consistency is key! Start stringing together days, then weeks, then months! You will never regret a workout. And never give up.
PowerTap: Any race day mantras you plan to use to get you through the day?
Rick: The faster you run the faster you're done. And "Get totally pitted bro"...long story on that one ;)
PowerTap: Any race day superstitions?
Rick: I always eat lasagna the night before and have to eat an ice cream sandwich for dessert the night before race day.
PowerTap: Know the playlist is constantly changing, but what will be your songs going into Vegas?
Rick: That's a tough one...I don't have one right now but I typically just fast forward songs until I get what I'm feeling...it could be either something super angry or super ghetto...I'm banking on ghetto.