Friday, April 19, 2013

Tri Friend #3- Grayson Keppler

Grayson Keppler is a XTERRA / off road triathlete that is chasing his dreams and prefers the mud over the run... hence his blog name: Mudbandit. asked him to be our first non-Chicago Tri-Friend as off-road triathlon, something completely foreign to me. Although I am quite certain i would break something biking off road, it is definitely intriguing and wanted to learn more.  After reading his answers, he confirmed that i would need to indeed first start mountain biking to even consider this path :)

Where did you grow up and where are you living now?  What brought you to the US?
I like to think I have yet to grow up but I was raised in South Africa for a solid 21 years in a city called Pietermaritzburg, Spent a few years in Durban while I studied Architecture. It was there I discovered this passion for endurance sports. I live in Dallas now and the sport was my original reason for coming over to the US but now its become a blend of sports and a lady (oh, those ladies).

I see you started as a competitive cyclist, what made you make the transition into triathlon? actually started as a rugby player but soon realized that I being beat up by giant guys was not for me. A friend introduced me a local cycling club and I started training, got to a respectable level and mixed it up on the track too. I guess I got bored of riding in circles on the track so I started a little off road riding and before I knew it I found a few local Pro athletes in the likes of Dan Hugo and Conrad Stoltz who inspired me to try my hand at Triathlon. Now I have the option of all the disciplines because Xterra Triathlon has captured my heart.

You participate in both XTERRA and traditional Triathlons.. do you like one more than the other?
For sure I prefer Xterra Triathlons to the traditional road Tri. Its a different beast and more of a challenge in my mind. There is a lot more that can go wrong therefore it requires some further attention to detail. A quick example,(making sure you have the right tires and shoe laces for each course or just simply chosing the right line on the bike).

Any advice for a road triathlete wanting to make the transition into XTERRA events
Hmmm, start mountain biking and try get your handling down on the off road stuff. Ride within yourself and build your confidence slowly. 

Favorite training tool and why?
I would have to go with either my Cycleops power tap or Garmin 910xt. Great devices to measure effort during and post workouts. Since I have started training with Power my cycling has improved greatly.

What is your go-to recovery routine?
I see a my Chiropractor twice a week with an hour massage session and ART and adjustments. I use the foam rolling in between that and try to fit in several stretch sessions a week.
"A" Race this year?
Xterra World Championships
Worst/Funniest Race Moment
Back in my track racing days I had one of those moments when I was not quite sure if I were on the final lap for my flying 200m sprint and  ended up "sprinting" for an extra lap. It was horrid.

Something you find funny/amusing about Americans/culture
Well since arriving in Texas the thing that im still trying to work out is why everyone drives ridiculously large trucks. I put it down to ego or something, its so impractical. I find the different accents amusing according to various regions of the US. Boston has the best word pronunciation Ive heard yet. 

Grayson of Twitter  &   His Blog

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