Ricardo Zappa

Ricardo Zappa

Runner and Air Steward

What got you into running? And what keeps you doing it?
I always enjoyed watching the London marathon on TV and going down to the Mall (finish line) to soak up the atmosphere. I decided to put my name down for the ballot one year and I got a place for the 2015 race. I didn’t know where to start. I attended the training seminar for that year with a number of experts in the field sharing their thoughts. At the end of that day I realized that I wanted to get better and train harder, however it was very late to start training for a full marathon just a couple of months away, but I went ahead and did my best. Frustrated with my race time I decided to get a coach and train harder and never looked back. I don’t really know what keeps me motivated. I guess the fact that I am making progress helps me keep on top of my training. I like being outdoors and enjoy being part of running club. It might sound a little strange but I think that I am very lucky to have both of my legs; it could be more challenging if I had a missing limb. Especially after watching the Paralympics. I don’t think that would stop me though.

What is your typical training routine?
Due to the nature of my job I can’t have a set training schedule. I try my upmost to train twice a day. A running session in the morning followed by another form of exercise in the evening. I use a high altitude training facility in Dublin. The exposure to that chamber helps increase the red blood cells for a more efficient use of oxygen, the facility is heated and helps keep my weight down.

Do you run with a club or a group?
Yes, Serpentine RC London

Where's the strangest place you've run?
It was in Beijing. It was a blue sky sunrise, not known for China, so I quickly mapped out what I thought it would be a lovely run by a canal. The canal turned out to be an open sewage. I turned back and used the hotel gym

What song, if any, is guaranteed to make you run faster?
All Fired Up (The Alias Radio Edit)

Do you run for the fun of it? Or for the results?
Both. It's fun to take part in events for charity and with your friends but also being able to get good results.

What is the best bit of advice you've had from another runner?
When racing, try to relax and whenever the mind is traveling away on their thoughts bring it back and concentrate on the race or training session

What simple advice would you give to a new or novice runner?
Stick to the right side of the path. Usually the driving side of that particular country

What is your favourite piece of SOAR kit?
The racing shorts

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