(Reuters) – Galen Rupp may have missed out on a medal at the Tokyo Olympics but the American said on Friday that despite a short turnaround he has had a great recovery and is raring to get to the start line for this weekend’s Chicago Marathon.
Rupp, who in 2017 became the first American-born male to win the Chicago Marathon in 35 years, placed eighth at the Olympics where some major names dropped out amid humid conditions but said his coach Mike Smith has him ready for Sunday.
“I’ve actually recovered great,” Rupp, 35, told reporters. “Obviously we knew it was going to be a quick turnaround coming here so soon after the Olympics, but it’s always nice when it’s something that you’ve been planning for.
“I knew I was going to come here well in advance before the Olympics and I think Mike and I sat down and before we committed, (we) really talked about what are the pros and cons of doing this.”
Rupp last competed in the Chicago Marathon in 2019 where, after recovering from Achilles surgery and in his first race of any distance in a year, he dropped out just before the 23-mile mark with calf strain.
After Tokyo, Rupp said Smith wanted him to take a short break from intense workouts so he could reset, clear his mind and spend time at home with family before resuming training.
“I took a week pretty easy right after the Olympics, didn’t do any workouts, just ran super slow. Mike literally said ‘think about your grandma running with you,'” said Rupp, who won a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“It’s just about moving your legs and getting out there and that’s going to help flush out a lot of junk that comes from running a marathon.”
After the second week, Rupp was nearly fully recovered and so increased his volume and added moderate workouts to the mix. In the third week post-Olympics he picked up the intensity and has been hitting it hard ever since.
Rupp now hopes a return to a course where he has enjoyed success will help him to put the disappointment of his Tokyo Olympics result behind him.
“I would say the last six weeks have been better than really anything I did before the Olympics,” said Rupp. “You’re never sure how it’s going to go coming off of a marathon like that but it’s actually been a really good build-up for Chicago here.
“I’m pumped to be racing again on Sunday, especially after having a little disappointing race in the Olympics.”
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Christian Radnedge)