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Rachel Klamer
Mental strength means that no matter how hard it is, you keep going to perform the best possible.

Do you think your education or your career has helped to prepare you mentally for racing?
If I did something, I wanted to achieve the highest possible. When I decided to quit University for triathlon, I felt like I had to give it my all to become a great athlete. I didn’t have an excuse to not be fully focused anymore!

Have you been an athlete all your life or did you have some sort of epiphany that got you into it?
I enjoyed doing sports, but never really thought about being a professional athlete. When I got introduced to triathlon in 2008, things changed quickly.

What do you do when you're not training or racing?
Most of the year I am busy with triathlon (related things). In the offseason you will often see me still being active. I do spend more time with family & friends and you will find me baking, reading and cleaning up from a season full of traveling/racing.

Do you behave differently in your life and during a race?
No, I’m always myself.

How do you normally feel before the start of a race?
Excited but nervous, depending on the race. The smaller the race, the more relaxed I am.

What's the most rewarding feeling you have ever had on a race? 
When you have given everything and had a great performance.

What's been your worst moment in a race? How did you overcome this?
After a bad swim I rode from the second pack to the first pack. Then broke away to/with 1 other girl. Halfway I got a flat tire and DNF’d. Knowing I should have won a medal if I didn’t get the flat tire.
There was nothing I could do.

What does concentration mean for you? What role does it play when you train or compete?
Concentration is making sure you don’t get distracted, but focus on what you have to do. Don’t get distracted by others or things which are happening around you which you can’t influence.

What structure does a race have in terms of the level of sensations? What do you start with, what do you end with, and what do you experience along the way?
Every race is the same.. but different. You swim, bike and run like I have done many many times.

What is your greatest enemy in a competition? What do you want to defeat?
You can be your own enemy. If your mindset is not right, you are never going to win. You have to concentrate/focus.

Your worst enemy is your mind?
See above..

Do you have thoughts of escape during a competition? Can you describe them?
If you are in a bad position in the race, it is easy to think that you have ruined your race already. If you are in a bad position in the swim, it doesn’t mean you don’t have a chance on the bike/run to close the gap.

When you feel you can't go any further, when you want to give up, what goes through your mind? What does your body tell you and what does your mind come back with?
You’ve trained for it. Giving up would mean you have done all the work for nothing. You continue and give everything you have. If you have given it all, you can’t be unhappy for long.

Tell us the main differences you see between physical and mental strength.
When you are getting tired in a race (physical strength), your mental strength can get you through the last bit of the race. Mental strength means that no matter how hard it is, you keep going to perform the best possible.

What is your mental strength?
See above, that I keep going when it gets tough.

In triathlon is it necessary to have inner strength? Be made of iron maybe?
In every sport it is important to have inner strength. You can train as much as you want, but if your mental strength is not strong, you will not win.


1st ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi 2018

2nd WTS Hamburg 2016

10th Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games 2016