Sandra Koblmüller is the star of our recent Suunto Ambit3 Sport Sapphire shoot and you'll see her in the current campaign. But the 24-year-old is also an athlete in her own right and recently competed in the XTERRA world championships in Maui, the premier off-road triathlon, where she came 14th. Amazingly she only started swimming a few years ago. So how did she do it?
How did you get to become a pro triathlete?
In secondary school our class took part in a cross-country running competition. Without any serious training I came second and my passion for running was born. I started to regularly take part in running competitions. When I went to university a colleague asked me to do the running part in a triathlon relay. I was so impressed from the combination of the three disciplines that I wanted to try a whole triathlon on my own and started to train for swimming.
One year later I won the Austrian Championship for Crosstriathlon and the Austrian federation sent me to the European Championships. Because of this, I was allowed to become a professional athlete this year. In my first year as a “pro“ I came second at the XTERRA Portugal, which qualifies you for the World Championship in Maui (Hawaii).
Tell us about your training routine?
Normally I wake up at 6 o’clock in the morning. After a short breakfast I usually start my day in the swimming pool with a 3-5 km swim. I am not always motivated to jump into the cold water in the morning, but after some lanes I get my motivation and enjoy it.
After the swim I take a second breakfast and do something for university then at noon or in the evening I usually do my second workout – either I go for a run or I ride my bike. At the weekend I normally do some longer bike workouts (about 4 hours). Then Monday is my rest day, where I do relaxing things like sauna, massages, stretching…
How do you monitor your progress?
I have my own trainer and I usually get a training plan for a week. With the help of the Suunto Ambit3 Sport Sapphire we are able to control my training. My trainer has access to my Movescount account and through the uploaded moves he is able to see how I’m doing.
Are there any areas of your training that you are struggling with?
As I started stroke swimming very late at the age of 20, my swimming technique is not the best. If you want to be a good swimmer/triathlete you have to start swimming in your childhood to get the water feeling. However I’m working hard to improve this.
What are your dreams and goals?
One of my biggest goals is to become one of the best XTERRA athletes in the world. A goal in the near future is a victory in one of the XTERRA World Tour races.
What inspires and motivates you?
One thing that inspires me is the improvement you make if you train hard for your goals. For example, when I started to swim, it took me about 1:45 for the 100 meters intervals (10 x 100m intervals of swimming). Now I am able to swim the 100m in 1:25 and I am sure that one day I will swim my 100m intervals under 1:20.
What are your fears?
I have a fear of failure, especially just before a competition. So the most important thing I have to learn is to believe in my strengths and myself.