Rachael Mackenzie – Thai boxing

Whilst at school Rachael represented her County in hockey, netball and cross-country. Whilst at University her housemate persuaded her to join her at a Thai boxing class and she loved it so she carried on training to keep fit for hockey. After sporadic training over the next 3-4 years she had her first fight at Leeds Town Hall against an experienced fighter. She lost on points but was hooked. Since then she has fought and beaten the British, European and World Champions to earn the number 1 spot in the World Rankings.

What made you want to become an athlete?

Initially it was my determination to prove to others that it was my choice about whether I did Thai boxing and to show that as a female I could still succeed in my chosen sport.

What has been your proudest moment to date?

Winning my first British title by knock out in 40 seconds after previously losing my first ever fight to this same girl.

What does your typical day involve?

I train 6 days a week. 3 days I do heavy weights in the mornings and then for the 6 days I have a 1 hour conditioning session and 1.5-2 hour of Thai boxing.

Who or what inspires you to get up in a morning?

My children.

What do your friends and family think about what you do?

They are all proud of my achievements.

How did you get to where you are today?

I am a qualified physiotherapist and movement specialist so I use my understanding of movement to maximise my training.

Looking back, is there anything you would change/do differently if you could?

I would have started weight training earlier in my career.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of following in your path?

Physical conditioning and psychological strength are the two deciding factors in high level competition.

How do you use sports science to support your training/performance?

I see a masseuse regularly, and I also use movement and biomechanical analysis to improve my overall performance.

Are there any specific areas of science that you use to help you to maximise your performance?

Nutritional support is extremely important to increase protein for strength and for weight management so that I don’t have to crash diet. Biomechanical analysis is also beneficial to me for increasing my power levels.

What kind of hobbies do you do to relax?

In my spare time I like to play hockey.

Have there been any embarrassing moments?

I once fell over the camera crew’s cable as I was walking into the ring ready to start a fight.