Alistair Brownlee still targets an under-7, rebounding from injury and IM World Title – Triathlete



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Apart from his last-minute swing at the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year which ended in injury and a DQ, Alistair Brownlee hasn’t been seen much on the course lately.

But that doesn’t mean the two-time gold medalist just sat there. We made inquiries to find out what he has planned for 2022: an Under-7 World Championship, Ironman World Championships and maybe another book?

Gravel races and injuries

“I’ve been injured most of the year,” said Brownlee. An ankle he had surgery on six years ago suddenly started bothering him out of nowhere in March, and it eventually took another surgery to free the scar tissue around the tendons.

Without being able to run more than a handful of stairs (aside from his final race of the triathlon world championship series in Leeds in June), Brownlee was eager to find something to keep the famous competition juice alive. Someone suggested a dirt race in ten days. Of course, he thought, what are the details? It turned out to be the 740 kilometer Transiberica Badlands nonstop adventure race. Of course, he was in it.

“Loved it,” Brownlee said. “I kind of liked the simplicity of it.” Just keep driving, fix the apartments (of which he had plenty), find places to sleep by the side of the road, and fill up with water. As they say: it’s hard, but it’s not complicated.

He did another shorter dirt run after that, but the main focus is now on recovery and returning to triathlon. “I have always been a triathlete at heart, and probably always will be,” he said.

At 33, he said, he’s now focused more on recovery, with an emphasis on good nutrition and good sleep (alongside other recovery tools). This is partly why he started working with a performance manager, Nigel mitchell, which helps him plan his attempt under 7 (more details below) and helps him create nutrition plans that focus on real whole foods, hence the recent sponsorship of pistachios.

Although he hasn’t run much this year and hasn’t been able to perform at the level he’s used to, Brownlee’s older brother still trains hard at his rainy Leeds base and is preparing for big things next year.

What is the next step in sorting

For those wondering: yes, the sub-7 attempt is still in progress.

Brownlee is one of four superstars trying to break seven hours in the iron distance for the men and eight hours for the women. He worked on a number of projects for this: creating the fastest combination, finding the fastest sites, selecting the best team, mastering nutrition. The attempt will be legal in the draft, in a controlled style the same as Breaking2’s marathon attempts, so the team is key, but he said it was still very fast to go there for a long time – what it happens – and nutrition will be a major factor. . He’s the first to admit he’s still working on perfecting his nutrition and Ironman strategy. Olympic distance running is more about pushing it all in and knowing that you have five minutes left and thinking ‘How do I find a way to win in these final few minutes,’ he said, as Ironman is about having two more hours to go and being uncomfortable and wondering how you can maintain that level of discomfort for two more hours.

RELATED: Can a triathlete really break 7 hours on the iron distance?

They do not yet have a date or location for the Under-7 attempt, although it will be in the spring or early summer. But, with the two Ironman World Championship races scheduled for next year in May and October, this potentially makes “the schedule quite busy,” he said. He hopes to compete in both world championship races (with a view to winning, as always, although his first outing in Kona in 2019 ended in a 21st place), then he also plans to support the races of the Pro Triathletes Organization. (PTO), like the Collins Cup, in which he is involved. That’s a lot, even for Alistair Brownlee.

“But if the last few years have taught me anything, you have to stay flexible,” he said.


Part of the reason Brownlee is involved in PTO is because he wants to work on issues affecting athletes and is particularly passionate about helping elite athletes build their careers and their skills. transitions after sports. As a member of the PTO Board of Directors, Brownlee spends a lot of time working with athletes on topics such as the ranking system, support policies and, of course, the new Collins Cup event. He knows there are things to be worked out – the Collins Cup broadcast, for example, could be improved for viewers – but he is also aware that every new organization and athlete ranking system likely had issues that needed to be addressed. in the beginning. “We need to take a step back and realize that we are much better off that the PTO exists than it does not,” he said.

He was also elected to the European Olympic Committee‘s Athletes ‘Commission this year and ran for the International Athletes’ Commission in early summer, making a trip to Tokyo with the GB team.

“I actually really enjoyed going and being on the other side of the fence,” he said of the Olympics. He spent time talking to athletes (something you don’t do as much when aiming for a gold medal), watched all the triathlon races, and was also able to attend other events for a change like the BMX and rock climbing. .

And then there was his other pandemic project: writing a book – and, yes, he actually did all the interviews himself, took all the notes and transcripts, and co-wrote it with a writer. The book, Tirelessly, is an overview of what it takes to not only be successful in sports, but to take it to that next level, not just one world title, but several. There were a few themes, he said: hard work, consistency, self-confidence (which is different from confidence). And he found the whole process of interviewing so many different athletes fascinating. He hopes to prepare another book in the future.

His post-triathlon plan certainly has the potential to include a number of things, representing athletes and working in sport. “I think I am slowly preparing myself so that I can have a number of avenues and opportunities,” he said.

But first: the only triathlete in history to win two Olympic gold medals wants to add more titles to this list. After all, he’s relentless.

The two Brownlee brothers will be live on Facebook on full friday next week, November 5th.

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