Alistair Brownlee’s debut attempt at the Ironman World Championships is the talk of Kona, with those close to him (and the man himself) highlighting what great shape he’s in for his debut 226km race (his Ironman Ireland victory in July came after the event was changed to a duathlon).
But what’s in Brownlee’s kit armoury for Saturday’s showdown with Jan Frodeno, Patrick Lange, David McNamee and the rest of the world’s greatest Ironman athletes? Let’s look at four key gear and nutrition choices Brownlee will use in Hawaii.
The swimskin – for when triathlon swim legs are too warm for wetsuits – was designed in collaboration with the elder Brownlee (it shares a name with the Brownlee-designed Huub Agilis wetsuit) and was tested on Huub’s Measuring Active Drag (MAD) System, which aims to quantify swim tech effectiveness.
The key design standout of the Agilis are the strips embedded in the legs for aiding buoyancy, while the legs also boast purported compressive properties. The fabrics are reportedly hydrophobic to bead water and have been approved by FINA, making them legal for Ironman and ITU events. There’s also a female-specific fit available but the price is currently TBC.
Brownlee signed to Scott bikes from Boardman in 2017 and he’s ridden the Plasma TT for non-drafting bike legs ever since, including when dismantling the field at Ironman 70.3 St. George on his 70.3 debut that summer. The bike is reportedly more aerodynamic with a rider on it than not, and key sells include the integrated storage and amount of adjustability.
3. ADIDAS-BRANDED TRI-SUIT
Brownlee’s tri-suit will be Adidas-branded suit seen above from Ironman Ireland, but could well be a collaboration with Huub, as it looks very similar to the new Anemoi + that we’ve just got our hands on in the office. After a long development process, the original Anemoi tri-suit was designed by aerodynamicist Dan Bigham and released to great acclaim in 2017 and has been used by Brownlee (and David McNamee) in their long-course races ever since.
The key tech update of the Anemoi + is the heat management coating, which aims to reduce an athlete’s core temperature when competing in hot conditions. The tech, labelled ‘Moov&Cool’, is a collaboration between Huub and Devan Chemicals. The Moov&Cool technology contains a continuous heat absorption capacity which is said to assist in the heat withdrawal process.
Other updates include longer arms and legs for aero gains, and bonded internal seams. Price and release date is currently TBC.
Brownlee’s long-term nutrition partner is the fellow Leeds-based OTE, and he’s worked at their Performance Lab refining his nutrition strategy for facing an eight-hour Ironman in the heat and humidity of Hawaii. OTE say he’ll be aiming to consume 1-1.5 litres of their energy drink per hour, and he’ll also decant 12 of their energy gels into his Bento Box on the bike.