Jonny Brownlee interview

A quick Q&A with the world number-two triathlete

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Earlier this week 220 was fortunate enough to catch up with the world number one and two triathletes – Alistair and Jonny Brownlee – and multiple Olympic cycling medallist Bradley Wiggins, at the Gatorade G Series Pro range launch. First up, here’s Jonny…
 
So how was your recent holiday in France? 
Yeah really nice thanks. We just toured around France for two weeks. It was just nice not having a routine, that was the main thing. Cause when you’re living a triathlon lifestyle I could tell you what I’m doing most minutes of every day. So it was nice to get up in the morning and say, ‘so where do you fancy going now?’ It was great to switch off from triathlon.
 
Did you get any training in? 
We went kayaking cause we went to the Ardeche, so we kayaked 26km down the Ardeche and it actually turned out to be really hard work. I swam in the sea a little bit, but nothing major. It was good fun!
 
And now you’re back in the spotlight…
Yeah, because of the Olympics we’re trying to cram all our sponsorship stuff in now, over these last few weeks. We’ve been down in London four and five days a week for two weeks. We’ve done a BT advert that’s coming out in November, Adidas photoshoot, Gatorade things, BMW things…
 
Do you enjoy this side of your career? 
It’s nice to kinda feel special and feel different but at the same time I love training and I love my routine. But then it’s also nice to get out of your routine and do something different. And it’s nice to know that people appreciate what you’re doing. Cause sometimes you’re in a little bubble up in Leeds and you just kinda get on with things and you think, 'Oh triathlon whatever, no one’s really watching it'! But when you come to these things you realise it is important.
 
And of course that hype is just going to increase as we lead into next summer.
A lot of the stuff we’ve done now is going to set us up for later. There will be a lot more media interest nearer the time, but we won’t be coming down to London. We can conduct interviews from Leeds. After Christmas, we have to concentrate on our training. Cause at the end of the day you want the home Games to be an advantage don’t you? A lot of the journalists have been very good so far and they all understand, cause at the end of the day they want you to do well.
 
And you’ve got your BTF Lanzarote camp coming up in December. Do you know what the focus will be there?
Cycling, to make the most of the warm weather and there’ll be a big group of different people. The other thing is the change. Cause we’ll be at home now for five weeks before that, so I’ll be ready for a change, especially if it snows it’ll be nice to get away.
 
Have you had a chance to look back on 2011?
Only in interviews really but the one thing that does stand out is that I was on the podium in every single race, even in the French Grand Prix. I didn’t realise that until the other day in another interview. So that was nice to be so consistent. Cause that was one thing I never thought I was going to be, stepping up to senior level. I thought I’d have good races here and there but they’d balanced out with some awful races too. But the consistency was there and I’ve met the selection criteria for the Olympics, which was the main aim going into the year. And I also defended my sprint title so I couldn’t have asked for anything else really. It was a great year.
 
So no low points at all?
Beijing wasn’t my best race… but I still came third. That was a hard race, though. But it was also a high point because I didn’t feel at my best but I still held on and I was really pleased with myself. And throughout the whole season I was very lucky that I did feel good every race.
 
In Beijing, I think it’d just been such a long season, and the travelling to Asia maybe. After London there’s a big high and then after that, and Lausanne, you kind of come crashing down. But maybe Beijing was a bit too late.
 
When you got into the sport did you ever think going to the 2012 Games was even a possibility?
Never, no. Absolutely never. I remember when I first found out about 2012, when London got the bid, I was at school. And I had a friend who was French, and of course Paris was also in the running. And then London got it and we we’re all rubbing it in! So at the time, that’s all I really cared about.
 
When Alistair won the world junior champs in 2006, even then it was like ‘wow, Alistair’s world champion’. But the Olympics is completely different, you know. They’re way better than me, I’ll never be there, that’s a different sport. So never, no.
 
Obviously having Alistair with you for these kind of days [with the media and sponsors] takes the pressure off.
Oh absolutely. Even the simple thing of having Alistair there when you’re doing an interview. If you’ve got a question and you don’t know the answer, even that helps to have him there. It’s nice travelling to things with him. This day would have been a lot more stressful if I’d come down on my own, getting here. It’s just nice having someone to talk to, someone to train with when we’re down here doing different things.
 
Have you had chance to think about next year’s schedule yet?
A little bit. I don’t think I’ll race Sydney, it’s a long way. We trained over there last year, and it was good training but I like to be at home really. And then I might race San Diego. If I go there I’ll go out two weeks before to train to get used to the heat. I’ve never been to America in my life. I only really travel when I have to race.
 
Then Madrid, and then I think I’ll do Hamburg. Then I’ll go and train six weeks for the Olympics, then the Olympics, then after that… who cares?! No I’ll hopefully do Lausanne and I still hope to do Auckland [the WCS Grand Final].
 
Will you approach those races differently next year? And treat each one as a separate one-off entity rather than part of a series?
Well I did that this year, I very much did that and approached each one, even Beijing. I didn’t go into it thinking ‘if Gomez wins, I have to come wherever…’ I’ll do exactly the same. And now with the Olympics, it’s the big one, maybe I’ll train through Madrid a little bit more. But when it actually come to it I’ll probably give it 100%. Maybe I won’t have done as many key sessions before then. Because I wanted to be fit in April this year I started doing a lot of faster track sessions earlier than I would do normally. So maybe I won’t do that next year.
 
Alistair, Jonny and Bradley were speaking at the launch of the Gatorade G Series Pro range, a new series of sports performance products that fuel athletes before, during and after workout, practice or competition. Available to buy in stores from 20 November, follow @GatoradeUK on Twitter for more information.
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