5 triathlon tips from Alistair Brownlee

His emphatic Rio victory confirmed Alistair Brownlee as the greatest short-course athlete ever. So what can we learn from GB’s finest?




People say the end goal is the thing to focus on, or the thing to keep you going through the hard times, but I like to distance myself from that, especially when it’s such a big thing as the Olympics. I target the day-to-day, trying to focus on the daily goal so that I don’t get carried away and push too hard when I don’t need to.


I always knew getting fitter and being fit enough to challenge for gold was going to be hard, and I was prepared for that. The real challenge was making sure that I stayed healthy for long enough to do just that, so I had to trust that, if I did what I needed to each day, I’d move in the right direction.


I actually think my essential kit choices are the really simple things, like having a pair of trainers that you use really regularly and don’t change. And having a good, solid and reliable winter bike with mudguards, decent tyres, bombproof wheels and lights set-up, so it’s ready to go, is fantastic for our roads and winter. I’ve been riding Zipp wheels with disc brakes on for the last few winters, so it’s all about having solid kit.


I have a baseline level of training that I adhere to for most of the year. And then it’s just about keeping my
body fit, in good shape and ready to do more training when I have to. About six weeks before a triathlon I’ll start doing more specific stuff in training and start throwing in more intensity sessions. If I’m really trying to peak for an Olympic race then, about eight to 10 weeks before, I’ll do altitude training at St. Moritz in Switzerland with my training group, specific sessions and preparation for things like heat adaptation.



I’m always competitive, every time I dive in the pool, get on my bike or run on the track, and I can’t see a day when I won’t be. I’m excited to be moving up the triathlon distances this year and I want to do it well, so right now that’s also helping me move on from the success of the Rio Olympics.

Alistair Brownlee’s key triathlon training sessions 

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