MUST TRI HARDER
GB’s Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee shares the tips that helped him master all three disciplines
All there is to know about triathlon
Triathlon success is in our national make-up: in the 26 years since the International Triathlon Union formed, a Great British athlete has been crowned men’s world champion ten times. Triathlons are also the new gold standard of cardiovascular fitness and willpower – an opportunity to test your swimming, cycling and running credentials in race conditions across manageable distances ( the Olympic event features a 1.5km swim, 40km bike and 10km run). Here, reigning Olympic, European and Commonwealth champion and two-time ITU world champ Alistair Brownlee outlines what you need to know to compete.
1. GO WITH YOUR FLOW
‘Establish an efficient swimming race pace in training so you know how hard you can push for a sprint finish. I estimate mine at 70 seconds per 100m. I use this drill to test it: swim 200m at a pace ten seconds slower, then another 200m 20 seconds slower, then 100m at race pace, making a note of how out of breath I am. I want to feel like I could hold that pace indefinitely.’
2. DON’T DITCH THE WEIGHTS
‘Most of my training is outdoors, but I do use the gym to strengthen my core, lower back and calves. The aim is functional strength and injury prevention. I have problems with my ankles, so weighted step-ups and calf raises help protect and strengthen them.’
3. BLAZE A TRAIL
‘I mainly run off-road on soft ground to save my joints. Get used to transitioning from the bike to the run by doing back-to-back bike and run sessions.’ Do at least one each week in the four weeks before a race.
4. OVERCOME YOUR ANXIETY
‘The swim puts a lot of people off so break it down into smaller chunks in your training. Find a tri club with a lake and spend time there wearing your wetsuit – you’ll feel a lot more buoyant than just in your swim suit.’