Alistair Brownlee triathlete podcast

084: Alistair Brownlee on a sub-7 hour Ironman triathlon

This week’s guest is Alistair Brownlee. Alistair is a two time Olympic Champion, four time World and four time European Champion amongst many other honours in triathlon. But quite simply Alistair is one of the greatest racers in the history of the sport and probably across any sport in his generation. 

After the Rio Olympics Alistair began racing over half and then full ironman triathlon distance. For those of you who need a reminder of the distance that’s 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22-mile (42.20 km) run, raced in that order.

Alistair has set out the goal of a full Ironman in under 7 hours. To put the performance into perspective the current best time is 7:35. 

Speaking to Alistair was extraordinary. Many athletes have physical abilities, many have the will to win, but Alistair has these in bucket loads. A lot of athletes are invested in the process of preparing and performing, interested to know how they can get better, but many of the best just need to stay out of the details, leave that to the coach, the support team. Often overthinking the details can lead to a negative spiral where people become increasingly wound up about minutiae.

But what was evident from this conversation was the Alistair’s extraordinary capacity to delve into the science, the rigour, the possibilities, the innovation, the deep understanding and testing of what works for him. His appetite, his command and his acumen to pioneer across the whole spectrum of physical, mental, tactical and technological methods as well as to go out there and perform – is a bandwidth of capabilities that is truly exceptional. 

This was a masterclass in high performance and I was left in no uncertain terms that Alistair is a true sporting great.


Training during lockdown more or less normal

Training 5% under rather 5% over Alistair and the urban myths that follow him around

Alistair’s internal drive – where does it come from?

“Relentless – coming soon to all good bookstores!

Comparing notes with other elite athletes in differing fields

The sub-7 ironman

The need to constantly innovate 

Decision making and the honing of the direct feedback loop

Inspiring others to get into sport via the Phoenix Foundation

The future for Alistair beyond being an elite athlete


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