Alistair Brownlee On How You Can Win Your First Triathlon

The Olympic gold medalist and Commonwealth champion shares his tips for victory

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Aged just 26, Alistair Brownlee has an MBE and an Olympic gold medal under his belt. He's also the current Olympic, Commonwealth, and European triathlon champion, after dropping out of Cambridge University in his first year to take up the sport full-time.

If that's not enough, his younger brother Johnny also competes, and picked up the bronze medal at London 2012 — the first time two competing brothers had stood on the podium together in 104 years. 

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If you don't have the genes of the Brownlee brothers, there's no reason why triathlon victory (or even just a participation medal at the local park) shouldn't be within your grasp. 

Here Alistair shares his tips for turning your body into a Terminator-style swimming, cycling and running machine.


1 | You Don’t Have To Be In Your Gym Kit 12 Hours A Day

“How much time you put in is completely variable. It’s more important to be consistent week-on-week. It’s better than putting in three hours one week and 10 the next.”

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2 | Don’t Worry If Swimming Isn’t Your Thing

“You don’t need to be strong in all three disciplines when you start. No one is. You’ll pick up the other things through training. Swimming is mentally the hardest to do, just swimming up and down all morning.”

3 | Don’t Sack Off Training Just Because It’s Cold Outside

“Being with other people is a good way to train. It’s not necessarily about competing with them, it just motivates you to get out the door. Joining a club is also good, for the same sort of reasons.”

4 | Take It Easy From Time To Time

“Overdoing it is definitely the best way to get injured.”



5 | Don’t Feel Bad About That XL Pizza

“Diet is important, but exercise will always come first. Eat everything in moderation and don’t worry about it too much.”

6 | Get Your Head In The Game

“You very rarely win a race when you haven’t been expecting to. If you prepare for it and train as hard as you can you’re going to try your best to reach your goal. The most important psychological goal is knowing that you’re prepared to the best of your ability.”

7 | Mix Up Your Routine

“It’s important to do things you enjoy. You might not enjoy going to the gym and running on a treadmill, so mix it up. Outside of triathlon, things like mountain biking and running are great for fitness.”

8 | Don’t Be Afraid To Pound Some Pavements

“Commuting can be a good way to get in shape. Running is easy street. Just put your trainers on and get outdoors.”

9 |  Triathlon Training Doesn’t Mean You Have To Give Up Other Hobbies

“Most people come into triathlon from another sport, so it’s about finding a balance of fitting these other sports into the triathlon routine and making that work.”

10 | Forget About Those Rocky Balboa 5am Starts

“You have to be happy to get up and train everyday. I get up at 6.30am to go training at 7am, but only three days a week. The rest of the time I’m pretty lazy.”

Alistair Brownlee is working with the American Express® Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card to provide insider tips to help you improve your training and performance. View Alistair's training tips at #MyTrainingTip

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