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Running Feat meets... the Brownlee brothers (again!)


Running Feat first interviewed the Brownlee brothers, Jonny and Alistair, last year (read that interview here) and we were delighted to be given the opportunity to speak to them again ahead of this summer's Commonwealth Games. Here, they reveal what winning a medal would mean to them and how they hope they can inspire other people to take up triathlon...


What have you been up to since we last met?

J: We’ve been on holiday, got unfit, got a bit fitter again.


How are you feeling about the Commonwealth Games?
J: For me it’s the most important event this year. I’m basing my whole year around it and feel it’s similar to the Olympics. It would mean a lot to get a medal and there are two up for grabs as there is a team relay in the triathlon. It would be great to get two.

Brownlee brothers Alistair and Jonny


Who will be your main rivals?
J: South Africa have a couple of good athletes, New Zealand and Australia are quite strong. Triathlon has been quite European dominated recently but Javier Gomez of Spain won’t be there.


Are you pleased about that given his recent form?
J: (Laughs) Yes, but you also want to race the best people.


Do you feel under pressure to rise to the expectation of winning medals?
J: A little bit but it won’t be as much pressure as it was going into the London Olympics – especially for Alistair. I don’t think we’ll never experience that much pressure again. There will be pressure this year but hopefully we’ve got that experience to deal with it now.
A: I’ve been injured recently so it takes the pressure off a little bit, I’m just looking forward to racing.

Will you work together during the race?
A: Yes we’ll have a strategy to work together for most of the race so we can maximise our chances of winning two medals.Jonny left and Alistair Brownlee

Alistair, are you disappointed you couldn’t go for the 10k as well at the Commonwealth Games in the end?

A: Yes, I wanted to do the 10k as well but because of the injury niggles I’ve had I wasn’t able to fit in the preparation I would have needed to do to qualify. I wanted to give it a go but it is what it is.

Which championships inspired you when you were younger?
J: I remember getting up early to watch the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and that inspired me. I got up about 1am so I could watch the triathlon live and it made me really want to get out there and train. The Commonwealth Games is a massive opportunity for us to inspire kids in the same way. There was a massive take up in sport after the London Olympics and hopefully we’ll see the same thing happen this summer.

Which athletes inspired you?
A: In triathlon, Simon Lessing was the main man. For cycling, we were brought up in the Lance Armstrong era so he was a real hero at the time. For running, we looked up to Haile Gebrselassie and Paula Radcliffe. Other than athletes, it was also the inspirational people around us who made a difference - teachers at school, our parents, coaches and each other.The Brownlees brothers

Would you like to see Paula Radcliffe competing again?
A: Absolutely, she’s a great athlete. I was running the Mini Marathon at London the year she got the marathon World Record. It would be great to see her taking part again.

Have you noticed a difference in the uptake of triathlon after London 2012?
A: Yes definitely, everyone knows what it is now and many people will know someone who has done one. A lot more people follow it more so there has been a massive change.
J: We have our own triathlon now too - Brownlee Tri.
A: We’d like to do as much as we can to get people into triathlon and this is one way to do that and encourage people to be outside. We’re also starting a charity – the Brownlee Foundation – which will offer free triathlons to kids and get schools involved.

How else can people get into triathlon?
A: Set yourself a challenge by entering a race and then give it a go. Give yourself a few weeks to train for it. You can dive in and try all three sports at once, you don’t have to start doing just swimming or running. Going a club is a great way to get started and stay motivated as you meet like-minded people. We have been members of Bingley Harriers since we were eight-years-old.

What are your tips for recovering after training?
A: Rest is the most important thing. When we are training hard we will have a nap during the day. Nutrition is very important. Protein is important to recover so we drink quite a lot of milk and eat meat.

When do you work the hardest in training?
J: Probably when running as that’s the section when the race is won or lost. We swim five times a week and are lucky it comes quite naturally. Going the gym is a chore as we don’t enjoy that. But it is important to keep yourself injury free.

What are your current targets aside from the Commonwealths?
J: The World Series this year and next and then qualification for the Rio Olympics starts next year.

How would you feel if someone you inspired after the London Olympics becomes a rival in Rio?
J: I would be pleased in a way. But hopefully it will be a few years before the people will inspire start beating us!

Visit www.facebook.com/warburtons for ideas on fun family activities to do this summer