Triathlete Alistair Brownlee Gets set for Olympics challenge
After a fall on the run resulting in a 29th place finish at the first World Series race in Sydney, my 2011 season was almost perfect. The racing in Europe was instigated with two wins in the French Grand Prix Series for my team, Sartrouville. Madrid was my next attempt at a World Series race and it was much more successful as I won the race with my brother, Jonny, coming second. This was quickly followed up with a win in the Kitzbuhel leg of the World Series and the European champs in Pontevedra (Spain) despite a puncture slowing me down on the bike. The next month was spent training hard at altitude in St Moritz. It is a superb training venue and it allowed me to concentrate on arriving at the London leg of the World Series on top form. It was a key race primarily because it was the main Olympic qualifier and a podium place would secure my spot in the team. It also was the Olympic test event so a slight physiological advantage was up-for-grabs and another leg of the World Series, of which you need four of to count towards the World title. The race went almost perfectly with me finishing first and Jonny third meaning that we both secured our spots.
The few weeks following London were a struggle. It had been my primary goal for the season and when it was behind me I felt at a bit of a loss. And I was rather too quickly stood on another start line at the Lausanne leg of the World Series. It was a tough day and I had to push hard to finish third. The World Relay Championships were the day after, an event which I hope will make it into the Olympic calendar for 2016, which we won as a Great Britain team of two men and women. The last major race of my season was 3 weeks later in Beijing. Due to the Series being decided on points, a top 2 finish would mean I would win the title so I was absolutely delighted to win the race and my second World title.
I enjoyed my end of season time off and used it to do a road trip round the south France and Italy with a few friends. The holiday was short lived and I was soon back home to attend to commercial obligations. I try not to do much commercial activity during the season to allow me to concentrate on training but this means there is a lot of it to do in the off-season. The highlight was probably filming the BT advert during a couple of busy days.
I slowly returned to my training routine and by November training was going well. In the lead up to Christmas I spent two weeks in Lanzarote for a warm weather training camp. Christmas was spent at home with the family with just a small jog to stoke my appetite for Christmas dinner. I always enjoy doing some running races over the festive period and I ran a 10km on the 27th and a fell race on New Year’s Eve. The New Year started well and I won the Yorkshire cross country champs, just beating Jonny in a sprint.
Unfortunately, things started going downhill from here. What I felt as some stiffness in my Achilles turned out to be a small tear which took 3 scans to diagnose. I’m currently in the middle of a 4 week stint in a removable cast. It is obviously not an ideal situation and it has been a very frustrating few weeks but it's not the end of the world and I still think I can be at full fitness come August.