Olympic medallists, Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, today joined forces with Team GB partners Aldi to support Get Set to Eat Fresh, a fantastic educational programme aiming to reach 1.2 million young people by 2020.
The Brownlees have signed a four-year partnership with Aldi and the Team GB duo will be the face of the partnership, with Aldi supporting the brothers all the way to Tokyo 2020. As inspiration to many young people throughout the UK Alistair and Jonny will promote the benefits of eating healthy, fresh food.
The 2017 programme kicked off with a visit from the Brownlees to Yeadon Westfield Infants School and Yeadon Westfield Junior School in Guiseley, West Yorkshire, after officially opening the town’s new Aldi store earlier in the day.
Get Set to Eat Fresh is a schools engagement programme that aims to educate 5-14 year-olds nationwide, developing an understanding and love of fresh, healthy food and the skill required to cook for themselves. The programme is brought to life by Team GB athletes, who inspire students of the benefits of healthy eating.
Since its inception, 400,000 young people have been reached with over 2,000 schools signing up to the programme and has enjoyed appearances from Team GB stars including Nicola Adams, Samantha Murray, Dan Purvis and Liam Phillips.
Commenting on the partnership Alistair Brownlee said: “We’re incredibly excited to be the official ambassadors of the Get Set to Eat Fresh programme, which we know will have a huge impact on young people’s healthy eating habits nationwide.”
Jonny Brownlee added: “As athletes, we know how important diet, nutrition and being active is to living a healthy lifestyle and we strongly believe we can help support the ambitions of Team GB and Aldi as they look towards 2020.”
Bill Sweeney, CEO of the British Olympic Association said: “Our partnership with Aldi has been a great success and their commitment to the Team GB brand has been a huge positive for us, highlighted with the continuation of the partnership to Tokyo 2020. Undoubtedly one of the great successes has been the Get Set to Eat Fresh programme.
“Aldi’s commitment to continue to grow this programme and help improve young people’s understanding, and the importance of eating healthy, fresh food is fantastic.
“To have two athletes of the calibre of Alistair and Jonny emphasises the quality of the programme but more importantly, their feats in Rio and the lives they lead as elite athletes can be an inspiration to young people throughout the UK.”
Welcome to the wonderful world of triathlon. You, my brave friend, have decided to take on not just one, not even two, but three sports in one race.
Firstly, congratulations. Secondly, before the amount of prep for this type of event dawns on you, let me reassure you, help is out there and as a new triathlete, you’ve come to the right place.
This guide will cover all your ‘before the off’ basics, from picking a distance to top tips and getting stuck in with training.
Here at Sundried we are a team of level 3 REPS qualified personal trainers, fitness fanatics and experienced triathletes. We’ve used our own experiences as well as those of our professional athlete ambassadors to share with you all the things we wish we knew in hindsight.
From myself and all the Sundried team, GOOD LUCK in your first triathlon.
Triathlon’s come in all shapes and sizes. Whilst as a newbie you’re most likely to pick a sprint (like the Southend Tri) or a super sprint, it’s important to know what’s out there. Plus, once you’ve completed one tri, we’re certain you’ll be back for more. Who knows, you could be our next Ironman Champion!
Believe you can and you’re halfway there, or so they say anyway!
If you can answer these questions, you can complete a triathlon.
Before you make the commitment there are a few questions you need to ask yourself:
A triathlon is a real test on your health as well as fitness, so you need to be in a good place to start with. Get checked at your local GP and eliminate any issues which may hold you back before you get started. If you have any old niggles or repeating injuries wait until you are fully recovered before starting out on a new challenge, it may be frustrating, but it will be worth it in the end.
If you can’t run a 5k, you’ll struggle, however if you can swim, run a 5k and ride a bike, you should be able to train for a sprint triathlon. An Ironman, the 140.6 mile event with 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of cycling and 26.2 miles of running however, is more than nearly all first-time triathletes should attempt on their first race and is one of the toughest challenges on the planet. Begin with a shorter sprint-distance event (400 to 500 yards of swimming, 11 to 15 miles of cycling and around 3.1 miles of running) or an Olympic-distance event (0.9 miles of swimming, 24.8 miles of cycling and 6.2 miles of running).
Triathlons need a little more kit than just a swimsuit and trainers. You’ll need a bike, bike shorts, a flat kit bag (which will be a godsend if you get a puncture), a helmet, goggles, a race belt (essential for clipping your race number on so you can be easily tracked), a wetsuit, sunglasses, running shoes, a tri suit, water bottle, running hat, a transition towel (to lay your stuff out on so you can spot it’s yours) and wetsuit lubrication to avoid any hickey-like marks forming on your neck and to ease the suit on and off (which is a skill in itself). You might have some of these items already, but the chances are you won’t have a spare tri suit knocking about in your wardrobe. Don’t panic though, you don’t have to buy all of this and you can always hire or borrow kit.
Training for a triathlon takes time, even a sprint distance requires a solid 12 weeks of good training and dedication to successfully complete the challenge. If this is a particularly busy time in your life, it may be hard to allow the time to train effectively. Training will become like a second job and practicing running, swimming and cycling can eat into your time. Training effects the rest of your lifestyle too, and again this takes time. Staying hydrated, eating right, stretching, and getting plenty of sleep all make big demands on your time.
For most, a sprint triathlon distance is the perfect starting race, compromising of a 750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run. However, if you’ve already got a marathon under your belt and are looking for the next challenge, you may be better off considering a full distance triathlon. The standard distance is 1500m swim, 40km ride and a 10km run. A middle distance triathlon is 2.5km swim, 80km ride and 20km run. The long distance triathlon is 4km swim, 120km ride and 30km run. The toughest challenge of them all, only for the brave is the Ironman, which is 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and a 42km run, so the swim, cycle and then a marathon!
You’re going to need to fit your training programme into your regime and that may not be easy with work and other commitments. 5am starts will become oh too familiar. Early morning training is also great as a parent, as your kids are asleep so you won’t miss anything and your partner can take care of them if they wake up, all before work. Don’t just say when you’re going to train either, write it down and make a schedule, that way you’re more likely to remain on plan when life gets in the way, don’t let curveballs interfere with your training.
When you complete a triathlon, you won’t be wearing headphones, so don’t get too dependant on running or cycling with music, as in most competitions they’re banned for safety reasons. Joining a club allows you to meet people who share your same passion, to build friendships and become part of a team, fueled by motivating each other. Meeting up for training and paying for a membership can also increase your commitment and ensure you complete the necessary training. Triathlon club memberships also often receive discounts in local triathlon shops, which can help when first purchasing the kit, giving you a trusted place to go. However if you are a self motivated trainer, save money in membership fee’s and get used to training alone. Come race day, whether you train as part of a club or as an individual, it’s every man for himself and it’s unrealistic to try to run with buddies or a partner.
It is recommended you implement a training plan from day one, enabling you to plan in advance the goal for each session. For most people this will compromise of training 5-6 times a week, with most athletes averaging around 10 hours of training per week, the majority being spent on the bike. The swim is often the hardest part of training and so a lot of people will focus on their swimming, starting in a pool and working their way to an open swim. For beginners it may be worth investing in some swimming lessons to brush up on technique and ensure you are as strong (and safe) as possible when you hit the water on race day.
Always have an end date. Rather than ‘I want to do a triathlon this year’, find the event you want to do and sign up. Once you’ve done that you’re committed with a deadline which will give you the extra incentive to stick with your plan. You can then also start researching the event itself and even go and check out some of the route to give you more of an idea on what you’re working towards. For example if you know your course is particularly hilly, it will give you plenty of time to add some hills into your cycles to develop strength in that area ready for race day.
You have to ask yourself why. Being honest with yourself as to why you want to do something is a huge part of the journey to achieving your goal. Is it to prove you can? To challenge yourself? Or did your brother complete a triathlon last year and you just won’t let him beat you at anything. Whether it be to raise money for charity, improve health or because you’re super competitive, knowing what’s driving you towards the finish line is part of what’s going to get you there when your body starts telling you it’s ready to stop.
If you’re happy with your answers to all those questions, why not give it a tri?
Hopefully, the very fact you have this pack, means you’ve already committed to entering a triathlon. However, here are our top tips for making sure you’ve made the right choice.
Events such as triathlon take a lot of training, so people tend to decide well in advance that they’re ready to enter. With such detailed safety requirements, organisers often enforce a limit on the number of entrants. Once you’ve set your goal, book an event asap to avoid disappointment.
In order to ace your first triathlon you need to practice each of your three sport disciplines and it can be difficult to fit in the time for training. Even if, for example, you’re confident with your run, it’s still worth practicing a run after a cycle or swim, as this very much changes your race dynamic. Training sessions where you include more than one discipline are called ‘brick sessions’. Brick workouts stack together two sports and so are a great way of testing how your body will react after your muscles are pre exhausted. Brick workouts help your body handle the aerobic, anaerobic, and muscular demands of a triathlon event.
For novices, training for a triathlon can feel complicated and a good coach will make your training feel simple, increasing your confidence and ensuring you’re prepared for every aspect of the race. They’ll help with your plan, nutrition and any questions which may pop up along your journey.
Now comes the tough part, the training. As everyone is different and every body works differently, sometimes it can be hard to follow a genetic training programme, however they are great as the framework of your training and with simple minor adjustments to suit your body type and fitness they can take you from 0 to triathlete in as little as four weeks. Our training routine below is for someone who already has a reasonable level of fitness and is looking to step up their regular routine with triathlon. If you are looking for more detail in your programme, it is recommended that you hire a coach and of course, we’re always happy to give you our advice here at Sundried.
This plan is for competitors who already have a good baseline of fitness. If you can comfortably run 5k, swim and ride a bike regularly, then this is for you.
The following plan consists of 4 days of training, with 3 days of well earned recovery. You can swap the order as you feel best suits you and as with any training routine, it is essential you listen to your body.
For each exercise listed, we’ve detailed a RPE rating. RPE stands for rate of perceived exertion and helps to understand the level of effort you should be putting into each training session for those of you who aren’t strapped up to a heart rate monitor.
As well as following a training plan, we recommend you think of the finer details such as practicing getting into and out of your wetsuit, into and out of the swim and from the transition area to your bike. At your first tri if you haven’t already used cleats, race day probably isn’t the best day to try, as they take some getting used to. Knowing what’s coming from transition and keeping your kit to a minimum can help to make the day run a lot smoother and gives you far less to worry about.
You’ve probably just realised you are actually doing this, so you’re going to need some kit!
Never fear, Sundried have got you covered with our guide to kit, including all the bits you can’t live without on race day!
The kit any triathlete cannot live without:
If you’re entering an official event, they’ll have rules around you wearing a wetsuit – and being in the UK, it’s rare the water temperature reaches above the temperature where wetsuits are forbidden, so you’ll want this ready for your race.
Wetsuits keep you warm and also aid your buoyancy – so for new triathletes they’re great. The wetsuit helps you to stay afloat during your open water swim. It won’t do the work for you, but it certainly helps and can settle nerves a little for newbies.
For your first tri, it can be expensive to fork out for all the new kit, so why not hire or even borrow a wetsuit? We recommend Tri N Swim Well.
If you end up becoming a regular triathlete, your wetsuit will become a necessity in your open water training regime. Having your own suit also means you have plenty of time to practice getting into and out of it…tricky!
Now if you’re entering a pool based tri – you can get away with your swimsuit, but hit the open water and this is what we find the best option.
Now technically you can live without this, but then you’re looking at packing separate kit for your swim, ride and run. Wearing a tri suit just makes life that much easier. Rather than having to change from wetsuit to cycle shorts to your running gear, a tri suit is designed to stay with you from start to finish. Why the tri suit? Tri suits usually come in a half suit or a full suit . Whether you opt for the all in one or two-piece is entirely up to you, both do the same job and that job is to provide simplicity for what is, due to the event’s very nature, a complicated race.
How does a tri suit help you? Tri suits are designed to be worn throughout the entire race and to guide you through each discipline with minimal changes. Made from thin, breathable material that will slip under your wetsuit, the top is usually sleeveless. The bottoms have a small pad in the crotch for your ride, which typically is slightly less padded than you may find in bike shorts – so not to chafe you when you begin to run with them.
Sundried’s very own tri suit will be released shortly where all Southend Triathlon competitors will receive a 30% discount using code: SOUTHENDTRI.
Most swimmers will have a decent pair of goggles to protect their eyes from the dreaded sting of chlorine, but when it comes to sea swimming your goggles are often needed for more than just keeping water out of your eyes. The glare from the sun on a bright day can prevent your ability to see the buoys as you swim – which are what keeps you safe and heading in the right direction! Tinted goggles will aid your vision and help you stay on track.
Often, race organisers will provide these, as your swim cap may have your number on it. If not it’s recommended you wear one, not only will it keep your hair out of your face, preventing it from obscuring your vision, it also keeps your head dry, meaning you’re not cycling and running with cold, wet hair, which will make you feel colder.
For a sprint distance tri, you don’t really need to worry about investing in an expensive tri bike, as you are only cycling for 20 km, however if you want to pick up some speed on a flat (ish) course, opt for a road bike or a hybrid over your mountain bike. It’s best to pick the same bike you train with rather than battle with getting familiar with a new bike on race day. Trust me, you’ve got enough to worry about.
Safety first. A helmet could save your life. In any race you will not be allowed to ride without a helmet. Be sure to check your helmet fits properly – prior to your race. And ladies – try your helmet fit with your hair the way it will be when it comes out of a swim cap ie.FLAT.
Triathlon specific trainers have nifty little extra such as bike clips and quick fastening laces, but they’re not essential for a beginner.
You hardly have time spare to be toweling yourself down, but your towel also serves as a great marker for your disorientated post swim self to look out for. Most triathletes just stand on their towel whilst they quickly transition to the bike.
A running top to slip on over your tri suit is a tri favourite. Opt for a technical t shirt, as these are designed to wick sweat – meaning it will dry quickly if you’re already wet! The Sundried technical T shirt offers comfort and support and is perfect for this leg of the race. Avoid cotton which will weigh you down when wet.
Water should be handed out by marshalls throughout the race course, but it’s always best to have your own in case you need extra – or miss a marshal! This is a tough sport and you will be dehydrated. Don’t do a Jonathan Brownlee!
You’ve got the training, you’ve got the kit, now for our top tips.
Our last tips are from our Sundried professional triathletes
7. Alice Hector Ironman 70.3 champion says: “I would say what people tend to notice when they start triathlon is the horrible feeling you get trying to run when you’ve just cycled hard! Your body doesn’t quite know what’s going on. Rest assured, with practice, it eventually feels like second nature, and seasoned athletes run almost as fast off the bike as they would in just a run race. So to strike a balance in your first event, I’d definitely recommend doing a few ‘brick sessions’ in your training. This simply means going for a run straight after a cycle session. It doesn’t have to be long; just 5 or 10 minutes, but this will get the body conditioned for what’s to come on race day. Do this once a week and you’ll reap the benefits.”
9. Claire Steels duathlon world champion, “Don’t rack your bike in a hard gear. It is easily done, especially if you don’t have time to take your bike for a little spin before you rack it in transition. Try to remember to leave it in an easy gear. The last thing you want to do is run out of transition, jump on your bike and realise that you can’t turn the pedals! Believe me, I’ve been there!!!
10. Relax and have fun, as your first race try not to worry about other people overtaking you or making sure you finish before a certain time, just finish. Enjoy your first new sport, allow yourself mistakes, you’ll learn from them for next time. Listen to your body and enjoy your day.
We wish you all the best of luck for your first event.
Swim, like the boat sank.
Bike, like you’ve stolen it.
Run, for your life!
If you would like to download a printable PDF of our triathlon guide we have prepared one for you. Download the triathlon guide.
Alistair Brownlee became the first man to win consecutive Olympic triathlon titles after storming to gold on the Copacabana with brother Jonny completing a Team GB one-two.
With Alistair repeating his feat from London 2012, the silver medal is an upgrade for Jonny who came home in third four years ago.
Both Brothers finished the 1500m swim in the front group before heading a charge of 10 bikes for the 40km ride.
France’s Vincent Luis broke clear with the Brownlees at the start of the 10km run before Alistair’s pace dropped both Luis and then his brother as he claimed gold. South Africa’s Henri Shoeman completed the podium line up with bronze.
Team GB’s other entrant, Gordon Benson, did not complete the race after crashing on the seventh lap of the eight-lap cycle race as he left the event grazed but otherwise unhurt.
“Obviously it’s very special to retain the title,” said Alistair.
“I’ve trained as hard as I can this year and executed it on the day. The records or whatever isn’t the big thing for me it’s about turning up on the day and winning the race.
“Maybe the enormity of it all will sink in over the next few weeks but I’m just pleased I turned up and Jonny did it as well.
“The odds are it won’t happen again.
“Four years is a long time to Tokyo but I don’t think we should be thinking about that at the moment.
“I think we should just enjoy what we’ve pulled off today and be really appreciative that these last three months of training went so well and we managed to get the race to go our way.”
Jonny was equally delighted but admitted he would have liked to have pipped his brother to the gold medal in their friendly rivalry.
“In the race I had a very good swim and on the bike I felt great and controlled. I might have done a bit too much work on the bike but when we got to the run Alistair was too strong for me and these hard races suit him a bit better than me.
“A bit of me thought ‘here we go again’ but I was confident I’d hold onto second but he got his gap and it just stayed.”
After a 1500m choppy swim and technical 40km bike ride, the Brownlee brothers had put themselves in a winning position at the front of a leading pack of cyclists. Ten kilometres of running separated them from repeating the 1-2 finish that they enjoyed in Leeds. Within the first few hundred metres, they were in the lead and battling each other for the win.
Alistair Brownlee said: “I felt good today, definitely a step up from Leeds. My legs weren’t sparkling and feeling really zoomy, but I just thought if I can tough it out and run the last kilometre hard that’s my best chance.”
He added: “I feel like overall my last two performances have been good, I just I think I need to run about a minute faster, which I think I can do in the next six weeks. If I can move my running on that much then I’ll be at my best and that will be my best chance of winning another Olympic medal.”
Jonathan was slightly disappointed not to beat Alistair, commenting: “I’m pleased with how I felt, but I thought I had a good chance of beating him. I thought I’d give it a go but he was 0.5% better than me today. I’ll come back and try again.”
Adam Bowden continued his good form, running through to tenth place and moving up to fifth overall in the Series. Spain’s Fernando Alarza now leads the Series. Gordon Benson swam well and was in the front group on the bike, but withdrew to protect a slight injury to his back.
Helen Jenkins again demonstrated her consistency with a podium finish, her third out of three races this season.
Flora Duffy (BER) led from start to finish, and Jenkins was locked into a race for second with Andrea Hewitt (NZL). The Kiwi was stronger on the final climb up the hill to the finishing line, Jenkins admitting afterwards that she’d backed off her intensive run training to save her best form for Rio.
She said: “I’m really happy to get on the podium today. I didn’t have it on that sprint. I’ve not done too much running to try and protect the body. Seven weeks today it is [until the women’s triathlon in Rio].”
Duffy had a 30 second lead at the start of the run and held on for her first ever win. Jenkins added: “She deserves it after the way she raced today. I did think we’d catch Flora, but half way through the run we hadn’t put any time into her.”
Vicky Holland finished forth, another strong result after having finished third in Leeds last month. Non Stanfordcrashed on the bike and was forced to withdraw but is not seriously injured. Jodie Stimpson suffered sickness on the bike and also withdrew, but remains in third place overall in the Series.
Results; Vattenfall World Triathlon Stockholm; Saturday 2 July; 1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run:
Alistair Brownlee believes winning the first World Triathlon Series event to be held in his home city of Leeds felt almost as good as claiming Olympic gold.
Thousands of fans lined the streets to watch their homegrown hero produce an exceptional display to finish 32 seconds ahead of his brother Jonny Brownlee, who took bronze at London 2012, in second place.
Alistair’s performance was even more impressive when you consider it was his first World Series race of the year and the 28-year-old insists the crowd were pivotal as he exceeded his own expectations.
Brownlee told the BBC: “I had a good day today and my form at the moment is nowhere near that good; I think I was carried around by the fact we are in Leeds. It was a phenomenal crowd and I kept surprising myself.
“It was absolutely brilliant and that was by far the best support there has been in the World Series before.
“This was very similar [to the feeling of winning in London 2012]. I have said time and time again that I do not think I will ever race in a triathlon as good as London 2012 but that one today went very close and it might have even beaten it.
“My ears are still ringing from the crowd and it really lifted me.”
It had been Jonny who had been further ahead earlier in the race as he came out of the swim in fourth place, with his older brother sixth.
But Alistair’s superb transition onto the bike saw him make up ground and the brothers were part of a four-man group at the midway point of the cycle.
It became evident early into the run, however, that Alistair would win as he continually extended his advantage.
“It was a tough day but it was a great day,” Jonny said.
“Well done to Alistair. No-one is going to beat him when he is on that kind of form.
“The Yorkshire crowd are the best in the world and nothing beats hearing a good Yorkshire ‘go on Jonny’.”
There was also a top ten finish for fellow Brit Adam Bowden in seventh, with Thomas Bishop 20th and Gordon Benson, who will join the Brownlee brothers in Rio, nine places further back.
Earlier in the day, Great Britain’s Vicky Holland celebrated her own Rio 2016 selection with a bronze medal after a successful late sprint for the line.
Holland saw off team-mate Jodie Stimpson, who finished fourth, in the final 200m to claim the podium spot in two hours, one minute and 57 seconds.
It was a superb run from the 30-year-old who was seventh after the swim and cycle.
The USA’s Gwen Jorgensen won by 51 seconds ahead of Belgium’s Flora Duffy, while Britain had four athletes in the top ten as Non Stanford and Jessica Learmonth came nine and tenth respectively, with Lucy Hall 13th.
“It was a crazy race, I was in a big group coming off the bike coming in after the bike, but one minute 30 down felt insurmountable,” Holland said.
“To catch all but one and be best of the rest behind Gwen and Flora was the best I could have hoped for.
“I was ten seconds out of the water behind the first person, but couldn’t get my wetsuit off and silly things like that cost you.”
Featured Image Source: http://www.britishtriathlon.org/news/leeds_mens_report_7063
Olympic champion, Alistair Brownlee lines up with London 2012 silver medallist Javier Gomez (ESP) and his bronze medal winning bother, Jonathan, as they go head-to-head for the first time in more than a year. The Brownlee Brothers have been involved with designing the course, which promises to be fast, technical and exciting for thousands of spectators who will be able to enjoy the race free of charge.
The technical course should lend itself to a breakaway group getting away after the 1500m swim in Roundhay Park. The swim and initial climb out of the first transition should break up the field long before it reaches the city centre to complete a series of technical bike and run laps and finishes in Millennium Square.
The women’s field is extremely strong with ITU World Champion Gwen Jorgensen (USA) up against Leeds-based Non Stanford and Vicky Holland, who finished second and third to her at the Rio Test Event and at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final last year.
Commonwealth Champion, Jodie Stimpson, adds even more depth having won the opening round of the Series in Abu Dhabi in March. Flora Duffy (BER) and Andrea Hewitt (NZL) have also demonstrated great form this season and will contribute to making the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds one of the most exciting races of the season so far.
Britain’s Lucy Hall and Jess Learmonth complete the British line up, and should ensure that the home-based athletes are up front as they navigate the city-centre laps in front of huge crowds.
The women’s race starts just after 1pm on Sunday and is followed by the men’t race at 3.45pm. Spectators can enjoy the event for free, and will be able to keep up with the action on live screens around the city. The event will also be live on BBC2 from 12:45pm until 6pm.
British athletes racing; Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds; Sunday 12 June; 1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run:
Women’s start list: http://wts.triathlon.org/start_lists/2016_itu_world_triathlon_leeds/281145
Men’s start list: http://wts.triathlon.org/start_lists/2016_itu_world_triathlon_leeds/281144
Event website: http://leeds.triathlon.org