Alistair Brownlee on SUB 7 and Kona – ‘both are still possible’

Alistair Brownlee updates on his 2022 plans including SUB 7 and Kona.

Last updated -

Alistair Brownlee has two very specific targets in mind for 2022 as he gradually works towards a return to elite triathon – the rescheduled IRONMAN World Championship at Kona and that much-publicised SUB 7 bid.

The two-time Olympic champion missed out on bidding for a ‘threepeat’ in Tokyo this summer after undergoing surgery on an ankle injury.

He is not ready yet to return to triathlon, though he has competed in a couple of recent off-road events on his bike – Spain’s iconic Badlands race and the British Gravel Championships this past weekend.

Kona being rescheduled until (at least) February 2022 means Brownlee does now have a chance to make the start line, and that definitely remains his major goal for next year along with that SUB 7 attempt.


Alistair Brownlee on 2022

He told The Telegraph: “Oh, I definitely still think both are still possible. The date we’ve set for Sub-7 is early June. And the date for Kona is early February. So yeah, I don’t see that being a problematic clash at all.

“It was a good thing for me that Kona was postponed, because I was thinking about trying to rush and be in a position to race there. But being postponed gives me quite a bit of time to get ready.

“Hopefully – and I say hopefully because this injury keeps putting a spanner in the works – I get back and race there to the best of my ability.”

The assault on SUB 7 has fascinated Brownlee – he is working alongside former Team Sky and British Cycling nutritionist Nigel Mitchell and looking for every possible edge to get closer to that mythical mark.

“Everything from trying to develop the fastest wetsuit we possibly can, to working out what’s the best format and number of people to use in the team on the bike, to looking at nutrition and maximising the number of carbs that I can absorb in a race or looking at aerodynamics on the bike.”

“A good example would be the wetsuit. Not to get too boring or technical, but normally the standard is five-millimetre neoprene. The thicker the neoprene, the more buoyant you are, the faster you go etc. But the more restrictive it is …

“So, we’re doing a big project to work out how thick we can have the neoprene in certain places, and using different neoprene in different places, and then different types of wetsuit, and we’re going to test different wetsuits eventually for efficiency and oxygen consumption.

“Our wetsuit sponsor is super excited that what we’re learning will be able to trickle down to making the ultimate legal suit as well.”

SUB 7 nuts? Pistachio nuts

If you thought the SUB 7 attempt was nuts, you’d clearly be right – pistachio nuts to be precise – with Brownlee underlining their benefits, and Mitchell’s firm belief in the “micronutients” in them, “particularly the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which are important for macular health – it’s easy for athletes to underestimate macular health”.

As yet there is no final date for SUB 7 SUB 8, but all signs point to a summer bid at a European venue – potentially a motorsport circuit.

“Somewhere closed and controllable,” said Brownlee.

“I think there’ll be an announcement soon on that front. We really want to get a date and location locked down. It’s a really exciting project.”

Graham Shaw
Written by
Graham Shaw
Graham has been involved with TRI247 & RUN247 since the summer of 2021. Since then he has provided strategic direction for all news and is passionate about the growth of triathlon as a fan sport.


In episode 1 of our new SBRX Show we sit down with ultra runners and coaches Kim and Jayson Cavill to get their take on the Barkley Marathons and triathlon & trail running gear reviews, training tips and more
Discover more
Sumarpo vanguard vs Zone 3 Vanquish X triathlon wetsuits
ZONE3 Vanquish X wetsuit vs Sumarpo Vanguard wetsuit – how do these triathlon wetsuits match up?
Essential Beginner's Triathlon Gear & KIt
Triathlon gear for beginners: essential kit for getting started
open water swimming Sumarpo wetsuit
How to improve swimming endurance – PRO tips to help you swim further in open water
sumarpo triathlon swimming wetsuit
Wetsuit buying guide – How to choose the best wetsuit for triathlon, open water swimming, SwimRun and cold water
Aviles Duathlon
What is a duathlon? Beginner’s guide to distances, training plans and kit
latest News
Gustav Iden Kona athlete sign in 2022 photo credit Donald Miralle for IRONMAN
Gustav Iden shares heartfelt message after major milestone on the journey back to the top
Sam Long celebrates at the San Francisco T100.
Sam Long targeting two major T100 races after season break to resolve personal problems
Challenge Geraardsbergen 2023 - Photo Credit José Luis Hourcade
British triathlon star Joe Skipper looking to save season with big results Down Under
Braden Currie wins IRONMAN Cairns 2019
Long course triathlon legend looking to kickstart season on happy hunting grounds in Cairns
lionel sanders wins oceanside 2024 [Photo credit: Donald Miralle / IRONMAN]
Lionel Sanders set for triathlon return after being announced on start list for event he loves
triathlon on your terms
Never miss out with our triathlon alerts & digest. Get a dose of adventure & inspiration with Boundless.
Invalid email address
The SBRX Group

Proudly elevating endurance sports through content, products & services

Share to...