Glad to be racing again but toning down expectations for Sunday, Alistair Brownlee says he’s currently “allergic” to making plans for the future after a testing few months.
They were just some of the takeouts from an engaging interview with Bob Babbitt in his ‘Breakfast with Bob‘ video series ahead of the double Olympic champion’s return to action at the PTO Canadian Open this Sunday.
Brownlee was a late addition to the race after a season which saw him miss the rescheduled IRONMAN World Championship in St George in May through illness and then the Sub7 project in June because of injury.
And it’s clear that the first of those – when he was forced out on the eve of the race – brings back painful memories.
He admitted: “Being at St George was almost certainly some of the worst days of my life. I can say it with a smile on my face now, but it really was.
“I’d trained really hard for that after a really disruptive few years beforehand and it was really, really mentally tough. One of the hardest things I’ve been through.
“I’d started building up to it at the back end of last year and just wanted to do two things – St George and Kona. And everything was almost perfect until just before – and then a few weeks after that when having an injury [before Sub7].”
So it’s no wonder when asked what the rest of this season looks like he said: “I’m actually not sure now, I think I’ve become allergic to making plans after so many of them have gone wrong!”
Keen to race
But back to the present and while Brownlee talked about being at the pointy end of Sunday’s race, he also stressed the run “is going to be tough”.
“I made the decision [to come here] – I’m actually feeling quite fit, my running isn’t quite in the place I’d like it to be at the moment after having two to three weeks off because of the injury but I’ve run great over the last few weeks and I want to go and race.
“That’s partly because I want to be on the start line and race – and partly because I think this is a fantastic event and the PTO is a really great thing for our sport in long-course triathlon and supporting that is really important too.”
In terms of expectations for Sunday, it’s the run which Brownlee sees as the pinch point.
Asked what his goals are, he says: “Just to finish! To be at the sharp end of the race, to race as hard as I can and execute a good race.
“In terms of where that leaves me as a result, I’m not sure. But I’m physically fit and am going to swim and bike well but the run is going to be tough.”
We’ll find out on Sunday but it’s great to see him back in race action.