Triathlon: Alistair retains twin aims despite ‘stressful’ campaign

Alistair Brownlee.
Alistair Brownlee.
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Alistair Brownlee hopes to continue in his bid to run the 10k at the Commonwealth Games next summer, but insists that regaining his triathlon world title is his main priority.

The Olympic triathlon champion said in the wake of his London 2012 triumph that being in a position to race the 10,000 metres at the Commonwealth Games was his next great challenge.

But such was the extent of the persistent ankle injury that has dogged his campaign, he managed to race only one 10k on the track this year.

The 25-year-old from Bramhope was still fit enough at stages of the year to win three times in the triathlon world series but he was struggling for full fitness when the world championship came down to the crunch in London.

Therefore, he has descibed his post-Olympic campaign as “stressful” and it is one he is ready to put behind him.

But for all the obstacles he has faced, he remains steadfast in his desire to compete in the 10,000 metres in Glasgow next summer, as well as both the team and individual triathlons.

“I’m just going to see how it goes but I would still absolutely love to do it,” said Brownlee.

“But it all depends on the practicality of getting my ankle right. If I can give it a shot I will do.

“I’ve heard there’s a pacemaker trial sometime in May that I can go for that hopefully I can get involved with.

“I would love to do that just to see how fast I could run generally.

“But with the World Series already up and running by then, it might be difficult to factor in.

“Because winning back the world triathlon title is a primary aim next season. It’s been a while since I’ve won that.”

Brownlee reports that the ankle – on which three tendons have been damaged – is close to full health.

What helps him is the fact he doesn’t race again until the one-off Abu Dhabi triathlon in March, when he goes head to head with his younger brother Jonny who also missed out on the world title this year.

But there is no doubting how much of an impact the injury has had on a young man who prior to 2013, knew nothing but success and progression.

“It’s been a tough year, that’s the only way to reflect on it,” said Alistair.

“Nothing came easily for me, not that I ever thought it was going to after the year I’d had.

“I had it in my head that I wanted to relax and enjoy the training and the racing away from the pressure of the year before. But I wasn’t even able to do that. The only time I enjoyed it was in March at Abu Dhabi, but almost for the rest of the year it was stressful.

“When you look at the year results-wise, I still managed to win three world series races, so it’s not all that bad.

“But nothing ever came easy. I’ve not had an injury like that in the middle of the year before. So it’s been a big challenge mentally.”

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