Marriage can wait, I’m focused on one final push for Olympic glory

Brownlee wants another shot at Olympic glory (Picture: Getty Images)

The relationship between my brother Alistair and I is going to be so key now that we’re in Olympic year and I can call on his experience as a double gold medallist.

Alistair has retired from Olympic triathlon now but I’m hoping to make the startline again in Paris myself so a bit of advice here and there, now that we don’t spend as much time together as we did, will be very useful.

That said, while Alistair comes up with some nuggets, I don’t always talk to him about emotional stuff. People also get motivation from such different places.

Occasionally, if I’m tired, I need and want a nice meal or a dog walk to look forward to, a holiday maybe. But Alistair gets enough from his training – we’re very different like that. He doesn’t need as much stuff outside of training to keep going.

I will talk to him about my preparation if, all being well, I go to the Games. Alistair has been so important for me when things have gone wrong. At the Tokyo Olympics, he said to me ahead of the individual race: ‘Believe in yourself. You’re the best in this race, you’re the only one who’s been here and done this before and won medals.’

Brownlee and brother Alistair have shared some great moments

Jonny Brownlee and brother Alistair have shared some great moments (Picture: Getty Images)

He has said similar things to me in the last year when things were not going as well for me. He can be extremely blunt and I know if I’ve given him a really tough training session he won’t say to me: ‘You’re fit, you’re flying, that was a great session.’ But I just know by how he is with me afterwards – if he is quiet, then I know I’ve hurt him in the session!

But there are only certain things we do together now and he is away a lot, so it’s not like we train together all the time.

We know at some point we should look back and think about our careers but that’s not something we have been able to do yet. We’re not great at looking at where we’ve come from to now.

I don’t know yet what lies after racing, I’m not good at looking too far forward, but Alistair is giving talks and has a lot of things going on outside of his long-distance triathlon competitions.

I’m getting married to Fiona on August 17 but before that there is the small matter of an Olympics I am trying to qualify for.

Brownlee is focused on the Paris Olympics

Brownlee is focused on the Paris Olympics (picture: Instagram)

We chose the date, six days after the Games finishes and two weeks after the triathlon, so that I could focus on Paris first.

The schedule then becomes very hard and so we thought that date would work best, so I can get married before the Super League season begins. I have spent a decade making lots of my life decisions around triathlon. But it will be a very special day and I can’t wait.

I have no idea if I will have any time for a stag do! I will worry about that when I know my racing plans for the rest of the year.

There is plenty to come before I know if I will qualify. But I’m preparing as if I am going to France in the summer and all I can do is worry about myself.

I hate to fall into the trap of using sporting cliches but I’m not getting carried away looking at other people’s results. This time – unlike previous Olympic years – I am not pre-selected. But if my best is good enough to make the British team, it’s good enough. If it’s not, it’s not.

I know I don’t have many World Series races left in my career so Fiona will join me in Abu Dhabi after the race this weekend.

Unusually for me, we are staying on for a bit of a break so I can actually see the place rather than just land, compete and fly out again, as is more usual for most athletes.

It will definitely be strange for me so I’m hoping to take it all in and use the short break for a rest after the race. It’s time to make the most of every single moment of my career.

Have triathlon questions 
or simply need advice? Just Ask AL! Introducing the world’s first multi-sport AI, trained to offer expert advice ranging from beginners to elite athletes, directly from Alistair, Jonny and the team at Brownlee Fitness. Visit www.brownleefitness.com for info.


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