S2 E4 - Going for Gold with Alistair Brownlee

After a brief hiatus for several fintech events, Carmen and Kieron are delighted to welcome the truly formidable guest Alistair Brownlee.

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Show notes

From Alistair’s Wikipedia page: Alistair is the only athlete to hold two Olympic titles in the individual triathlon event, winning gold medals in the 2012and 2016 Olympic Games. He is also a four-time World Champion in triathlon being Triathlon World Champion twice (2009, 2011) and World Team Champion (2011, 2014) twice, a four-time European Champion (2010, 2011, 2014, 2019), and the 2014 Commonwealth champion. Brownlee is the only athlete, male or female, to have completed a grand slam of Olympic, World, continental and Commonwealth championships. Brownlee is also a one-time world champion in aquathlon. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest male Triathletes ever.

Alistair shares why and how he set up the Brownlee Foundation with his brother and fellow triathlete in 2014, after they took part in the 2012 Olympics and were invited to schools all over Yorkshire to inspire kids of get involved in sports. Now, ten years later, they’re still putting on events - over 15,000 children will take part in their first triathlon this year thanks to the Foundation!

Alistair also talks about his fascinating journey from reading medicine at Cambridge University to becoming an Olympic athlete, including his parents’ reaction to this major change in his life’s trajectory.

More recently, he’s explored lots of other sportspeople’s journeys to success, from snooker players to rugby players, marathon runners to jump jockeys - all of which you can read about in his book, Relentless. One of the most important takeaways, he found, was around the relationship between motivation and habit.

The three of them chat about how this applies beyond the world of sport, and how we can help ourselves to build habits that we want to sustain, and that bring us closer to our longterm goals.

And if you’ve been curious about all the buzz around extreme diets, cold water swimming, infrared therapy and so much more, Alistair reveals that for him, it’s really quite simple: the main building blocks of athletic success are training, good sleep and nutrition. While other things like yoga, supplements and massages help, he says they account for at most 1% of the picture.

You can also find out whether triathletes (or at least this one!) really do have a favourite and least favourite event… And you’ll hear his expert advice on choosing the best trainers for success!

This week, there are great reading recommendations for you too: Alistair shared The Maths that Made Us, while Kieron talks about some of the great lessons he’s learned from Anatomy of a Breakthrough. Carmen shares some more general advice as she prepares for a few summer trips, extolling the benefits of the e-reader.

There are lots of ways to support the Brownlee Foundation, from donating to volunteering to getting your local schools involved. Find out more on the website:


And find out more about Alistair’s book Relentless here:


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