Alistair Brownlee Special Ed. Part 1&2 Author "Relentless", 2 x Olympic Gold & multiple World Champ
Alistair Brownlee Special Ed. Part 1&2 Author "Relentless", 2 x Olympic Gold & multiple World Champ
Episode 77: Alistair Brownlee Special Ed. Part 1&2 Author "Relentless", 2 x Olympic Gold & multiple World Champ
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Show notes (please see Timestamps below for more detail)
In this episode of The Greg Bennett Show, I chat with a very special return guest, Alistair Brownlee.
Alistair is arguably the greatest triathlete of all time… he IS the undisputed greatest Olympic Triathlete in history with Gold in London and Rio Olympic Games. His World and Olympic titles are remarkable, but it has been his ability to lift the sport to new heights and have every athlete in the world chasing that has truly set him apart. It has been this dominance that has me in awe of this extraordinary athlete. He was last on the show in episode 15, if you haven’t listened to that episode, I’d encourage you to go check it out. In Part 1 of this episode, we discuss Alistair's new book "Relentless: Secrets of the Sporting Elite". Over the last 4 years, Alistair has been on a journey to learn from the best, talking to elite figures across multiple sports as well as leading thinkers and scientists, to understand what enabled these remarkable individuals to rise to the very top and to push the limits of human capability in their relentless pursuit of perfection. We discuss why he decided to write the book, What the interview process was like, how he chose the specific people, and what he learned from the interviews. We discuss what is talent, what is a champion and I share several great quotes from the book. In part 2 of the episode, Alistair gives his predictions for the Tokyo Olympics and he discusses how the sport of Triathlon has changed. We discuss the dual between Jan Frodeno and Lionel Sanders and he gives his prediction as to who will win. We end with some fun rapid-fire questions.
See the timestamps below for more detail.
Timestamps Part 1 and Part 2
Part 1 - "Relentless - Secrets of the Sporting Elite"
0.0 - Introduction to show and advertising
4.30 - Introduction to Alistair
5.10 - General chit-chat - Ankle surgery - The Chinese proverb - The good and bad moments - "I couldn't have done anything everything different", "I've had good luck in the past"
9.40 - The book "Relentless - Secrets of the sporting elite" - Can order today
11.30 - Why write the book? "I wanted to learn about writing a book" - Ronnie Sulivan - snooker player -
14.55 - The book changed its direction from just discussing high performance to discussing the personal moments
17.45 - How many years did it take? Several years but then Covid got in the way, but then the timing allowed to add more athletes. The last few weeks Alistair did the audio book.
21.20 - Choosing the guests? It's an anglocentric list. A long list became shorter. Killian Jornet would have been fun in person. All the guests would have been great in person.
25.20 - Old School and New School athletes - English Cricketers - Ian Botham and Alistair Cook
28.40 - What did you learn that you already didn;t know? "Genius label os disrespectful" "Everyone had their own fallibility", "The amount the Jockeys race- and they lose far more than they win", "They remain very emotional stable". Killian Jornet was great explaining make complex situations as simple or not. Killian Jornet quote: "a. ‘I don’t think what I do, what we do, is anything important,’ he tells me quietly. ‘It’s sport, so in a way it’s a game and we are doing something that is very selfish. It’s for the emotion at the end, it’s nothing productive – we are not like teachers that are forming a new generation of people, or doctors helping people live."
35.50 - What is talent? Physcial, physiological, environment
37.50 - What is a champion and what is success? All the varying personalities. Mark Webber. Sportsmen is conduct and behaviour and a champion might be more hard hedged.
41.50 - Were they great human beings? Alistair shares his thoughts on being a famous athlete. He started his foundation because of the opportunity and responsibility. https://www.thebrownleefoundation.org/
45.20 - Quote - from Alistair Brownlee "a. Jonny was first to break the silence. ‘Relax,’ he said, between deep intakes of breath. My ears pricked up. It was just one word. But, knowing him as I do, it was far more than that. It was a tell. He was struggling. ‘Go, go, go!’ something inside me screamed, and I did – cranking up the pace, kicking on, and embracing the agony because, whatever hell I was suffering, I knew with the certainty of a thousand training runs that Jonny was feeling it just that little bit more. We’re brothers. We’ve trained together for years. He’s been instrumental in getting me to where I am today. Without our rivalry I’d be half the athlete. Yet here I was, preying on his weakness. Do I regret it? Not at all. I like to think he’d have done the same. And that’s the ruthlessness I believe is an essential component in all champions – in the arena of competition but, just as importantly, in their daily life, too."
47.20 Michael Owens "a. ‘Genetically, we’ve all got what we’re given, you know. Some people have got a big pair of lungs; some, loads of fast-twitch muscle fibres. You’re born with that and you’re not going to be able to change that. Not really. After that, you’ve got to make the absolute best of what you’ve been given. The decisions you make, what you do with that frame, your determination, how courageous you are ... And that’s all in the mind – it’s all between the ears. ‘So, in my case, I had masses of power; real speed in short bursts. I was not a good long-distance runner. I was only 5ft 8in, and 11 and a half stone, but I had a massive dollop of self-belief. That’s what made me get better results than possibly I should have done, if you just looked at me in a physical sense. If you typed “ideal footballer” into a computer you’d probably come out with Cristiano Ronaldo. But what got me to the top of my game was that self-belief.’ Confidence verse self-belief – Confidence is fleeting, self-belief stays."
48.40 - Self-Belief and Confidence - Alistair shares his thoughts
49.40 - Anna Hemmings "a. There’s a lot of work being done around this: when we are in a positive state, when we experience positive emotions – not just positive thoughts but positive emotions – we trigger the production of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in the adrenal glands. This hormone is a performance enhancer – it generates energy and boosts the immune system – whereas when we feel negative emotions, we’re triggering cortisol, the so-called stress hormone. Frustration, anger, fear and anxiety all release cortisol, and when cortisol levels are increased over a long period of time, there are lots of health implications. So, we’re talking not just performance but health."
51.50 - How can Alistair grow from here
53.30 - Focussing Strength - Shane Williams – Welsh Rugby - "the pitfalls of working on weaknesses to the detriment of strengths, of becoming a strong all-rounder but average, rather than a champion with some manageable flaws."
0.00 - Introduction
1.20 - Short advertising of partners
2.20 - The Tokyo Olympics - How did it feel to make the Olympics - "Tough but now relief"
3.20 - IOC athletes commission candidate - Alistair is going to Tokyo to hopefully make his way onto the IOC commission - there are 30 candidates at the moment - only 4 make it.
6.40 - Predictions for Tokyo for the men - "It's wide open" - Vincent Luis, Jonny Brownlee, Alex Yee, Tyler Mislaochuck, Kristian Blummenfelt, The Belgian athletes, The Spaniards Javier Gomez, Mario Mola, Alarza
11.05 - Predictions for the woman - Flora Duffy, Georgia Taylor-Brown, Jessica Learmonth and Taylor Knibb, Kingma, Cassandra Beougrand
13.20 - Mixed Relay - France are the favorites - Luis and Conix, then the podium will be between the Brits, USA and Australia
16.10 - Triathlon, how has it changed? The athletes - the era's have changed from swim/nike focus to run focus and it swings back and forth
18.30 - What athletes have pushed Alistair - Javier Gomez and Jonny Brownlee
20.40 - Javier Gomez - Has anyone won more races? No.
22.20 - Alistair shares his thoughts - Jan Frodeno and Lionel Sanders Tri-Battle - Alistair thinks Jan will win
24.00 - PTO - The Collins Cup
24.30 - It's all about Ironman now. Looking to training hard and effective and continue to learn
26.00 - What was missing in Kona, 2019? Maybe nailing fueling and pacing and respecting the conditions. Understanding heat.
27.40 - Blood Glucose monitoring - Experimenting with everything and figuring what works and what doesn't
29.30 - Has Alistair been a "Bull at a gate" athlete or an academic.
31.40 - Greatest athletes of all time - GOAT - Michael Phelps - Mo Farah 5k and 10k at back to back Olympics - "Any sport I can't do is amazing" - and that team dynamic is something Alistair would struggle it
1. What is one tip you have for people on how to optimize their lives? "Consistency"
2. If you could sit and have a coffee with any living person, who would it be and why? British Prime Minister and maybe Obama
12 fun rapid fire quick answer questions
What were you doing right before this conversation? I was on another interview
If you could go back in time, what would you tell your 18-year-old self? To make the most of every high in sport
What’s the largest animal you could wrestle to the floor? Small dog
Outside of being an Triathlete what would you do for a day? Gravel riding or a running
Which decade of music is the best? 90s - Brit pop Oasis
If you won, $100 million in the lottery how would you spend it? Maybe pay off debt, and to the foundation
If you had a time machine, would you travel to the future or back to the past? Future - 25 years
What lesson did you have to learn “the hard way”? How can you help others avoid your mistake? Look after your body - 100% conviction with your goal
If you had to describe yourself as an animal, which one would it be? Fast Bird - Kestrel
Number one pet peeve? People driving under the speedimit
Proudest moment of your life? Winning the Olympics
What’s next ? Recovery from operation, Go to Tokyo wo watch and Ironman at the end of the year.
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