Enduring the heat of competition

Top triathlete Jonathan Brownlee will be in Singapore for the Feb 23-24 Super League Triathlon finale. He is aiming for a win which would also help him to finish on the podium in the overall series ranking.
Top triathlete Jonathan Brownlee will be in Singapore for the Feb 23-24 Super League Triathlon finale. He is aiming for a win which would also help him to finish on the podium in the overall series ranking.PHOTO: SUPER LEAGUE TRIATHLON

Low temperatures, strong winds, rain and sometimes even snow are typical weather conditions in Britain at this time of the year.

But for three hours each week, Jonathan Brownlee works out on an exercise bike and a treadmill in a room that can be heated up to 35 deg C in his Yorkshire home.

The 2012 world champion is training for the final leg of the Super League Triathlon's debut season - in Singapore at One15 Marina on Sentosa on Feb 23-24.

"I'm not very good in the heat, as people have seen before," said Brownlee, who had succumbed to the heat during a 2016 race in Mexico and was helped over the finish line by his older brother Alistair.

Describing how he converted a room in his house into a heat chamber by installing a heater, he added: "Hopefully by the time I get to Singapore, I'll be ready for the heat."

The 28-year-old, a medallist at the last two Olympics (bronze in 2012 and silver in 2016), was speaking to Singapore media yesterday in a conference call from Spain where he is training.

He reiterated that the series is "super challenging", having said previously that the opener in Jersey had taken "quite a lot out of me".

"For Jersey, for the whole Super League, the hardest day was the enduro format, which is going to take place in Singapore as well," he said.

"If you've any weakness, you get found out. It happens on a Sunday so you've already raced the day before. It's really hard racing."

The enduro features three continuous rounds, each comprising a 300m swim, a 5km bike ride and a 1.6km run. The two slowest athletes at the end of each discipline will be eliminated.

Brownlee will be in Spain until Jan 21 before going home. He will then go to Thailand for 10 days to acclimatise to the tropical weather. He aims to win in Singapore and also hopes to finish on the podium in the overall series rankings.

This outcome would be "perfect" after an injury-plagued year.

"For me to win the series is very difficult now," he admitted. "I'm looking forward to racing well more than anything.

"I didn't have my best season last year... I'm looking forward to being on the start line in Singapore excited, healthy and ready to race."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 12, 2019, with the headline 'Enduring the heat of competition'. Print Edition | Subscribe