Review: Swim, Bike, Run, by the Brownlee Brothers

Brownlee Borthers Book

If you’re looking for an insight into the fastest brothers in triathlon, look no further than Swim, Bike, Run, by the Brownlee brothers. Alistair who is now a double Olympic champion and current Commonwealth Games champion, and Jonny who has won silver medals at both the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.

What I like about this book is that it is very to the point, it’s about two proud yorkshireman brothers who train their socks off day-in and day-out and compete on the biggest stage, predominantly winning. Of the 64 races Alistair has started, 35 have resulted in wins. He has finished on the podium for 47 of them. Whereas Jonny has started 65 times, won 18 and been on the podium 45 times.

I really enjoyed reading about how they got into triathlon, their grass roots. It’s interesting to learn that they still have the same coaches they had when they were first getting into the sport.

The book is written in such a way that it feels like the brothers are talking to you as you are reading, with either ‘Alistair’ or ‘Jonathan’ written above their speech, as it were.

This book is certainly thought provoking, it shows that hard work beats talent any day.

That said, it does seem that from Jonny’s perspective I feel that he has to work a lot harder than his brother who is perhaps more ‘genetically blessed’. It also shows that normal people can become World Champions with them both explaining that they’ll happily eat fish and chips on occasion and a lot of cake…

You know what they say; you can’t go on a long ride without a cafe stop, right?

Being brothers and competing in the same sport (which I find to be a massive asset) they were able to not only push each other in training but also help one another come race day. The book explains how they certainly had their arguments, but without each other they wouldn’t be where there at today.

Not only is this book an interesting read, specifically with the accounts of the Brownlee brothers leading up to the 2012 Olympics, it also has some valuable training tips for swimming, cycling and running to which you can use for your own benefit which I feel is a really nice touch, as you can learn from the best.

I’d certainly recommend this book highly to any sportsperson, particularly triathletes, of course.

It’s not a serious ‘textbook’ but more a story about two Yorkshiremen who swim, bike, run and eat cake with some handy tips chucked in.

A joy to read!

You can pick-up a copy of Swim, Bike, Run by the Brownlee Brothers at Amazon

Last updated on March 2nd, 2021.


  1. Good to have this feature back. ‘Sportsperson/sportspeople’ rather than ‘sportsman’ in 2017, I would suggest!