Elites At Christmas

The elites are different: they have to maintain their discipline during Christmas. Of course if someone brings along Guitar Hero or makes a batch of refreshing mojitos, all bets are off!

Find out what your favourite triathletes get up to in the festive season in our slideshow.

Picture credit: Marco Crisari/ Getty Images

Helen Jenkins

What are you up to over Christmas?

I will go away for a couple of weeks on a training camp to avoid some of the cold weather and then the rest of December at home with a few running races for fun.
 
What about the day itself - and New Year?

Christmas is at home, and I normally go out with friends for New Year. I spend a lot of time with family, but also try to train as normally as possible. The hardest thing is swimming, because a lot of pools shut. I try to get the pool schedules and find out when my swimming club is training so I can arrange my training around those times.
 
Will you be training on Christmas Day?

Yes. Running on Christmas Day is the best because it means I can eat more dinner afterwards. And also it's great for riding because the roads are quiet.
 
Do you have any races lined up?

The Christmas Pudding Run, a 10K race. It's near where I live. The start is at the bottom of a huge sand dune, so it's really tough.
 
What's your dream present?

Maybe a new car, as mine isn't going too well. But I don't think I'll be getting that.
 
What's your biggest indulgence?

Cadbury's Heroes.
 
What's your favourite party game?

None. They cause arguments - there are too many competitive people in my house.
 
What's your tipple of choice?

I like gin and tonic but I don't train too well on it... maybe I'll have a small one.

Jenkins was ITU World Champion in 2008. She finished fourth in the 2010 World Championships

Picture credit: Delly Carr/ Triathlon.org

Dann Brook

What are you up to in the festive season? Training hard?

It's easy on training for me until Christmas, so I will be getting in some base miles, not worrying abut what I eat, seeing friends, getting massive in the gym...
 
What are your plans for Christmas and New Year?

Christmas will be at my parents in Sheffield. For New Year I will probably be back in London for some kind of epic festivity.
 
Will you be training?

On Christmas Day, for sure - I need to work up an appetite for all that turkey. The first of January? No way. The new year is when I get my training head on and start seriously thinking about the season, and New Year's Eve is always the last night out I allow myself before I get serious.
 
Do you have any races lined up for the festive period?


Potentially a Boxing Day six-miler, depending on how much food I eat the day before.
 
What's your dream present?

Very geeky, but a Traktor X1 controller and a Funktion-One sound system for my lounge, Mum, if you're reading this...
 
What's your biggest indulgence?


Probably Nando's.
 
What's your favourite Xmas party game?

Guitar Hero.
 
What's your tipple of choice?

Coronas and mojitos. The drinks of champions.

Brook won the Lisboa International Triathlon in 2009. He was UK Junior Champion in 2004

Picture credit: Nigel Farrow

Jenny Fletcher

What are your plans for Christmas and New Year?

Family and more family in Canada. It usually includes eating, playing games and catching up. It's very laid-back!
 
Will you be training on Christmas Day?

Maybe. Definitely swimming. The rest of the time I'll be out rolling around in the snow - kidding - maybe I'll get some horseriding in.
 
Do you have any races lined up?

Nope. I'm just enjoying the off-season. Although if there is a local race, my dad would know about it and would want to do it with the family. I do have next year already planned out though... now I'm getting ahead of myself.
 
What's your biggest indulgence?

Peanut butter. Oh, and pumpkin pie, and stuffing... I can't get enough.
 
What's your favourite party game?

Board games in general. I really like this one called Trains. I know I sound totally crazy. It's the simple things at Christmas that I love. Laughing, playing games, a cup of hot chocolate and just chilling.
 
What tipple of choice will you allow yourself? And why?

I'm a wine drinker, but nobody in my family drinks, so it looks as if I'm going to enjoy a glass of wine it will be hiding in the broom closet with the lights out. Closet drinker.
 
What's your dream present?


My dream present to myself would be to win a big race in only my second year as a pro. To stand on the podium. That would be amazing.

Fletcher won the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon in 2009. She turned pro in 2010

Picture credit: Chris Gordon/ Getty Images

Will Clarke

What are your plans for the festive season?

I'll be in Australia to begin my winter training, but I'm planning to go to New Zealand for my honeymoon because my wife Clare and I had to cancel our last one when I was admitted to hospital. I have to make it up to her.
 
Do you have any races lined up?

If I can find a Turkey Trot [a multi-map race for orienteers and runners] I'll be there - it gives you something to focus on over Christmas. It's nice to work off all that food.
 
What's your dream present?

A new Koala bear pet.
 
What's your biggest indulgence? 

Chocolate. I can't do without it when I'm training hard.
 
What's your favourite party game?


Pictionary, for sure - it's the only time I draw a picture all year, so we see some shocking drawings come out.
 
What's your tipple of choice?

Champagne is my favourite celebration drink, plus over New Year I'll have a proper hit out. All drinks!

Clarke was World and European U23 Champ in 2003. He won the London Triathlon in 2009

Picture credit: BEN STANSALL/ Getty Images

Alistair Brownlee

What are your plans for December?

Warm-weather training, probably in Lanzarote, and then I'll be at home for Christmas and New Year.
 
And for the holidays themselves?

I'll hang out at home with my family. I usually do a few races, such as the Chevin Chase [along with brother Jonny] on Boxing Day and Old Lang Syne [in Keighley, Yorkshire] on New Year's Eve, followed by a drink or two.
 
Will you be training on Christmas Day?

Yes, of course. I won't do much but it makes me hungry so I can eat and drink more.
 
What's your biggest indulgence?

I don't think this applies because I don't deny myself very much at this time of year.
 
What tipple of choice will you allow yourself this year?

Everything and anything - in moderation.

Brownlee won five races out of five to become ITU World Champion in 2009

Picture credit: BETRAND LANGLOIS/ Getty Images

Craig Alexander

How do you like to spend the run-up to Christmas?

December is usually a time of year I take off from training, and try to fit in all those things that I can't indulge in for the rest of the year: a night out with the boys, a few rounds of golf, paddling a surf ski, and long drawn-out coffees at Gloria Jeans, dissecting the latest sports news with one of my mates.
 
What about the day itself?

Christmas is a family time for us. Having two kids means an early start. And on Christmas Day, we have a tradition we started several years ago - we go for an early morning swim at the beach.
 
And for lunch?


Lunch is our big family Christmas meal: lots of cold salads, mountains of prawns and seafood, ham and a little Lebanese flavour: hummus, tabbouleh and kibbeh.
 
So no training then?

For the past couple of years we have gone camping, back to basics, with my wife's family. There are loads of kids/cousins for our children to hang out with.

The 37-year-old Australian was Ironman World Champion in 2008 and 2009

Picture credit: Quinn Rooney/ Getty Images

Tim Don

What are your plans for December?

Swim, bike, run. I'll look for a 10-day block with some good weather in Europe.
 
Training aside, what about Christmas and New Year?
 
Time with my family in the UK, and a bit of training as well.
 
Still? So will you be training on Christmas Day and New Year's Day?

Yes. I have to earn my Christmas dinner and work off my New Year's headache.
 
What's your dream present?

I got mine earlier this year - my daughter, Matilda Sophia Don.
 
What's your favourite party game?

Wii Olympics - my nieces kill me at it, and they are all under 10.
 
What's your tipple of choice?

Red wine, because it's full of antioxidants. Honest; that's the reason.

Don was ITU World Champ in 2006. He won the HY-Vee ITU Elite Cup (worth $200,000) in 2010

Picture credit: Delly Carr/ Triathlon.org

Liz Blatchford

What are your plans for the festive season?

I'll be on the Gold Coast in Australia - and I'll be training.
 
Not on Christmas Day, surely?

We have the inlaws coming to our place in Australia, so I'll be playing host. But there will definitely be some beach time and a surf.
 
So you will be training?

Definitely. I try to get in a solid session first thing so I can then go and enjoy the festivities. As for the first of January, it depends how the night before turns out. I'm going out with local friends so might try to schedule a day off. I have no race plans until February.
 
What's your dream present?

A new Fish - it's a short, fat surfboard.
 
What's your biggest indulgence?

Homemade Bailey's. And I love mojitos - refreshing and zummy.

Blatchford won the Byron Bay Triathlon in 2008. She was third in the 2010 Mooloolaba World Cup

Picture credit: Spomedis/ Triathlon.org

Jonny Brownlee

Do you enter any races abroad to stay sharp over the Christmas period?

Not abroad - I do domestic cross-country running and fell races in winter.
 
What would be your ideal Christmas present this year?


I would love another Boardman cross bike.
 
What are your plans for the coming festive season?

I think there will be a British Triathlon training camp. Then I will spend Christmas at home with my parents - for me, it's about relaxing. I also do a little trail race every Boxing Day, the Chevin Chase.
 
Will you and Ali be arguing over who wins at Scalextric or Buckeroo?

Probably - we always do. It's usually Monopoly. We have never finished a game of Monopoly because the one who's losing always quits before the end.
 
What are your plans for New Year's Eve?

I will probably see my school friends. I catch up with them when they get back from uni. But I will be out again on New Year's Day. I normally go a long bike ride with a café stop.

The 20-year-old is the current ITU U23 and Sprint Triathlon World Champion

Picture credit: Silke Insel/ Triathlon.org