For our final IRONMANIA WEEK send off we would like to highlight an exceptional Canadian Ironman triathlete – Lionel Sanders. Sanders, born February 22, 1988 is sure to be a standout competitor tomorrow in Kona, Hawaii at the Ironman World Championships.
Notably, Sander’s placed 1st at his (Introductory?) professional race in September 2013 at the 70.3 in Muskoka, Ontario. Shortly after, Sanders placed fourth at the 2014 Ironman 70.3 World Championships held in Tremblant, Quebec.
We caught up with Lionel to ask him about career, racing goals and advice!
At this stage of your career, do you get nervous before big events?
LS: My nervousness has decreased with time and experience. Certainly there will be some nerves before Kona, but I don’t feel nervous. I am more anxious for the gun to go and be let off my leash.
What advice would you give mere mortals about settling race nerves?
LS: You have to control the controlables ie: be ready for a flat, nutrition plan prepared, pacing plan prepared. But that s all you can do. Take solace in that whatever will be, will be. Have faith in your training and preparation.
What are your specific goals – how do you have the race broken down?
LS: Very easy. My race plan is very simple. I want to have the best possible swim I can have. I have a predetermined power number I want to hold on the bike while executing my nutrition plan and I have a predetermined run pace that I will try to hold for as long as possible while executing my nutrition plan on the run. If im in contention nearing the end of the race then all bets are off.
Do you carry your journey with you? in other words, all the hardships, does that fuel you on your path now?
LS: It used to but not really anymore. Im living in the moment now. I just enjoy pushing myself on the day to the best of my ability.
What advice would you give the would-be Ironman athlete?
LS: Enjoy the journey. When you make that first step, it will change you.
We’re mostly runners, what do we need to keep in mind when attacking the other two sports?
LS: Less is always more. Its better to get to the start line healthy and under-trained than injured and over-trained. It’s a grueling race and any fatigue you may be carrying will show itself in the latter stages of the race.
What will your diet consist of 24 hours before the race?
LS: Everything is pretty business as usual. Cereal in the morning. A nutritious lunch, a sandwich or a wrap. Then for dinner we will have a family dinner with a pasta sauce recipe passed down from my Grandma. That’s been working really well for me so Ill stick with it.
Keep an eye out for Lionel at the IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS tomorrow – October 10th!