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Lionel Sanders Arena Games plan: “Show me the vomit”

Canadian distance star admits he's in for a challenge at the Arena Games Montreal

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

There’s a reason he’s the sport’s most popular YouTube personality – Lionel Sanders is always willing to push himself to the limit, and he’s never afraid to provide some entertaining quotes. Yesterday we reported that the two-time Ironman World Championship runner-up is moving way outside his comfort zone to compete at the upcoming Arena Games powered by Zwift in Montreal on Feb. 25 – now we’ve learned how he plans to take on some of the sport’s quickest short-course athletes. The strategy includes lots of vomit.

“My tactics are going to be pretty simple,” he told event organizers, Super League Triathlon. “This is like a super VO2 max session. So the tactics is this – gun goes, don’t flop the dive, don’t screw up the turns as there are only three of them in a 50m pool, pb in the swim which I would estimate to be better than 2.28 so maybe 2.25, don’t screw up the transition, get your foot into the shoes quickly, then absolutely bury yourself on the bike. I want to vomit. Show me vomit please.”

“How much watts is that?” he continued. It’s not my trainer and I think they may be on the lower end but I hope to hold 450w for this event weighing in at about 70kg. The run will be puke. Everything has to go in the way of getting off and vomit. If you do that then you’ve done it correctly. Then jog on the spot, get the shoes set up again and let me see you do it again. There is no other tactics than that.”

Related: Arena Games comes to Montreal in 2023

Lionel Sanders running on the treadmill with Patrick Lange looking on. Photo: @lsanderstri

Sanders also provided some insight on why he wants to compete over such a short distance.

“I am doing this race because mainly this is a season for me to increase my high end and get faster, the fastest I have ever been,” he said. “I spent 15 months getting the slowest I have ever been by doing nothing but Ironman and Ironman training so I want to reverse that so hopefully I can return in a year or two and do the Ironman well again.”

He’s also quick to point out that this is not an event that suits him.

“I don’t want to do ego defence, but it’s not what I’m focussed on,” he said. “I don’t think anyone will think any less of me when I get my ass handed to me by a bunch of short course athletes, that’s what’s expected of me. So if I’m able to do any better than getting my ass handed to me then people will be impressed.”

@ironmantri @immonttremblant

“I have good top end speed, the proportions of the three disciplines makes it difficult because the swim probably makes up 30 per cent of the race whereas in Ironman I think it only makes up something like 13 per cent,” he continued. “It’s quite difficult but it will be a great challenge for me to see if I come back from the swim deficit. I am seasoned on the indoor front so I am confident I can do well in the bike and run. It will be whether I have the capacity to overcome a swim deficit.”

Sanders won’t be the only long-distance specialist competing at the Montreal event – 70.3 champions Jackson Laundry and Jeanni Metzler are also signed up to compete.

You can see the men’s start list here.

You can see the women’s start list here.