After his first high-altitude training camp ever, Lionel Sanders is heading down to “thicker air” as he gears up to take on some of Canada’s top professional athletes at Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant this weekend. Sanders will face Jackson Laundry, the winner of Ironman 70.3 Oceanside (where Sanders sprinted to second), and Cody Beals, who is coming off a big win at Ironman 70.3 Eagleman.
After his impressive runner-up finish at the Ironman World Championship St. George, Sanders has just finished a training camp in Flagstaff, Arizona at high altitude, the first time he’s tried that. He recently finished a monstrous “soft-brick,” four and a half hour workout in which he rode for 2:15 at high intensity, then ran 6 x 3 km on a treadmill.
Sanders documented the tough workout in his latest video in which he did 1 hour at above Ironman pace (285 watts), 45 mins at a harder tempo (295 watts), followed by 30 mins at 70.3 race pace, averaged 313 watts. The entire bike ride was about 3 hours. He then jumped on a treadmill for the 3 km intervals, where he did the first two at over Ironman race pace, then the next two at “approaching” Ironman 70.3 race pace, then the last two at 70.3 race pace. As you can see in the video below, it was an impressive workout done at 7,100 feet (2,164 m).
Sanders is obviously in excellent shape, but will face a tough field this weekend (click here to see the pro field) as he looks for his fifth win at the 70.3 in Mont-Tremblant. Sanders has dominated the event since 2015 – winning every time he has competed. (In 2019 he did not compete at the event as he was recovering from an injury.)
The defending champion at the race is Jackson Laundry, who graced the cover of our May issue thanks to his big win at Oceanside. Laundry took a bit of time off after his fourth-place finish at Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga as he prepares for a big late summer and fall with the PTO events (Canadian Open, Collins Cup and American Open) along with the Ironman 70.3 World Championship, so he might not be in top form, but will certainly be game to push to defend his title.
Cody Beals, a two-time winner of the full-distance race in Mont-Tremblant, is fresh off a win at Ironman 70.3 Eagleman, which bodes well for him as he looks to take his first half-distance win in Tremblant. The strong Canadian contingent also includes Brent McMahon and Taylor Reid.
Fresh off a big win at the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon, Eric Lagerstrom will be another to watch. He can swim, bike and run with the best in the sport when he’s on, and the win in San Francisco will certainly give him some confidence as he takes on the strong group of Canadians gunning for the win in Quebec this weekend.