Lionel Sanders: “When I ‘overtrained’ myself, I had my best performances”

(Photo: Tri Battle)

It seems that Lionel Sanders has decided to go back to his “old-school-way” of doing things. That is, training and racing without fear, he says in a video. “It’s hard to reflect back on the psychology of this whole thing, but I think I went through a period of fearfulness,” he says, stating he was afraid to do “crazy hard sessions” and that he felt “fearful of racing a lot.”

“Like, ‘oh, I’m going to overtrain myself’ … I mean, when I was ‘overtraining’ myself, I had all my best performances.”

“Something has to be said about that”, Sanders continues. “That doesn’t mean destroying yourself, but if you want to be the best in the world, there is a level of risk.” Sanders seems to have gotten some inspiration by the Norwegian training approach: many, hard and long training sessions. Norwegian star athletes like Olympic gold medalist Kristian Blummenfelt and Gustav Iden aren’t the only ones who inspired him, the Tri Battle Royale with Jan Frodeno and other “young upcoming guys” motivated him to go back to the drawing table. “I was a crazy hard worker and had no fear,” he talks about the ‘old’ Sanders. “I didn’t care what the swim deficit was or what the bike numbers said. I rode as hard as I could and ran well after that, because I was just so damn used to it.”

Whether this new, or actually old, training approach will help him to a great result in Ironman Copenhagen we will find out on Sunday. Sanders will then fight hard to try and earn himself a slot to the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii, which will take place in February 2022.