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Lionel Sanders shares his advice for AVOIDING injuries whilst triathlon training

Recent IRONMAN 70.3 Mont-Tremblant winner Lionel Sanders shares his best tip for preventing injuries whilst training for triathlon.

Staff Reporter
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Despite enjoying a ‘perfect’ start to the season, with a 100% win rate, it hasn’t all been plain sailing for Canadian triathlete Lionel Sanders in 2024.

Between his victories in Oceanside and Mont-Tremblant, the 36-year-old was struck down by a stress fracture in his rib, which forced him to withdraw from IRONMAN 70.3 St. George.

Now healthy again, the Windsor native shared his top tip for preventing injuries, as the Arizona based pro gears up for his first full distance race of the season at IRONMAN Lake Placid.

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The golden rule

Having endured his fair share of setbacks over the course of his lengthy career, Sanders knows that identifying the cause of an injury or issue is vital to ensuring future health and fitness.

Lionel Sanders took his sixth title at IRONMAN 70.3 Mont-Tremblant.
[Photo – Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images]

“Most of the time your body gives you signals before something becomes really bad, and if you’re not listening out for those signals, then you can’t really claim that the injury came out of nowhere.

You were probably given a million warning signs, but for whatever reason you just didn’t want to listen to them, that’s what happened to me for sure. For all my injuries, I can say that happened for sure.” 

By listening to your body, Sanders says, athletes can take a proactive step in securing their health and prevent injuries from snowballing down the line.

“You start to achieve incredible things through listening to your body, and maybe right now you’re not where you want to be or where you need to be, but the only way you’re going to get there is by listening to your body.” 

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Learning the hard way

With dozens of professional podiums to his name, Sanders is one of the most experienced athletes in the pro field, and has documented most of his journey on his YouTube channel.

Despite this experience, he admits that he stills gets things wrong, and occasionally could benefit from revisiting his old videos to avoid making the same mistakes twice!

“The beauty of an injury is sometimes you learn new things and sometimes you re-learn things you knew ten years ago. That’s why I make YouTube videos, I don’t ever watch them though, that’s the problem.

“I should start watching my channel from the beginning and then once the season is over I’ll have watched all the videos and I won’t make all the same mistakes again!” 

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Marginal gains

Now committed to listening to his body during training, Mr ‘No Limits’ says that the difference internally is incredible, even if on the surface it may not appear to be so significant.

lionel sanders wins oceanside 2024 [Photo credit: Donald Miralle / IRONMAN]
Lionel Sanders takes the victory [Photo credit: Donald Miralle / IRONMAN]

“It’s incredible the difference listening to your body can make. Externally you can’t really perceive that I’m doing anything differently, but internally it’s amazing. My mood, my absorption of training, everything is so much better thanks to a tiny little change.”  

In Lake Placid on July 21, Sanders will look to put his new approach to the test, as he chases a third consecutive win and qualification for the IRONMAN World Championship in October.

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.
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