Who is Lionel?


By the time Sanders went to Windsor University in 2006, he had experimented with alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana in high school. He made the honor roll his first year there, a point of pride as his drug use had increased. By his second year of college, he had decided he wanted to try ecstasy.

The dealer didn't have any when he showed up that night, but he had cocaine. What that started was more than two years of addiction that led Sanders to drop out of school after his sophomore year, led to hallucinations so severe he thought a pterodactyl lived in his bathroom and to depression that left him contemplating suicide.

"He was always a free bird and he was able to do whatever he wanted to do," says Doug Sanders, Lionel's father, "and the cycle just sort of ate him up, you know."




Half Ironman



In August, 2010, Lionel did his first Ironman. His 10:14:31 was an impressive time for a guy who had gone through a few relapses since he’d borrowed that credit card. To have gone from that inauspicious 10:14 to 7:44:28 becoming one of the fastest ever over the distance, Sanders has come up with a unique training plan and philosophy. He’s become famous for his indoor training regimen that would seemingly be mind-numbing for most mortal beings, but has become an integral part of his success. The indoor-training philosophy began on the bike. (Read More)


chasing the lion

Chasing The Lion is the Short Film of Lionel Sanders' ascent from drug abuse and mental illness to one of the best up and coming long distance triathletes in the world.

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Every year I do a bit of an analysis after Kona. Sebastien Kienle said to me in a car ride during the Island House Triathlon, “Read your blog posts after Kona 2015, then read your blog posts after Kona 2016. Find the middle of the two, and that is how you properly prepare for an Ironman.” For the most part, that is exactly what I did differently this year, at least for the bike and run training. Here is my current training Block for my Ironman.