Firefighters triathlon training in Sunderland University hotbox

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TWO firefighters have been training at Sunderland University in preparation for a triathlon in Lanzarote.

Carl Latimer, 52, and Paul Hopkins, 49, have spent five months at the university in the run up to next Saturday’s Ironman event.

The firefighters, from Byker station, in Newcastle, have been training in a heat chamber to help acclimatise to the searing temperatures, and have adapted their diet for the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile cycle ride and a full marathon in the midday sun.

Paul said: “Before this, I had read and stuck to certain training programmes, but working alongside experts at Sunderland has shown me what mistakes I have made in the past, in terms of preparation and why I suffer from cramp during races.

“I would never have known that without coming to Sunderland and makes me confident of breaking my personal record for the event.”

Sports scientists and students have collated data to help them prepare for the run, including testing their oxygen levels, heart rates, maximum power and assessing their training intensity, to help gauge how well prepared they are for the sun.