We head to Boulder, Colorado today to discover the secret to Sam Long’s Ironman success. Sam shares his journey to the Ironman World Championships with us on this edition of The Kona Edge and why he decided to turn pro.  He reveals the challenges he’s currently battling with and the measures he has put in place to improve his performance.

Transcription:

BRAD BROWN:  We head to Boulder, Colorado now in the United States to catch up with our next guest Sam Long. Sam, welcome onto The Kona Edge, thanks for joining us today.

SAM LONG:  Hello, how’s it going?

BRAD BROWN:  Fantastic. Sam, I’m so chuffed to be able to touch base with you and chat a little bit Ironman and triathlon. You live in an incredible part of the US, Boulder, Colorado. A lot of triathletes call that home, it’s a great place to live and train isn’t it?

SAM LONG:  Yeah, I’ve been pretty lucky to grow up here my whole life, it’s been a pretty good community.

BRAD BROWN:  What makes it special? I know one South African, Kyle Buckingham who bases himself there for a large part of the year, but so many athletes do love it. What makes it so special?

Perfect Ironman training environment

SAM LONG:  For me I think it’s got to be a combination in the summer time of good weather. Year round we get about 220 days of sunshine a year, but in the summer it’s sunny every day. It’s pretty hot which is good for training for Ironman and then when you throw in the elevation on top of that, I think that makes it an ideal environment. Along with all the roads we have here to ride on and all the trails we have to run, I think that really makes it an ideal place and then having all the athletes here just makes it better.

BRAD BROWN:  And it’s pretty too, it’s not one of the ugliest places on the planet.

SAM LONG:  It’s pretty gorgeous, you’re right on the front range, you’ve got all these mountains right out your back door.

BRAD BROWN:  Sam tell me a bit about your history in the sport, where did your love for triathlon emanate from?

SAM LONG:  Well, I’d say it mostly came from just loving to be in the outdoors. I was always a mountain biker and runner growing up, without being a triathlete. Then in high school I was mostly just a cross country runner actually, but then my junior year I ended up having a ski injury and so I missed a season, the track season and so then I said: Oh, the triathlon season is in the summer, so I’ll start building up my base for that and kind of got really into it my junior year of high school.

BRAD BROWN:  You mentioned mountain biking too, I know that is a big part of your life and again, Boulder is just a great place to ride. You spend a lot of time on the bike and obviously it’s something you do love.

SAM LONG:  Oh yes.

Consistency, diligence and hard work helps achieve The Kona Edge - how Sam Long does it

BRAD BROWN:  Do you find that there could be, the reason I ask this is that I did an Ironman a couple of years ago and in the weeks leading up to it did a pretty tough mountain bike race and was petrified that I was going to come off and do myself some damage ahead of an A race for the year, is that a major concern for you riding mountain bikes? Do you tend to lay off the trails when you’re in a big race season?

SAM LONG:  In previous seasons I did just because I didn’t want to fall and be injured, but this season I’ve started doing Xterra too, so that’s just kind of in the thicket of racing now, so it’s not uncommon for me to have to be getting on the mountain bike twice a week, even when I have a big road race coming up. Just to keep maintaining it, but thankfully my skills are good enough now that I don’t usually have any accidents happening.

BRAD BROWN:  I wish I could say the same about my skills to be honest!

SAM LONG:  I remember when I was, not even first getting into it, a year ago it seems I’d fall every time I went out.

Mountain biking helps you build strength

BRAD BROWN:  That’s pretty much me Sam, welcome to my life! It does make you stronger though, just from a bike perspective. People look at stats and if you don’t look at Power and that sort of thing and they see how long it takes you to do a 20 mile ride for instance, they think gee, what are you doing out there, are you having a picnic on the trails? But it definitely does make you stronger doesn’t it?

SAM LONG:  It definitely makes you stronger. We may get into this a little bit later when we start talking about Kona. One of the best things I think mountain biking is good for is working on surging and you’ve got to lay off and then you’ve got to surge because you’ve got to get over a rock or whatever and at Kona on the bike I found that was very much what was happening, just because of the crowds and all that.

BRAD BROWN:  Let’s talk about the decision to do your first Ironman. It’s one thing doing a sprint or an Olympic distance, but the step up to a full distance Ironman triathlon is huge. Tell me the thought process and when you decided you wanted to do this?

SAM LONG:  My first Ironman was, it was almost three years ago now and I decided to do it because it was the first time they did the Boulder Ironman. They had had it 15 years earlier, but of course I was five then, but they announced that it was coming to Boulder and I just thought that would be the coolest thing to ever do, to do the Boulder Ironman. That was probably only five months in advance and I’m like, how am I going to get across that finish line with only five months of dedicated, true, Ironman training.

BRAD BROWN:  But you did it.

SAM LONG:  I did it! I ended up doing quite well, I actually qualified for Kona there.

BRAD BROWN:  That’s incredible. In hindsight do you wish you had more time?

SAM LONG:  Not necessarily. In some ways it would have been good to have more time, but it was my first one and now I’ve been training for Ironman consistently, ever since five months before that one, so you’ve got to start somewhere.

BRAD BROWN:  Absolutely. As far as being competitive, obviously you do have ability, have you always been competitive growing up and everything you’ve done, have you always hated losing or is it, if it happens it happens, if it doesn’t it doesn’t.

A competitive edge puts that qualifier in the bag

SAM LONG:  I’m probably one of the more competitive people you’ll ever meet. I’m a triplet with two other brothers and so I think that helps to make you competitive, growing up with two people the same age and you’re pretty much competing in everything, always.

BRAD BROWN:  That must be incredible. Tell me about your childhood, are your two brothers pretty sporty as well?

SAM LONG:  Yeah, one of them is rowing out at Cornell University and he was running in high school as well, but found a different path. He’s actually been running more recently and then the other one, his name is Justin, he actually hasn’t really been working out much in the last several years, which is fine.

BRAD BROWN:  I love that and it’s funny, I think it does help having siblings, we were chatting about it on a recent episode as well where somebody was one of four kids and they were just saying that it was just absolutely a free fall, if they didn’t fight hard, they wouldn’t have eaten, so it started really young and I’m sure you pretty much felt exactly the same way, everything was a competition.

SAM LONG:  Exactly, everything is a competition and when you’ve got two other people to be around always, you’re going out and you’re playing in the outdoors and you’re getting a love for the outdoors and being competitive in the outdoors at an early age. When it comes down to it, that’s pretty much exactly what you’re doing in an Ironman.

BRAD BROWN:  What is it you love about Ironman?

An Ironman is epic, mental and hard

SAM LONG:  I just love how epic it is, that’s probably the number one thing I love. I love how epic it is, I love how mental it is, you’ve really got to get into your head in order to do well and I love how hard it is. I don’t think anyone is ever going to say they have an easy Ironman.

BRAD BROWN:  I love the fact you say it’s mental and you’ve got to get into your head. I think a lot of newbies under-estimate that and don’t realize how mental it actually is. What are some of the things you do to strengthen yourself mentally Sam?

SAM LONG:  Some of the things, for me, I’m a big believer in doing long training days on your own so that you’re going to know what your mind is going to be like when you’re facing that on your own. It’s one thing to go out and do a big say 115 mile ride with a group of 25 other people and you’re in the pace line the whole time and you’re talking to friends or even if you’re out there riding on your own with music, that’s really not the same. For me, preparing, I love to go out and do 5-6 hour rides, no music, no other people out there, nothing. And I think you kind of learn what your mind is going to be like and then you can think about it a lot, what am I going to be like when I’m on mile 80 on the bike and I’m hurting and I’m thinking about how I still have a whole marathon to go, how are you going to face that? I really think just running yourself through all the ropes before you actually get there is the best thing to do.

BRAD BROWN:  What are some of the things you tell yourself at mile 80 thinking this is tough and I’ve got a marathon to come.

SAM LONG:  I try to shut the mind up and just try and enjoy what’s going on. Focus on nutrition and just be positive. I have a mantra that I use which actually just came to me in an Ironman once and I never thought of it before, it just goes: Mana baby, mana baby, mana baby mana. And ‘mana,’ I don’t even know how the word came to me, then I looked it up later and ‘mana’ is a Hawaiian word that means energy and speared up the world and the mountains and it can propel you along and that was kind of how my mantra was born. I never really thought about it, but that’s just what happened. Whenever things get hard I just tell myself that and that really helps me focus.

BRAD BROWN:  Sam, that first Ironman Boulder that you did where you qualified, was qualifying for Kona on the radar going into that race? Or did it, I don’t want to say happen by accident because you obviously must have thought about it, but was that the goal going into that race?

SAM LONG:  No, that was not the goal going into that race. The goal for that race was honestly just to finish. I was only 18 at the time of doing that one, so when I actually did that one I was saying, I’m only going to do one Ironman ever in my whole life and then I’m going to move onto other stuff. But it was such a good experience that I’ve come back for more.

BRAD BROWN:  And then when you realized you had qualified for Kona, was it a no-brainer to take that slot and go?

Consistency, diligence and hard work takes you to the next level

SAM LONG:  I actually didn’t go that year, I didn’t take that slot, which was two reasons. It was my first year of college starting up, pretty much two weeks before Kona and the other thing I was worried about, I was absolutely demolished after Ironman Boulder, which was a mid-August race and I didn’t think at that time that I could recover fast enough for another Ironman in October. Those were the two reasons that I didn’t take the spot. In retrospect, in some ways, I wish I had, but it almost gave me more fuel to the fire. I didn’t go that year but then I got way more focused about it. My training was way more diligent, way more consistent, way harder, but obviously still smart and then I did Ironman Coeur d’Alene the next summer and then made it to Kona the next year.

Consistency, diligence and hard work helps achieve The Kona Edge - how Sam Long does it

BRAD BROWN:  I love those three terms, consistence, diligent and hard. Do you think those are the three things that make you good, that if you are lacking in one of those three you’re not going to live up to your potential as a triathlete?

SAM LONG:  Yeah, I’d say those three things are probably the foundation along with recovery when you need it and for me functional strength work. Those would be my five big pillars if I had to break it down.

BRAD BROWN:  As far as your first experience on the Big Island? It’s a mystical place, there’s something magic about it. If I say the word ‘Kona’ what do you think?

SAM LONG:  I just think, I can picture the water, picture the swim start, the pier, it’s just this place with incredible energy and there’s almost not a word for it.

BRAD BROWN:  It’s one of those races, as you said, you were only ever going to do one Ironman and that was it. But Ironman does suck you in and it becomes part of who you are and I think Kona is probably more so like that. You can be sucked into an Ironman like that, but once Kona is in your blood, it’s very difficult to get it out isn’t it?

Unrivalled combination of Mother Nature at Kona

SAM LONG:  Yeah, it’s very hard to get it out. You go to Kona and it’s unlike any other Ironman you’ll ever, I think it’s going to be unlike any other Ironman you’re ever going to do. Maybe Challenge Roth Ironman can rival it. I’ve never done Roth but I still think Kona is going to be a different experience, just because of the level of competition there and the hardness of the course.

BRAD BROWN:  Sam, what do you love about Kona, you said it’s difficult to describe and put it down into words, but what is it that keeps you wanting to go back?

SAM LONG:  To race, actually to race, wanting to see how well I can do out there would probably be the number one thing. I mean that both in terms of how well I can do. Not that I’m a pro, but how well I can do in comparison to the best in the world but also how well I can do and improve on myself compared to when I was there last year and so I think that’s really what keeps me going back. Hawaii is this perfect combination of unrivalled, it’s almost like unconquerable Mother Nature, they’ve got all those lava rocks there, they’ve got this crazy wind that comes in, crazy heat, crazy humidity and in a way you’re racing the other competitors but in a way you’re really just trying to handle all of that stuff that’s going on.

BRAD BROWN:  What’s the biggest life lesson that triathlon has taught you?

SAM LONG:  The biggest life lesson? To be patient!

BRAD BROWN:  Why?

Training yourself to be patient

SAM LONG:  Because I’m super impatient, in my nature and just how I’ve always done things and at Kona I didn’t have a very good race last year because I was not patient on the bike. I was not patient in the swim. I was not patient in the early part of the run and it hurt me. I think triathlon, when you race an Ironman it’s about patience, but also how you set up training. It’s about patience. You don’t go from running a 3:45 marathon in an Ironman to 2:50 in a year, you just don’t do that. It takes years and years of hard work and consistency as I was talking about earlier and teaching me that patience has been hard because I was always like, oh, well, if I can go out and run whatever, 15 miles every day of the week then surely I’ll get faster and that doesn’t happen. You have to be patient with it.

BRAD BROWN:  You could be impatient in a sprint or an Olympic, but Ironman is a totally different beast. What are you working on right now, what are you struggling/grappling with?

SAM LONG:  In terms of my training?

BRAD BROWN:  Anything with regards to Ironman or triathlon.

SAM LONG:  I’d say my biggest thing is, cause I’m doing Ironman Arizona here and I think it’s 6-7 weeks away, so the biggest thing I’m worried about is going back to that patience. How do you set up the fastest ride you can have while at the same time having a good run? For me, how I’ve really been doing that, I like to do a lot of volume on the bike cause I think it makes your legs strong and it’s also not weight bearing. So the risk of injury on the bike is pretty small and then combining that with some fast running and some runs off the bike. And some good, solid long runs because I know I have a lot of potential in the run, but the fastest run I’ve done in an Ironman has been like 3:24 and in the pros, that’s not going to cut it. I think that’s probably the biggest thing I’m struggling with. I know I can get the swim even though I haven’t been as strong a swimmer, but in the swim you’re talking about a few minutes between a slow swim and a not really fast swim. On the bike I know I can ride almost as fast as anyone except for the absolute best in the sport and then on the run it’s really trying to get that dialed in.

BRAD BROWN:  Let’s talk about the decision to turn pro. Obviously you’ve been racing as an age grouper for the last couple of years, but you’ve recently made that transition, what was the thinking behind it? Tell me what goes into making that decision?

Why deciding to turn pro is a good thing

SAM LONG:  Obviously first you have to meet the criteria, which I won’t get into, cause it’s different for wherever you live in the world and I can sometimes be convoluted back. Assuming you’ve met the criteria, you still have a big decision to make and for me it was based on, well, the biggest question for me was how am I going to face it if I find myself in the very back of the pro field, what am I going to do? The step up from age grouper to pro is huge and I don’t think any age groupers at first should necessarily expect to be crushing the pro field otherwise you’d probably already be a pro! It’s like how am I going to face that? What am I going to do if I find myself dead last in the pro field, am I going to drop out or am I just going to keep doing my best race and how is that going to affect me in future races? If I have a bad race in the pro field am I going to say, oh, shit, I don’t like triathlon and I don’t want to do it as much. So then you stop racing and I think that’s probably the worst that could happen.

I think that does happen with some pros who end up going down that path and so I really wanted to avoid that path. Then the other big question was, what’s going to make me the fastest? What’s going to make me the best I can be in a year from now, in two years from now, in three years from now? And when I sat down and I thought about it, I realized that having to be that much more competitive and that much more professional about how I’m going to approach my training, my racing, my gear and my nutrition, everything. I really thought that going pro for me was going to make that difference. Those two questions were the biggest questions for me to ask myself.

BRAD BROWN:  Was the step up as big as you thought it was going to be or has it been harder?

SAM LONG:  I actually think it was almost exactly what I thought it was going to be, which is kind of rare and kind of cool. Maybe the first one was a little harder, I remember the first pro race I did which was a half Ironman, I was going all out and literally with a mile left, not even, about three-fourths to half of a half left to the finish I was like, I could not keep running and I had to walk and I was in about 11th place at that point which for my first pro race was great. I was like oh wow, I could be top ten and then I got passed by five people in the last half mile and then literally collapsed at the finish. I didn’t have to go to the hospital or anything but it was just one of those times when I collapse and just had to lie on the ground for 10 minutes before I could get up. That was wow, okay, you’ve got to put yourself out there, but then after that I kind of re-calibrated and since then have been pretty on track with where I think I need to be.

BRAD BROWN:  How much have you actually changed from the way you’re training and that sort of thing, from racing as an age grouper to racing as a pro. Has there been lots of changes to the way you do things?

SAM LONG:  For me it has. For me it’s been a lot of changes. A few examples, in terms of nutrition, I’m much more cautious of what I’m eating and trying to be more on top of things. In terms of equipment, for me the equipment change was huge. When I was an age grouper I had whatever, just a mediocre bike. I’ve gotten the Speed Concept now, the brand new Trek Speed Concept, so I upgraded that when I went pro which has made another big different. I got to make sure I have all my wet suit stuff figured out, the shoes figured out, a whole nutrition plan in a race and then even getting down into my training. It is extremely rare for me now to miss a workout. The only time I’ll miss a workout is if I actually need to miss the workout, if I wake up and I can tell I should not be getting this workout done. That’s the only time I won’t get a workout done, but if it’s like oh, I’m tired and I’ve already done three workouts today and I have school work, so I did five hours of school work or six hours of school work, I’ll still get out the door and do that other session which when I was an age grouper I’d sometimes say, whatever, I’ll just have dinner with family but now it’s much more of a priority now.

BRAD BROWN:  Let’s talk about getting the balance right. You talk about the priority and having a family and I gather you’re still studying as well, you said you’re doing some school work as well, how do you get that balance right? I think it’s something a lot of age groupers struggle with. For you, what’s the secret, are you still working it out or do you think you’ve got it pretty much handled?

Find the balance with your time management

SAM LONG:  I think there’s always improvement to be made, especially in something like that. I think the number one key to figuring out balance is going to be time management because if you have poor time management then you’re losing probably four hours every day with poor time management. That’s four hours less to work out, that’s four  hours less to go to work, that’s four hours less to see your family and so I think if you get time management down, it’s still not easy, it’s still you know, I have to work this much, I have to train this much, I have to see family this much and there are still going to be compromises that you have to make and everyone is going to be at a different point. I’m not necessarily saying that people should have to get out the door and get that 4th session in if they’re in a different place in their life than me, then it might be more important for them to get two sessions in a day and then be able to spend that time with their family or be able to spend more time working.

BRAD BROWN:  Sam, what are some of the ambitions and the goals, long term, that you want to achieve in your triathlon career?

SAM LONG:  Well, I mean eventually my top goal is to be the World Champion at Kona, that’s my most long term goal. That’s at least ten years out though. Recently, more close, I just want to start to get on podiums consistently, eventually I’d love to try and break an 8 hour Ironman, I think that would be quite an achievement. First up is to just try and win a 70.3 and then win an Ironman and then just always trying to get better.

BRAD BROWN:  If you could go back to 18 year old Sam and knowing what you know now, what would you tell yourself, starting again in your Ironman career?

SAM LONG:  That’s a good question. This is actually funny because we were talking about this earlier, but I would have told myself and slapped myself around a little and said: Be more patient, be more patient! I guess that’s probably the biggest thing I’ve learnt and I also probably try and train a little smarter at first. At first I didn’t train all that smart, but at the same time, I almost think that’s a necessary thing to go through. I don’t believe that we’re suddenly automatically or immediately going to find your perfect training plan and what perfectly works for you, even if you have the best coach in the world, I don’t think that’s going to happen because everything is individual and you have to figure out what works for you. Through that trial and error and smart trial and error, then I think you can figure that out. In some ways I think it was a necessary thing to go through that trial and error.

BRAD BROWN:  Sam I love the patience side of things, I think it’s so important and I posted something on Facebook yesterday and I said that I realized a few things on my morning ride. One thing is that I’m really unfit at the moment, the second one is I have no understanding of what an easy workout or an easy ride is and I’m too competitive for my own good. That’s something I think we all struggle with, at various stages in a training session you might not be at race level, but again, it’s that patience thing. If you push too hard at the wrong time, you’re going to get yourself into trouble.

SAM LONG:  Exactly and you see it so often. That’s pretty much exactly what you wrote on that Facebook post, was exactly what I was talking about. When I was 18 that’s what I did, if I didn’t feel quite fit enough, I’d get out the door when I wasn’t prepared to and I’d crush 4 hours of Ironman intervals on the bike and then I’d go out and try and run 10 miles on the bike and sure, I’d get a great workout in, but it would be way too much for where I was at at that time and I’d get sick or get injured. I’d tweak something and then I wouldn’t train for 5 days and so yeah, you’re much better off running for 30 minutes for 5 days than 2 hours on one day and then being out for the next five.

BRAD BROWN:  I’m having such a laugh. You talk about being sick and off for five days, I’ve just come off three weeks of bronchitis, so that was my first ride back after three weeks of bronchitis. I’m an idiot!

SAM LONG:  Yeah.

BRAD BROWN:  I should know better! I’m going to have to go and slap myself around after this one! Sam, let’s talk about race calendar and how you select what you want to race and when you want to race. Tell me how you go about planning a year.

Being selective in planning your year

SAM LONG:  On this note I’ll actually say, I think this is harder for age groupers than for pros. I really think it’s harder to plan your year as an age grouper because you have to sign up for all the races sometimes a whole year ahead of time and so you have to commit to what your schedule is going to be a whole year ahead of time. In the pro ranks all you have to do is register three weeks before an event. That gives you a lot more flexibility, which is nice. Granted, I still generally have my year set up by January and then I’m able to make slight changes to it now which is nice, but I’ve tried different things a lot and what’s been really working this year is I’ve been racing two weeks in a row. I’ve been doing like an Xterra the week before doing a half Ironman and so that’s been working really well for me. It gets my speed up and an Xterra is not going to wipe you out for a week, at least not at my age and where I’m at and so I’ve done that three times now and I’m going to do it one more time. That went well. Setting up the year is not easy.

Consistency, diligence and hard work helps achieve The Kona Edge - how Sam Long does it

The first question to ask yourself is when is your first race going to be and am I going to have the fitness needed to actually complete the race ’cause in my opinion, you’re either fit to race a race or you’re not fit to race and there’s no in between. You can be more fit than you need to do a race, which is where you should be, but if you’re not fit enough, then you shouldn’t even show up to the start line. You need to ask yourself that question and then say: How long of an off season do I want to have, how long of an off season do I need to have? And so if you can answer those two questions, then you can figure out when your first race needs to be. From there, if you know when your first race needs to be, then you can maybe do a few races in a row, have a little racing block, that’s what you like to do or some people like to do one kick-starter race, have a month off and then have their real first race, that’s a good method. I might do that next year and then maybe have another training block, that’s kind of what I like to do, so kick out the season, have a few races, next year that’s what I’ll do. I’ll kick up a season, have one or two more races, solid training block and then I’ll be getting to like June now and then I’ll really have a solid line up of races, maybe like an Xterra, a half Ironman, a few weeks off of training. Xterra, half Ironman, a few more weeks off and then with an Ironman to try and quality as a pro for Kona next year. Then depending on where that’s at, I’d probably train, depending on whether I’m qualified for 70.3 Worlds. I’d do that or if not, so it’s kind of tricky at that point because I don’t know if I’ll qualify, but if not, I’ll just do another race at a similar time.

BRAD BROWN:  Sam, as far as team goes and a lot of age groupers require lots of support, family, obviously, around work and that sort of thing, tell me a little bit about your team from a coaching perspective, who do you work with from a medical perspective, is there anybody that helps you on a regular basis, what does Team Sam Long look like?

Be in control of your training

SAM LONG:  That’s a great question. Team Sam Long’s gotten to be pretty big, which was always shocking to me because it’s hard to realize how many people you need to actually look after you. I’m self-coached, so that’s one less person that I don’t have on my team. I guess I’d start off, I’d have a strength coach, just for in the gym, Erin Carson, she’s pretty well-known, she’s given me exercises, flexibility stuff, so she’s one person. I then have a chiropractor who I see twice a month, so he’s another part of my team. I have a massage therapist I see twice a month, another person on my team. I have a specialist swimming coach I see probably twice a month and who I talk to before races, so I think we’re already at four or five people and then obviously when I get into emotional support which is probably the biggest factor of your team, who can you talk to about and who can you talk to triathlon about and your training about for hours without them getting sick of it, that’s the big question. I have my girlfriend to talk to that about and she’s really a fundamental part of my team as well as her whole family which are really supportive and then obviously my own family too. I don’t have a lot of training partners, but I’d say I have two really close training partners and so that really constitutes my team, as well as the Master swim groups I go to and all that.

BRAD BROWN:  Sam, I find it interesting, you’re not scared to ask for help and that’s obvious by the team that you’ve got with the chiropractor, massage therapist and I find it interesting that you self-coach, tell me the thinking behind that.

SAM LONG:  I’ve been self-coached now for a few months. Before that I was working with Richie Cunningham and before that I was working with [inaudible 0.34.20], so I was coached for about two years and my reason was kind of like, I study physiology at school, so I kind of understand a lot of the science behind it and the other thing I was finding was, it’s really, I’m not saying it can’t happen, but I think it’s hard to get really good communication with the coach to the point where you’re actually able to communicate how you feel and what you need to have on the day to day basis. I find it really hard to stick to a training plan every day. I always tried out basic ideas, maybe more like the workouts I want to get done for the week, but they don’t necessarily have to be done on a certain day, even though they usually are done on a certain day. Really, the main reason for me not having a coach and I think this is what coming down to having a coach comes down to for everyone, honestly, is mental attributes, how you think. Kind of going to what we were talking about earlier, with how competitive I am and I like to be in control of my training, I absolutely like to be in control of my training and so that’s on me. I can’t hand my control of the training over to the coaches and so it kind of made it hard for us to get along as well as for me, I didn’t need emotional support from a coach. I didn’t need them to tell me if I did really bad in a workout and it sucks, I didn’t need them to be like, it’s okay, I knew it was okay or if I had a great race, I didn’t need to call my coach and tell them: I had a great race. For me it was enough to have it in with myself and so I think it really comes down to attributes like that, for whether you need a coach or not and for whether you need someone to say: Get out the door and go and get your workout done. That’s a big thing that a coach does and if you need that, you might need a coach, but I never needed that. I said okay, I can do this on my own, I have this whole power dispute with coaches, so I’m just going to save some money and do it on my own.

BRAD BROWN:  I love that! You are working with a specialist swim coach and we’re going to delve into that next time we chat and that’ll be next week Thursday here on The Kona Edge. Sam, I’m going to thank you for your time here today, we’ll catch up again next week Thursday to touch base on your swimming and what you’ve done and what you do in the water to get better, but thanks for your time today and thanks for sharing your journey and we look forward to catching up again next time.

SAM LONG:  Great, sounds good, have a good one.

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