When Lionel met Sam: Sanders and Long finally drop video of THAT training session

Sam Long and Lionel Sanders train together in Tuscon, Arizona.

Staff Reporter
Last updated -

North American rivals Sam Long and Lionel Sanders, both of whom are set to toe the start line at the PTO Tour US Open in Milwaukee next month, have been putting in the work together down in Arizona.

The pair, who are both now self-coached, have lived in Tucson for some time, but until this season haven’t been known to sharpen iron with iron and get together for training sessions and race preparation.

With both Sanders and Long hoping to make a splash in Milwaukee, the duo recently filmed a YouTube video of a training session on Mount Lemmon, the KOM of which sparked the rivalry between the pair a number of years ago.


Sam Long on choosing Tucson

Hailing from Boulder, widely regarded as the Mecca of triathlon training, Long was asked why he had chosen to base himself in Tuscon, with the “Big Unit” revealing that the weather and growing community played a big part.

“First of I think that great weather is really hard to beat. Year round, there’s 360 days of sunshine and this is actually my first summer here.

It’s great for swimming. It is my favourite sport of the three right now and it’s nice to just jump in that cold water in the afternoon.

“We have a great community here, it’s growing and we have people who just want to get to work and have aspirations to be the best and it is just a great group coming together and that also makes me want to be the best.”

Lionel Sanders on US Open prep

After a hard bike workout followed by a run, Sanders, who has gone back to basics with his approach to training, shared some thoughts on how things were going for him heading into Milwaukee.

Collins Cup 2022 Lionel Sanders Sam Long photo credit PTO
[Photo credit: PTO]

“I’m not trying to do anything crazy, I just want to do consistency and build an aerobic base whilst maintaining intensity. I have definitely been lacking in the aerobic base department and I think that makes me feel like a bag of s*** once the things go longer.

“Now I am trying to both concurrently do the intensity whilst also building the aerobic base. I am excited for next season, it’ll be my first season with a base-building period.

“Now I am just going back to old school here, there is no need to think about training here. I have spent a decade over-analysing training, wasted time as that has been figured out for 50 years plus. Volume, intensity and doing as much as you can whilst also recovering, that’s it and it’s that simple.” 

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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