Sam Long ‘excited to become a swimmer’ and ditch ‘duathlete’ tag

Sam Long admits it – the words hurt when Jan Frodeno called him ‘a duathlete’ at last year’s Collins Cup in Samorin. But he also admits the German was right.

The American star was well beaten by the modern-day GOAT at the inaugural event in Slovakia after coming out of the water more than four-and-a-half minutes behind Frodeno and Sam Appleton.

Collins Cup nightmare

Afterwards he admitted: “The truth is, after Collins Cup, I didn’t sleep at all that night. I slept about two hours. And I thought about the race for two days straight. And it left me with an uncomfortable feeling and I had to look myself in the mirror and say ‘I need to be better, and I want to be better’.”

Long knew he had to improve his swim to contend at the world’s biggest races, so he cancelled Christmas and dedicated his offseason to doing so. He is not the whole way there yet (he had to come from 32nd out of the water to win CLASH Miami last Friday) but he is making progress.

As he prepares for his next race – Challenge Puerto Varas in Chile this weekend, he did feel happy and confident enough to announce that he’s “excited to become a swimmer”. He also once again referenced that Frodeno quote from Samorin last August.

Frodeno was right

Writing in an Instagram post, the ‘Big Unit’ said: “At the Collins Cup @janfrodeno called me a duathlete (and rightfully so).

“I took it personally—cancelled Christmas—and the work is starting to show. I also understand it won’t take a few months but have to keep at it.

“I’m excited to become a swimmer. #belimitless.

Long of course is building towards his first major challenge of 2022 – the delayed 2021 IRONMAN World Championship, scheduled for St George on May 7.

Sam will go there as one of a group of contenders hoping to gatecrash the predicted podium party for the big three of Frodeno and Norwegian prodigies Gustav Iden and Kristian Blummenfelt.

Jonathan Turner
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Jonathan is Editorial Director for TRI247 and RUN247. He was previously Head of Digital / Comms for pro cycling's Team Sky and now spends as much time as he can running with his local club. Swimming is not yet on the radar.