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Sunday, July 19, 2015
48 Years Old And In His Prime
Benoît Lecomte explained about his preparations - both mental and physical for this year's The Longest Swim, an unprecedented 8,000 km stage swim from Tokyo to San Francisco that he estimates will take 180 straight days of swimming 8 hours per day.
Lecomte summarized his training, "It involves many years of preparation. It is more than just a swim; it involves many subjects and people coming together from different corners: education, research, media...and of course training...with plenty of meditation and dissociation.
The intensity of my training is not to be compared with the training of Olympic swimmers which includes speed, intervals, strength. When I train, my heartbeat stays around 120 bpm.
I use fins because it allows me to use the biggest muscle group in our body (legs) rather than the shoulders - when swimming without fins, most of the power comes from the work of the shoulders. This allows me to save my shoulders where most of the injuries happen for swimmers. So even if the numbers are huge (note: it is estimated he will take 8.6 million leg kicks across the Pacific Ocean), how does that compare with the number of steps taken by a person walking for 8 hours per day over 180 days? Plus kicking in the water requires less energy than walking and less impact since we are not carrying our weight.
Yes, it is challenging but it is a low-impact activity and at a low intensity.
The challenge is more mental than physiologic. I know that first hand from my swim in the Atlantic Ocean. The most difficult issue was to keep on going the same thing days in and days out and to find the motivation to keep on going. On the physical aspect, when I finished I did not have any major issues that would have prevented me from keeping on swimming.
When you look at the age of people doing ultra distance - both swimming and running - the best one are in their late 40's early 50's. When Martin Strel swam the Amazon River, he was 52-53. The reason for that is that when we age, we lose speed and strength but not our endurance ultra, in some cases we can even improve it. Plus as we age, we become much stronger mentally and this last point alone makes all the difference; how far can you push yourself.
We can all relate to that and remember that at a young age we were all about instant gratification. But as we age, we realize we can stretch out that "instant". It is all about mind over matter and changing mindsets. I turned 48 last month, I am in my prime."
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Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.
WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
The Other Shore
The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac
An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.
This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.
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There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.
In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...
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The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.