Dan Martin, Ben Lecomte, Penny Palfrey and Diana Nyad…can there be any group of aquatic athletes training as intensely as these four?

Martin does between 2 and 8 hours of swimming per day to get ready for his stage swim across the Atlantic Ocean. “I try and split the distance into three swims so I can experience getting in and out a lot [which he will have to do as he traverses the Atlantic Ocean without a wetsuit]]. I’ve done four training camps of between 4 and 8 weeks doing 8 hours a day in San Francisco, Dover and Ireland.”

To give an idea of how much Martin has trained for his unprecedented Global Triathlon is that he is now in the taper period of his training, resting up for his start. “I’m now not doing too much-about three hours a day just to charge up before I set off [within the next few weeks]“.

Over in warmer waters in the Caribbean Sea, Nyad is doing repeated workouts over 8 hours, including a long of 13 non-stop hours, in preparation for her 103-mile (166 km) Cuba-to-Florida attempt. For someone nearly ready to celebrate their 63rd birthday, the physical toll is unimaginable. As Nyad blogged, “Logic dictates that, if you’re preparing for an event that’s going to last some 60 or 70 continuous hours, then 13 hours would have to seem almost easy once you’re in near-top form. But I’m here to tell you that 13 hours of non-stop swimming, especially in a fairly rough sea, is never, ever easy. It’s a long grind of a day. I’m getting there, for sure. The muscles recover by the next morning. But the 13 hours themselves. Never, ever easy.”

Meanwhile Palfrey is turning back time and training even more than the Australian Olympic swimmers half her age. With her goal of taking off from Havana and hitting land somewhere along the Florida Keys, Palfrey hits daily distances of 25 km, peaking at 145 km (90 miles) over one 8-day period.

What is refreshing to see is that wherever they train and wherever they go, the global open water swimming community reaches out and helps them by sharing supportive words and pacing duties.

But all seems well for these intrepid four seem to smile much more than they grimace, their positive nature comes from an optimistic spirit deep within their DNA.

Martin is shown above with his training partners in San Francisco Bay.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source