That is by far the most frequent question people have when they learn that I’m planning to swim 27km in the ocean this June.
Short answer: no, I’m not crazy. Or at least not more so than anyone who has done an Ironman for no good reason other than to say they did it. In the end, a 27km swim takes about the same time as an Ironman.
This is another very frequent question. No short answer – there are multiple reasons. First, I do it to bring attention to my fundraiser for the Red Cross (see more at I Swim – You Donate fundraiser or in my post from May 22 2017). Of course, going out for a regular swim does not catch people’s attention or gets them to part with their money even if it is for a good cause such as Red Cross’ Emergency Relief projects… but 10, 15! 27km? In the ocean!? Yes, that is more impressive, and I am grateful to have raised almost 1,500 EUR to date (all of it goes directly to the Red Cross).
As a bonus, training for these long distance events keeps me fit. My regular training throughout the year involves ca. 25km weekly (4km daily and a bit extra on weekends). This distance is the right balance between maintaining a good base, and time commitment (ca. 15 hours per week, incl. biking to the pool). However, this is not enough preparation for the very long events. As a rule of thumb, the week prior to the week of the event, I’ll aim to swim 2.5 to 3 times the distance of the event, with one of the days peaking at ca. 80% the event distance. For example, the week before I swim the 27km event on June 16, I’ll need to swim at least 67km between June 4 and June 10, and ca. 20km on Saturday June 9. This translates into an overall time commitment of ca. 24 hours (17 hours in the water)…. I might need vacation just for training and resting