Creatures will be around you

How to swim the Amazon river by Martin Strel

Training tips from the first man to ever swim the length of the Amazon River.

1) In 2007, aged 52, Slovenian Martin Strel became the first man to swim the length of the Amazon. See www.amazonswim.com

2) “Swimming for 12 hours a day, I’d burn 10,000-12,000 calories (42,000-50,000 kilojoules). Food was really important. I’d eat soup, vegetables and fish three times a day. Twice a day I also drank Slovenian red wine.”

3) Early in the swim, Strel suffered second-degree sunburn to his face. If you get scorched this summer, dunk a clean face cloth in cold milk and drape it over the burnt area for 5-10 minutes every hour for the first six hours. The lactic acid in the milk will ease the inflammation and the coolness will soothe the swelling.

4) “Swimming all day, I’d get a lot of pain in my neck and shoulders. To forget it you must learn to concentrate 100 per cent on something you love; focus on happy memories. It works like a kind of hypnosis. Believe me, it’s a good endurance strategy, whether you’re biking, running or rowing.”

5) Longer swims require you to have an efficient stroke. Terry Laughlin, the author of Triathlon Swimming Made Easy, suggests trying to swim as “quietly” as possible, as waves indicate wasted effort. Imagine you’re piercing the water and slipping through a small hole.

6) All kinds of creatures will be around you (crocs, snakes, bull-sharks, candirus, etc.). The best to way to keep up with them is to pretend like you are one of them and feel the same. And be prepared TO GET SHOCKED!

7) “My suggestion for the Amazon? Don’t urinate in the water. The candiru is a small fish that’s very fast and aggressive, and can swim right up inside you. It’s a terrible death.”

8) Bloke lore – Amazon Swimmer Martin Strel

9) “Train smart and do not exaggerate, and build you training/distance step by step. And sometimes take a break to enjoy the water pleasure. The more you feel pleasure in the water, the more you like it.”

Note: Original article of this story was published in Men´s Health Australia.

Image courtesy: Men´s Health Australia