Here is a link to a fantastic blog posting about a Slovenian swimmer, Martin Strel, who is the first man ever to swim the entire length of the Amazon river … all 3274 miles in 66 days. That’s 50 miles per day, folks. For Canadian readers, it’s over 80 km of swimming per day in some of the deadliest waters on earth.
How did he do it? Read the entire entry over at Tim Ferriss’ blog. What I found interesting, and the reason I’m posting this, is that Strel talked about using hypnosis to overcome the mental challenge of the task. In short, he says that there are plenty of swimmers who are more physically up to the task than he is, but the mental game is where people break down.
While I am swimming long distances I am rolling very interesting different films and stories in my head in order to forget about swimming and pains that I have in my body. Basically I am like a robot and if someone suddenly “wakes me up,” I usually get angry, because I fall out of my concentration. This “robot stage” is an ability of high-level concentration, which works like hypnosis. So I could say that if you want to forget your pains and action you have to know how to put yourself into hypnotism.
This hypnotized stage could last up to one hour on my swims and I can repeat several times a day. I needed many years to train/teach myself how to do it. I could not do this when I was younger.