‘For me, swimming just for the sake of it is not interesting. There needs to be a greater goal and a higher purpose. Mine is the ocean.’
Ben Lecomte is a French-born long-distance swimmer whose wild ventures across oceans, through storms and into shark-infested waters have captured headlines and put hearts in mouths since he first began in 1998. The reason he does it? To highlight the issues of marine plastic pollution and to raise awareness about the tenuous state of our oceans. His next mission involves a 300 nautical mile swim in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, collecting samples and data to contribute towards the global scientific knowledge on this extraordinary toxic mass. We found out what he did to prepare for the expedition how he got his Game Face on.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEXT MISSION

I can't wait to start it. I will be swimming about 300 nautical miles in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (about 1 nautical mile swam for 1 million ton of plastic being produced per year). Once I have covered the 300 nm in the patch, I will swim to California. Throughout the mission we will collect data and samples to contribute to the common global scientific knowledge and use this amazing platform to educate the audience about marine plastic pollution and inspire people to take action and make changes in their daily life to reduce marine plastic pollution.

HOW HAVE YOU TRAINED PHYSICALLY FOR YOUR SWIM?

Every day I run, swim, bike and plank.  In the best case scenario, I train between 3 to 5 hours per day but since I am working to partially fund the expedition it is very difficult to stick to this schedule. Once I get closer to the expedition, I stop working and dedicate more time to training. 
WHAT DIET DO YOU FOLLOW IN TRAINING?

I don't eat any sugar and try to minimize my meat intake. For breakfast I have coffee, eggs, fruits and some whole wheat bread. I don't eat lunch but I eat two meals for dinner. This is the regiment I have to follow when I swim - I cannot eat lunch - so I get my body used to it while I am on land. .

HOW ARE YOU PREPARING MENTALLY?

I meditate for 15-30 minutes every morning – I started before I swam the Atlantic. Visualization techniques really help when I’m swimming so every morning during my meditation session, I do some visualization exercises. Rest is very important and I make sure I sleep at least 8 hours every night and more during expeditions.
WHAT GETS YOU IN THE MOOD?

I don't listen to music to put me in the mood, I go into a quiet and relaxing place in my mind.

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?

For me swimming just for swimming is not interesting, there needs to be a greater goal and a higher purpose. Marine pollution and plastic in particular is a huge issue that is going to affect every body no matter your geography and social status, the only way to solve this problem is for each one of us to take action.  

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