Cheshire Ultra-Swimmer’s Record-Breaking Attempt in the Name of Science

In May, Ross Edgley from Alderley Edge, Cheshire, will embark on a unique challenge to break the world record for the longest distance ever completed in a pool over one week. His goal is to swim 223 miles (360 km), and while breaking the record is important, Edgley believes that the true objective of this endeavor is to study how calorie intake impacts swimming performance.

Edgley has been preparing for this feat rigorously at the Best Centre in Mallorca, Spain from May 19 to May 26. As an experienced long-distance swimmer, having completed the Great British Swim and set a new record for the longest open water swim in Loch Ness, he understands that pushing through grueling training sessions is essential. During his training, Edgley lost weight, dropping from 16 stone (102kg) to 12st 8lb (80kg), which he describes as a challenging yet necessary aspect of the challenge.

When asked about his motivation during this arduous journey, Edgley turns to Greek mythology for inspiration. He likens the challenge of maintaining performance while consuming enough food to push through long days of swimming to Sisyphus’s mythical struggle of rolling a boulder up a hill. For Edgley, it’s all about perseverance and pushing himself beyond his limits.

The primary focus of this research project is to determine how much food an endurance athlete can consume while maintaining their performance level – an area that is often overlooked during training. This study is supported by PhD Nutrition and could yield groundbreaking results once complete. For Edgley, it’s not just about breaking records; it’s about advancing scientific knowledge in endurance sports and discovering what truly drives human capability when pushed beyond our limits.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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