There’s a lot more to college weight gain than the Freshman 15. By the time senior year rolls around, many of us get out of breath walking from the desk to the fridge. That makes it all the more impossible that senior exercise science major Jack LeMaire is training for a 10-mile endurance swim.
For the next few months, LeMaire will be training for a race called "Swim the Suck" in Chattanooga, Tenn., which is hosted by the Chattanooga Open Water Swimmers (C.O.W.S) and is part of the annual River Rocks adventure sports festival. The race will take place next October with a water temperature of around 70 degrees.
LeMaire said that elite swimmers from all across the nation and sometimes other countries will be participating in the race. The race is a staggering 10 miles downstream. Each swimmer will be accompanied by a kayaker for safety purposes to allow the swimmers access to food whenever they need to refuel.
“I often get asked why I'm doing the race,” said LeMaire. “I want the opportunity to challenge myself to do something out of the ordinary. I love endurance races. I see a certain beauty in them. The miles chisel away at the athletes until there's nothing left but their exposed soul and their will to continue on. Those are the times when you really get to see what you're made of. It's a special thing that I don't think many people get to experience in life. I know this race will really push the limits of what I'm capable of.”
LeMaire said he will continue to train for the next few months to gradually raise his mileage while at the same time building a strong base for the more “intense and specific” training that will lead up to the race.
“At the moment I typically swim five to 8 miles per week. When the training reaches its peak I expect I'll be swimming 15 to 20 miles per week, with a large part of that being a once weekly high mileage swim,” said LeMaire. “Along with my endurance training, I also practice with the TTU swim club where I do more technical drills and sprints.”
LeMaire hopes to have a finish time of around varying three and a half to four hours due to the activity of the dam upstream.
“I'm competitive and am going to aim for a first place finish, but that won't be an easy task,” said LeMaire. “I know that I'll swim my heart out on that day and we'll see where that takes me.”