Proper now, 35-year-old Ben Beard of Las Cruces, NM, is busy managing his dwelling development and gross sales firm, whereas additionally juggling intense prep for the problem of a lifetime. Beard is elevating cash as a way to assist younger individuals attain their instructional and enterprise potential, and can bravely swim the English Channel in help of The Grant Cardone Basis. Impressed, and desperate to learn how the enterprise man, and father of 4, is preparing for such an epic problem, M&F took a ‘deep dive’ into his motivations and coaching forward of this final check of energy and endurance.
Swimming the English Channel isn’t any imply feat. The slim 21 mile (32 kilometer) stretch of water, between the southern coast of England and the northern fringe of France endures changeable climate and as such, completion occasions differ wildly as a result of particular person athlete’s personal potential and the unpredictable atmosphere that they have to battle by means of. The common swim time, nevertheless, is 13 hours, 33 minutes, and 54 seconds whereas a file of 6 hours and 55 minutes has been held by Australia’s Trent Grimsey since 2012.
So then, the primary query is easy: What attracts an expert man like Beard to throw himself into the deep finish like this? “I first learn Grant Cardone’s books; ‘The 10X Rule’ and ‘Be Obsessed or Be Common’ in 2017,” he says. “At the moment, I used to be making ready to begin my enterprise; Purple Cliff Houses. I had approached some land sellers with a small concept to get my enterprise began. Then, after their lukewarm reception, I noticed that perhaps I wanted to go larger to make the deal extra enticing to them, so I actually adopted the teachings I had learn, and multiplied by pitch by 10. This led to me getting began alone within the dwelling constructing enterprise, and allowed me to scale up rapidly, closing 27 properties my first yr in enterprise.”
Having gained a lot perception from the Grant Cardone Basis, a non-profit group that goals to supply profession steering and academic sources, significantly to the younger and weak, Beard felt the necessity to pay it ahead, and set himself a goal of elevating $50,000 for the trigger. Right here’s how he’s gone from land developer to lengthy distance swimmer.
Rekindling Outdated Passions
Ben Beard selected to swim the English Channel, partly, as a option to rekindle an previous ardour. Properly, they do say that it is best to observe your inside compass! He started swimming in highschool the place, initially, he wasn’t a fan of distance swimming however having caught with it, additionally preserving a toe in throughout faculty, Beard realized that moving into the water was not simply an effective way to remain in bodily form, as he felt a spread of psychological advantages too. “I benefit from the likelihood to close out the world and simply swim,” he says. “It’s sort of like meditation for me, with the possibility to clear my head whereas working my physique to the purpose of exhaustion. Chilly water provides to the head-clearing side of swimming and likewise tends to make me hyper conscious of my physique, in order that I can deal with which muscular tissues are sore and any slight inner temperature modifications that my physique goes by means of throughout lengthy swims.”
By his current coaching, Beard says that he’s realized that swimming the channel isn’t purely a bodily problem, noting that additionally it is “about psychological toughness to resist the chilly, the monotony, and loneliness.”
Placing within the Hours
The entrepreneur gained’t be rocking as much as the English Channel unprepared and has been coaching for 3-years to make this swim regardless of the calls for of a busy day job. Lengthy distance swimming requires nice stamina and cardio vascular conditioning. “I preserve a working complete of hours swam every month in my planner, to be sure that I’m staying on monitor with my coaching objectives,” he says. “I’ve had a variety of journey for work over the previous couple of months, so I’ve needed to be diligent about trying forward of time for locations to swim whereas on work journeys. Many gyms supply a brief trial interval, and this has been very useful, and native metropolis recreation services are additionally nice locations to coach more often than not. I additionally deliver working garments with me to get in a run if I gained’t be capable of swim. Final week, I obtained caught in dangerous climate whereas flying and ended up having an sudden 7-hour layover. The late arrival that evening meant that I’d not be capable of swim earlier than my work conferences, so I modified garments within the airport toilet, discovered a non-public spot to stash my luggage, and went on a 2-mile run within the airport!”
Making the Weight
“I realized after signing-up that marathon swimming just isn’t a 6-pack and ripped muscular tissues sort of sport,” says Beard. “Most profitable channel swimmers are pretty heavy, and people who aren’t will usually have to placed on weight as a way to face up to the cold-water temperatures; anticipated to be roughly 60 F on the time of my swim. So, I’ve been deliberately gaining weight during the last yr.”
Since Beard is swimming rather a lot in his coaching, he’s burning a ton of energy, so gaining weight is a problem. He’s countered this with “calorie restoration” meals after lengthy swims. He may even want to determine what he’ll eat throughout his English Channel swim, as a way to preserve vitality ranges. Whereas endeavor the problem, Beard could have a ship pilot and workforce that can get feeds to him. These feeds can differ relying on people tastes, and a few swimmers go for liquid dietary supplements, however the principle factor is that the meals needs to be simple to seize and eat. “Over the previous couple of months, I’ve been experimenting with completely different meals for my ‘feeds’ throughout the swim,” he says. “I’ve settled on re-fried black beans, with numerous further butter, in addition to calorie dense mashed potatoes, each of which will probably be sucked out of pouches like these designed for feeding a child. Potatoes are very excessive in potassium, and with the combination of beans and potatoes I’ll have a mixture of proteins and slower burning, longer-lasting carbs. I’ll additionally add in a small sweet bar for these quick, fast bursts of sugar once I really want it. Throughout coaching, I drink a mixture of plain water and electrolyte drinks however throughout the channel swim, electrolytes aren’t as vital resulting from being surrounded by salt water. So, I’ll drink sizzling chocolate for each the added warmth, in addition to the additional sugar content material.”
Searching for Professional Recommendation
Beard is attacking this English Channel swim in the identical manner that he plans a housing improvement, through the use of skilled recommendation and information to achieve the absolute best end result. He’s regularly difficult the gap that he can swim within the harsh parts and has additionally sought perception from people who have gone earlier than him. “Once I set the objective in 2019, my spouse obtained me a guide written by a profitable English Channel swimmer: ‘Maintain Calm and Swim to France: Tales of an English Channel Swimmer’ by Mark Ransom,” he says. “Then, in June 2022, I accomplished a swim throughout Bear Lake in northern Utah as a part of my coaching. My information on that swim was a former English Channel swimmer, Joelle Brown-Beard (no relation) whom I related with on Fb. From Joelle I obtained some nice recommendation round upping my coaching. Once I swam with Joelle, I anticipated that the lake crossing could be 6 miles and take round three hours. Nevertheless it truly took 6 hours to swim 6.9 miles. The water was 54ºF, in order that was part of my slower than anticipated time however it additionally gave me a wake-up name that you have to severely practice for a majority of these swims.”
Since then, Beard has ramped as much as the place he’s now frequently swimming 10-12 hours per week. one to 1.5 hours on a weekday, and 5 to six-plus hours on Saturdays. With 3 years of coaching below his belt, Beard now considers himself to be a complicated swimmer however at all times bear in mind: It is very important search skilled recommendation and supervision when endeavor lengthy distance swims.
His English Channel swim is scheduled for June 8-15, dependant on climate and tidal situations, and The Channel Swimming Affiliation may even be readily available, to watch the swim and be sure that it’s ratified.
“My essential goal is to efficiently full the swim, regardless of how lengthy it takes,” says Beard. “I’m not doing this to set a file or change into an expert marathon swimmer, however to finish a life objective. It doesn’t must look fairly, I simply must get it performed. I’ll be thrilled it doesn’t matter what my time is!”
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