This week, we caught up with Paul Feltoe, a competitive, long distance ocean swimmer who has been swimming with MySwimPro for years in New Plymouth, New Zealand. 🇳🇿

We’re proud to welcome Paul to our Ambassador Team and can’t wait for you to get to know more about this determined swimmer.

Meet Paul Feltoe

Paul Feltoe is 45 years old and lives in New Plymouth, New Zealand. He’s been swimming since he was 8 years old, and spent his childhood competing on a swim team in the the 50, 100 and 200 backstroke events. In his 20’s, he started a masters swimming club and continued that until he found his calling–long distance ocean swimming.

Paul has completed several ultra-marathon swims (20-40k, and over 10 hours long!), including 2 of the Oceans 7 Circuit – The Catalina Channel (California), and Cook Strait (New Zealand).

“You have to spend all year preparing and getting the logistics sorted.”

The Ocean’s 7 consists of seven long-distance open-water swims, and is considered the marathon swimming equivalent of the Seven Summits mountaineering challenge. It includes the North Channel, the Cook Strait, the Molokai Channel, the English Channel, the Catalina Channel, the Tsugaru Strait and the Strait of Gibraltar.

Only six people have ever completed all seven of these swims. Paul is going for his 3rd!

Long Distance Ocean Swimming

When we asked to share his background in this grueling sport, he said “I have been ocean (& lake) swimming for over 10 years and most of my swims are marathon distance (10k) or greater. There is an event in New Zealand called the Epic swim which occurs in January of each year. It attracts over 1,000 swimmers to take part in a 5k, 10k and 2.5k swim.

Read Paul’s blog post about his Santa Catalina Race! 

Most of the swimmers only do one of the races, however there is category (called the Epic Epic) that allows you to swim all 3 races with about 10-30 minutes rest in between each race. I do this each year in preparation for an Ultra Marathon swim somewhere around the world.

I have swam 6 ultra marathon swims over the last 5 years. The rules of these swims are run under the English Channel rules – no wetsuit, 1 swimsuit, 1 cap, no touching your support craft.”

Paul is the real deal. These ultra marathons are no joke!

“You go through all the shifts of the lifeguards. They think you’re a bit nuts. You are nuts, you have to accept it. You have to be pigheaded, single minded – deal with failure and move on.” 

His Training Strategy

Paul is currently training to swim the Molokai channel in Hawaii in July 2019. This race is one of the most difficult in the world at over 40k (26-mile) in distance!

In the 6 months preceding a big race, he swims 35-40km per week. He’ll do 4 pool swims and 1 open water swim. He then supplements this with a long ocean swim (15-20k) every couple of weeks.

Where he lives in New Zealand, he can swim in the ocean without a wetsuit from November to April. He’s very lucky to have ocean temperatures range from 15-20 degrees celsius!

Related: Profile: The Swimming Engineer Paul Feltoe

How He Trains with MySwimPro

Paul has been logging every swim he does into MySwimPro for the last 2 1/2 years. He has over 450 logged workouts and 3,000km of training swims in that time!

20-50% of his swims are directed by his swim coach and he supplements the others with workouts from the MySwimPro library.

“The app keeps my focus on my mileage and getting out of bed in the morning to get the swims in. I use MySwimPro to log all my swims, so it is clear if I haven’t made my targets.”

“I use MySwimPro primarily to track my weekly mileage and use the programs available when I am not swimming under my coach. It has been enjoyable to see how the app has been developed over my time using it.”

Related: MySwimPro Syncs with Strava

You are crushing it, Paul! We are so happy to have you on our team as an Ambassador. Thanks for sharing your story, keep up the hard work, and good luck at Molokai!

To learn how other swimmers are swimming with MySwimPro, read this blog post >

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