Tag Archives: STA

Grueling CO2 and dynamic turns

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It is always a good thing to train with other freedivers once and a while, which made me decide to visit the pool in Zeist again for a freediving training. I joined up with Eric van Riet Paap at 19:45 yesterday and we started out with a static session to be followed by a dynamic session later in the evening.

Static
Eric had been making schedules for CO2 to go along his static times, as for today he wanted to do his “7,5 minute”-CO2 table. I agreed to try and do this schedule as well, just for the challenge of it, because it has been a while since a did a real good CO2 schedule. We started with a warm-up of empty lungs statics and I was very pleased with my results on that since this had been a while as well. Eric did nice empty lungs statics around 2m 10s and I was able to pull off a 1m 54s empty lung static.

In the meantime the other freedivers joined us, Rik Rösken, Danny Matherus, Erik Skoda and Rem. On to the schedule » First to go was Eric and he managed to do this grueling schedule without any bail outs or real problems. So respect for that! After that I was given the opportunity to give it a try. The first part went good and the first increase in time didn’t pose a problem. Then came the second increase in time and I just had too much trouble getting there in combination with an upcoming headache, that I decided that this schedule is for another time to finish. Just like Eric said, these things you have to build up to a level like this. None the less this was an awesome training and felt so good to be doing a proper CO2 training again.

After the schedule we both did a maximum static to see how the CO2 table influenced the contractions. Eric and I both did a respectable time without real problems, for 4m 31s for Eric and 4m 44s for myself.

Dynamic
For myself I had the goals I set in my last post, to reach 87,5 meters and see how easy that feels and always do a turn at 75m even if it’s just the turn. Eric had a similair kind of set up for his training, so we decided to take turns at our set distances. Eric first did a nice 100 meter with a turn and was very pleased with the overall feel, improvement points for himself were the turnpoints. After that I did a 87,5 meter dynamic and it actually felt like something to train with the coming period. We both went at it again and succeeded in doing that extra turn at the end. Pleased with the results I called it a day and went home and just made it there before midnight.

I like to thank Eric and his fellow freedivers for having me over, it was a great learning experience and good overall results to feel good about.

Tingling sensation can mean 2 different things

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The other night I was coaching Jorg while holding his breath at the hottub pool in the Tongelreep Eindhoven. He was experiencing his normal barrier and trying all kinds of different preparation techniques to break out of it as you can read here. As we know from our previous competition and other training sessions in the hottub, it can be very hot in there :D. This high temperature poses a range of problems which seemed easy to explain why they happen, but it turns out I was wrong about 1 of them.

When I was coaching Jorg, the time I spent in the pool doing nothing but coaching increased to a range of 25 minutes orso. That’s when I started sensing the same thing as when I’d have vasoconstriction. But although I assumed it was a free pass into having the vasoconstriction, I learned that it is actually vasodilation and thus the exact opposite of the thing you want happening with freediving.

To prove the theory I decided on doing a schedule to counteract the vasodilation and see after how many times the tingling sensation would fade away. So I did 1 minute 30 seconds breath holds and in the last 5 seconds I’d release all my air, after that I’d surface and immediately take one deep breath again and do another 1m30s. Normally with this schedule you would get the vasoconstriction kicking in at around 6 or 7 times.

The test showed us, that after only 3 times into this schedule the vasodilation was counteracted and I didn’t have the tingling feeling anymore. Theory proven and a lesson learned ;).

Static competition in Nieuw Vennep

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Last night I drove out to Nieuw-Vennep for a static competition organized by Nanja van den Broek’s organization Enker. The traffic didn’t pose a problem as I anticipated, so I was even in time for the inscription and judge speech. Although one judge was sick and one other freediver had called in sick, the cafetaria was filled with competing freedivers. Jorg was supposed to be joining as well, by after having another session with the dentist the pain was just too much to bare and he decided to stay home. It’s great to meet people in real life, after you spoke with them over the internet, although sometimes it takes a few minutes to recognize someone (Sorry Frank 😉 )

After everybody was inscribed and preparations were made to the pool, the competition started with the safety freedivers doing their own static’s first. After that Judith van de Griendt and Mark Keijzers were the organization’s safety. Besides all the gadgetery display, the competition was fun to be competing at. Exchanging experiences and learning from other freedivers is what comes first at these events, even if you don’t compete or compete against the big guns it will always be good thing to join for the learning experience. During the event I also grabbed my Android phone and tried make something out of the live coverage for Shark-freediving.com. You can watch the material in my Ustream channel here.

I promised myself the minimum of 3m30s would be satisfactory as I agreed upon with Jorg. Got into my Elios suit, which felt strange as I was almost the only one wearing one of those these days. I watched Eric and Jouke’s performance before I entered the water and eased into the competition area. Had a few laughs with the safety and started my breath up at 2 minutes before official top. Slow breathing with a normal rythem of 5 seconds in and about 20-25seconds air out always feels comforting. One or two seconds after official top I submerged and immediately the thoughts came into my head: “Here we are again, so why am I doing this?” Time to get rid of those thoughts and replace them by the experiences I had during my work day. Worked pretty well. At about 2 minuntes the contractions started and Not much later Mark Keijzers tapped my 1st tap @ 2m30s. Tap 2 and 3 came pretty quickly and I had reached the satisfactory level for myself. It all felt ok and I did two extra taps as I had promised myself and Eric to take a few extra contractions. Came up clean and did my surface protocol, waited for Erik Skoda to present my white card and there it was another mission accomplished.

It all might sound strange for people who used to know me as a guy who could static’s over 5-6 minutes and now not even being able to do so. But this has everything to do with me getting back on my feet after a succesful step back. I take things slowly and keep the fun factor high, hopefully this way I can get myself to fight off some more contractions. As long as I’m willing to do this for my own benefit and not for expectations of others, which is mostly the thing when my head starts thinking on automatic-mode ;).

Nanja thanks for organizing a nice event and let me express myself in your own words: “I always love competitions like these!”

Time for a change: Testing at Liège competition

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Since I made a good comeback last month in the Wiesbaden competition, I have been training with a few different things. Yesterday – Sunday 25th of october – I competed in the competition in Liège, Belgium, amongst a whole bunch of fellow Dutch freedivers. It was nice to meet up with all dutch freedivers again, met a few freshly trained freedivers as well. Good to know the dutch competition interest is still around!

It was the perfect time and place to give my change of training methods a better test, as in Wiesbaden I was more focussed on proving myself I was able to do solid performances.

Dynamic with Monofin

Getting ready for the turn
Getting ready for the turn

The major change in dynamic with fins for me was to go for monofin. I have been training with it, but never did a competition with it. In training, my technique has been far from good and that might have been a reason as well to never show it to anyone else in a competition ;). But as we’re trying to change some things over time, It was a “What the heck” moment which made me decide to just do it!

Preparing myself for a push off in a 1m 25cm deep pool at one side (2m 15cm at the other end), I was surprised to see that the push off was fairly good. I had trouble finding the rythm and balance, but after lane one I was up for a turn. I remembered Pim pointing out in the briefing that there was a ledge of 10cm’s, so reminded myself last minute “Ow yeah, touch above the ledge!”. So I swam up a bit and made proper turn, trying to find balance and rythm yet again. On to the ‘harder’ turn at the shallow part of the pool, all the way there I visualized how I would try and make a flat turn, which I managed to do fairly well. But after the push-off the wall, I drifted sideways and my balance was kinda not there anymore. On my way to the 75m, I decided to call it a day as my technique is still failing me to make it a relaxed and easy run. Although I wasn’t out of breath, I think it was a good thing to make 75 meter my first monofin personal best 😉

Dynamic without fins: 2 strokes or …
20091025-Liege-DNF-01My mission for DNF was to try and make it across the pool in 2 strokes, which I had been training in the Tongelreep last Thursday. After the start I felt that the somewhat shallow pool made it harder to be properly balanced and I felt my legs drifting upwards. At the 2 strokes mark, I did not make it far enough to just glide the last bit so had to make an arm stroke to get there. The way back to 50m’s was no different and after the turn at 50 it became more vital to pay attention to technique. Because I had been focussing on that quite a lot lately, I found that holding my hands flat on my legs after the arm stroke did help in gliding further. So on my way to 75m’s I usually feel myself getting a bit sloppy on technique, so I put in the extra effort to keep the technique on a good level. All the way to 75m’s my technique was proper and it all felt good. I decided to make a turn and push off the wall and resurface. Immediately after I surfaced, the safety guy gave me the resting board and I made a clean surface protocol. A training in a training to be honest, as the line wasn’t strong enough to support a freediver hanging on it, I decided to try the board for a change at the deeper part of the pool.

Concluding
All in all this was a super training session, I learned a lot from my efforts that day. Dynamic with monofin was far from perfect, but did taste like I could do more. Also on DNF I made progress, but need to have more neckweights to be able to work with different pools.

Another lesson I learned and put to practice really well was the fact I was happy with a 4 minute 20 seconds static. With most people whom I explain this to it’s an eye-brow raiser, but this is where I am at for the moment. I need to have fun in freediving and anything more the 3 minute 30 seconds was good for today, so I’m happy with it!

At the end of the day I borrowed Daan’s monofin for a quick test. Did 50 meters with it on my normal style, which already felt so much better than my own monofin. After that Daan and Jorg asked me to try the kick-kick-glide technique and that went surprisingly well. Made to the 25m’s in 3 kick-kick-glide’s which Daan explained was a good tempo. So to get back on a comment I got from Eric van Riet Paap on facebook, yes I will be switching to monofin for now and really would like to get a glide monofin.

20091025-Liege-FB-01

This all sure taste’s like more and gives me some new opbjectives and new energy to train hard! Most importantly I had a lot of fun at a freediving competition.

Freediving training @ the tongelreep’s 50 meter pool

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Last night I went out to the Tongelreep for some freediving training as it’s thursday again. Jorg only just got back from holiday and pointed out that he would be joining again next week, but both Kostas and Yugyug were there to join me in training.

img_3893I didn’t really set up a schedule for me to work on, but I did want to do a few crawl without breath’s, DNF’s and some static at depth. Unfortunenately the Tongelreep was on summerschedule, so the 5 meter deep pool was not available to us at this time. We had to switch to the 50 meter official competition pool section to do our training. This is the section also used with the dynamic’s during the 4th dutch Apnea Open. The pool is 3 meters deep and has a lot of lanes available, but it’s rather hard to get a lane to yourself » so you’ll always have to be alert to swimmers going about their own business.

So Yugyug and I agreed to start with some warm-up laps, which for me meant doing about 4 lanes of 50 meter crawl without breath. Yugyug was doing 25 meters of DNF’s to get his system prepped. After our warm-up Kostas joined up with us and it was time for the static’s at 3 meter depth. Yugyug and Kostas did really good static’s and I got inspired to do a static as well. I agreed with Kostas on their tapping strategy and told him I would see how things progressed but I set the max to 3 minutes. This all went really good, I wasn’t all that relaxed as the last time with Jorg I had a good 3 minutes at 5 meters, but in general I did not have a hard time taking the contractions for the last 60 seconds.

After the static session I had a go at DNF’s over 50 meters, which had been a while in a 50 meter pool. First lap was progressing good, but confidence was lacking a bit so for safety reasons I went up at 40 meters, as I was training alone at this moment.  But after resurfacing I instantly could feel and notice that this safety measure altho good to do, no where near any out of breath signs ;). So as confidence was up again I started at the other side and did another DNF run back and this time the 50 meters went away easily again. Although touching the wall at 50 meters did feel as a relief, I think that’s only due to the fact I haven’t been doing this at all lately.

20081217_Technique_DYN_Kostas_01Kostas decided to go for a DYN over 50 meters after he first tried 2 x 25 meters to warm up. He came up easily, but one of the things to note here was that he’d decreased his swimming speed and now did a dynamic over 50 meters in about 1 minute 10 seconds, which he said did make him more comfortable. We’ll see how this progresses over the weeks to come.

Overall we had a quality training, learning a lot and having fun. I’ll try and write an exercise post about the crawl without breath to give more insight in this good training exercise. So stay tuned.

4th Dutch Apnea Open

dutchapneaopen.jpgLast weekend Immersion organized Dutch Apnea Open in the Tongelreep Eindhoven. Together with Kostas and Guy, I participated in the competition, Marieke and Jorg were there to coach us along with friends who dared to travel through the snowy weather.

As it was the first competition for both Kostas and Guy,we had practiced the rules and procedures on the Thursday before the competition. It was a good training and new ground exploration for both of them.

20081123_DutchApneaOpen_02.jpgArriving at the competition we looked up our Official Top times and whilst doing so you just always bump into all familiar faces. Nice to see such a large competitor field. Talking to fellow freedivers and friends filled the first hour at the competition.

After all the socialization I got to coach Kostas and Guy for their performances in static. so we agreed upon our safety-tapping strategy and set out the planning for a small schedule until both their OT’s.

Static sessions
Guy Keulemans
20081123_DutchApneaOpen_03.jpgAs the organization set up the lanes somewhat confusing for freediver participating for the first time, Guy showed up in the wrong lane. As Guy was preparing I saw the competition field being entered by an other competitor so I had to relocate Guy into the proper lane after which he was ready to do his static. Not totally relaxed, but confident he did a great performance of 2m 39s. Not topping his personal best, but usually that’s a hard thing to do in a competition.

Kostas Kevrekidis
20081123_DutchApneaOpen_01.jpgAlso Kostas showed up in the wrong lane and after relocation we got to do the warm-up static’s. Eager to go for his static Kostas did his warm-up dives properly and prepared for a very good static. Having no problems while his goggle straps almost sprung just before his OT, he didn’t really had to struggle to get a perfect 4m 36s static.

Dynamic Sessions
Kostas Kevrekidis
Not totally confident about performing a 50m+ dynamic with fins, Kostas prepared for his DYN with a warm-up dive of 50m’s, no problem at all! So Guy and I inspired him to just do a turn and a few kicks and then he could still see how he felt. That being said he started his DYN and almost got stuck in the 1st meter start line, not distracted by that fact he went for 50m’s and turned. The 2 or 3 extra kicks got more and he did a great 85m DYN. Slipping up the surface protocol made it a disqualified performance, but does nothing to the fact he really made a good effort and perfect distance.

Guy Keulemans
20081123_DutchApneaOpen_04.jpgGuy prepared a schedule preceding his OT for DNF and the warm-up statics proved to be helpful. As the 3m deep pool posed no problem, he did a perfect 86m dynamic without fins (DNF). Seeing all the technique from our training put into practice and the points of attention for the surface protocol all went flawless.

I’m very proud of both Kostas and Guy for showing good performances!

Guy put up his pictures and movie-clips in this gallery » click here…

So…What about yourself…?
As for me, I’m currently going through a phase where I think it is best to resign from competitions for now. The pressure I put upon myself in wanting to always show the rest a worthy performance, I forget to enjoy competing in competitions like these.

For the record; my performances:

  • Static: 3m 35s, the point where usually my contractions come and the first fight starts.
  • Dynamic: 70 m DNF, clean and comfortable and yet again to the point where contractions and the fight start.

I wrote a post about my motivations to take a break from competitions, check it out here…