Tag Archives: Freediving

CWB: 75m – where did that come from!?

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Yesterday I went out for a training in the Tongelreep with Jorg and CWB was the exercise on the schedule. We both started out doing our own type of CWB-exercise; Jorg did the version where he’d do 25 meters and start every 1m25s, I did 5 x 50 meters and starting every 2 minutes.

Then it was time for me to coach Jorg and see what he was capable of in maximum attempts of CWB. Very impressive to see he’s improving a lot in training. He started out with a 35 meters CWB and after that he did a 40m. To trigger that extra bit for him, we varied the approach a bit and swopped to trying to swim a full lane (50m) with only one breath or two breath’s, which made it in all a very good training for him.

Finally Jorg wanted me to do a 60 meters CWB, which has been a while since I’d done that, I started out as planned for the 60 meters, having some trouble approaching the 50 meter mark, but after the turn it all felt good again. I just kept in the same pace and thin I just had a safety stop at 75 meters, just to be sure. Where the hell did that come from 😮 ;). Overall it felt very good and certainly room for more, so maybe next week I’ll be upping the game and try for a longer Crawl Without Breath.

Minor tweaking and getting some distance

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Tonight the freediving training consisted of a small introduction to freediving for a few new divers and the last part we focussed on minor tweaking details and getting some distance with the monofin. So the first 30 minutes we spent learning a few new guys from Scubacity the few basic steps into the world of freediving. They were both highly motivated and looking forward to their next session. Both performed well and will learn a lot in the time to come.

20091203-MonofinFor our own training I had made a few adjustments on the alignment and now things are getting somewhere. Also I had brought along some soap, to make the wearing of the monofin a lot better. Putting it on and getting your feet out of the pockets was so much easier now. Never the less I still think it’s a bit of a strange fin for me to work with. So for today I just wanted to see if the alignment tweak was working, and so far I’m liking it a lot.

Next up was some distance, where I agreed with Jorg just to take it slowly and do somewhere between 3-4 laps. First two laps were focussed and without a problem in technique, but yet again in the 50 – 75 I felt myself speeding up. After the turn into the 4th lap it almost felt like sprinting and the relax-ness was gone, so I surfaced and called it a day at around 95 meters. Very happy with it though, as small steps will get me forward!

Jorg tweaked his alignment a little further as well and did a few good test runs with the monofin. Although everything looked good on the outside, he told me he was not all that relaxed and a little bit too tense… But hey that’s what you get when you go out to the gym and workout your arms just before the freediving session ;). Good job training anyway! Respect, I know how it feels.

Next week I’ll make some adjustements to the aligning again and hopefully I’m able to get it right this time. Stay tuned for more on that topic.

Finding Differences

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IMG_3970Sanne and I had another good training in the pool. Our normal training schedule is starting to get shape again. First half is static, second is monofin. Easy does it.

We started with static again. The hot tub was filled with people from the previous diving (jump in the water type of diving) class and we  put ourselves in as well. Normally I don’t want to do static if somebody is watching my back. Crazy defect in my head just doesn’t like it when people are watching me doing freediving.

Today was different. Besides the fact that I don’t use goggles and a clock anymore for static already meant a big difference. But the fact that I started my statics with so many people in the hot tub is completly new for me. In the end I didn’t really mind doing it.

Static times are still at around 2 minutes, but it feels easier and easier and I’m doing them without goggles, which is already a big win for me. Never thought I could do it like this and stay (pretty much) comfortable.

Sanne did his required no-warmup static and managed to get to the minimum time he had to do, but there wasn’t much inspiration during his attempt and he stopped way before what he could do.

Next was monofin time. After doing a few 25 meter laps, it’s time for 25+. Legs are full with lactic acid after a few laps, so I switch to high speed, low speed, kick kick glide, etc. I do a very easy 50 meter. Sanne does a 75+ meter in a busy and unorganized pool.

Between the different laps I also do some 25 meter dynamic without fins, which feel great as well. Time for a dedicated lane during club-evening. Got the feeling that personal bests aren’t that far away anymore! Would be interesting to see a new freediving personal because the last one I did was almost 7 years ago.

100 a new PB with monofin

There I was at my weekly training with Jorg, who had just been doing some serious improvements on his monofin training. Only a few days ago we went to the competition in Liege and there I made my first steps into the monofin world”with a 75 meter personal best (PB). The feeling I kept from the competition, was eagerness for more training and perhaps even distance ;).

Sanne swimming with the Leaderfins Hyper mono-fin
Sanne swimming with the Leaderfins Flyer Pro mono-fin

After Jorg had just done a nice 50+ meters with the monofin, I took over the tight-foot-pocketet-momofin and sat down on the side of the pool. No preparation and just went for a 50 meter dynamic with new kick-kick-glide technique from last Sunday. At 50 meters everything was very OK and I decided to see what 75 meters would feel like with this more relaxing technique. At 75 meters, everything still seemed to be very OK and the turn was made before I could even think of resurfacing. It was at 95 meters that I first felt a little urge to resurface, which I did, just to be safe. Recuperation was easy like I did a 60-75m dynamic and I remember Jorg noting, that this was the most relaxed he’d ever seen me swim with a monofin.

As opposed to Saturday this was a huge difference, altough I was not totally doing the kick-kick-glide all the time, it payed off and leaving me with a brand new PB of 100 meters with a monofin in dynamic (DYN).

Last time I did a 100 meter dynamic actually also was more than over a year ago, 26th of january 2008 to be exact… Overall this leaves me with a good feeling and motivation for the time ahead. Clearly the facts are pointing out to myself that doing a step back to take a break can really refresh you.

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.

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.


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.

The number 23 | Section 2: Alignment & Final preps

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I just came back from a good training in the Fitness Center here in Veldhoven, I tested the new alignment setup and could actually swim the same speed with less arm & legstrokes. And for my feeling the intensity is the same, I just need less strokes… And this is interestingly the same as I discussed with Jorg yesterday.

I combined my video material from last week Thursday and this weeks Wednesday alignment training. The material shows me 2 times without any weight, 2 times with 800 grams around my neck, 1 times with 3 kilograms around my neck and the last one is with 3 kilograms around the neck and 1 kilogram around my waist. Although I still float up, it feels a lot more relaxing. I’d like to float up as I still need to resurface for safety reasons, although I’d like this alignment a little further after Wiesbaden. Now Enough factors have changed and I don’t want to mix it up to much. Thanks Remko for letting me borrow your 3 kilograms neckweight ;). I’ll have to make my own again soon.


This week I also settled the medical checkup that you need to show at the competition. Everything was fine and there were no irregularities, it’s always reassuring that nothing’s wrong. On the night we check the alignment, I got into the static pool for a small sessions. To jorg’s surprise I was still able to amaze him with a clean 5 minute 9 seconds static. So far my schedule is a great journey in preparation for Wiesbaden on October 3rd.

The Number 23 | Section 1: Successful

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Tuesday evening I had planned my goal realization for Section 1 to take place at the pool in Zeist, where I was able to train with Eric van Riet Paap, Danny Martherus and Jouke van Riel.

2009-RMC-the-number-23It is a good pool featuring a small area, shallow depth and 27 degrees water, which made it perfect for static. Danny and Jouke started with their static CO2 tables, almost not getting distracted by my GoPro bottom camera ;). Eric and I teamed up for a static session, starting out with a small empty lungs of a minute. After that I did my first real static since a long while and it actually felt quite good. I didn’t really give Eric a chance when I aborted my mission and directly surfaced, only to find out I was 35 seconds away of my goal. So, lesson learned and made a deal with Eric that whenever I wanted to know the time I would ask and after that I would hold for at least two additional safety taps. Going into my second attempt, I felt really relaxed and didn’t start having trouble until 4 minutes 15 seconds. After that I heard Eric telling me that 5 minutes was also a good point for me to focus on and I continued to relax. At 5 minutes and 3 seconds I decided that I reached my training goal and that gave me a fantastic overall feeling. As a side note for myself, this is actually the time I should start the real fight phase.

Eric and I swopped places and he started his static session. As he’s adapting a new technique, which includes shallow breathing through the snorkel, Eric does some very impressive empty lung statics. Ranging from 2 minutes to 2 minutes 30 seconds, but he told me 3 minutes 30 seconds is his best in empty lungs. Now it was time for him to test his packing through a snorkel technique and went for a full lungs static. Looking fairly easy and relaxed all the way, somewhere around 5 minutes contractions seem to have kicked in. I reassured him with the time and he totally relaxed, arms of the ledge and on a mission to 6 minutes 4 seconds. Good static!

Next up was my goal in Dynamic No Fins with a goal of 80 meters. I got ready prepared my goggles and neck weight and entered the water, I added an addition weight around my waist of 0,5 kilograms. After a good start, I was nearing the 50 meters and my mind was ready to give up on me. But I felt strong after my good static time, which convinced me to continue. After turning at 50 meters, the urge completely vanished and the goal of 80 meters was easily within reach. Only one good turn at 75 meters a few arm strokes and I’d done it. It has been a long time, but this actually felt liberating and puts me in the position where I had been waiting for almost a year. Ready for more!

Eric-Riet-Paap-DYNEric did his dynamic with fins schedule with a nice full pocket mono-fin, with the pockets placed under an angle. He started of with a new technique by using an arm-stroke in between the mono-fin kicks. Which actually doesn’t look all that tiring when you look at it, he made it to 136 meters which impressed me yet again ;). Eric continued with a distance schedule for dynamic and I shot a few underwater videos from it. Jouke was training his technique on the mono-fin and getting a proper balance for his Orca suit. But I can hear him say that he didn’t find the proper weight balance yet.

I would like to thank the people form Freediving Utrecht for having me over in their pool. I had a really good time, freediving, chatting, catching up and of course I reached my goals!

The Number 23 | Section 1: Basic training

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200706_Project13_TrainingThe first part of ‘The Number 23’-schedule is progressing the way I planned it. My focus is definitely on bringing back the endurance and fitness of my body. This first section consists of 9 days, which already proved to be a good thing. My metabolism has switched up a gear, due to the higer intensity training. I even felt a little hungry this morning, although I had quite the evening meal.

My body is noticing the raise in activity levels and that’s a positive thing. Also my mind is accepting the fact of competing again, I seem to be able to deal with more contractions and longer distances under water.

Dry tables
On land training is what I started out with in the first section. I set out a goal of 4 minutes breath hold in a dry static. But as it turned out, after the first go, with only neutral lungs, I was already near 3 minute 30 seconds. I decided to do a full lungs try and already got to 4 minutes. So I adjusted the goal for the first section to 4 min. 30 sec. After that I did a dry walk with a somewhat milder pace than usual, but never the less I made it to 1 min. 30 seconds. I also adjusted this goal in my schedule to 1 min. 40sec. From this point I can build further into my dry tables.

DNF Pyramid
Last year after William Trubridge‘s clinic at Apnea Team Amsterdam‘s head quarters, I converted his pyramid schedule in a way that suites my way of training:

  • 6 x 25 meter starting every 1 minute 10 seconds
  • 6 x 25 meter starting every 1 minute
  • 6 x 25 meter starting every 50 seconds
  • 4 x 25 meter starting every 45 seconds

This is what I did on Tuesday in the pool, together with Jorg spotting me over my last 10 runs of 25 meters. Which was kind of grueling, but in the end very satisfying!

On the side of all the freediving training I also want my body fitness to be up and running as well, so I planned a few full body workouts throughout the 23 days of training. Maybe I’ll post that schedule in a later post… Here’s the link to my current number 23 – schedule.

The Number 23: Freedive training for RMC Wiesbaden

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2009-RMC-the-number-23Not only is ‘the number 23‘ the title to a movie starring Jim Carrey in 2007, it’s also the number of days I have available to prepare myself for the Rhein Mein Cup 2009 in Wiesbaden. This year’s RMC 2009 competition takes place on October 3rd and I’ve inscribed myself for static (STA) and Dynamic No Fins (DNF).

I’ve spent serious time on a good schedule, holding all the right exercises for the preparation to competing in October. I divided the schedule into sections; Basic, Specific & Specialized. Annelie Pompe’s article “The secret of Freediving training” on Sebastian Naslund’s website, perfectly describes of what attention areas the sections exist.

The thought behind her article supports the way Jorg and I plan our training throughout a year. With the difference that we plan more around pool specific schedules, as opposed to the depth preparation described in the article. Also my schedule is not focusing on a year round plan, but I’m now on a 23 day schedule built from the same important blocks. That’s why it lacks certain endurance exercises, which have been replaced by DNF combined endurance exercises.

I’ve posted the schedule onto Google’s Document service and made it public, so you can follow the progress over the 23 days of freediving preparation training. Click here to open it.

Break’s over, back in action…

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sannebuurmaOver the last year I was enjoying my step back from competitions, as you might have read on this blog. We’ve done a lot of training, without actual performance goals. The main goal of my step back was to have fun in freediving again. During this year I’ve grown back to enjoying and experiencing freediving the way I used to, giving me an overall fantastic feeling. The last few months thoughts of serious training were crossing my mind again and I kept off these thoughts until I couldn’t resist anymore.

At first I wanted to compete in the 5th Dutch Apnea Open, making it the perfect comeback after a year of absence. Unfortunately I will not be in the Netherlands at that time, as I already planned the time off for my holiday way in advance. It made me consider the Rhein Main Cup competition and I pointed out to myself that it was time to “Just do it!“. Just like the dutch apnea open, this competition and I go way back to the beginning of my competitive freediving, so it mainly serves as a friendly and familiair ground.

I’ll describe the preparation schedule in my next post, in which I’ll also share my live updated schedule.