Tag Archives: Freediving

Improving my personal best performance

As I’m back into training again, working my way to a few personal bests, I’ll be scheduling and reporting about my training and progress towards personal goals.

Personal Bests
DYN_Accomplished.jpgThe personal bests I’m training to improve are my DYN: 125m, DNF: 109m, STA in competition: 5m 33s. To achieve these goals I make use of different training exercises and techniques, which consist of:

  • Dry-walks
  • Dry-statics
  • Statics
  • Crawl without breath
  • DNF/Breaststroke technique
  • MAX-attempts in all 3

Exceeding PB’s
I want to exceed my personal bests within the next 4 months, this time I will not be focussing on a set distances or time. I will have my focus on doing maximum attempts again and thus improving my personal bests.

200706_Project13_Training.jpgWhy this change in approach?” you might ask. Well; In the past few months I’ve been looking back at why I cease to do maximum attempts. I believe one of my restraints is my mind not allowing me to perform to my limits. When looking back on the past year; I’ve seen myself  perform in competitions and everytime I’m in a competition it looks like I’m backing out on my own beliefs and set out paths.

mind1.jpgJorg, Marieke and I have been trying to pinpoint the reason why I’m backing out of it. Where I have to conclude that it includes a certain fear for blacking out and performing badly in front of a crowd. Although I’m only training for personal bests, my mind is always aware of the fact that a bad performance is witnessed and going over the top is a thing I’m not willing to experience.

So how to find a balance in all of this is my main question I’ll be struggling with this next period. Because my body might be ready for a good performance, but how will I convince myself to actually do that max performance?

twitter_logo.pngI will write about my progress and for the short updates right after training or the morning after I’ll be using Twitter to communicate the results of the training. I added the twitter feature to the site in the Mini-Blog on the right in the main section, this is where the latest training news appears.

Schedule / Upcoming events
I will be scheduling and planning my training sessions through Google Calendar which is also available on this site, view this public calendar or you can subscribe to the shark-bait calendar with your own Google-account by adding it with the button on the bottom-right.

Here’s a preview from the upcoming days in training:

Stay up to date through the rss-feeds or by reading this site.

Report: CNF Training with William Trubridge

As announced this weekend William Trubridge visited the Netherlands for a Constant No Fins (CNF) clinic at Apnea Academy Amsterdam’s pool in Beverwijk. Check out pictures, videos and Glenn’s forum topic with pictures.

20080622_CNF_Clinic_Trubridge_07_cropped.jpgFirst day
It started with a introduction of technique used during the CNF, which he’d broke down into the arm- and legstroke. It’s good to see him explaining all this theory out of his own experience, like where he applies certain corrections and i.e. accidentally finding out why certain stuff is working by looking back through videos.

A lot of other theory explained about lung capacity, certain different thesis’ and practical experience led William to finding a kind of formula to calculate how many air to use for a dive. Although it’s unproven by science it did make sense when he explained it.

After the theory he taught some of his stretching exercises, through which he could stretch his overall body in preparation of CNF or CW dives. In combination with breathing exercises with purpose to stretch the lungs and the rib-cage a preparation for depth training seems to make sense. In some of the stretching exercises or maybe most, I found out that my body wasn’t really all that capable of bending. I do believe that with a little dedication to these stretching exercises, it will be increasing flexibility and thus a better preparation for going into the blue.

20080622_CNF_Clinic_Trubridge_16.jpgWith the body stretched up and ready to go we were dropped in the pool to show our technique to the careful eye of the world champ. With pin-pointed accuracy he spotted technique imperfections and showed a way to get rid of these imperfections. For myself my scissor-like movement with my right leg still is one the major imperfections, but by hanging on the side of the pool and slowly making the movement I could get rid of the imperfection. As for the other participants they could also benefit of the observations and comments by William.

Second day
This day started of with theory again, more specific to total lung capacity versus residual volume. He explained an other theory which he worked out for himself and he combined with exhale statics. This approach seems to make sens when you are training for depth, as you’re in this kind of static whilst your falling down by negative buoyancy.

20080622_CNF_Clinic_Trubridge_09.jpgGlenn setup his heart rate monitor through which William was able to show a heart rate drop from 60 to 38 within a minute, which proves his way of using certain pranayama locks. Later that day all participants would be  hooked up and check if they were able to pull of these locks…as for my own heart rate… sigh… I don’t know why but my heart rate starts of at about 100 rest state after 4 minutes of slow breathing and after performing a lock…it would only drop to let’s say 83, but all in a time of 2 minutes for which this is a normal drop in heart rate for me. so for me it’s unproven, but the others were able to get the sensations William was talking about.

20080622_CNF_Clinic_Trubridge_12.jpgAfter the heart rate monitoring everybody made a maximum attempt in the pool without any preparation, for most of the freedivers this was a first and they all performed really well by down no warm up.

20080622_CNF_Clinic_Trubridge_39.jpgTo round up the day we were to execute one of the tables explained earlier in the theory. A certain amount  of 25m laps and decreasing rest times made a perfect training for 30 minutes. Quite tiring and an interesting way of training, although I do see resemblance with my own training schedule’s which Jorg puts me through.

Overall a succesful weekend and lot’s of new things learned also about an amazing athlete doing 3 days of trianing and one day of rest in a really awesome blue hole in the Bahamas. Thanks William Trubridge and Glenn Venghaus and Peter Wurschy from Apnea Academy Amsterdam for setting up this oppertunity.

CNF Technique with William Trubridge

William_trubridge.jpgThis weekend Apnea Academy Amsterdam are organizing a Constant Weight Without Fins (CNF) training weekend with world record freediver William Trubridge.

The announced schedule for this weekend (roughly):

16:00 arrive in pool Beverwijk
16:30 – 17:00   Introductions
17:00 – 18:30  Theory (technique & dive strategy)
18:30 – 19:30  Stretching (body & lungs)
19:30 – 21:30  Pool (technique & drills)
21:30 – End (estimated)

12:00 arrival pool beverwijk
12:30 – 15:00   Theory (training program, diet, psychology)
15:00 – 16:00   Stretching (body & lungs)
16:00 – 18:30   Pool (max attempt, pyramid training table)
18:30 – 19:30   Videos, diploma, question time
20:00 –  End (estimated)

Just to let you know what William Trubridge is all about, check out this great performance:
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/hrXQbucZUDA&hl=en" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Other information about William Trubridge is posted on Vertical Blue.

Monofin training a little jammed

Last nights training started with a static session again. We had continued with the normal swimming goggles approach. But as I had dinner a little close to the training I could stretch the time only to 4:45. Jorg and I set a goal for next Thursday to do a 5 minute 16 seconds static. Just to reach a (sub-)goal again in training for static.

After that we went into the pool for a maximal attempt with my monofin technique as it is now…But that turned out to be slightly different as we both expected. Normally for a dynamic attempt I do no warm-up stuff and just jump in, breathe a few times and then dynamic for a while. So this was our approach for this attempt as well, but as I pushed myself from the wall it immediately felt like a slow and malfunctioning motion. It cost me so much effort, I surfaced and was kind of confused…

So we went back to starting with a few warm-up laps and tried again. It still wasn’t optimal and didn’t feel anything like an easy and subtle lower-back motion. After evaluating with Jorg I had to conclude my squats from the fitness training could be the ones that were jamming my motion in this training. Never the less, there’s always a new day of training, so Thursday we’re out there again.

Back into training, in preparation for Bizzy Bluehole competition

The Tongelreep was opened for the public again, after the European championships were held here in the past 3 weeks. The urge for water was very high, so planning a training in the water again felt really good.

STA_bailed.jpgMonday night, we started of with a brief static session. My goal was set by Jorg at a 3 minute preparation static and a 4 minute (or more… 🙂 ) static. As it’s been a while since Geneva’s non-impressive static, we set out on a training curve were my goals wouldn’t have any pressure on my mind. The preparation static was no problem, although contractions may have started a bit early, I had no heavy contractions.

Same goes for my second static, with the goal at 4 minutes, Jorg tapped me at the intervals: 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes and after that every 15 seconds. Contractions started early, as I recall around 2 minutes, but they never intensified to the level of contractions I used to have. This made it possible for me to do a 5 minute 15 seconds static, with no heavy contractions in the end. I think that having low intensity contractions may have startled me and thus making the decision to surface. At first I never believed Jorg when he told me it was a 5:15 static…as it felt like a 3 minute static. So in the end when reviewing we came to the conclusion I was using only swimming goggles and no nose-clip, so we’re continuing down that path for the future static sessions.

The second part of my training consisted of technique training for the monofin, but first I coached Jorg during his freediving specific crawl exercises. Jorg started enjoying this exercise a few weeks back and he does this every training before I get into the water. It’s good to see him putting in all the effort in such a training.

The monofin technique training showed the progress I was going through since the past weeks. I started of by making the monofin amplitude too wide, looking back at the footage from the underwater-camera helps me to see my mistakes. We did a couple more lanes and tried to tweak it down more and more… The end-result was actually satisfying to see, never thought my lower-back would become flexible at all.

How to improve monofin technique…

Tongelreep_09_02_2006_JJ_07_01.jpgTwo weeks ago I started training for monofin again. I bought a great monofin from Leader fins last year, but did not get the time to actually practice with it. Now Jorg and I put it up in the schedule and I’m gonna train and practice for the monofin for a while.

I have to say that I can already see a difference since last year test-runs with the monofin and the runs I do now. I’m not ready to actually monofin my way through the water, but I’m getting used to the foot-pockets and the different way my legs are bound. I do about 4-6 times 50m with it and then get back to the proper exercises to get the monofin motion going.

Tongelreep_09_02_2006_JJ_10_cropped_resized.jpgSpecial monofin exercises and filming them are very great tools to achieving a proper technique. My technique was very bad and still isn’t a Peter Pederson-style by a long shot. But I’m making progress with my lower-back not being that stiff anymore. The exercise that got that fixed, is a standard item on the exercise list now. As my lower-back flexibility has to improve much more…but looking back at some of the earlier video’s and present time video’s it shows a little improvement. So as long as there is improvement I still have hope that I can go from very bad technique to reasonable technique.

We’ll see what the coming weeks will hold in store, but one things for sure I’m going for it. I’d like to see what a few weeks of technique training can do.