Tag Archives: 23

The number 23 | Section 4: Competition day

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The 4th and final section of the number 23 project, was the competition day. Although my enjoyment was already good after a successful training project, the thought of competing again and meeting up with other freedivers is the bonus to the project.

20091003-RMC2009-01After arriving and getting myself inscribed at the competition, I walked away from the stand with the number 35 on my hand. After settling for a nice spot in the pool, the sun made us decide to relocate to a spot without direct sunlight. Jorg and I met up with Eric van Riet Paap and Erik Skoda, whilst doing so Andreas Hiemeyer and Pim Vermeulen also joined the conversation. Good to see others freedivers again and hearing about their progress in training and well being in general.

Time to check out the start times and wait for static to commence. Whilst the static was underway, I spoke to Eric about a Blue Seventy suit. He’d let me try out the suit to see if it made any difference for me. After trying it on I swam a few test laps, but couldn’t find my peace when I was underwater. I don’t know if it was the current in the pool or the change of wearing a suit, but I got out of the suit and did another lap. This lap was reassuring me of how I had been training before, was the way to go in the competition.

20091003-RMC2009-04In my preparation for static I started with a 1 minute empty lungs and a 3 minutes full lungs static. Both of the preparation statics were very relaxed and at ease, with no real mind troubles and sabotaging toughts. Fueled by confidence I started my static performance. Contractions started at a normal period and at 3 minutes 30 seconds I was in my own safe zone, but could continue to the next taps. After 5 minutes and 12 seconds I really felt good about it and resurfaced in a clean recovery. Whilst looking at the judges I felt like a million bucks, the white card was presented and Jorg, Marieke & Eric congratulated me on my performance. That felt great!

20091003-RMC2009-07The time in between the static and dynamic passed fairly quickly as I’d been talking with Michal Risian, which I’d never met in real life.

I announced 60 meters, a distance which is a perfect marker for myself. Usually between 45 and 60 meters I experience the harder part. Now I knew that 60 meters was more than enough and I surpassed this distance in a determined way. 20091003-RMC2009-05As my stroke count varied between 2,5 and 3 strokes, I started burping my way to the 90 meters. As I did not really feel at ease with all the burping and decided to call it a day at 91 meters. Yet again to make myself fel really good about my performance.

I really enjoyed the competition in Wiesbaden and meeting up with all the other freedivers. It had been a while, but taking the step back to take a brake really helped me regain myself. Now the confidence levels are up and I’m thinking of joining another competition at the 25th of October.

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 2: Pyramid, Alignment & Technique

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I just finished a great Pyramid schedule, which was built up for 40 meter lanes:

Qty x Distance [m] | Start every [mm:ss]

  • 3 x 40 m | 01:50
  • 3 x 40 m | 01:35
  • 3 x 40 m | 01:20
  • 2 x 40 m | 01:10

It proved to be a harder schedule as I thought. I just couldn’t get lower than the 1 minute 35 seconds » thus I finished the rest of the lanes with starting every 1 minute 35 seconds.


My Current 800 grams Neckweight
My Current 800 grams Neckweight

Halfway into the second part of my 23 schedule, I have had a more technical and oberservative character. Continuing with my effort in getting my alignment right, it seems I’ve been way off for a while now. I’m currently swimming with only 800 grams neckweight, goggles and a swimtrunk. Last week when I visitid Eric in Zeist, I tried to add 500 grams, which already felt better. But last Thursday when Jorg and I were analyzing my alignment in the way I was describing it on this website, we actually found out I wasn’t aligned all that well 😮

These conclusions were made after seeing the video material shot during the training, which clearly indicate that I’m highyl buoyant and will surface like a float on a fishing rod. The reason I believe we didn’t spot this over the years, is due to the higher speed (~ 1m/s) I’m using whilst executing my DNF’s.

I’ve added a goal for this week, which is; getting the alignment right. Our first guess as to what additional weight should be placed around my neck, would be in the range of 2 – 2,5 kilograms. Hopefully we’ll have this settled on Thursday during the pool session.


Arms stretched BAD
Arms stretched BAD
Arms stretched OK
Arms stretched OK

Another strange phenomenon I’ve had in my technique, seems to be easily repaired by crossing my arms the otherway. The way I’m doing it now, causes my left arm to stay a little bend, while the other arm is fully stretched. As Jorg had spotted it again last Thursday in the Tongelreep, he had a good thought about it to just change the arm which rests on top. This seems to get rid of the bend in my left arm, so I’ll be focussing on getting this into my technique the coming weeks.

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.