Tag Archives: Dynamic

Step By Step

Great session yesterday evening! It was the first freedive training after our snowboard vacation, so we were curious high the high altitude training would have helped us with our performances. At the moment Sanne and I are trying to accomplish two things in the pool.

The first is to increase monofin technique. We already came from far with this one. The first quarter of this year was really dedicated to using the monofin and I’m glad to say that both Sanne and I are finally using the monofin in such an easy way that turning back to bifins for dynamic performance dives would only be done of nostalgia.

The basic technique is there and there is even room to play around and experiment with this technique in the form of amplitude changes, body position adjustment, power and kick cycles. We both agree that for the moment our best strategy to go by is a kick-kick-kick-glide cycle in the pool we are using now. As this is a 25 meter pool we need 3 complete kkkg cycles for one length, which feels good compared to effort put in.

Now we need to start working on our weighting stuff. With the technique in the body, it is time to start fine tuning it and because a neck weight is even more uncomfortable for me then it is for Sanne, it is time to fix this this month.

Our preferred way of propulsion: Waterway Glide Fin

The second part is increasing comfortable performance (CP) so that it reaches closer to our maximum distance (MX). Increasing performance is always a trick by itself, and we tried already a lot of methods in the past for this. Reading back all our training logs from the past years one thing comes to mind; speed! The one variable we didn’t use to much is the speed were we would go to the next step. We used weeks, number of repeated performances and other variables to determine if we could make the next step, and the one thing that comes to top that still could be tweaked is going slower with the steps we take.

We still maintain the idea that we should be able to perform near our limits all the time without any big warm-ups and strange techniques. So that together with a program of increasing our CP nearer to our MP, brings us the current schedule we are  doing.

My own comfort distance is a 40-45 meter dive. No contractions, still good technique and the ability to relax underwater at the end. As soon as I turn at 50, I tense my body but especially my mind. So my task is to make sure I can do 45 meter dives without any tension and yesterday was the first time I could accomplish this, which I’m very happy with. I’ve never been able to keep so relaxed at this distance, so a big break through for myself. As I’m not as experienced myself with the no warm-up routine as Sanne is, I do a total of 4 dives like this with around 2 minute rests between and that’s it for me. So at the moment my CP=45 while my MP=75, which brings my CP/MP ratio to 60%

Sanne is already much further with his no warm-up routine and his CP. Yesterday he did 95 meters and make it look so easy. He stopped underwater at 95, made a stop gesture with his arms and slowly surfaced. His MP=125 meters, so his CP/MP ratio is 0,76 which is already great. And we are just getting started. This one dive is everything Sanne does for performance training. He is already so tuned in this no warm-up routine that this is sufficient for him.

The rest of our training is dedicated to technique and helping other freedivers improve. So still a minimum time invested in performance training for maximum results and still a lot of time left to enjoy the water. I just love this method!

Monofin training distance

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Since last weeks training the distance of 87,5 meters is the set distance to go by for the coming 2 weeks after the holiday. Yestrday night and last tuesday I did them without any real problems and my mindset was prepared for a distance like that. I like to keep it that way and start freediving with a comfortable distance and build from there. If I up the distance to a new one it’ll be somewhere around 90-95 meters the next distance after that must be 105-110 meters, as I don’t want to end a run at the wall. Mentally a bad thing to have and I’ll keep in mind the words “a wall is there to make a turn” which I believe are the words from Danny Matherus.

Getting comfortable with the new monofin is the best thing that is happening at the moment. The technique is developing itself every time I try a new run and will only become more effective as I make more meters. The one thing that is making it uncomfortable at the moment is the neckweight. Because of the natural body reflex of making a contraction to get some air in, it also initiates the muscles in my neck to tense and by doing so the neckweight’s fit becomes unpleasant. Even if I would loosen the neckweight’s fit, it will still ‘choke’ me because my arms are pushing against them. So I have to start focussing on perfecting the design for my own weight system again and start training with that.

Overall I’m very pleased with the new monofin and training strategy, besides that it’s great to teach some diver students (who join us on Thursdays) the basics and fundamentals of freediving.

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.

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.

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.

Dynamic Exercise: Crawl without Breath

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We’ve had this exercise for quite a while now and I’ll take this opportunity to further explain the crawl without breath exercise, as it’s an exercise which really helps in building endurance levels and also builds confidence for doing dynamic performances.

It’s an idea that we came up with about a year ago when we were in the project 13 schedule, where I had to be able to train on by myself due to circumstances where Jorg would not be able to make it to the pool. The idea is simple, just do a normal crawl like the swimmer do at the surface, but then without breath and we mix it up into a build-up-, exhale- and an endurance schedule.

Build-up schedule (interval)
At first we were unfamiliar with how much and how far we should be alternating the not breathing part in the crawling at the surface. This is how the build-up schedule first originates, we would set out a schedule of 500 meters. Were I would try to do 100 meters of breathing every 6 strokes, where we count a stroke as after both arms had made a full motion. The second 100 meters I’d up it to breathing only every 10 strokes and so on. I gradually got to a point where  I would almost do full lanes of crawl without breath. Although rest times in between the almost full lanes (50m) had to be somewhat longer than at the start of the schedule.

Example schedule:

  1. 2 x 50 meter: breath every 3 strokes
  2. 2 x 50 meter: breath every 5 strokes
  3. 2 x 50 meter: breath every 7 strokes
  4. 2 x 50 meter: breath every 9 strokes
  5. 2 x 50 meter: breath every 11 strokes

Exhale schedule (slowly exhaling)
To mix things up with the static O2 tables, the next step we tested as part of a good training would be a O2 training. Getting rid of the CO2 building up during the lane by slowly exhaling the air within a set amount of arm-strokes.

Example schedule:

  1. 2 x 50 meter: 5 exhales
  2. 2 x 50 meter: 4 exhales
  3. 2 x 50 meter: 3 exhales
  4. 2 x 50 meter: 2 exhales
  5. 2 x 50 meter: 1 exhale
  6. 1 x 50 meter: 0 exhaling

Endurance schedule
This came into play when Jorg got curious into how it would work out if I’d just do a full lane without breath, as we had been upping it since the Build-up schedule, this was a thought we’d both been playing with and this actually would be the next schedule we’d go by, focussed on endurance.

Example schedule:

  1. 2 x 50 meter: 2 minute rest time
  2. 2 x 50 meter: 1 minute 30 seconds rest time
  3. 2 x 50 meter: 1 minute 15 seconds rest time
  4. 2 x 50 meter: 1 minute rest time
  5. 2 x 50 meter: 45 seconds rest time

Maximum attempts
200706_Project13_TrainingAs we were progressing pretty good with this exercise and it was really fun to do as well, Jorg added the mental factor again by letting me push my limits into trying a maximum performance with crawl’s without breath. To be honest at the time it was not really a success for my mental state, but doing a maximum performance of almost 75 meters in crawl was enough to prove it’s a serious exercise.

Freediving During Office Hours

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Daan in a rather unusual normal moment
Daan in a rather unusual normal moment

This week I thought it would be fun to join some other freedivers during their training. Eric van Riet Paap, Daan Verhoeven en Judith van de Griendt were training in the Tongelreep during daytime and I was invited.

The good thing of working for yourself is that you’re flexible during office hours, so I managed to squeeze a small hour of water between customers and I could enjoy their company. As Sanne was still on Holiday it would be fun to see some other freedivers into action.

First of all, it’s always quite a shock to see that where Sanne and I keep our trainings to an hour, they are doing 4-5 hour long sessions in the water. Now I understand where those big numbers in the pool come from! If only I had the time…

Anyway, the sessions was short but fun. I tried out several monofins and decided that Judith here monofin would stand as a prototype for my own fin. What a difference with the usual fin! Amazing! Next time I don’t do a big run before going into the pool. I really wanted to give it a good try, but every time after a few kicks my legs filled up and there was nothing left. Strange feeling.

As I write this, Sanne is in the pool with Daan and Judith also testing out some monofins. Hopefully he manages to choose his fin as well, so that we can invest in a good monofin that gives good results and much less pain in the feet.

During the session on Wednesday Eric did a 187 meter dynamic and Judith a 150 meter dynamic. Big personal bests and amazing distances! Daan was feeling wacky and was screwing himself or something like that. Take a look below for some footage.

Eric van Riet Paap 187 Meter Dynamic With Fins

[youtube width=”600″ height=”360″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSFreVRBrsg[/youtube]

Daan Verhoeven Screwing Around

[youtube width=”600″ height=”360″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnkI8FsLWVQ[/youtube]

Judith van de Griendt 150 Meter Dynamic With Fins

[youtube width=”600″ height=”360″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpSnVL-eu1Q[/youtube]

Shivers down the spine » not good for the freediving feeling

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Today’s training at the pool was a special one… It’s the first time, since I met Jorg, that he had the shivers from cold water. Normally I am the one who starts to get cold during static’s or dynamic’s, but this time it was Jorg’s turn.

Bonjour!We set out for our normal schedule, where Jorg does his 4-5 static’s at depth, followed by 2-3 dynamic runs. The first static starts with 1 minute, increasing it by 15 seconds every next try with 2 minutes rest in between. So as Jorg filled his lungs with air to descend to 5 meters, all was well and he resurfaced in a normal manner, but immediately told me he felt cold. Two minutes later, after breathing up for his second try, he descended again. This time he was a bit restless, as he sat himself down on the pool floor with his back against the wall. Never the less, he finished his 2nd try ad resurfaced. Now I could even tell that he was shivering, so the next tries he did were not relaxed as he’s capable of doing the static’s at depth.  Finishing up the schedule with a nice 1 minute 50 seconds, but shivers all over and a badly influenced freediving feeling.

20090509-tongelreep-02-mediumMoving on to the dynamics, the cold was no different. Jorg started of with some dynamic no fins and immediately after he did the dynamic with fins, where as last week he’d turned and head back, now he turned and resurfaced. Not willing to do another one, he flipped a few switches and decided to an extra run with fins, but a different technique. This proved to bring back his freediving feeling, because he did it monofin style. I don’t know how he pulls it off, but every time he does monofin style it immediately looks easy and natural. A thing to keep in mind for our next training sessions.

Yugyug had joined up with us, halfway through Jorg’s schedule. He was up for some different kind of training and he managed to pull off the distance he’d predicted a few weeks back. This new technique is looking promising and most probably he’ll demonstrate it in a future competition event. We’re looking forward to seeing him do that in live action.

Both me and Yugyug finished with a static at depth schedule, where we set out to do the same schedule Jorg had done earlier. Most interestingly, my shivers went away in the second try and never returned this session. That was a great static at depth session, where me and Yugyug ended with a 2 minute 20 seconds static at 5 meters. My last try I got rid of my goggles and went down no mask – no noseclip style, this is by far the best way for me to do static’s these days.

Finning technique (DYN)

The equalization that looked very promising last Wednesday, turned out to be the thing Kostas had been missing out on. He was able to equalize on land during the last 7 days and was eager to get into the water and test his new ability. So I brought a set of weights to the pool and let him drop down to the bottom with it. This way he could focus on only his equalization, first he tried head up and after that head down equalization. This all proved to be no problem anymore and in a way he found what he was looking for when joining us in the first place; Equalization.

Finning technique (DYN)
20081217_Technique_DYN_Kostas_01.jpgThe equalization was pretty important for the finning technique in the pool. As I wanted him to test his buoyancy by varying his air intake and depth, we weren’t able to vary the depth’s because equalization was in the way. Now he could vary his depth and air intake to search the neutral buoyancy to test with.

The fins we started out with are the C4 carbon fins, as they aren’t as stiff as the GARA’s. Because the legs aren’t making the proper movement yet, I think this is a better way of getting your legs to move the way you like.

As always when we’re trying to improve certain aspects we capture all dynamic runs on video and look at these video clips after every dynamic run. We’re currently only focusing on his finning technique, so push of and other parts are not in the way of Kostas’ focus.

Analyzing the videos
From the videos Kostas and I concluded that the knee bending was a thing he needed to think about in the next runs and I told him to really exaggerate that there is no knee joint. After a few runs this seemed to have the positive effect. Although his left leg seems to be somewhat better then his right leg, overall progress is huge al ready.

Other points he has to work on is a fluent movement and the wiggling /cork-screw-motion. Of course these are difficult to get rid of after the first time, but as determined as Kostas is he wants to get rid of this and further perfect his technique. Take a look at this compilation:

Also available in HD, click here.

Your opinion?
What are your opinions on his technique, what do you recommend him to be working on?

Just leave a comment and I’ll be sure to pass it on to him in the next training.