Sunday, 29 April 2007

minnow's haircut

week up to 30 April

  • Tuesday: Dynamics - numerous 66m swims, but nothing fab.
  • Wednesday: 7x long slow dynamics, longest one took 2:38s - need to stretch this out more, more, more...
  • Thursday: Statics - 8 x 1:30s short CO2 (was a bit of a push)
  • Friday: swim - 6 x 100m free on 1:50s (felt great - might have to drop to 1:45s repeats), then 5 x 50m breast on 1 min.
  • Saturday: well deserved rest day!
  • Sunday: I was feeling a bit lazy so did dry statics: 3min long CO2 - was fairly easy - ready to step it up a little...
  • Monday: haven't done it yet, but will do yoga after work - might have to skip the lunch time dry statics in the park since work is a bit chaotic. :(

Lowest resting pusle noted for the week was 48 beats/min. Dropping fast eh!

Next week I need to start doing 3:15s long CO2. Was hoping to step up the short CO2 too, but I'm not ready yet. It's also time to try a long wet static. I'll drop my 100m swim repetitions down to 1:45s. I also have to factor in some backstroke in my warm down as my shoulders have started knotting up again.

Monday, 23 April 2007

week up to 23 April

2 months until we leave!!!

  • Tuesday: statics - I got cold so can't really count this session - was warming up to do 1:30s short CO2. I did 10 x 1:15s statics with one breath in between after on the couch.
  • Wednesday: 3min dry long CO2 tables.
  • Thursday: dynamics: 6 x 66m with about 2 mins breathe up. Was quite a challenge and I kept speeding up...
  • Friday: swimming: I did something else for a change: 20 lengths warm up, sprints: 1 length fly, 2 back, 3 breast, 4 free, 4 free, 3 breast, 2 back, 1 fly (allow 30s per length). 3x 50m breast (1:05s repetitions). 2 x 100m medleys. 6 lengths warm down.
  • Saturday: easy dynamics session - lots of 50m swims - worked on technique. One long swim which lasted about 2 mins 20s (single length).
  • Sunday: rest day (the Lazy Seals did a first aid & O2 provider course).
  • Monday: 3min long CO2 dry statics in the park at lunch time. This is still pretty hard. a good yoga session in the evening

Still on track, but have to keep it up... Only one more week until the end of the month when I have to step everything up (and it's still hard)! Resting pulse was down to about 50 beats/min today.

Monday, 16 April 2007

Travel plans

Here's our rough itinerary (I'll update it as we figure out more):

  • 23 June drop off baby Minnow in PN with grandparents
  • 23 June Wellington - Auckland - Shanghai
  • one day in Shanghai
  • 25 June Shanghai - Frankfurt - Vienna
  • five nights in Vienna
  • 30 June Vienna - Maribor (Slovenia)
  • nine nights in Maribor during Lent festival
  • 30 June - 3 July training days
  • 4 July - 7 July Individual World Freediving Champs: Competition schedule: I'll be competing in statics & dynamics without fins. Patti will be there for the comp days as my groupie.
  • 7 July big party after comp (& festival) ends - dinner and fireworks
  • 8 July hangover day
  • 9 July rent a car and explore Slovenia, then fly Venice - Paris (Europe is sooo small!)
  • 10 July - 6 August Paris - we're renting an apartment in the 4th arondissment for four weeks! Visitors welcome - you'll never stay anywhere much closer to the centre. Donations towards rent accepted. :)
  • 17 July Loire Valley
  • 19-21 July London
  • 23-24 July Belfort (Ronchamp) to Strasbourg on the German boarder via autobahn for Braedon to drag race - we're hiring a car - shame it's just a wee one... We're staying over night on the wine road.
  • 27 July Eurodisney (we have to go on my (10th) birthday as that's the only way that I'll have the pulling power to get Braedon there!)
  • 28-30 July Patti visiting us in Paris
  • 29 July the Tour de France finishes on the Champs Elyssees.
  • 3 August Lyon
  • 4-5 August Aix-en-Provence to visit Shaun, Heidi and Maia.
  • 6 August Paris -Amsterdam
  • 8-9 Aug Amsterdam - Rostock to visit Andrea
  • 10-14 Aug, Berlin to visit Amber, Sandra, Stefan...
  • 14-17 Aug, Venice
  • 17-21 Aug, Florence
  • 21-25 Aug, Rome
  • 26-28 Aug, Amalfi Coast
  • 28 August, Rome - Frankfurt - Singapore
  • 2 nights in Singapore
  • 31 August Singapore - Auckland - Wellington
  • 1 September home in time for spring!

Patti visited

Yay, Patti came to visit us in Wellington from Wednesday last week until today. It was great to catch up again before she heads off to trip around Europe for the next six months (at least). Caught up with some people who we haven't seen for years: Dylan & Cameron. People came over for dinner on Saturday, then we all picked up and moved the party over a couple of blocks to Miriam's for her "21st" (making up for lost time) where we all lost our voices singing loudly to singstar. It was a pretty fun night for all.

Some familiar faces.

week up to 16 April 2007

  • Tuesday: repeated long DNF, 75-85m x 5
  • Wednesday: lunchtime swim - 100m/1:55
  • Thursday: lots of DNF 66m
  • Friday: lunchtime swim - 100m/1:50
  • Saturday: rest and party (bit of a sober late night)
  • Sunday: dry statics - long CO2 - 3 mins
  • Monday: yoga

Bit short on statics sessions - it was raining so the park at lunchtimes wasn't really an option...

Finally my body feels like it's a bit happier in the water. Pulse was down to 53/min the other day. Still a way to go, but I feel much more on track now.

Monday, 9 April 2007

Easter weekend 07

Saturday marked the well anticipated arrival and installation of our new garage cupboard. It has been an overly extensive and challenging 18 month project untaken with my father in Palmerston North. We spent the weekend clearing out the junk from our spare room, so now our lucky future visitors will have floor space on which to put their bags, and the opportunity to get out of either side of the bed! The room looks quite deceptively large - finally. In addition, visitors will no longer have to battle their way through several layers of dive gear in order to bathe - total luxury.

week up to 9 April

CO2 short 1:25s x 10, so will graduate to 1:30 next time.

CO2 long 2:50s (dry) followed by 4:30s static (dry) - easiest for a long time, first contraction in long static about 3:10! This makes me enormously happy since in the competition last weekend I was getting contractions at 2:15! Will need to do 3mins next time.

5 x 100m freestyle repeated on 1:55s

5 x 66m breaststroke repeated on 1:15s

great yoga session

CW session, line set at 17m (bottom of harbour) - easy dives - longest 1:22s, practised mouthfull equalisation on negatives to 10m. Beautiful conditions in the harbour.

Dynamics session was a bit sad after doing dry statics at lunchtime. I was experimenting with my new flash Orca Apex 2 wetsuit which Orca has kindly supplied me with for the world champs - very exciting. The suit was meant to be more buoyant, but I found it much the same as my old one as far as wearing lead goes. It is much warmer and very flexible. It will take me a few sessions to adapt my stroke to a new body position in the water as created by the new suit.

Goals up to WC, July 07

  • Events:
    I'm setting up some written goals for what I'd like to acheive at the Individual World Champs, Slovenia, July 4-7, 2007. This is a pool competition only and I have qualified for and will be competing in statics (STA) and dynamics without fins (DNF). I'll not be bothering with dynamics with fins (DYN) as only do a similar distance as I do without fins, and don't enjoy it as much. It will be good to concentrate on only 2 events and be a little more rested for these events.
  • World champs goals:
  • STA: 6minutes and to make the final.
  • DNF: 130m and to finish in the top 3 women.
  • Wellington Winter Champs goals
  • Naenae Pool, Lower Hutt, 9-10 June 2007, hosted by Lazy Seal Freediving Club
  • STA: 5:50s +
  • DNF: 125m +
  • DYN: doubt I'll bother - might have another go without fins...
  • Training:
  • Statics
  • I mainly do CO2 tables for statics as I have real issues with coping with contractions (the convulsions you have when you body wants to breathe). There are two types that I focus on:
  • CO2 long:
    a consistant breath hold with diminishing breathe up time. I normally do these dry; on the couch or in the park next to work at lunchtime (no one has come to help me yet when I'm having huge contractions!).
    Here's how it goes: 5 minutes breathing, breath hold, 2 mins breathe up, breath hold, 1:45 breath up, breath hold, 1:30 breathe up, breath hold and so on until 30s breathe up followed by my final breath hold. The time I list is the consistant breath hold time.
  • CO2 short:
    a consistant breath hold with a single exhale and inhale between each. This is what I normally do in pool sessions.
    Here's how it goes: 5 minutes snorkel breathing, stand up, relax, breathe, commence. Breath hold, exhale, inhale, breath hold, exhale, inhale, etc. The aim is to do 10 breath holds, then increase the time for the following session.
  • The only other thing I do occassionally is a max attempt:
    5 minutes snorkel breathing, negative (exhale breath hold) for 1min to 1:30 depending on the day, 2 mins breathe up, negative for 1:15s to 1:45s. 4-5 minute breathe up, one long static breath hold dive. I'd probably do 3 long breath holds if doing this in training.
  • Dynamics without fins:
  • Dynamics training is really my downfall at the moment. What I plan to do:
  • Distance:
  • At least one session per week. Start out with a max attempt and follow up with a few repeated long slow swims.
  • Fitness:
  • A shorter repeated distance with short intervals.
  • Fitness training:
  • Bikram Yoga:
  • This is 90 minutes of yoga done in a room heated to 40 degrees celcius. It's pretty intense. I try to do a minimum of 1 session per week.
  • Swimming:
  • 2 sessions per week. I normally have about 30 mins in my lunch break. I like to do the following in a 25m pool:
    20 lengths warm up,
    basic stretching,
    sprints: 5 x 100m freestyle sprints repeated on a certain time as listed.
    5 x 50m breaststroke sprints repeated on a certain time as listed.
    10 lengths warm down (4 lengths backstroke, 6 lengths freestyle)
    I would normally incorporate at least 10 lengths kicking with a board for better efficiency once I put my fins on, but since I'm not working on dynamics or constant weight with fins at the moment it's no point.

  • Training goals:
  • End of April:
    CO2 long 3:15s (dry);
    CO2 short 1:30s;
    long DNF 115m;
    100m freestyle repeated on 1:50s;
    50m breaststroke repeated on 1:05s;
  • End of May:
    CO2 long 3:30s (dry);
    CO2 short 1:35s;
    long DNF 120m;
    100m freestyle repeated on 1:45s;
    50m breaststroke repeated on 1:00s;
  • End of June
    CO2 long 3:45s (dry);

CO2 short 1:40s;
long DNF 125m;
100m freestyle repeated on 1:45s;
50m breaststroke repeated on 1:00s.

I've got lots of work to do...

Sunday, 1 April 2007

What is freediving?

Just thought I'd write this as a reference for all of you who are confused by my sport.

Freediving is a water sport based around breath holding. It takes a great deal of physical and mental strength to do well in this sport.

There are a number of events held in both the pool and open water.

Open Water events:
these events can be held in the lake or the sea. divers follow a line down and back
Constant weight
The diver dives as deep as possible on one breath. They must swim down and back with the same gear on. The diver may wear fins.
Constant weight without fins
As for constant weight but without fins. Divers normally use a swimming styl much like breast stroke.
Variable weight
The diver dives as deep as possible on one breath but may release their weight at the bottom, so it is easier to swim down and up.
Free Immersion
The diver pulls down and back up the rope with their hands.

Pool Events:
This is a time based event. The diver holds their breath as long as possible while lying face down in the pool. They normally float on the surface due to the need to wear a wetsuit to stay warm.
The diver swims as far as possible in the pool, under the surface, on one breath. The diver turns and repeats lengths as necessary. The diver may wear fins.
Dynamics without fins
The same as dynamics, but without fins. Divers normally swim breast stroke under water.

Other things I may refer to:
Surface protocol
At the end of any dive the diver must remove all face equipment (mask, goggles, nose clip), then give an ok signal, then say "I am OK" within 15s of surfacing, and keep their airways clear of the water, or will be disqualified.
Announced performance
The diver must nominate an announced performace the day before the event. in depth events this is the maximum depth they will be able to go to, where the bottom plate is set. For statics it effects the calls, and ok signals required during the dive, the first call being 1 minute prior to the announced performance. It does not do a lot in dynamics, however if someone else has the same realised performance and announces a higher performance, they will receive a higher world ranking. Divers are penalised if they do not reach their announced performance.
Realised performance
What is acheived on competition day.

More info:
For starters check out: (our club web site)

Apnea@Altitude freediving competition, Taupo, NZ, 30/3 to 1/4 2007

My competition results:
-31m Constant weight without fins - New NZ women's record
4:16s Static
110m Dynamic without fins - Disqualified due to black out.

I was sadly, once again the only woman taking part, so won the women's competition.

I went up for a training session in Lake Taupo the day before the competition, but as usual for depth events in NZ we had a cyclone come through. I still dived but it was pretty rough - managed to choke on water when a wave washed over me while I was taking my last breath. Didn't get as deep as I'd hoped so announced a conservative performance of 31m for the competition, with the expectation that the conditions would not improve.

It rained pretty heavily the night before the competition started and I was a bit concerned about the tent flying away! Fortunately I got through the night fine and the tent didn't start leaking until the morning...

The competition organisers managed to fine a nice calm spot in the lea of the island, so the condidtions were superb. The water was calm, no current, about 15m visibility and 18 degrees on the surface. Despite feeling ill (from nerves) in the minutes leading up to my dive, my dive felt great. It was a comfortable swim down and back - my only issue was that I took about 7 seconds trying to retrieve my tag from the base plate.

Everyone did fantastically well on the first day of the competition - we all reach our announced performances and came up clean. Dave Mullins briefly broke the NZ men's constant weight record (with fins) with a dive to -80m, but the next competitor, Ant Williams reached a depth of -82m to regain his record.

Day 2 was statics. The sun actually came out and it was quite pleasant. We relocated the event from the 19 degree outdoor unheated pool at Taupo Intermediate to the the AC Baths, where we had 26 degrees. Unfortunately nobody acheived any really notable performances in statics. I was 1:30s off my best. My contractions started very early around 2:15s, and in the end I didn't push it through to my limits as I was so far away from anything I would be happy with anyway. I need to do a lot more work in my statics training before the worlds...

A big, but really short storm blew through during the night. Poor Blair (our new diver) pretty much lost the fly for his tent and had to get up and re-peg it down in the heavy rain.

Day 3 was dynamics. I selected to do dynamics without fins. I pushed it a bit far and don't recall any of my dive beyond the 100m turn, but did come up on my own before falling back into the water. Anyway, I feel I'm on track for my training for the world champs in July for this event. It can only get better... This was the first time that I've been DQ'd in competition and I don't intend it to happen again.

Thanks so much to all the people who helped out - there were as many helpers and officials as there were competitors!