Monday, 22 December 2008
It was fun to see the surprised face of the host, Christian Strand, when I was explaining that we humans also have a diving response like other dolphins or whales. And hopefully I've convinced the opera singer who finished the show to snorkel a little deeper on her next holiday. She might have a great freediving potential....
Sunday, 30 November 2008
The result was covering 4 pages + the front page of Dagbladet's Sport Magasin on Friday 28th November. The pictures turned out great, both thanks to the photographer and to the lovely weather we had. I was also very happy with the text. I think Marianne did a good job on describing freediving the way I find it, intriging, safe and still in need of more women.
This kind of coverage is something the really sport needs, as usually we are drowed by soccer, skiing and more soccer. Maybe some day, people will not turn their heads when I wait for the bus with my monofin, or stop up staring at the freedivers training static in their wetsuits. Or maybe not :)
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
The competition saw 10 national records and one continental record (William Winram with 205m in DYN). Big congratulations to Barbara, Ulf, Will, Ilka and everybody else! Two new nations were represented (I haven't seen them on competitions before...), Irish and Emirati. I was also very happy to see two new guys from Aarhus Freediving Club compete in their first competition and doing very well.
Hopefully I'll get a couple of more pictures here soon.
Monday, 24 November 2008
After the dissapointment at the competition in Lignano Sabbiadoro, I didn't really feel like competing or training much. But after watching the Long Night of Apnea in Berlin from the sideline, I felt something was missing. I was ready to dive again...
I went to Eindhoven with no expectations or goals, only to have fun and enjoy the diving. The only thing I had promised myself was to not quit.
With so many nice people around, a beautiful pool and a good athmosphere, I enjoyed it from the start. I did a 5 min static which I was quite happy with. Contractions at 2.30, fighting hard from 4 min, but not quiting. Big thanks to Martin (who took a detour to say hi) for the coaching here!
I had enough time before the dynamic to eat a little and relax, which was good, as the long drive the day before had drained alot of energy. I went into the water 20min before top to check out the depth, the turns and the markings on the bottom, then sat on the side relaxing and keeping warm. When the dive started, I was in a happy state, not at all stressed or nervous as in Lignano. I managed to keep the good spirit and when I turned at 100m, I knew I had broken that barrier from before. My legs were tired though, and I came up at 136m to a white card.
The rest of the day I kept smiling. Winning the 1st price overall was a great plus to top the whole thing. I've found some of the joy of competing again. Now I'm eager to train and to do more next time, and break down some other barriers. See you in Geneva in January?
Wednesday, 5 November 2008
From WWF: "Every year hundreds of thousands of sharks, whales and sea turtles as well as millions of tons of fish die as useless bycatch on hocks and in nets of the fishing industry world wide. They are discarded like waste. In the coming weeks a law should take shape in Brussels that should curtail this wastage. The WWF is calling on the Federal Covernment of Germany to advocate for a stop on these wasting practices."
The event took place in Staatbad Schöneberg, Berlin, on the 3rd of November. I will come back with more info, pictures and video.
Picture: Making of Gabriel+Matthias (bodypainters)
Thursday, 30 October 2008
I hope to go back there soon! Thanks to Daan for filming and Martin for putting the video together and filming part of it.
Friday, 10 October 2008
The whole competition was ment to attract alot of the great names and stars of our sport, but this might have scared alot of the average freediver away. This was a real pitty as the AIDA competition only counted 12-13 names. It was still a well organized competition, a nice pool and some good results (two WR!).
I was happy to do a 5min 4sek dive in static, because the contractions came early (2min) and I had to do a little fighting to get there. Things didn't go so well in dynamic unfortunatly, even though this diciplin had been my biggest focus. The count down got messed up. The 2 min mark came at the wrong time, no 1'30, no 20sek. I kicked off with a bad feeling and alot of nerves, which made me come up already at 75m.
The judges (Pim and Bill) gave me a restart, along with Barbara, but it was just not my day. I came up after doing my announced performance at 110m.
It was very inspiring to watch Natalja Molchanova swim 214m (WR), and then her son, Alexey, doing his first world record with 250m. I got to chat with her during the doping test and got a few "secrect" training exercises. I'll have to try it out and see where it takes me...
Monday, 15 September 2008
Back to freediving: Training has been going well. This week I've been in the water on monday, wednesday and sunday. The static training is already showing some progress, as my contractions are finally coming closer to 3 min than to 2... I have been training with the new suit on, and it's feeling quite good. I'm working my way up from 4 min towards 5 min, and I still have two more weeks to push the times furter...
In dynamic, I have managed to decrease the number of kicks (per 25m) from 9 to 8, but I'm still quite slow. I know I can hold my breath for a while, so I'm not too worried. It's most important to get my mind and my legs used to the long dives.
Thursday, 4 September 2008
I've got started on my second year at university and so far it's been nice and easy. I hope to be able to alot of freediving this year too. At the moment I'm working on getting in shape for another pool competition, the Europe Evolution Cup in Italy in october. Monday and Wednesday I did some static sessions and a few dynamic dives working on technique. Today I had a pure swimming workout, and on Sunday I'll be back in the water for a longer DYN dive.
The focus on my training at the moment is: CO2 tolerance (coping with contractions and prolonging the "easy faze"), leg strength and mental strength (getting my mind around the long dives again).
Friday, 29 August 2008
My old 3mm suit is starting to fall apart after two years with a lot of diving, so I was very happy when Elios-sub wanted to sponsor me with a new 3mm suit. The suit is one of their new top models, made from yamamoto neopren, which is much more flexible and comfortable than my previous suit. It will make a big difference to how easy it is to swim and I'm even planning to try it for a dynamic dive.
So big thanks to Elios-sub for making a great suit that I'm looking forward to use!
Thursday, 28 August 2008
At Nordic Deep there is also a number of pure fun competitions, outside the normal diciplins and rankings of AIDA. You can do Team Static (three persons doing static in relay), Guess Your Depth (no watches and closest to 30m wins) and Magic3 (static without watch and closest to 3min wins).
We even found time on the busy schedual to play paintball in the woods (who can shoot Sebastian?!) and a japaneese martial arts game with paper swords and blind folds.
Feel like joining us next year?
Bjarte - A quiet and friendly guy who was competing for the second time at Nordic Deep (first deep competition though). He seems to surprise himself and everybody with a very fast improvement in most of the diciplins.
After an easy "try out" constant weight dive to 46m, he put the plate to 56m and came up again with a new personal best. Later he had a successfull constant no-fins dive to 35m.
In static he performed another nice and clean dive to 5:32, a new competition best. The norwegian male record is not far away now on 6:02.
But it was in dynamic without fins that Bjarte blew everybody away. Already in Aarhus Triple challenge he impressed with a 125m long dive. This time he didn't stop untill he had passed 140m and still he looked strong.
In the finals sunday morning, after a whole week of diving, he put himself on the list of the World's Best DNF divers with 152m, another norwegian record!!! What more to say? This is a freediver to keep an eye on :) Congratulations, Bjarte!
On the picture from left to right: Martin, Steinar, Leif and Bjarte
Steinar - The big and stronglooking guy showed up on friday night, only to jump in the water the next morning and do a national record in constant weight without fins to 41m. Very well done!
He has been training regularly in Oslo lately and I believe he's quite used to the cold water in Lysekil. Previously it was the lenght of the rope who stopped him from going deeper that 38m in training, but now I've heard they have got a 70m long one... I'm curious to see what he will be doing in the future.
Steinar is mostly interested in the deep diciplins, but he joined the rest of the norwegians (Bjarte and me) to make a NORWEGIAN TEAM for the team static on sunday. Strong and consistent dives to well past 4min for all three gave us the 2nd place, only beaten by Denmark.
This competition is not only about who get's deepest, but also about who can deal with the conditions best... Here you will face of stinging jellyfish, refreshing wind, chilling rain and dark, cold water. Healthy, vegetarian food cooked by Mia and Bea, yoga sessions in the morning and lots of nice freedivers weighs up for most of the challenges.
I was very happy to see old and new freediving friends here again. This was my 3rd time at Nordic Deep and it has a very nice familly feeling to it all. It was especially nice to see two other norwegians here, Bjarte and Steinar, who both did some really great diving (more on this coming later!).
The diving was a little trip of ups and downs for me. I faced some new problems on my deep dives, getting nasty contractions already on the way down. This gave me a problem with my mouthfill and also with my confidence. On friday I announced an easy 48m CWT to get over it, which was a really good idea. It felt good to reach the plate and I felt strong again (even though I was having contractions).
I was also having a little fight in dynamic, coming up at 129m, but this I have enough time to train before the next competition and the pool was not my focus this time. In static I was not doing what I wanted to do either, finishing with a 4.29. The total points were enough for a third place. Hanli Prinslo from South Africa won the competition with three great dives which were all national records. I'm very happy for her, not only because she's a dear friend, but also because she hadn't had a good competition in a good while. Thanks to Hanli for some nice inspiration!
And thanks for pictures from Jesper, Matti and Morten :)
Thursday, 7 August 2008
The lake is a flooded old stone break, located not far from Leipzig, with 74m max depth. The temperature on the surface was very nice, but as soon as you get below 5-10m, it get's COLD and dark. Diving in these conditions is much more demanding than those of the Blue Hole, but it made a perfect training for the up-coming competition in Sweeden, Nordic Deep.
We had two dive sessions. On the first one I focused on getting back the right feeling and trying to relax, even with the cold water stinging in my face. I slowly moved from 15m to 30m, adjusting my bouancy and my technique. I kept having problems with water in my mask (I later found out there was a serious leak), but figured I was ready for one last deep dive.
I went to 45m, a bit slow, with some swollowed air and water in my mask. Still I had managed the dive without any real problems or stress, so I was content for the day and confident I'll dive deeper next weekend when we do another trip.
On the second session, we first did a little fun diving down to an air filled dive station on maybe 10m depth. Martin took a few videos, so you can check it out yourself. There is also a track with rings to swim through, like a freediving fun garden. The only problem is to avoid getting stuck with the monofin...
All in all it was a great day. The cold water treated me nicely enough, so I'm already looking forward to coming back and doing some more deep training.
Tuesday, 15 July 2008
The goal I want to reach is to do a new pb in DYN at the Europe Evolution Cup in Italy, 4.-5. October. Of course I have some numbers in mind that I would like to reach, but I leave that for a little later.
I have marked off 12 weeks to get into shape and prepare my body both physically and mentally. I got started last Monday and the first week looked like this:
Monday - rock climbing (60 min)
Tuesday - swimming (1400m )
Wednesday - running (30 min ) and static (CO2 table)
Thursday - rock climbing ( 30 min ) and swimming (1000m)
Friday - static (CO2 table)
Saturday - running (30 min) and strenght training
Sunday - static (only half a training as the pool closed...)
I've also been doing body and lung stretching every morning, which I feel I'm in great need of.
The first 4 weeks I will be focusing more on general fitness than on long dives, then I will gradually change my training more towards spesific apnea training.
I will keep posting about the training and the result, and some pictures and videos will also come soon.
Thursday, 26 June 2008
My plans have changed a bit back and forth, and now it seems like I will be missing out on the Team World Championship. A new rule says that a team has to consist of at least two persons, and because I am the only Norwegian for the team, I can't go. I'm not the only freediver who's affected by this, and I really wonder what the reason behind the rule is. It closes out several of the smaller freediving nations, which I don't think is a good development for the sport.
Instead I might focus on Nordic Deep in Sweeden in August and the Europe Evolution Cup in Italy in October. Nothing further is decided yet, and I only hope to get to do alot of nice freedivning and training, and enjoy the time.
Monday, 23 June 2008
Sunday, 22 June 2008
My confidence was one of the problems. I started feeling uncomfortable and uncapable of doing what I wanted to do (which was always more and more). This led me into quiting the dives and feeling the failiure again and again.
After doing some wonderful deep diving at Bizzy Blue Hole, I felt strong and confident in my freediving again, but still afraid it wouldn't work when I got to the pool. In the period after coming home, I started training with a goal of getting comfortable with long dynamic dives again. Working my way from 100m up to 155m in training, I was moving forward step by step.
Yesterday I finally got what I was longing for: a good competition dive in DYN. I did 161m in a mini AIDA competition here in Århus, arranged by Aarhus Freediving Club. Martin took a nice video of the whole dive (which lasted almost 3 min!!!) and it will be up here soon.
The competition, Dolphin One & Two, gathered about 8 competitors, AIDA judges Christian Engelbrecht, Maria Livbjerg Eriksen and Martin Müller, and Stig Severinsen as safety freediver. Thanks for a great day everybody!
Monday, 9 June 2008
Bjarte and I also made it to the norwegian media with our new national records, and you can read more on Aftenposten (if you are fluent in norwegian!).
Also check out the final results and the pictures from the competition.
Sunday, 8 June 2008
This ment a lot of sunshine on pale scandinavian skin (and some sunburns!), fresh air and of course a BBQ by the pool afterwards. Even though I didn't really manage to copy friday's great performance in DNF on either saturday or sunday's DYN, I had a wonderful time.
It was also great to see another norwegian freediver competing. Bjarte Nygaard from Oslo Freediving club is a rather new, but very talented freediver who I hope we will se much more of in the future.
He did a very impressive DNF on friday with 125m and a strong 144m in DYN on saturday. These performances are both national records. In static I was coaching Bjarte, who fought his way to 5.13 without a suit in the 26 degree pool. I'm especially impressed that he managed these three clean, nice dives on his first ever competition!
So, a great weekend is over, but there's already talking about another competition here in Aarhus in three weeks or so. For some reason, it seems like we can't get enough of this sport!
Friday, 30 May 2008
15 min before my official top I was gonna do my warm up, which is just a couple of 25m dives to get the water feeling. I then realized I had brought the wrong neck weight, a 1,5kg instead of the usual 2,5kg! This brought me some stress as I knew that with one kilo less weight, I was way to positiv in the water to do any proper diving.
Luckily Daan had a 2,5kg neck weight laying around, and the problem was thereby quickly solved. I tried it out a single time, then sat on the edge of the pool to start breathing up. I had promissed myself to focus on only one thing for this dive: to relax. Not to worry about any meters or records or ranking at all. And it worked!
Once I was diving, everything became silent and slow. I convinced myself, meter by meter, that in fact, I could do a little more. At the turn on 100m, I thought: "Hey, it would be fun to do a new personal best." So I kept swimming untill I was sure I had passed 106m (from March 2007), and came up on 113m with a clean surface protocol and a big smile :)
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
ATC in 2006 was my first ever competition, and it brings back happy memories:) Not only did I set my first national records there, but I also gained my first freediving friends.
And in the same competition one year later, the organizer Kurt had even got us a chance to dive with the danish sharks at Kattegat Centeret.
So I'm really looking forward to see all the nice people there again and have alot of fun, both in the pool and with the promissed barbeque afterwards...
Thursday, 22 May 2008
Erika and team even brought their lab out on sea two of the competition days to measure the oxygen saturation of the deep freedivers shortly after surfacing. One sign of a lung squeeze (an injury that can come from the lungs not coping with the big pressure at depth) is a reduced oxygen level in the blood up to several hours after the dive.
I showed a 99% saturation just two minutes after coming up from 57m in CWT, which is very very good. This means that my body had got the time to adjust properly, and that I was well within the depth limits that my lungs can handle. Very good indeed!
I also tried Sebastians spirometer, measuring my lung volume. On a normal inhale, I had 4,59 liters of air. This is an increase from a test last autumn which showed 4,3 liters. Most likely it is the repeated deep diving, the morning yoga and lung stretching that has worked for me.
So, even though I don't have those huge "Stig-" or "Dave Mullins-lungs", they are adapting to my freediving :)
With packing (gulping extra air) I reached 4,94 liters. This isn't as much as many other people get from doing packing, but I'm not eager to stress my lungs too much and overdo this. Packing is only safe if you train it regularly and correctly.
And again, it's not all about how much air you bring down there, it's also a lot about how good you are at saving oxygen...
Wednesday, 21 May 2008
She has previously been to Nordic Deep , doing a set of spleen on the freedivers there, and has confirmed the fact that the spleen contracts during repeated breath holds. This releases extra red blood cells which the freediver can utilise to store more oxygen and prelong the breath hold. Erika estimates the effect to give up to 30 sek extra in a static attempt! I think I wanna take good care of my spleen now....
I gladly participated in the test, which inclueded two dry breath holds with different warm ups where my spleen was measured continously by ultra sound. The heart rate and oxygen saturation was also measured throughout the test. The main question Erika was asking this time was when do the spleen contract? Their results will be very interesting and might give us freedivers a better idea of how to warm up for a max dive most efficiently.
As you can see on the next picture, my spleen definatly contracted during a static apnea, which means it is a good idea for me to do one or two warm up dives before a max. Then I will have more red blood cells in circulation, and will be able to dive deeper. I must say the human body is a brilliant organism, and the more I learn, the more impressed and curious I become.
Thursday, 15 May 2008
The TV channels were also interested, and last friday, 9th May, I was a guest at the morning show on norwegian channel TV2. This was actually the third time for me there, so it was very fun that they wanted me back. You can see the clip here.
For those who don't understand norwegian, I'm talking about freediving being a small sport, how it was wining the competition and my further plans. They includes arranging a National Record attempt in Norway in constant weight this summer. I will write more about this, also in english, the coming days.
Friday, 25 April 2008
Not only did I reach a mark (the 60 meters) that I’ve been wanting for a while, I also found the real joy in being down there. These dives during both the training and competition has left me with a lot of confidence and renewed my motivation again. I’m very grateful that I had the opportunity to have these two weeks in such a wonderful place with a lot of great people. I’ll do my best to keep this “feel good” feeling and use it for the next months of studying until I once again can go deep diving…
Also thanks for all nice comments, e-mails and general friendly support! And a big hug to all the guys from Bizzy Blue Hole, hope to see you folks again soon :)
Friday, 18 April 2008
The way up again it was going through my mind: “You did it! Now just get to the surface and you’ve done all you wanted to do.” It was a great feeling, and after a strong surface protocol I was going “JIIHAA!” These three dives, 57m, 55m and 61m, gave me the first place in total points. We even finished off the day with going horse riding on the beach, so that’s close to a perfect day…
The dive went as planned, with the usual number of kicks down to about 33m, getting the mouth fill ok and then just falling, falling, falling. I’m so much more relaxed in the sink faze now, and the discomfort and stress I used to have at the bottom is nearly gone. Two meters ahead of the turn I must have done something strange and lost part of the air in my mouth, but still could equalize enough to get to the bottom plate and grab a tag.
Wednesday, 16 April 2008
It turned out to be another calm and enjoyable dive, though my arms are not as strong as I'd like them to be and the total 110m up and down took me close to 3 minutes to complete(!). I was strong and clear, and got my white card :) It was nice to know that I can make such a long dive and come up fine. It means I have capasity for some long and deep dives in the future.
I'm really happy with the last two days and my new pb's. Tomorrow we have a day out of the water and we'll go climbing in the desert instead. Freedivers going high! And on friday is the last competition day with all the final excitement as I'm positioned first among the women so far...
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
The dive started well. I lost track of my kick cycles a little bit, making me slower, but I got going better around 20m. When I reached the falling face, I managed to relax completely and only focus on the equalization and the mouthfill. Suddenly the bottom plate was already there, I grabbed a tag and kicked off upwards.
I was feeling very strong and good on the decent too, and the surface protocol was perfectly clean. Then I realized “wow, this was easy! I can do this stuff.” That is such a nice feeling and a boost for the confidence. Yes, I will go deeper and explore my capacity, and I will enjoy it along the way.