Friday, 30 May 2008

113m in DNF: new national record!

My first dive at Aarhus Triple Challenge went surprisingly well. I was competing in dynamic without fins, a diciplin that I hadn't seriously persued since the world championship in July 2007. I had only been doing one 75m dive at training and a little technique, so there was no big expectations.

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

Next comptetition: in Århus

Aarhus Triple Challenge is on the comming weekend, 30. May to 1. June. It might be correct to mention it's actaully taking place in Silkeborg this year (a smaller place west for Århus), but it's with the same organizers and (hopefully) great atmosphere as the two previous years.

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

Designated scientists

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

The secret of the long statics: the Spleen!

Erika Schagatay, a swedish scientist from the Mid Sweeden University, was in Dahab for the Bizzi Blue Hole competition doing a research project on the spleen. She has done several projects about the human diving respons previously, and now her focus is on the effect freediving has on the spleen.

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

A freediver on early morning TV

After wining the competition in Dahab, the media got interested and freediving even made it to the bigger newspapers.

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.