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10km time vs Apnea ability, etc.

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New Member
Jul 16, 2002
Time vs. apnea ability?

I know that a big part of this sport is mental, but I was wondering how strong the link is between cardio ability and apnea times?
I can run about a 50min. 10k (not exactly world class, but about 10 min. better that I was a few years ago)
My best static time is 4:34
My best dynamic time (swimming about 2m. below the surface) is only just around 1:20?
It seems that if my running times improved that my oxygen efficiency would also improve, and help my dynamic times?

Does any one else have any interesting colorations between their various times (running, biking, etc)?

Aerobic capacity

Hi Alan,
I do believe that aerobic exercise improves your apneic, the main reason will be that aerobic exercise at 75-80% of your VO2 max, can increase the mitochondrial density (the mitochondria is were the cell respiration occurs) that will make a more efficient use of the O2 available.
I'm living at moderate altitude (2600 mts osl), and the O2 available is low. I don't know if you read something about Intermittent Hypoxic training?, but I was doing a rutine that was very hypoxic, I was doing cycling with increases of resistance every 5 minutes until 50 minutes, with 1 min normal cycling, 1 min of sprint and 30 " of apnea at sprint. I don't have to mention that it was very hard specially at the end. Whit 1 month of this training I found that my blood pressure was very high in rest and for all the day, so I stopped the apneas during cycling.
If you are living at sea level the apnea during sprints should work bettet than for me.
I think the extreme hypoxia while exercising can have deleterous effects.
Best aerobic VO2 percent

Is this the best percent for any apneist?
I don't know

I really don't know, maybe someone had investigated if VO2 max relates with apneic time

I have often wondered the same thing. I run and ride a bike and I can't honestly say that it affects my performance unless I could be doing better and don't realize it. I think cardio work creates more red blood cells and greater blood volume so it should help in apnea. Then again dynamic apnea is really considered anaerobic so I don't know if aerobic work would have an adverse affect in this area. I do know this though. If you polled a hundred different people you would probably get a hundred different responses. Experiment and do what works best for you.
Not Just 10k times...

if we stop looking at just the 10k time...
lets look at what being in good physical shape gives you....

lowered heart rate during physical activity
better oxygen efficency (so i've been told)
less drag rofl :D (had to put that in)
more muscular endurance
ability to withstand more lactic acid and CO2 in legs/whatever you use to swim
greater blood volume(miguelito, i have also heard this)

now, with all of these advantages, a fit person would be able to do reasonable dynamics/statics, if they calmed themselves enough

as for the relation of VO2 max to apnea capability, i dont think that any real connection is there except that a fitter person will have a better VO2 max and apnea performance(but not due to the higher VO2 max), the reason i believe this is that VO2 max is a measure of the MAXIMUM amout of O2 that can be taken in by the body, when in apnea we are never (hopefully never) in a situation where we are at MAXIMUM oxygen consumption (ie, doing a sprint) what i think is needed to improve apnea performance is to work in the 80-90% HR/VO2 max range...

miguelito, i dont think that dynamic is anaerobic in nature, (anaerobic being without sufficient O2 and where lactic acid starts to accumulate in the muscle, neither of which i believe to be true for apnea- just my opinion...)

just my 2c

10km time

Before I went to Florida in 2001 to try for the cw record, my 10k time was 41-42 minutes. Later, in Vancouver, when I was finally succesful, my 10k time was down to about 46-49 minutes.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Thin air,
Although you listed many benefits to being in good physical health you seemed to have omitted the most important one: more girls, girls, girls!! :eek:
clarify one idea

Hallo thin- , can you clarify the meaning of this idea:

“What I think is needed to improve apnea performance is to work in the 80-90% HR/VO2 max range... “

thanks Guss.

I have post today my own experirnces in walking apnea workout, hope it works.
I'm having trouble translating your comments from yesterday. Do you think that aerobic condition is detrimental or is it a matter of spending less time running and more time diving? Could it also mean just running easier?
Thanks for the help on static, your comments last month have added about 5%.

by my comment i meant that during non-apnea training (ie, training for xc races, running, cycling, or other types of endurance sports) the most benifits for apnea will be had when we train at 80-90% HR/VO2(those 2 arent exactly the same..but close enough...)

so, if someone was to do no apnea specific training, and work only in this range they would have reasonable apnea times...

miguelito, your right, i forgot to list the most important benifit...girls :D

hope that answers the question
Effect of Cardio

The effect of hard cardio on diving is pretty touchy.

Benefits of hard cardio:
1. Decreased pulse
2. Decreased vascular resistance
3. Lower basal metabolic rate
4. Higher muscle efficiency
5. Higher muscle energy stores (glycogen/creatine etc..)

Disadvantages of hard cardio:
1. Decreased blood pressure

The decreased blood pressure is a major problem, and unless you deal with it, you may find your depth limit decreases. A very cardio-intensive diver has problem with blacking out during packing, and also has problems with 'premature' blackouts/sambas when he feels quite good at the end of the dive; all these are caused by low blood pressure.

However, hard cardio really helps statics; there is no doubt of that, so long as you allow enough days of rest after cardio to allow your body to recover & slow down. Doing statics soon after cardio results in poor times.

In the end, by careful manipulation of your physiology, you can offset the low blood pressure caused by hard cardio, and benefit in all disciplines.

Of course, I have spoken to several divers who have spearfished commercially (6+ hours a day, 4+ days per week), and they have incredible bottom times, without any cardio. So, in the end, it still appears that you get better at whatever you practice. If you practice cardio, you'll get better at cardio. You might also improve at diving. If you practice diving, you'll get better at diving; you might also improve at cardio.

However, as with any sport, you only improve if you practice enough. Running 10km one day per week will not improve you much; diving one day per week will not improve you much. Running 10km 5 days per week will improve your running; diving 5 days per week will improve your diving.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
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Reactions: DeepThought
Thanks Eric
I hope I'm not the only one that benefits from you taking the time to spell things out. Seems obvious now, spending far more time on statics than dynamics, means statics will improve much faster than dynamics and any carry over from bike riding is already near max. It still amazes me that you can predict my progress. When you get to Kona (for the 100 meter dive?), maybe I can help you some.
You can be sure Bill

You can be sure Bill that you are not the only one who really benefits from Erik’s posts.
Thanks for your time Erik. Thanks a lot.

Re: Effect of Cardio

Originally posted by efattah
Disadvantages of hard cardio:
1. Decreased blood pressure

In the end, by careful manipulation of your physiology, you can offset the low blood pressure caused by hard cardio, and benefit in all disciplines.

what would this "careful manipulation of your physiology" imply>? i am very interested in this because i have a low blood pressure to start out with and i also train my cardio quite a bit...(lets just say im not too worried about high blood pressure...:) , is this what they call a bittersweet victory>?)

another thing... shouldnt #3(lower basal metabolic rate) read higher basal metabolic rate>?

im interested about ways to "manipulate" blood pressure

BP Manipulation

I did mean 'decreased metabolic rate', as a side effect of hard cardio. Once you are rested & recovered from your cardio, your decreased pulse, decreased vascular resistance and decreased BP all result in less work for your heart, and thus a lesser basal metabolic rate.

Ways to manipulate your BP to offset the low BP caused by hard cardio:
1. Manipulation of your body's fluid compartments, by one of the following:
1A. Manipulation of electrolytes and water intake
1B. Hyperhydration with glycerol + water
1C. Hyperhydration by glycogen loading

2. Manipulation of blood acidity, by one of the following:
2A. Diving especially acidic by omiting all strong ventilations
2B. Ensuring maximum lactic acid buildup at the end of the dive, increasing blood acidity
2C. Loading CO2 before the final dive and/or before the final ventilation by doing a hypercapnia table (2min hold, one exhale, one inhale, 2min hold, one exhale, one inhale, repeat, etc.)

(Higher acidity will mean more & stronger contractions, which increase your cerebral blood pressure near the end of the apnea, offsetting the low BP).

3. Manipulation of vasoconstriction, by one of the following:
3A. Manipulation of body temperature (either by diving on the edge of shivering, or by wearing a thin suit and diving into a powerful thermocline)
3B. Ensuring adequate pre-dive vasoconstriction by a careful warmup which induces the maximum vasoconstriction

(Vasoconstriction increases your BP, but the effect is small due to the accompanied decrease in heart rate--however vasoconstricting by using cold is extremely effective).

4. Direct and voluntary contractions at the end of the dive.
(By crunching your abs and making your face 'explode' with blood, you drastically increase your cerebral BP which allows you to stay conscious for much longer, especially if you suffer from low BP--however this is only useful at the end of the apnea when loss of consciousness becomes an issue).

In general, by diving on the edge of shivering, and by diving very acidic, and by diving when hyperhydrated (by either sodium, glycerol, glycogen, or all), you will offset the low BP from hard cardio.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Hello All,

Within the last year I was working up to swimming a mile a couple of times a week in the pool at work. I thought that it would help my dynamic attempts. Strangly enough when I acheived my goal it seemed only to decrease my dynamic distance/time.
Thinking about it i came to the conclusion found by many a powerlifter. If your goal is a single powerfull output your training needs to reflect such a goal, IE lower reps heavier weights.
By swimming the mile I was training my body to breath every other stroke. Akin to doing a 100reps with a light weight while trying to increase my one rep max.
When I backed off swimming the mile and trained solely for a max effort my dynamic increased the way I thought if should of in the first place.
Its not as scientific as the other posts Ive enjoyed and learned from but it seems to make sense to me.

Another thing I found was that cross training didnt always help the way I thought it should.
Riding a bike didnt help my run time and vice versa.

Great thread
On the road.
Hi guys!

I've just logged in and I found this thread very interesting. My question is the following:

What about resistance training and its effect on apnea. Will increased muscle mass hinder optimal performance upon it?

Thanks in advance, Gerard.