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Static apnea training effect on running performance

shavas

Active Member
Jul 23, 2008
4
0
36
canada
Hi, I'm a competitive runner and a few weeks ago decided to start static apnea training to see if it would help increase my running performance. I used to to a little free-diving years ago and had a dry static pb of 5:30. With a couple weeks of starting some CO2 tables I've now done a dry static of 6:15. I've been mostly doing CO2 tables based on 50% of my PB 3 or 4 times a week and recently started doing the O2 table. My question is this. Last night before bed I did the CO2 table and it was fairly challenging as I had eaten dinner only about an hour before. And then this morning at 6 I did the O2 table, which was moderately difficult to complete. However, at 9 I had a challenging running workout to perform. I was wearing a heart monitor and I noticed as I was doing my easy 5k warm-up run my HR was about 15bpm higher than usual. And when I started my workout I was only able to complete 75% of it before my HR went too high and I became exhausted. Besides my HR going out of control I thought I should have been able to have finished the workout without any major issues. Could the consecutive tables I did last night and this morning have been a factor for my apparent lack of cardio in this workout? Am I best not to do apnea training before hard running workouts or races? Thanks for any input, I suspect I will have to respect the static apnea training more though as far as it creating an additional significant training load on my body!
 

Nathan Vinski

Well-Known Member
Apr 19, 2015
224
127
58
23
Canada
Hi, I'm a competitive runner and a few weeks ago decided to start static apnea training to see if it would help increase my running performance. I used to to a little free-diving years ago and had a dry static pb of 5:30. With a couple weeks of starting some CO2 tables I've now done a dry static of 6:15. I've been mostly doing CO2 tables based on 50% of my PB 3 or 4 times a week and recently started doing the O2 table. My question is this. Last night before bed I did the CO2 table and it was fairly challenging as I had eaten dinner only about an hour before. And then this morning at 6 I did the O2 table, which was moderately difficult to complete. However, at 9 I had a challenging running workout to perform. I was wearing a heart monitor and I noticed as I was doing my easy 5k warm-up run my HR was about 15bpm higher than usual. And when I started my workout I was only able to complete 75% of it before my HR went too high and I became exhausted. Besides my HR going out of control I thought I should have been able to have finished the workout without any major issues. Could the consecutive tables I did last night and this morning have been a factor for my apparent lack of cardio in this workout? Am I best not to do apnea training before hard running workouts or races? Thanks for any input, I suspect I will have to respect the static apnea training more though as far as it creating an additional significant training load on my body!
There are a few elements that could cause this effect.

1) Although its to a smaller degree than depth diving, even dry static training can cause a small amount of short-term lasting peripheral vasoconstriction. In other words, a long breath hold will shunt blood away from the extremities and it could take some time before blood flow returns to normal. This will put greater strain on your muscles.

2) A max breath hold (6:15 near your limit and personal best) or a hypoxic O2 table will cause some changes in the endocrine systems. Some adrenaline+ endorphins are dumped immediately after a maximal breath holds. It will take a few hours for these chemicasl to rebalance. If you exercise with an unbalanced endocrine system there will be some changes in fatigue, HR. and things like that.

Something I noticed with myself is that endurance sports and breath-holding don't mix that well. Before I started freediving I ran upwards of 50km per week and I wasn't too bad, <45min/10km. I tried to mix the two sports for 3 years with very little progress in freediving, and consistently decreased performances in running.

There are multiple theories as to why this happens but the easiest way to think about it is;

Endurance sports= max blood in muscles + max O2 assimilation in muscles
Freediving = Minimum blood in muscles + minimum O2 assimilation in muscles

I think both activities can be practiced side by side throughout the year but you will have to

1) separate the two.. No running when training freediving and vice versa
2) accept that both activities are potentially counter productive to each other


On a side note, my 400 and 800m times improved by around 5 and 10 sec respectivly after freedive training (without any specific running training). 1:00-2:00 high intensity exercises seem to be the most aligned with apnea training.. Mostly anaerobic cellular respiration with very high CO2.
 
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shavas

Active Member
Jul 23, 2008
4
0
36
canada
Thank you for that explanation! Makes sense now why I gassed so early on my workout. Will have to back off on the tables for now, maybe just a couple times a week!
 
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shavas

Active Member
Jul 23, 2008
4
0
36
canada
How long goes it take to replinish your hgb after a few stressful sessions? I went for a 28k run yesterday and my heart felt normal again but I have a race next week I want to be in tip top shape for.
 

bboynaki

Active Member
Jun 13, 2014
668
28
43
39
Some freedivers take iron pills several times per week during long periods of intense training. In my experience it can take up to a week (without iron pills) to replenish. I would stop all apnea and focus on running. Swimming is probably more beneficial to running than static apnea anyway.
 
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