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Sudden difficulty in C02 tables

B

Burdy

New Member
Dec 21, 2021
3
0
1
44
I've been doing C02 tables for quite some time, 2-3 times a week max. I have improved to the point where I am now doing 2m:10s tables, 8 rounds with decreasing rest times from 1:20 down to :10s. I have completed this table 4 times but the last couple of tables have been more difficult than normal and this morning I actually failed on the last 2:10 hold (this was my 5th time doing the tables)

What is strange is the last couple of times I did these where they felt more difficult than normal, it feels like my last breath in has been shallow. I am not sure if suddenly my technique is off (I try to fill my stomach, then chest) or not. It definitely feels like I am getting mostly all chest for some reason. I remember running into an issue at 1:45 tables a long time ago where I began failing and I just had to step away for a bit and come back and then I worked quickly up to where I am now. I try to complete 6 full tables at a given level before increasing the breath hold time. This usually takes 3 weeks or so.

Do you think this is a case of just having a couple of bad days, bad technique, needing a break or need to mix things up a bit? Nothing else has changed in my life that I can pinpoint and my running performance has actually been very good lately so I don't feel its a lung/health issue. Any ideas/suggestions?
 
Nathan Vinski

Nathan Vinski

Well-Known Member
Apr 19, 2015
286
182
83
27
I've been doing C02 tables for quite some time, 2-3 times a week max. I have improved to the point where I am now doing 2m:10s tables, 8 rounds with decreasing rest times from 1:20 down to :10s. I have completed this table 4 times but the last couple of tables have been more difficult than normal and this morning I actually failed on the last 2:10 hold (this was my 5th time doing the tables)

What is strange is the last couple of times I did these where they felt more difficult than normal, it feels like my last breath in has been shallow. I am not sure if suddenly my technique is off (I try to fill my stomach, then chest) or not. It definitely feels like I am getting mostly all chest for some reason. I remember running into an issue at 1:45 tables a long time ago where I began failing and I just had to step away for a bit and come back and then I worked quickly up to where I am now. I try to complete 6 full tables at a given level before increasing the breath hold time. This usually takes 3 weeks or so.

Do you think this is a case of just having a couple of bad days, bad technique, needing a break or need to mix things up a bit? Nothing else has changed in my life that I can pinpoint and my running performance has actually been very good lately so I don't feel its a lung/health issue. Any ideas/suggestions?
2 quick comments on this..

1: you do need to mix things up.. the same table, the same way, over and over can quickly create temporary adaptive resistance (the exercise stops eliciting positive adaptations). Once this happens, you start to loose fitness even though you are training, and then all of a sudden you start to loose performance in general & especially in that particular exercise.

2: How "hard" are you training?

In my opinion, sustaining many contractions every week isn't sustainable for your nervous system. If not option 1, you could also be slightly burnt out..

A good training program includes many more comfortable (no contractions & no anxiety) breath holds & sessions than tables with contractions (especially hard urge to breathe ones)..

It's like a good running program, should be a lot of "green zone" (for freediving green is UP TO first contraction, and very little "Red zone" runs..

So if youve been hammering the contraction, this could explain a burnout and performance loss.
 
B

Burdy

New Member
Dec 21, 2021
3
0
1
44
2 quick comments on this..

1: you do need to mix things up.. the same table, the same way, over and over can quickly create temporary adaptive resistance (the exercise stops eliciting positive adaptations). Once this happens, you start to loose fitness even though you are training, and then all of a sudden you start to loose performance in general & especially in that particular exercise.

2: How "hard" are you training?

In my opinion, sustaining many contractions every week isn't sustainable for your nervous system. If not option 1, you could also be slightly burnt out..

A good training program includes many more comfortable (no contractions & no anxiety) breath holds & sessions than tables with contractions (especially hard urge to breathe ones)..

It's like a good running program, should be a lot of "green zone" (for freediving green is UP TO first contraction, and very little "Red zone" runs..

So if youve been hammering the contraction, this could explain a burnout and performance loss.
Thank you for your thoughtful response.
1.) Yes, I haven't mixed anything up since day 1. I think I started with a 1:52 breath hold and therefore 55 second tables and just moved up gradually about 15 seconds at first, then 5-10 seconds later on about every 3 weeks or so until I am where I am now which are the 2:10 tables (I haven't tested max breath hold in 8 months, the last test was in February when I was in the middle of 1:45 tables and my max was 4:09 back then). Pretty much same tables with slight increases week in and week out for about 1 year.

2.) I used to get lots of contractions. The last 4 months or so of doing tables I experience almost none. Not that I stopped having them, just that I have been completing the tables with plenty of comfort.
Only recently as I discuss this newfound difficulty have they come back. I am having a couple of contractions maybe on the 1st breath hold and the last two.

Maybe I should try some 02 tables for a while?
 
Nathan Vinski

Nathan Vinski

Well-Known Member
Apr 19, 2015
286
182
83
27
Thank you for your thoughtful response.
1.) Yes, I haven't mixed anything up since day 1. I think I started with a 1:52 breath hold and therefore 55 second tables and just moved up gradually about 15 seconds at first, then 5-10 seconds later on about every 3 weeks or so until I am where I am now which are the 2:10 tables (I haven't tested max breath hold in 8 months, the last test was in February when I was in the middle of 1:45 tables and my max was 4:09 back then). Pretty much same tables with slight increases week in and week out for about 1 year.

2.) I used to get lots of contractions. The last 4 months or so of doing tables I experience almost none. Not that I stopped having them, just that I have been completing the tables with plenty of comfort.
Only recently as I discuss this newfound difficulty have they come back. I am having a couple of contractions maybe on the 1st breath hold and the last two.

Maybe I should try some 02 tables for a while?
So I honestly think your biggest factor is the lack of variation over such a long period of time.

It always works for a big "from day 1" and then all of a sudden the "easy" linear progress comes to and end.

Its also very important to look at your "year" of training.. in my opinion / experience, it's impossible to train a single discipline 12 months per year, you will need an "off season" where you either focused on another freediving discipline or, if all you do is STA.. take a break (8 months is a long time).

So first thing that might help a lot is a break..

In terms of mixing it up, there's a lot more than just "classic tables" that you can do..

You can vary the difficulty of your CO2 table.. doesn't always have to be 2:00 down to 00:20. You can do 2:15 with more recovery, then next session do 1:40 worthless recovery. Just this alone can reduce adaptive resistance . Also work in cycles.. start with EASY tables, and slowly make them more challenging over 4-6 weeks.. these easy phases help prevent burnout.

Then there's other exercises.

You can do 3x3:00 or 4x2:30, 6x 2:15, 2x 3:20, (you can warm up first with 1-2 holds until your first contraction). etc.. all as separate training sessions. Just this is often more valuable than doing tables.

You can simulate 4:00 with sets of {2:00 + 2x 1:00} with 2-5x recovery breaths between each hold. Start at 5 and work down to 2 when you can complete all 3 holds with no contractions. Compete 3-5x "sets" per session.

Classic O2 tables can be mixed in, but you don't have to always go to 80%..

Start at 70% and build 5% / session (1 of these sessions per weej, mixed with other sessions) up to 90%.

You can also hold you breathe at 1/2 lungs (FRC -> Passive exhale).. this can give you a whole other set of PBs, and all the same trianing exercises can be done on passive exhale. This can help improve your Hypoxia, optimize your blood, and present a different type of challenge to your body.

Since your a runner.. think of all the different kinds of runs..

You don't prepare for a marathon by just doing marathons and 10k at race pace every day..

You do, long runs, intervals, hill sprints, 5ks 10ks, threshold runs, tempo runs, etc.. all of these produce a faster marathon.

Freediving is the same, your PB is the marathon, your session are the different kinds of runs.. don't get stuck doing the same 1-2 runs over and over..
 
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