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Training update

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
Hi friends, I arrived in Vancouver on Monday night to see that Vancouver is experiencing a ton of snow, something that rarely happens here( possibly connected to the disintegration of Antactica?), where my friend Brent picked me up, and took me straight to the pool for some dynamic training with him, Tom Lightfoot, and John and Damiano(sp). They are all invoved with the Simon Fraser University freediving reseach course, and will be competing this weekend in the Western Canadian Regionals (except Tom, whose going skiing).
I brought my cracked monofin, since USPS and Canada Post saw fit to delay the arrival of my new Finis blade, and managed to set a PB of 90 metres in dynamic. It helps to have someone watching, believe me, something I do not have the luxury of at home. Damiano did 100 metres with bi-fins.
Yesterday, Tom picked me up, and we headed to the sea for some CB training. We deployed the weighted line, and started our breathe-ups in 2' swells with whitecaps, and 7C water....dark too! Eric Fattah has lent me a wonderful carbon monofin with great Finis pockets, and my best of the day, after 7 dives, was 25 metres. Task loading and 7 months away from the ocean are my excuses for that, but I am happy with it nevertheless. Now Tom pulls off a -50 metre dive with his 5mm and 10 lbs on....sheesh! Outstanding, to say the least. He has not dived past 35 metres since November to boot.
Today, we went out again, and my goal was to speed up my descent, and hit 30 metres. Tom said I was moving to slowly on the descent, and bending my knees too much on the ascent....nice to have a coach. I did some exhale statics on shore, then did a negative dive to 10 metres, where my heart gratefully dropped to 20 bpm, for 45 seconds. Tom did a warm up dive, then I dove to 31 metres, making me very happy. Now I could have some fun before I froze in the next half-hour. If you have not ever dived in these conditions, let me tell you that it is very psychologically intimidating, even if you do like the dark. At 25 metres, it gets very dark, and the mind just says"not today my friend". Add the shivering that starts within a half hour, and you know you're not in Cozumel.
So we dove a few more times, reached 35 metres, and Tom again did 50 metres, but this time he hit the bottom of the sea, and realised that he had swum at an angle all the way down and up. Pure poetry to watch this man dive.
Tonight I'm going to the pool with the SFU students, Kirk, Marten S., Mandy Rae, and Tom, to do some static and dynamic training.
Cheers from B.C.,
Erik Y. ~~~~~~~~~~~~([8]^)~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi Erik
Thanks for making my day. I did 32 meters today and the water temp was only 25 here.

What a week. It was a blast to watch Kirk and Bret in action. Also saw three 'inducties' do 30 meters for the first time. Almost the same feeling as my first.

Wish I was headed for YVR tomorrow. Good Luck.


Negative to -10, nice flexible guys you ;) I'd be happy to make it even to -5 ;)

Erik's on a roll


Your account makes me wish I was there, too!

Make sure you keep us all updated throughout the training and the competition. I can picture everything in my head, the dark water at Ansell or in the middle of Howe Sound, free-drifing with the current, the pool at Watermania, the dinner and celebrations afterwards.

Congrats on your dynamic pb! It's great to 'see' you in a monofin! Remember how I tried to convert you last year. :) Maybe I'll be forced to defend my record at Nationals if you or Damiano breaks it this weekend.

Competing in a competition with such chilly conditions--Vancouver got snow recently--requires a definite strategy. Don't forget to keep warm during your prep.

Tom Lightfoot is a machine! He's got legs of steel and thinks nothing of using a 3mm suit in 8C water.

Say hello to Martin Stepanek for me.

Whatever you decide to announce at Regionals, make sure it's a dive that you will enjoy. It makes all the difference.

safe diving,

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Thanks gentlemen. Tom, Kirk, Martin and I went to Ansell again today. Kirk has been in warmer climes for the last month or so, and I was thinking that it was strange to see someone with such a good tan standing in the snow in a Picasso suit.
Today I wore the 5mm, plus a 3mm Henderson vest and a drysuit hood over top, with a 10lb belt. I did one inhale static on shore to 20 contractions, one 10 metre negative dive, then watched Tom and Kirk do their warm up dives while I breathed up. I banged off to dives to 35 metres, each around 1 metre per seconds, which is what I want, and then did some shallower dives to practice descents with the monofin.
I swam in, and did some dives on the amazing wall at this site...a small shelf down to about 8 metres, where it drops to 50 metres right away. Very nice, lots to see, the usual miriad of colours and fish on the west coast.
So I will post 35 metres for the competition, because I know I can do it in these conditions, and as Peter says, I will enjoy it.
Tonight and tomorrow will just be static practice on the couch; no diving...I want to warm up!
Erik Y.
Good luck!

Best of luck at the competition, Erik! 35m in competition will be a cake walk for you, seeing as you can go to that depth more than once per day. Just pray to the weather gods that you get your chance to show your stuff in the ocean.

I look forward to seeing the results on Monday and posting them on http://www.freedivecanada.com I'm also looking forward to training for Nationals with you and Peter again in May.


Good luck to everyone else in the competition too!
Good luck babe

Hey there bomberito...Rico
Take care of yourself and dont hurt that back... but definately go and kick some ash... you know you can! Everyone knows you can...
be safe and come back happy
Love you'

Ok, the competition's over, and I will do my best to recount the past few weeks and the 2 days of competition.
5 weeks ago, I was doing 6 minute statics easily, every day or so. With some helpful advice from Eric Fattah, it got easier to reach that 6 minutes. I also decided that I was going to start training with a monofin, as I had wanted to do it, but was reluctant due to the terrible blade and footpockets on the one that I owned. Regardless, I felt really good about the monofin, and over 2 weeks, became convinced that this was the way I wanted to go, and I would use it in the competition: possibly using bi-fins for the constant ballast if I couldn't get a handle on it quick enough.
I had damaged my back 3 or 4 months before, but was feeling up to doing some squats again....I hurt my back so badly that I coudn't stand up or sit for 4 days; that was 2 weeks ago. I considered cancelling my trip to the coast and competing, but after a week, I decided that I would still go.
I came out here, stayed with my friend Brent, who I had met in the September competition. Tom picked me up and drove me around, coached me and dived with me for 3 days in the sea. Eric lent me one of his favourite (out of 17) carbon mono's for the week, since my new one did not cross the border in time. Kirk and Marten also came out on Thursday to train in the sea and the snow.
Saturday was the CB competition, and my prayers to Mother Earth paid off: flat seas and sunny skies. We met Paul, who is shooting a series of documentaries for the Outdoor Life Network; they will be shown very soon starting this month (I will post when I find out the dates, etc).
Noah posted 37 metres for CB, and easily made his dive, coming up clean. I was next at 35, followed by Brent and John also at 35 metres. Brent and I both blacked out at last years comp, so were quite happy to have got the day over! Of course, when we were down there, there was the very annoying feeling that we knew we could have gone the extra 5 metres, but, cest la vie, yes? Better top have SOME points, than none for the event.
We spent some time diving on the wall, looking at the beautiful variety of sealife, where I could swear that Doug was beside me at one point.
Today, we all showed up at the pool; static was first, then dynamic. I had posted 5 minutes, which I was wondering was the right thing to do: since my back injury, I had not been able to break 5 minutes. I did my yoga, meditation, suited up, and entered the water for my attempt. My blood pressure was nice and high, but my warm up exhale and inhale statics were not good. I knew that I was in full diving mode: at any time , I could take a breath and my heart rate would drop drastically. I was perfectly oxygenated, packed only 10 times because I knew the contractions would hurt, and started the static. At approximately 2:30, I got my first contraction. When Stephanie (from the German team) started to give me my taps and counts at 4 minutes, I was already at 20 contractions, and knew that I would not make the 5 minutes. I can usually take 50 contractions that start at 4 minutes, but not today. The pain in my back was distracting me, and I believe also the constant back spasm was using precious O2. I came up at 4:32, taking a 5 point penalty for not reaching my announced time.
There were some very good performances in static and dynamic: many people hit PB's, which was great. Noah had never doen dynamic practice, and I had never used Eric's massive mono in the pool, so we all tried out our techniques during the warmup time.
Noah did 83 metres, which is outstanding, especially considering the circumstances. Brent did 78 metres, and came in overall at 3rd place. I wasn't sure how the points were being deducted for my static, but I knew I would have to beat my PB to win, if possible. I did just over 92 metres, but my overall points were 122 compared to Noah's 124: his first competition!
Mandy-Rae also set 2 records today: 100 metres dynamic, and 5:30 (I think?) in static....congratulations Mandy!
So I took second place, set a PB in dynamic, won the dynamic round, and got to spend a week diving with great people.
Tomorrow, Kirk and I (and hopefully Tom) are going out for some fun diving....I intend to dive at least my age in metres (39 tomorrow).
I hope it was interesting to read; if you have questions, etc, then post them, or email me at greatspirit63@hotmail.com
Erik Young
Erik -- it was great to meet you and watch your very impressive performances. I didn't even realize you had back troubles, which just makes it all that more impressive. Take care of that back, I know a little of what its like to have back pain.

And thanks for pointing out this site!
Andrew, nice to meet you too, and congrats on your performances.
See you in May hopefully?
Erik Y.
Originally posted by Erik
Andrew, nice to meet you too, and congrats on your performances.
See you in May hopefully?
Erik Y.

This weekend was terrific, so I'll definitely be there in May. Maybe then I'll declare a constant ballast that is more than 2/3rds of what I manage in the warm-up dives!
congrats erik!

glad to see you found strength to overcome your back probs. :eek:

Great job, Eric. Too bad about your static--I never thought that contractions would hurt it, but I guess they do, eh? :(

Sounds like you had a great time. I'm glad you and Brent had a good competition. Hanging out and watching good performances is what it's really about.

Nice to see that we have a new crowd of keen freedivers in Vancouver...

Great job Mandy (if you're reading this)!

I forgot to mention that Eric Fattah came out to help.....he set all the tags on the line, in between the dives done by the competitors to retrieve them (5 minute window). He said that after he had set the 37 and three 35 metre tags, he actually met a descending competitor while he was ascending! Very humbling.....thanks Eric.
Erik Y.

It sure is nice to have him around, isn't it?

I remember when I made my first dive over -40m. I was diving with Eric and Stephanie last March. I went down and touched a lightstick attached to the line. Right after my dive, Eric went down with his Stinger and spent a few seconds at the lightstick to verify the depth for me. It was -47.7m.

My pb was 'homolgated" by EFVS (the Eric Fattah Verification System). rofl


PS. # of days until I'm back in the ocean: 21
PPS. # of hours spent dreaming about it: 24 per day.
I'm flippin head over feet at your feat. (Pretty suave eh?:mute )

Really, I'm hearing more and more from the crew up there and it's very, no extremely gladdening to know of the closeness of the community there. Here in CA and I'll postulate elsewhere, the diving populace is so large, factioned and territorial that hearing of those with serious game are there for those on their way up, and down (now that was damn suave!:blackeye )

Nice pic too, Erik, thanks for the mail. Makes me want to shave and get a real teeny mask. Don't you think you could have made another 5m with a Farallon snorkel? :king

How big is the community up there and whod' you all meet, and please don't admit it was the singles ads. I'll be crushed.:inlove

about training

Does this sound good or bad routine, any tips or advices?

mon: pool, dynamics (50&75) and statics
tue: few statics at home, maybe 2-3 to 20 contr.
wed: same as monday
thu: same as tuesday
fri: apnea walks, for example 1' walk, 30" breath, etc.
sat: pb static train at home
sun: maybe walks, maybe nothing


Always interesting to read your posts. You're living proof this medium can help everyone advance the sport.

Blood pressure? How do you know it was up? by the strength of you pulse or the sound in your ears? And why is it good to have it high?

50 contractions? Good to know that's possible.

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