as for me... (update from William)

I dont know how much the readers of this page know about my particular training patterns. My yearly regime is the opposite of most northern hemisphere athletes, in that I do base training in Europe in the summer and begin depth adaptation when I come to the Bahamas in September/October, building towards being in peak condition in April.

This year, like last, I started achieving very promising results early on,

and. by was the. for -|51'.

period. I was training with Mike Lott (below left), Jimmy Montanti H

(above left) and Michele Tomasi (above right), all of them excellent freedivers, with whom I feel completely at ease in the water, and have shared grand and beautiful experiences. Mike and Jimmy were there for my first freediving record attempt in 2006, and have helped me

through the difficult phases and celebrated with me the successes.

After all three left in January a turn of events

meant that I was unable to keep up the same kind of training

rhythm as before:

appointments, inclement weather (yes it even happens in the Blue Hole once every few yearsl), and equipment failures seemed to conspire to disrupt the momentum that I had gathered in previous months.

This year I am attempting to train all three disciplines at once, and combined with these interruptions it has been a formidable challenge. The three disciplines all require different musculature, and even different dive strategies: in constant weight with the monofin I am limited mainly by muscular failure in the rapid ascents, since I am still a relative beginner to the technique and havent developed the same lower body power and lactic acid resistance; in constant no fins, the years of pool training and repetitive deep dives mean that muscle failure is still a long way off, and so I arn limited principally by hypoxia - a threshold that is shifting slowly but surely with the years; in free immersion, limits are imposed by equipment properties - a bouncing platform and slightly stretchy rope make the ascents frustrating, and at times, when combined with narcosis, downright scary.

Two weeks ago, after a month of setbacks, it felt like the last nail in the coffin was being driven home when I started to feel the first symptoms of a cold - a scratchy throat and itchy sinuses. Training was immediately suspended and for four days I did little but rest, eat raw garlic and honey sandwiches, and chew vitamin C until my tongue was raw. Incredibly the symptoms subsided without developing into full-blown congestion, and within six days I was able to return to depth.

Now, with 12 days left until the competition starts I am quickly building back towards the form I had in January, and hope to register dives in all three disciplines during the nine days of Vertical Blue. However for those of you who are waiting to make predictions in the Suunto Pick the records challenge, it is hard even for me to know what I will be capable of, and where that stacks up with the others...

Here is a photo taken by Nanna Kreulzmann, a Danish photojournalist who was present at the AIDA Team WC last year. She recently won best danish sports reportage of the year for this picture, and two others of the NZ team. One of my first ever deep dives with a monofin, obvious still unable to keep my arms still, and I think I did at least three arm strokes during the ascent from 88m. Since then I have left this depth a good way behind in CWT, and other than a conclusive pull as I approach the surface, my arms are more behaved and have reconciled their jealousy of the legs. My preference will always be for no fins however - the purity, simplicity, and beautiful Iilting rhythm of this discipline will never lose their attraction for me. One man, one breath and the sea - pure human aquatic potential.

William , could you briefly explain your dry apnea training in the gym ,if you do any? by Aleksandar Jovanovic on 2009-03- 19 20:39:22

Hi Aleksandar, sometimes at the start of a phase of base training I do about a month of weights. But normally my dry training revolves around yoga, pranayama, exhale statics and lung stretching.rnCheers, Will. by will on 2009-03-20 04:42:45

And you do pool training also? by Aleksandar Jovanovic on 2009-03-20 17:22:29