David Mellor Diary – Double Dip Freediving Competition
Double Dip Chepstow
The SaltFree Double Dip Freediving Competition Is Almost Here!
Welcome to the not-so-secret freediving training diary of David Mellor!
David is back in the UK. You may have seen him teaching recently on some of our courses! So what else has he been doing in preparation for the next competition – the SaltFree Double Dip Freediving Competition? We find out! Last year David took 2nd Place scoring 48m FIM, 36m CNF and 46m CWT. Can’t wait to see how he performs this year!
SaltFree Double Dip Freediving Competition – What is it?
The Saltfree Double Dip freediving Competition 2019 is Great Britain’s National Depth Freediving Championships.
Hosted at The National Diving and Activity Centre, it’s an opportunity for freedivers to showcase their freediving athleticism in a 3-day event designed for all levels and disciplines.
Known as the ‘Double Dip,’ it’s set up to allow athletes to take part in all depth disciplines over the course of the competition, with up to two dives in one day, and a single dive on each subsequent day.
While athletes are encouraged to take up the 3-day challenge, it’s not a requirement to compete every day, or across all 4 disciplines. Competitors can choose how to allocate their dives across the 3 days; choosing only one day to dive; a single discipline repeated more than once; or all of the following:
Constant Weight (CWT)
Constant Weight with Bi-Fins (CWT-BIFINS)
Free Immersion (FIM) and
Constant Weight with No Fins (CNF)
AIDA Rankings and Rules
Double Dip is an AIDA ranked competition and is conducted according to AIDA competition rules. It is the responsibility of the freediver to be familiar with the rules. Entrants need to be a member of AIDA National to be able to compete.
On each day of the event there will be a competition meeting, this is where athletes will have the opportunity to ask the AIDA judges any questions regarding the rules.
Training Day: 18th July
Event Days: 19th, 20th and 21st July 2019
National Dive & Activity Centre, Chepstow
Day 1 and Day 2
Competition Session 1
Competition Session 2
Judge Video Review
Schedule Day 3
Competition Session 1
Lunch + Video Review
So, how has David been preparing for the event since his return from Bali?
1. Double Dip Freediving Competition – Rest
It’s now been 5 weeks since I came back from training in Bali. The first week back was spent on a family holiday in Cornwall, it was a complete rest, no gym training or any sort of breath hold training not even stretching. I decided it was better to take break from anything related to freediving.
I think the rest did me good because after the holiday I was keen to get back in the gym. I had built up more muscle than I usually have from gym training in January, February and March but soon lost a lot of it when I started my depth training.
Deeper diving I don’t find that physically tiring as some sessions – you only do 2 or 3 dives – I think the mental side of it can be more taxing.
I am now in what I would describe as a conditioning phase…gym work to build my strength again but also pool twice a week. The pool work doesn’t consist of long breath hold dynamics, it’s more CO2 training. It consists of a lot of surface swims and also short apnea, empty lung repeated sprints.
Some surface swims are just 100 metres front crawl x 5, this is a good drill for me as my technique is bad so I struggle to get my breathing correct which results in a high CO2 build up. My muscles soon tire and the CO2 is very uncomfortable, but I know it’s doing me good.
Another drill I do is surface swims with my mono and a front snorkel. The snorkel I have plugged with a cork so that I can only get a restricted amount of air. This drill I am hoping will improve my mono kick but also again I get a high CO2 build up so should help with my breath hold.
I have identified my CO2 tolerance as the reason I was failing some of my dives. My equalisation was failing even though I still had air in my mouth, my soft palate would close and that would create a vacuum that I couldn’t unlock so I would have to turn.
Relaxation was another reason, but I actually think the two are connected. The CO2 would build up which made the dive slightly uncomfortable and that would lead to my relaxation going which would then make it hard for me to equalise. The reason I say this is because I have been training in cold water and I was getting the same issues at 40 metres as I was when I was diving to over 60 metres. The feeling was the same, air in my mouth but the soft pallet locking up again. I’m hoping by training my tolerance to CO2 I will find more relaxation which should help with my equalisation.
3. Double Dip Freediving Competition – Strategy
My next competition is the Saltfree Double Dip Freediving Competition at Chepstow. The water will be cold so I know I will have to be conservative with my announcements. I have a couple more training sessions there and will base my announcements on what happens in those sessions.
I don’t think this competition will have much bearing as to what I hope to achieve in Nice as the water is much colder in Chepstow but it’s still good competition experience for me.
Two days after the Saltfree Double Dip Freediving Competition I will start my prep for Nice in September, I am really motivated to do my best there so my training schedule will ramp up as I start my depth phase of training.
Missed David’s last blog? Catch up with everything, here:
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