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Being a Cyclist and Scuba Diver problem

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by KCB, May 14, 2019.

  1. KCB

    KCB Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: USA
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    Hello everyone my name is Kurt I’m pretty mutch a standard Recreational diver with 50 to 60 dives who is in the process of trying to take the recreational deep dive and rescue classes in a couple of weeks. I am slowly improving my abilities as a diver, but my biggest problem is I’m also cyclist. This means that my legs are used to moving in a steam engine piston type fashion while my lungs breath in a lot to keep the air pumping in to my legs I’ve tried to force my self to breath slower and deeper as well as try various kicks that I see other people do, my body is physically resisting it, I have problems slowing down my breath and problems stopping my legs from moving in a frog kick formation and every time I take my concentration off kicking and breathing for one second, my body reverts back to its cycling steam locomotive chugga, chugga chugga chugga Choo Choo mode and I’m almost always the first person out of air back to the dive boat. Has anybody else had this problem and if so what can can I do to fix it?
     
  2. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    56,210
    23,864
    113
    @RayfromTX is also a cycling fool, er enthusiast, so he might be able to help.

    Change to a frog kick. It will conserve air and help you to relax underwater. :D
     
    Lorenzoid and rongoodman like this.
  3. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada Solo Diver Staff Member

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    Have you ever done yoga? Think about breathing, only breathing, slow your breathing, fully in, fully out, fully in, fully out . . .
     
    nolatom, Soloist and Steelyeyes like this.
  4. chrisch

    chrisch Solo Diver

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    I am a mountainbiker and my legs are used to the same movement. As suggested by the Chairman the frog kick is a much better finning style. You should be aerobically fit so use far less gas than other divers.

    Firstly when underwater you barely need to fin at all. You only move your legs when you need to go somewhere. Most new divers use huge amounts of gas because they are finning to maintain buoyancy. This is usually because they are massively overweighted. A lot of schools overweight new divers to make it easy to keep them on the bottom for skills.

    Find someone that will spend a little time with you sorting out the correct weighting and help you with buoyancy. Then work on a better finning style. If you want to fin somewhere fast (on a rescue course for example) keep you legs rigid. If you have strong cyclist legs you should be able to nearly pull your mask off with forward motion.

    You should not be first back on the dive boat at 50+ dives. That is not finning IMHO - I would wager you are well overweighted and need to sort out the basics.
     
  5. KCB

    KCB Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: USA
    30
    14
    8
    I guess my problem has always been the relaxing thing, hence why cycling is a stress reliever for me, because I can push my body to limits, diving is difficult because half of it accepting that you’re suspended in water and you can’t do anything about it have to keep your cool it truly is a different sport.
     
  6. KCB

    KCB Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: USA
    30
    14
    8
    Thanks for the info I actually just bought my first bcd and reg set, after renting a couple times, so I should be able to get used to One bcd instead and start reducing weight experiments on it
     
  7. RayfromTX

    RayfromTX Student Of Gas Mixology Staff Member ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Hill Country of Central TX
    6,013
    5,558
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    I find my aerobic fitness is a benefit in the water. My air consumption is on par with smaller people although it isn't stellar. .46 is average in warm water and .54 in cold water. I did have a problem not swimming away from everybody else. Even when I tried to swim slower I was still leaving my wife behind.

    I use my energy now to maintain really good position in the water. I look for little things. I take photos and videos which requires me to position myself in the water. I get more cerebral. I don't have anyplace to be. I'm just flying weightless underwater.

    My cycling doesn't hurt my diving but my diving is hurting my cycling. Where I once rode 4-5 times a week, now I spend more time on diving and less on riding. So many hobbies, so little time.
     
  8. KCB

    KCB Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: USA
    30
    14
    8
    Frog kick alright I’ll keep in mind, I think what I need to do is go back to the pool, with out any stress of actually moving somewhere and just there and play with weights and kick ect.
     
  9. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    56,210
    23,864
    113
    Remember: Move at half the speed so you will use far less air and see four times as much. Scuba is not a race, but an Easter egg hunt. Establish trim, move slow and look under everything. Learn to read underwater currents and use them rather than fight them.
     
  10. Zef

    Zef Divemaster

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    Years ago I raced for Pan-Am airlines and Trek, and then Thule and Cannondale. I have a cycling and sports medicine background. I can understand the leg issue but the breathing and air consumption issue is not cycling related....in fact your cycling should make it so that you are using air more efficiently. What you describe is you suffering from not being relaxed in the water.

    Spend more time swimming and playing in a pool, lake, or ocean. Do apnea work in a pool to build comfort and confidence. And spend more time blowing bubbles.

    You state that you have 50-60 dives...more important is how many hours do you have underwater blowing bubbles? If you do 2 x 20min dives in a day, that is relevant experience but it is not the same as 2 x 40 minute dives in a day. It is relevant to how much time do you have in the water managing your buoyancy, your trim, and how you locomote. Number of dives is not really a good indication of experience, especially with new divers...one can dive 100 times or one can do 1 dive 100 times...there is a difference regarding experience gained.

    I can recommend that you should stop worrying about how cycling is affecting your diving, in fact stop worrying about everything. Just dive and be in the moment. Don't take pictures or video, don;t carry extra gear, just be underwater and hang with the intent of moving your body as little as possible. Focus on relaxing and being comfortable.

    I was working with a student last thursday night, before getting in the water she complained that her mask keeps leaking and asked what she could do about. My first suggestion was to not make the strap so tight as it compresses the skirt of the mask causing it to leak more not less. When the session ended she complained her mask was still leaking, after spending an hour with her I told her that her mask will continue to leak because she is uncomfortable in the water and generally tense. I told her that when she is able to relax the muscles in her face will relax allowing her mask to seal. When dry fitting her mask without the strap it seals fine, so the only thing I could think of was that she is contorting her face due to muscle tension.

    While some people take to SCUBA rather quickly, for others it just takes time. Surviving underwater is not natural for humans, so even though we have a cylinder filled with air on back there is still some cognitive dissonance whether we are conscious of it our not...it takes time, less for some and more for others, for our brains to accept that we will be ok for the duration we plan to be below the surface, and allow our bodies to relax. As your skills and confidence improve your brain will more readily acclimate and the easier it will be for you to relax. When this happens your breathing will be more efficient and your air consumption will reduce.

    Find a club or a partner to do apnea work with (doing it alone is dangerous), spend more time in the water, and perhaps take a peak buoyancy class. First thing to work on along the way is to get your weighting correct....as others have mentioned, many instructors overweight their students and sometimes it is a long time after receiving one's initial certification card that the lightbulb comes on and one realizes that they are toting around too much lead.

    I hope this helps. Good luck.

    -Z
     
    Altamira, txgoose, fmerkel and 2 others like this.

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