Instructor Course Preparation #1 – Freediving Training 2018
The purpose of this part of the blog is to share my learning progression. I’ll be testing and applying different freediving training methodologies for set periods of time and discovering what works best for me to progress in freediving in the most healthy way. Please feel free to use the comments section below to comment on or critique what I’m doing.
Click below to support The Freedive Café and get a FREE audiobook from Audible!
This is Part One! Listen to Part Two HERE Aharon Solomons is a man with a rich and fascinating past, and a freediving career spanning many decades. His accumulated knowledge and wisdom are a great gift to the freediving community and our two part special will take you...
Read Part 1 here! The Dream is Reborn Early in 2016 I was planning to return home to Europe to visit family and friends. I planned to visit in the summer for a couple of weeks. The truth is, I didn't really want to go back, but felt obligated since so much...
George Panagiotakis is a world champion freediver and national record holder from Greece. He has achieved a 300m distance in DYN which is the current AIDA World Record! He currently lives in Cyprus and now works as a personal trainer and AIDA freediving instructor....
Sheila Hanney was born in the UK and has now been resident in Dahab for 4 years, and also volunteering for Sea Shepherd for the same time. She spends about half her time in Egypt and half her time on ships in Mexico feeding the crew. She's a free diving instructor and...
A very long story, very short... I haven't been diving very long, but in a sense I've been a passionate freediver all my life. You see, I was a 'freediver in waiting', for a very long time. The waiting began when I was twelve or thirteen years old. My...
Goran Čolak started his amateur free diving career in 2006, less than one year later, he won his first Croatian championship and broke several national records, he turned professional in 2011 and joined the exclusive group of free diving professionals around the...
Nanja van den Broek has been freediving since 2001. She currently has 40 Dutch records and 1 world record, in VWT, diving to 130m. In daily life she is a freedive instructor, business trainer and coach. She uses the water and freediving as tools to make people aware...
Stefan Randig was born in Germany, but spent a lot of his childhood living on the islands of the Seychelles. In 2006 he moved to Dahab, Egypt to teach Scuba Diving. He eventually became an AIDA insructor at Freedive Dahab, and Since 2012 he's been living in the...
Adam Stern is an Australian freediver based in...well everywhere. Adam competes and teaches freediving all over the world. He first started competing in 2011 and since then he has broken 5 Australian records and won a bronze medal in Vertical Blue (2015) and a bronze...
JP is like the godfather of freediving in Asia. He comes from Belgium and his school Freediving Planet is one of the top schools in South East Asia. He has been freediving for more than 25 years, participating in many international freediving competitions and World...
So, ten weeks to go until I return to Indonesia for 7 weeks of dedicated freediving training and, hopefully, the successful completion of my instructor course.
On March 11th I’ll touch down in Bali and head straight for Gili Trawangan where I’m going to slowly ease myself back into training and the freediving lifestyle by spending two weeks diving with Freedive Gili, the wonderful school run by Michael Board and Kate Middleton, also the place where I took my first freediving courses. Then it’s a short boat ride over to Gili Air and the start of a month-long Master Program, culminating in the AIDA instructor course, which I’ll be doing with Freedive Flow.
I’ve got ten weeks to get ready, physically and mentally for what will likely be the longest and most dedicated period of depth training I’ll manage in 2018.
I spent 3 months, between August and November, training for a 40km mountain trail-run which I successfully completed on November 25th. Needless to say, this involved an ungodly amount of running on trails, several times a week.
There is a popular belief that this kind of training is detrimental to freediving performance. While I am not completely convinced by the reasoning behind this, at least at the amateur level, and I think a strong cardiorespiratory engine is hugely important for living in general, there’s no denying that hours spent running are hours not training for freediving and I was too exhausted and sore most of the time to think about doing breath-work tables or resistance training.
After the race, I took a couple of weeks off from doing anything healthy and basically lay around eating shit food and watching Youtube. By the end of this little break I was feeling utterly awful and desperately needing to get back on the wagon, get my pre-race fitness back and take it to the next level.
Time to get back into shape for this kind of thing….
Two weeks ago I rewrote my schedule and wrote a new training plan into it. The thing is, between now and March 10th, I may only get 4 weekends in the water, or 8 days of actual freediving. And that if I’m lucky.
I don’t have access to a pool here in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, so my training is going to consist of what I can do on dry land, a combination of CO2 tables, dry equalisation practice, resistance training, medium-distance running and HIIT training.
Here’s a rough idea of how I’ll train each week:
I don’t consider yoga ‘training’ as such, and my yoga practice is an even balance of traditional asana, pranayama and yogic meditation, in other words, I treat it as a traditional spiritual practice. Having said that, the benefits for the freediver are too many to list in full here but include greater physical flexibility, mobility and proprioception, improved respiratory function and control of the breath, better conscious control of sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, increased mindfulness, improved mood and greater equanimity under pressure.
6x Per Week 90min
Resistance Training/Weight Lifting
4x Per Week, Upper/Lower Split
3x Per Week.
(4 Weeks Full Lung
4 Weeks FRC
4 Weeks RV)
Dry EQ Practice
Following the month-long BTV course, and other practice.
1x HIIT session (stairs)
1x 8km incl. HIIT session (stairs)
1x Long Trail Run 10 – 20km
On the weekends when I’ll dive there won’t be any running. I would love to do apnea walk tables instead of CO2 tables but my location when I have time to do tables isn’t ideal for apnea walks. At least I’ll have two days of diving each fortnight to assess how good I’m feeling in the water and judge whether the training is improving my conditioning or not.
As you’ll see, I’m going to be attempting to teach myself BTV during this time. That’ll be the subject of a dedicated series of blog posts and maybe even a video.
I case any of you are wondering, here’s where I currently stand in terms of personal bests…I don’t plan on improving any of these before Indonesia, or even matching them, but a few comfortable dives to 40m would be a nice way to finish up this training block. The most important thing is to relax and enjoy every dive.
So I’m starting week 3 of 12 now and feeling really good. Watch out for the next training blog where I’ll talk about learning BTV and in a couple of weeks I’ll be reporting back after my first dive session of 2018 and we’ll see how my condition is coming along.
Happy New Year and Peace!
Teaching oneself BTV. It ain’t pretty….
If you would like to be notified when new blog posts are released please subscribe in the box up on the right.