Instructor Course Preparation #3 – Freediving Training 2018

by | Mar 2, 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.

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#47 – Alex Davis

#47 – Alex Davis

10% off for ALL Freedive Café listeners & FREE shipping inside Australia! Alex Davis grew up in Cornwall in the UK and after getting married moved to Barbados in 2011 with his Bajan wife. He set up Spearfishing Barbados in 2013, offering guided experiences right...

#46 – Fred Buyle

#46 – Fred Buyle

Fred Buyle is a freediver, explorer and photographer. Since his childhood he has been in contact with the sea, spending several months a year on the family’s sailboat. He was a scuba instructor before discovering freediving and went on to set his first world record in...

#45 – Michael Board

#45 – Michael Board

  Michael Board started freediving in 2009 and started competing that same year. Sport and exercise have always been a part of his life, starting first with martial arts but then continuing with his time in the British Marines and then subsequently other sports...

#44 – Georgina Miller

#44 – Georgina Miller

Georgina Miller has always been interested in the underwater world; she can't remember learning to swim! She started scuba diving in 1998 and was certified as a PADI MSDT Instructor in 2005. She took a Freedive course in 2007 and has been a member of the UK team since...

#43 – Stavros Kastrinakis

#43 – Stavros Kastrinakis

Stavros Kastrinakis was born in 1976 in Athens, Greece and started spearfishing with his father when he was 5 years old. He spent 7 years in the UK studying (BSc Astronomy and Physics, Masters in Petroleum Engineering), after which he returned to Greece in 2000. He...

#42 – Erika Schagatay – Science of Freediving

#42 – Erika Schagatay – Science of Freediving

Erika Shagatay grew up in northern Sweden, far from the sea but eventually went to Lund University in southern Sweden to study biology, focusing on physiology and marine biology. She completed her PhD in 1996 on the human diving response. She started her own research...

#41 – Derek Broussard

#41 – Derek Broussard

Derek Broussard is currently working as an apnea specialist with Cirque Du Soleil. He grew up exploring the cold waters of Puget Sound. A second enlistment In the U.S. Army brought him to Hawaii, where he discovered the healing properties of freediving and the peace...

#40 – Amber Bourke

#40 – Amber Bourke

Amber Bourke began her breath-holding journey as a synchronised swimmer, eventually competing for Australia. She retired from the sport at age 19 and it wasn't until a couple of years later that she stumbled upon the sport of freediving while on a backpacking trip...

#39 – Mateusz Malina – Part Two

#39 – Mateusz Malina – Part Two

Mateusz Malina started diving in late 2008, but already knew that it would become his destiny seven years earlier after trying it in a pool with his friends. His achievements are too numerous to list them all, he has set multiple world records in dynamic with fins...

#38 – Mateusz Malina – Part One

#38 – Mateusz Malina – Part One

Mateusz Malina started diving in late 2008, but already knew that it would become his destiny seven years earlier after trying it in a pool with his friends. His achievements are too numerous to list them all, he has set multiple world records in dynamic with fins...

Sooooo, only one week to go until I get off this lovely island and get onto another. My trip to the Gili islands is imminent and perhaps you are wondering if I managed to stick to my regime and get myself into great diving shape, or perhaps I’m writing to myself and talking into a great void where the words will never be heard…. in any case, let’s proceed!

So, did I get into great diving shape? Well, basically, yes and no. You see, a very disruptive yet extremely positive development took place about three weeks ago that kind of knocked me off the wagon, so to speak.

One afternoon I was having a break at work when an old buddy of mine called up and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. He had found an old building on our dive-spot-island of XiaoLiuQiu. He is also a freediving instructor and wanted to rent it to use as a home and dive centre to develop his teaching business. But it wasn’t something he could go into on his own. He knew I’m about to do my instructor course and plan to start teaching this year if I pass successfully, so he asked me if I wanted to rent this amazing place with him.

Well, finding a place to rent on that tiny island is almost impossible, so I figured that even if I don’t get my instructor’s license it doesn’t really matter. I would just rent the place and dive every weekend! No more camping and lugging all my gear over to the island every time. On top of that, we got internet put into the place, so I’ll be able to do the podcast from there, and dive at the same time! Diving every weekend instead of once or twice a month. Pure bliss.

The beginning of great things to come….our new home on XiaoLiuQiu.

So it was all a bit of a whirlwind as we made the arrangements and made the negotiations before the place slipped through our fingers. I knew a couple of other guys who would appreciate a room on the island so they’ve joined us and now we’re this little band of piratey fellows on a creaky old pirate ship. A permanent base on a little tropical island with great diving waters.

As you will see from the pictures, the place is in pretty rough shape, but we’re slowly working on getting it patched up and painted with a fresh coat of paint. We’re going for the Greek white and blue and soon it’ll be looking smart. It’s huge inside, everybody gets their own rooms with plenty of space left over for a classroom, common areas, not to mention two huge gardens and a huge rooftop with an ocean view. This is a place you’ll be seeing a lot more of in the coming months I’m sure.

Work in progress, but we’ll make it pretty 🙂

So back to the point… No, I didn’t stick to my planned schedule of daily yoga, strength training, tables, running and everything else because we have all been on the island getting as much work done as possible on the new place before I head off. This month was Chinese New Year and with our own place there now and always having someone to dive with, I got a lot more time than I expected on the island. Therefore, I’ve been able to do a lot more diving than I expected. I think that has somewhat compensated for the lack of discipline with the dry training back in the city.

Also, my horrible chest condition seems to be on the way out. So, fingers-crossed I won’t be taking anything with me to Indo!

I have definitely suffered having not being in the gym for a few weeks. I’m getting a little bit soft and feeling some aches and weakness in my shoulders. Then my gym membership expired so I’ll have to wait until I get to Gili T to start getting strong again.

Eric safeties me on an easy CNF dive in our local waters. About 3 minutes from the new house.

So far I’ve done some easy dives to 35m and lots more in between. I’m left feeling pretty confident that 6 weeks in Indonesia, diving 4/5 days a week, will be plenty of time to decompress and polish the rough edges off my diving, and get me back under 40m in time for my AIDA instructor course. One thing that has become more clear is that I just need my head to be in the right place to have the best dives. Physically I’m already there, but inexperienced buddies, overcast skies and moody waters, podcast and work deadlines, these things create the conditions that cause me to begin feeling anxiety in the water.

So tomorrow I’m heading back to the island for another weekend of painting, cleaning and diving. Then I have a pretty chilled week ahead at work, so I’ll be able to work-out, run and practice yoga to my heart’s content before jetting away to diving paradise.

The instructor course preparation is almost done, you’ll be hearing from me again from Indonesia in a couple weeks 🙂

The motley crew of our new house and shop, Eric, Erik, Donny and David.

David on the first of two 20m CNF dives with only a single breath in between…

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