First winter training session came and went. Not a bad turn out either, considering the first of anything is always expected to be a bit of a wash out. We had 6 people training together in the nice warm indoor pool at Atlantic Reach, and of those, 2 were first timers. First timers who both had great static times! 3:30 and 4:45! Puts my first time to shame…
In fact it brings up a good point to cover. How far do you take it on your first session? Well firstly the main thing to consider when doing any training is that the basics have all been gone over by an approved instructor! This may sound like me just touting for business, but its not, it has some serious consequences if avoided! I have seen lots of people who may be quite naturally adept at breath hold, who feel like they can teach apnea to their friends, but with no theoretical or technical knowledge. Unfortunately this is what leads to accidents and can give freediving a bad name. Freediving, unlike SCUBA, has the advantage/disadvantage of being fairly unregulated. Anyone can buy a set of fins, mask snorkel, weight belt… head off in to open water with a few tit-bits of info from a mate and try to dive as deep as they can. Imagine that in SCUBA! It would be like an aspiring SCUBA diver, heading to a shop, buying a twin set and gear, getting their tanks filled, being told how to breathe through a reg by a buddy, then heading off to dive a 50m wreck! You just wouldn’t do it, would you?
Excuse my meandering mind! Point being… do at least a discover freediving course with someone who really knows what they are doing before you start freediving…. end of lecture!
Where was i? ahh yes….. how far to take it in the first training session? Personally I always say its down to the student, within reason and the margins of safety! One of the dangers of taking it too far on the first session is that it can raise the bar too high for future sessions, and can increase performance anxiety in future sessions. For those for which that outcome may be the case, I would always suggest planning a training schedule, with outlined times and goals, even if those times may be easily achievable at first. The other danger of a student pushing it too far, is they do not yet understand their body in regards to breath hold. Baby steps is the safer route!
Example: wk 1 -max static 2:30, Dynamic 30m ~ wk2 – static 3:00, Dynamic 40m…. and so on. By repeating the max times during the sessions, it makes the diver so confident in their abilities, that when it comes to pushing it the following session…. things come easily. Sometimes, aiming too high, too soon can be seriously counter productive!
Im a big believer in aiming to be solid and confident at each level you train for, rather than constantly pushing on each attempt, and never truly achieving complete comfort at any level. Whats the point in being able to get to 40m or 4 minutes if you cant enjoy it?
Well…….. the next club session is in a fortnight, so we will see how many come to that! I have been given some vague numbers and we should be in double figures…. bring it on!