Project Journal, June 10th, 2012: “Training”


As an aside, now that we have started diving, I wanted to share with you something I’ve come to realize regarding my training. During my teenage years when I started practicing freediving, my main training technique was to dive, dive and dive as frequently as possible. This helped me perfect my technique and made the muscles used specifically for diving very strong, and I could dive to depths of 30-40 meters all day long, which I would do during summers. However, when I got serious about depth records and met Rudi, he made me realize that if I wanted to go deeper, we had to change that mentality completely.

He told me how what I was doing was akin to a middle distance runner who specializes in the 400 and 800 meters, who can run distances of 100 meters very easily and many times a day, but can’t do it very fast. I had to become like a sprinter, able to run 100 meters just a couple of times, and even get very tired after each time, but do it very fast. Go on Youtube and check the interviews with Usain Bolt from the Olympic Games when he set the 100 meter world record. He only ran for 9.58 seconds, but even 20 minutes after the end of the race, he is still exhausted, barely able to breathe as he talks with reporters. This is a great example of what I’m talking about. The body is tuned for quality, not quantity, for one all-out, 300 % effort, instead of many performances at 70% capacity. And ever since, this is the training I have been doing. For 13 years since 1999 when I set my first record. And now that I need to do the opposite, where I’m required to dive many times a day to shallower depths, I’m finding myself easily tired and even exhausted at times. Ironically, my body has simply lost the capacity to do something easier many times. And so, we must change my training so that I can cope with the requirements of this project. But although that type of training is time consuming and tedious, I’m willing to do it, since after all, I don’t think I’ll be attempting any more world records. I can sacrifice some of that ultra high performance in exchange for an easier time out there.

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