Lubomir Stefanoff | freediving and UW photography

Thoughts on static apnea

by on Jul.10, 2009, under Training

Static apneaRecently I’ve been thinking more about how I do static apnea. If I have to choose what kind of freediving I’ll do in a certain day I would definitely say that it wold be constant weight with monofin. That’s what I really like, it’s practiced in the sea, I enjoy the pressure on my body when I go deeper and I can relax and concentrate; and furthermore, there is always something to see from the marine life.  It’s different with static apnea – especially when it’s done on land. There is no physical effort, one just tries to relax and play with the mind. Sometimes I do easily good static apneas – when I’m concentrated and enjoy the holds. But sometimes I get bored quickly, I cannot concentrate at all, let alone decide to stand some good contractions. I know that it’s important to do decent breath holds and I have to work on relaxation and concentration. I’ve tried different techniques. During the first 1-1:30′ of the hold I check and relax my muscles; then I start visualizing in great detail some pleasurable moments from the past – thus occupying my mind and ‘forgetting’ that I am holding my breath. I’ve also tried visualizing a scene from nature and it works great.When the contractions begin I’m still able to visualize another reality, but for a short time. Then it becomes harder and even though I know I can still hold my breath safely, I’m tempted to quit early. I’ve tried doing some series of pressing my fingers with the thumb, and it ‘steals’ time. Some days it works – but last week I couldn’t concentrate and my mind was everywhere…which led to quite short apneas. I tried longer ones – and did some – but it was not fun at all – I struggled and forced myself to do them. I wonder if good static times are achieved with determination or more likely with a relaxed mind…or both.
Usually I set some goals for my training sessions, but sometimes when you have a bad day it’s better to switch to other exercises and focus on heaving fun or have some rest. Thus even when I haven’t reached the goals I would be satisfied. Of course the line between ‘a bad day’ and ‘not motivated to train’ is thin, and I’d rather have more successful sessions. I train and freedive for fun, after all.
Today I went to the pool and everything worked fine, no hard times in getting in the mood for some breath holds. Now I’m trying to figure out my own routine that will always work – that’s why I’ll write down some observations and test them in the future.


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