Beginner Course Success – 3 Minute Breath-hold
Throughout the day, we learned different kicking techniques with and without fins and then had to practice each one while holding our breath and swimming the length of the pool. Michael taught us arm techniques to efficiently propel ourselves to the bottom. We got to practice the breathing techniques that we had done in the classroom the day before. The most interesting of which was the concept of the mammalian reflex. When you put your face into the cold water, your body automatically begins to slow the heart rate down. This allows us to conserve oxygen and hold our breath longer.
Breathing techniques learned in the beginner SSI course also helped us learn how to stay safe and avoid shallow water blackout. But even with all the training, it is still possible to black out while freediving. So it is important to learn buddy diving and rescue techniques. The concept of one up one down ensures that your dive buddy is on the surface watching you in case something goes wrong on your dive. The rescue techniques were not difficult but so important to know so everyone stays safe.
The day ended with our static breath-hold training. Each of us took a turn practicing holding our breath while standing in one spot at the side of the pool. All of us held our breath for 3 minutes!! We left the day feeling accomplished and ready for the next day of freediving class in the San Diego ocean.
Photos: Ashley Hauck Photography & Lesley Grey Alstrand.
Training: Scuba Schools International
Instruction: Michael Timm, Dive California
Freediving Gear: Mares