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The Training Log Book of a beginner ++ in Moalboal

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Feb 15, 2012
Hi everybody,

i am a 40 years old french guy training in Philippines. I started freediving a couple of years ago in a swimming pool in Lyon, then i discovered the sea ... then, i started training in the sea. A little bit, then a little bit more and now ... a lot.
I arrived in Asia last october, did an SSI level 1&2 with apneista in Bali, started a master course in Apnea Bali but stopped it in January. I arrived in March in Moalboal, Phillipines where i have been training for 4 weeks now.
I thought it could be a good idea for a Beginner ++ to share his log book, to help other beginners+ or ++.

The proper training started the 15th of march. Before i was sick, sneezing coughing.. (equalizing pbs and awfull sensations, no good) For the first 3 weeks i was training with a 5mm vest, no pants and ... hum, ... no weight belt (as i had lost it the first day and first dive here on the 60m buoy ... great!)
Now i have a new one with 2 kilos but i do not regret this experience, i couldn't think possible to be fin kicking till -41m. Actually it is.

The first 3 weeks i have done : 15 dives / 9 x CO2 tables, 4 x O2 tables, a couple of running or cycling sessions. The end of the O2 table is 5'05 and the CO2 table is based on a 2'30 breath hold, 8 loops and a start at 45¨sec recovery and goes down to 15 sec.

Actually i stopped the tables a week ago. At present i do not feel my freediving limit is the breath hold (O2 level or ability to absorb high CO2 levels). I may go back to them later.

These days my training is much more "structured" and i have post poned the idea of "how deep can i go ?" to the end of a 4 times "4days on/ One off" program :
2X4days CW a day off
and 2x4 days FIM a day off ( but i changed this to a 3 days FIM and 1 CW because i am weaker in CW).

i have done so far :

Day 1 CW warm up and -40 dive / FRC's +Mouthfill

Day 2 CW warm up and -40 dive / repeating duckdives till -25m

Day 3 CW warm up and -40 dive / repeating -35m dives to freefall.

Day 4 CW warm up and -40 dive / FRC's +Mouthfill

Day Off

This first "loop" was tough but positive. The second day was mentally challenging, i did 2 awfull 40 meters dives ( out of air ... stuck, feeling weak... well, ... horrible) the thing is that the day before i made an "easy" 40m CW so i think i felt too confident and not paying attention to what i was doing so .... logically, i had a hard time.

Starting every training session with a deep enough dive to put me out of my confort zone is a good thing. Tomorrow I'll go for a 45m FIM after the warm up.

Day 1 FIM warm up and -45 dive / FRC's +Mouthfill is the program for tomorrow !!

Day 2 FIM

Day 3 CW

Day 4 FIM

See U
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Feb 15, 2012
April 18th
... I didn't do what was planned.
No -45m FIM after the warm up because of a strong current. The first dives were more or less "flag ones". Half an hour later the current went down but i wasn't "in" the training session. "Focusing" and "working" below average, ... results were ... below average ;-)
I have done around 10 FRC's + Mouthfill, inflating my cheeks at around -7m and turning back at -15m.

Actually, i don't know why i didn't find a way to keep the "spirit" of this training and challenge myself a little just after the warm up. Maybe i was a bit tired, i 'll see tomorrow.

April 19th
" deep snorkelling fail Vol2",
worst than the day before, looking at the rope and wondering what i was doing there, obviously the sign it is time for me to have a break.

I decided to take 3 days off.

At first i was a bit upset and disapointed with the situation but now i have accepted it. Actually these kind of moments or a part of the learning process. So, it just happens to me, there is no need to complain, i just need to rest and train differently. It is no big deal.
2 days on , 1 off seems to be a reasonnable re-start in a couple of days.

April 20th
Out of the water 1/3
late afternoon 46' running. It was a nice and pleasant moment despite the heat. A beautifull sunset on the way back home and a lot of endorphins.

April 21st
Out of the water 2/3
late afternoon 2hours cycling. It was a nice and pleasant moment despite the heat. A beautifull sunset on the way back home and a lot of endorphins too. :)

April 22nd
Out of the water 3/3
reading, chilling, resting.

The conclusion of these three days out of the water is that i really need a distant, precise and clear goal linked to what i am doing (like anybody i guess) and that i should pay more attention to the mental part of my training (like anybody i guess). I clearly didn't bother doing the stretching, breathing and visualisation exercices for the last weeks. It was a mistake.

Tomorrow i am back on tracks, gathering positive sensations whatever i do.
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Feb 15, 2012
April 23rd
A pleasant training in FIM, some sensations of calm, weightlessness and glide.
2 x 20m "relatively long" (2' - 2'30)
a 3' dive to 20m and another of the same lengh to 30m
A couples of dives stopped because of ears block (the left one, then the other). It didn't disturbed the rest of the session.
4 dives to 30m with a strong current but observing and still enjoying the moment.
A state of mind to keep for tomorrow and the days after.
To be focused on gliding and relaxation is not only a key to depth it also a way to enjoy a pleasant moment.
Before the training i have done breathing exercices and stretching. To be renewed, longer.

April 24th
Morning stretching
A calm state of mind and a pleasant training.

around 8 FRC's / Mouthfill taken at 10m and turning back around 20m, some nice (calm and gliding) dives.
I definitly need more of this kind of sensations than "air" in my dives. About the FRC's i think the exercice is done properly, passive exhale and negative buoyancy around 2-3 meters. For most of them it is the sensation of an excessive pressure on the trachea that triggers the turn.

I wonder how is the evolution of this feeling when you go deeper. Training, stretching and breathing exercices will probably decrease the RV and provide a better flexibility of the chest/diaphragm; It may lead to the same sensation but ... deeper. I'll ask an experienced FD.

Late afternoon : 35' running. Warm but nice

April 25th
"Too" early morning running with a Corean freediving buddy. Early, but nice 40' run.

April 26th
"The rainbow session", F.... ! i am happy to be out this last week twilight zone.
The whole training was in FIM
20m full lungs warm up
30m half lungs warm up
"deep" dive stopped around 40m, lost mouthfill and i wasn't truly "in" the dive anyway.

Second attempt, and 50m FIM. Deeper than in Bali in january and with nicer sensations. It wasn't super easy but in control despite many little knots of tension. I am happy, mentally more relaxed and ready for more.

20m FRC waiting for my buddy to recover from his deep dive.
30m counting the number of equalisations before the beginning of the free fall (around 15equ)
35m attempt to try a mouthfill deep, i could slowly full my mouth head first at 35m.
And a pleasure dive at 20m to end the training.

April 27th
Training in FIM
Warm up 20m and 30m / sensations --
And then..., better sensations, i did 5 times 35m counting equalizations.
So, I need 15 equ to freefall at a correct pace. The mouthfill can be taken after the 14th eq .
After the 17th equ, i am at 36m freefalling with a mouth full of air. The arm pulls before the 5th equalization have to be strong enough to quit the buoyancy then they are more relaxed as i start gliding.
i need 50 sec to be at 35m which is a bit slow, however i start slow so .... i don't know.

Mentally i feel better. I am learning a lot. More patient, accepting and not expecting, avoid overpressurizing... and many other positive things.

April 28th
Day Off
... a lot of reading, some very interesting stuff.



At the end off the day : 30'running
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Mar 29, 2015
No doubt, very interesting.... Mais surtout on aimerais y être. Enjoy!


Feb 15, 2012
Thx Oli :)

April 29th
In the water, CW training,
warm up FIM 20m and 25m
Compensation issues and super low motivation,
I just made a couple of dives to test the brand new "home made lanyard"i copied from my diving buddy. It works perfectly but really shortens the duck dive, i have to get used to it.
Motivation is truly a present issue ... i definitely need to re-think how i am training, determine a precise goal, well, ...do something because i am a tired of those numerous discouraging and sometimes upsetting sessions.

30' Evening stretching and 2 visualizations of a deep FIM/ Taking a breath hold of roughly the same length as the dive and also a mouthfill around 45sec.
The result is that i can easily dive deep on dry land :)

April 30th

In the water, no special plan and no expectations in regard of yesterday's depressing training ...
A first 20m FIM warm up and : No current, a 20m+ great viz, a huge cloud of sardines on the way up and a big school of some sort of "Sarpa salpa" at the bottom, ....Nice !!
After a couple of FRC i felt like doing a deep one and did a -56m FIM. My deepest so far. It was an impressively good dive, ... but with a massive narcosis!
On the surface i packed 8times, not to "pack" but i noticed (or maybe convinced myself) that at the end of the inhale i wasn't full and also adding some tensions in my shoulders trying to lift them.
I know i may have to do without it and i will, but, actually i don't feel the uncomfortable "packing sensation" of an extra-pressure in the chest so i don't think it is a big issue.
The mouthfill was taken calmly around the 16-17th equ, and the way down was nice. One hand on the nose equalizing, one arm straight forward with the hand slightly touching the rope. Eyes closed, after -40m i could clearly feel the narcosis coming.
At the bottom i was obviously "stone" and really close to the reef. The angel fish my buddy talked about was there, the visibility was very good and the happiness of being here was good too. Too good to be honest because on the way back i clearly remember that i was surprised to see my safety "that soon". Actually, i had erased at least 20 seconds of the way up.

Now i realize how important a lanyard can be. I wouldn't like to "wake up" and have to search for the rope. Before going deeper, i may have to repeat this kind of depth to have less or maybe "no" narcosis.

20' Evening stretching session

It was supposed to be a day off but i felt like going in the water. "Narcosis addiction?"
I was coaching and training at the same time. It is maybe one the first times i feel able to "coach" someone and stay focused on working my own dives. I enjoyed both.
After 2 warm up dives, i just did around 8 FRC / half FIM and CW.
The turn was around 20m for the FIM and shallower for the CW with the same "limit" of a great pressure in the throat.

May 2nd :
Day off and time to re-organize the training for the last weeks i still have in Moalboal.
Some thoughts from Sebastian Naslund's program helped re-build a training program that fits me.
Such as :
- Get into a routine, and stick to it, no matter what.
- Pride yourself in your discipline
- The most important part of training is actually starting to deal with all the excuses.

I have decided to stop planning the water sessions and do much more dry training.
The next 3 days, i'll test this program : 3 days On, one Off / with each day “On” :

1h30 / Dry training :
- BTV exercises every day for the next 3 and half weeks
i don't see my equalization as an issue but even this exercises don't allow me to discover the joy of the hands free equ, it'll improve it. Curious to try that anyway.
- stretching /breathing exercises – visualizations
CO2 or O2 tables. Later : Apnea walks

2h00 / In the water :
i don't care anymore about the "how deep can i go ? ",
Depth will come as a consequence of the improvements i make on each component of the dive.
So 3 days in the water / one day off and no planned session is ok.
I think i had over pressurized myself in the water which was stressful and maybe be counterproductive. The deepest dives i made were not planned and now i feel capable of improvising a structured session. In addition, most of the dives are going to be FRC ones.
Anyway, i don't think i'll become lazy.

I want to become a freediving instructor so i have to improve my knowledge about FD.

40' (BTV, breathing and stretching exercises).
30' CO2 table (8 loops , 2'30 breath hold, recovery starts from 45”and decreases by 5 sec to end at 15”).

2h00 Water session : "half coaching /training "
All dives (around 8) in FIM and FRC after the "warm up" one.
a couple of fun dives on the reef at the end of the session. Nice.

May 4th :
40' BTV, breathing and stretching exercises
30' CO2 table (easy but not that easy mentally speaking, as soon i feel more comfortable with it I'll do a mouthfill around 45sec and also visualize the hole dive).From time time i could take some distance with the contractions, observing them.

2h00 Water session. FIM FRC's and Duck dives.
During the warm up, a bigger than ever school of sardines (milions of them) . An awesome vision.
Most of the dives down to 20m, one at 25 but it wasn't as empty as the others.
Good sensations of adjusting the posture for a nicer free-fall
The last one was pretty empty and deep . i felt like i wanted to cough at the bottom, ascending and on the surface. After a couple of minutes i still had this feeling of mucus in my throat.
I decided to stop FRC's and start working on duck dives with the lanyard.
Good coaching from my buddy

May 5th :
30' CO2 table

2h00 in the water 10 x FIM FRC around 18-20 meters, a couple of duck dives.
And a couple of dives on the reef.
Feeling tired but happy.

1h00 BTV, breathing and stretching exercises

May 6th
Day off
The program appears to be suitable i'll go for it during these last 3 weeks and conclude later.


Feb 15, 2012
For the last 8 days i have done some dry and water training on a 3 days on / 1 day off basis, except for the BTV (VTO – Voluntary Tubal Opening) exercices that i practise every day.
First and maybe most important thing, i am in a very different state of mind now than i was a couple of weeks ago. Sometimes i feel very tired (because of the training) but i enjoy what i am doing. The density and variety seem pretty well dimensioned and the sensations, sometimes unpleasant, are considered positive.
Another noticeable change is the volume of training i can absorb without being bored or stressed at all. Around 4 to 5 hours a day.

The “VTO” exercises :
Still not an honorable member of the “hands free private club” but i have already noticed some improvements on equalization in the water. It is obviously more fluid and precise.

May 7-8-9th
Each day :
8h00 - 9h45 / Stretching and O2table,
10h00 - 12h30 / Water session,
in the afternoon some reading a little bit of stretching,

I realized that i knew enough basic yoga postures, stretching and breathing exercises to mix them and avoid this one hour+ long daily routine to become boring. Actually it is the opposite, it positively wakes me up in the morning and relaxes me in the afternoon. However, having a focused mind or being in the present is still the hardest part. I continuously have to refocus the attention on what i am doing.

O2 table/
it is a light copy of the one i was doing a couple of weeks ago. “Something not too hard but still rewarding” was the plan.
Breath holds :
with 2'30 recovery
So it wasn't easy, but not too hard and rewarding. :)

Water Sessions/
The first day turned into a fun dive on the reef when we lost the stone which made our bottom weight from the beginning.

The two other days were based on improving technique (duck-dives and fin kicking), and do a lot of FRC dives. A freediving buddy had a Go Pro we used to correct postures. Using video is simple and really helpful
I could go down to 25m on FRC with sometimes nice free-fall sensations. Mouth-fill around -8m, isolating the mask around 15m-17m and, a few times, turning because it was the end of the line. No more sensations of a “crushed” throat, it was more an homogeneous and diaphragmatic pressure. I was relaxed and “working”diligently. Cool.

I gave up the planned daily hour of “ i study freediving etc...” realizing that when i wasn't training i was reading, exchanging or collecting data on FD during way more than an hour a day.

The 8th and 9th of may i also did a 30' running at the end of the day.

May 10th
day off

May 11-12-13th
Each day :
8h00 - 9h45 / Stretching and CO2table,
10h00 - 12h30 / Water session,
in the afternoon some reading a little bit more of stretching,

it was OK,
I am still working on being more in the moment and will probably add some more breathing exercises (partial inhales and exhales and “longest cycle possible” : Inhale one time the slowest you can than exhale everything the slowest you can).

2'30 breath-holds / 8 times. Recovery starting from 45sec and going down to 15sec (decreasing time : 5sec).

I found them way easier to eat than the O2 ones. The plan is not to make them longer but to transform this static table in an apnea walk one with mouthfill ; In order to simulate a CW dive (feeling some lactic in the legs).
So because i felt confortable, in the middle of a table, i tried once to stand up and walk 30 steps, lay on the bed and walk again for the last 40 seconds of the breath-hold. It was the 4th breath-hold of the table. The next 2 breath-holds (regular ones : laying on the bed without moving) became tough with very early contractions.
To be renewed

Water sessions/
- One with shallow FRC dives (-15-22m ). I could not really go deeper because of a great pressure in the throat. Then, i did a lot of CW dives down to 25m to work duck-dive and fin kick technique. My legs need to be more straight (no flexing knees going inward), I need to pay attention to the axis of the movement and to make it start more from the hips. The shoulders could be more relaxed etc… well, there is still a lot to improve, it appears endless.

- One session with no planned deep dive but actually, i did a big one in FIM . Down to -62m! It was the bottom of the rope and also the end of the line, now i need to buy a new one :)
the narcosis was there but i was more lucid and in control than the last -56m FIM one.
After a rather automatic mouthfill, a pleasant and quick free-fall, the way up appeared longer this time. Ascending, i had a little doubt, a weird tough, something like “F..., this moment is for real and requires all your attention, you are alone, deep and not living here” but it didn't last for long. The end of the dive was relaxed.
For the rest of the session, i just did freestyle lazy fun dives.

- One fun dive session on the reef near the marine sanctuary. Very good viz, so many beautiful things, it was a great moment.

May 14th
day off


Feb 15, 2012
May 15th,16th
The O2 tables are a bit tough, especially the last 30 seconds of the 4'30 and 5'00 loops. At that point, i just can't help moving something (an arm, a leg, turning the head...) which actually goes the opposite way of saving oxygen. I need to find a mental way to stay calm till the end. I also look at the remaining time, i should do without and focus on the sensations, not the clock.

Very happy with the stretching. It is becoming a pleasant routine.

In the water, I did mostly FRC's. Some of them are now down to 30m with nice sensations. I also worked the duck-dive and my first 10 meters in CW. There's still a lot to do:)

May 17th
13h30 – 15h00 Stretching and O2 table

Slowest "inhale-exhale" exercise done one time : 2'23 total (with inhale 1'00 and exhale 1'23); The aim is to control the flow of air and keep it constant, absorbing contractions during the exhale. The exercise was more comfortable than a couple of months ago. In January i was seeing it as something very unpleasant. Now, it is alright, i am not fighting the exhale contractions anymore.

O2 table : OK. For the last breath-hold i have tried visualizations, it helps a lot but i have a problem with this kind of technique. I would prefer being able to keep my attention on the moment, just observing it, than create an illusion that makes me forget time and “unpleasant”sensations.

Water session/
… almost in the water.
Lesson of the day : Low attention + low tide + slippery concrete = hole x (wet-suit + elbow).
I may survive this incident but i am out of the water for at least 3 days. F.... me!

Day off /

Hurting elbow, a bit swollen, not too ugly but leaking quiet a lot. ( beurk). The water session is not even a question.

Dry training :
Kapalabati 3x20times
Udiyana bandha 3 times (pulling in and pushing out the belly).
Lowest inhale exhale ( 2'23/ 2'44/2'35). The second one i “turned” around 1'15 which makes it longer. The exercise was not too difficult.
Stretching the upper and lower body

CO2 table
the 1st and 4th loops were done with 45 sec walk at the beginning and the end. The first one i already had contractions going back on the bed, ... it was a bit tough, the 4th was easier. It is a good exercise but the plan is to simulate a dive so the initial walk has to be more energy consuming and also shorter, the last walk a bit longer and more calm.

May 20th
hurting elbow, a bit swollen and becoming ugly ….. doctor !!!
Nice infection, antibiotic cream/pills and cleaning it 3 times a day and..., the end of the dry training.
The days after, it was leaking and hurting. At a certain point, i was a bit worried.

May 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27th
The disgusting wound slowly looked better and now the infection is supposed to be ending. For the the last week i just couldn't do anything.

This Asian freediving tour is over. After a couple of months in Europe the next step will be an instructor course in September and also, going deeper by the end of the year. 80m FIM and 70mCW appear to be a challenging but reasonable goal. To be prepared for it, i'll start a long and enjoyable dry training program soon.

Thx to all my FD buddies, you helped me learn a lot and i'll renew the experience without a doubt.:)

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