After returning to Denmark from Dahab I contacted KFK, Copenhagen Freediving Club, to ask if I could become a member. Luckyly I could and 5 weeks after Dahab I attended my first training with KFK. We were 5 people that night. I introduced myself to everyone and Danish champion in DYN Anette Rafen Ottzen was sweet to help me. She followed me on my first DYN that night. 77 meters I got to, which was around 2 meteres more than my earlier PB almost 2 weeks earlier. So I was happy. Apparently she filmed me to show me my technique and to analyze it (Again I have my hands on my bum instead of hanging on my sides).

Video credit: Anette Rafen Ottzen

After this dive I did just 2 more shorter dives at 50 meters and then I got cold, as I only wore a bathingsuit. So I decided to take the watch on the edge, and let another diver Teit, who also have a blog about freediving www.goandsee.dk, get in the water.

Eventhough I only did 3 dives that night I was quite happy that I showed up and started my training.

3 days after my first training with KFK I attended another one. This night we were a lot more people, and Morten Rosenvold Villadsen, an expert in freediving, breathing and spearfishing, was our trainer.

We all started with a long DYN. I was the last one to dive and a bit nervous, because everyone else did some amazing and long dives, and my day had been quite stressfull. Getting at work at 6am, off at 1.30pm, opening the shop at 2pm, closing the shop at 6.30 and began training at 7.15pm. I hadn’t had time to relax, I was tired, I was really dizzy but I really wanted to train.

I sit there on the edge, trying to relax and doing my breathe up. My turn. I take my final breaths and begin my long dive. My heart beats but there is a lovely silence under the surface. I make it to 25 meteres and my heartbeat starts to slow down. 50 meters and touch-turn. I really want to make a good dive and at least 75 meters. I feel my thighs starting to get warm, and my muscles are kind of stinging. I guess the mammalian divereflex really kicked in. The 75 meter mark appears under me. Just a bit longer and then ascent. 88 meters and my new PB! I’m happy. I get a bit of constructive criticism from Morten. Slow down a bit and not work too hard when finning, and keep my chin to the cheast. Yes, I’ll try to work on that!

Now we are all ready to the real training. Morten tells us to do 12 x 50 meters DYN…WTF! 12 lanes – 50 meters! I almost gave up before we even started. So 3…2…1…GO! I’m finning and get to the other end. Already a bit exhausted! Recovery breath, breathe up, final breath and dive! Finning, finning, finning and at around 30 meters I get my contractions. Shit! I come up after 50 meters and my hands are shaking. Recovery breath, breathe up, no, I have to skip the this round. I wait for the others to come back to my end of the pool, and then I dive again but I decide to only do 25-35 meters. It’s better than just quitting so I do the last 8 dives from around 25-35 meters.

After the 12 rounds Morten wants us to do DNF 4x50m with only armstrokes, 4x50m only leg kicks and 4x50m both armstrokes and leg kicks. Again I only do the 25-35 meters. But I’m fine with that. I accept that this is what I am able to do right now, and with training I will get better.

I end the night with a bit of flicker in my eyes and a light migraine on it’s way. But again I’m happy. It was good and hard training and I absolutely loved everything about it. Now home and off to bed!

11 thoughts on “My first training session at KFK – Copenhagen Freediving Club

  1. Good to read and glad to hear you are human as well .Keep up the great diving

  2. Hey, it’s me again! I agree with Paul Jansink (hey, you’re here too!): good to read you’re human. That training sounds brutal and yes, I’m rather intimidated by it. But that’s because I have NO experience whatsoever, and my PB in DYN being a lousy 50m.

    When did you get contractions in your 77m and 88m? I can only dream of that distance.
    I get contractions around 35 m and they turn brutal (read: unbearable), so I really push it until 50m and then quit. Every single time. I find contractions during DYN far more uncomfortable than they are in static… And they become worse in a quicker way. :-/
    Got any tips for dealing with that? (I know you may not be an expert yet, but I’m even further away from that, lol!)

    Anyway, thanks SO much for sharing and keep it up! Or should I say, under? 🙂
    Jessie

    1. Hi Jessie, well I think 50 meters is good, when you don’t have any experience at all. Next time do the 50 meters and make a turn and a few kicks and then come up. Then slowly getting further and further. But remember to have a buddy on the edge of the pool, if you are pushing yourself a bit – someone who knows about blackouts, samba and LMC. You don’t want to have a blackout alone in the pool, or with someone, who doesn’t know what to do about it.

      I don’t remember exactly when I got my contractions. Maybe around 50-60 meters. I think the reason why you feel the contractions are worse and come quicker during DYN, might be that you are under water, and you are active. You use more oxygen when you are kicking your legs. And some might be in your head. Try to relax and don’t focus on your contractions, if they are what’s stopping you. You can hold your breath for a lot longer, than what you think after getting your contractions. When I do my dry static, I get my contractions after 1:28 to 1:40 and I have held my breath for 4:36, so 3 minutes with contractions.
      For me dry static is good training, because I know that I can have the contractions for a long time, getting uglier and uglier without getting a blackout. When my contractions begin, I get them maybe every 3-4 seconds and by the end of a breath hold, they come every second or even faster.

      You really should join a freediving club. Eventhough it’s only in the pool, it’s realy good training:)

      Again, thank you for following and reading my posts 🙂
      xRikke

  3. Sorry about the tough tabels! Hope you didnt loose your motivation totally?

    Its difficult to find the right balance when its a +15 persons in a group session.

    Have fun!
    – and keep blogging… 🙂

    Morten

  4. Sorry about the tough tabels! Hope you didnt loose your motivation totally?

    Its difficult to find the right balance when its a +15 persons in a group session.

    Have fun!
    – and keep blogging… :).

    Morten

    1. No no, I loved it. But yes it was tough but I’m also very motivated to do more and become better! 🙂
      As said, I did the shorter distance, which was good enough for me at that time.

      Definitely looking forward to more training! 🙂

      1. I would have given up before I would have started those tables. I’d like to have your stamina, will and fearlessness, Rikke. I’m jealous!

        Turning at the 50 m point is impossible for me. I simply can’t seem to be able to stand contractions in dynamic. At all. I mean: the first contraction already makes me want to give up at 35m already. They seem SO much harder than in static: I can do 2+ min. of contractions in static, which is very weird. :-/
        IF I’ll ever try to turn at 50m, it will HAVE to be with a buddy, as I feel at my very limit right there. It feels as if I couldn’t even go 10 cm further…

        I know about the buddy and safety. Must find a course/club. And I’ll warn the “trainer” before I start that I easily get very nervous, intimidated and afraid. Maybe I’d better go to a psychologist first? Lol!

        Thanks for posting the lovely stuff. Even if it’s only training: do continue to post!
        Love,
        Jessie

        1. Hi Jessie,

          Well, it’s definitely about will and staying relaxed for sure. I don’t have my contractions for long in the water, before I need air. So it’s the same for me, that I feel the contractions harder in the water. But I think it’s all in my head. I mean, I can probably go for longer if I have the mental energy for it.

          You’ll see, one day you’ll make the turn and think “Was I really so afraid of that?!” 🙂 With training you’ll get there, don’t worry 🙂

          I hope you’ll have the time for a course soon, now that you want it so bad! And when you do begin, you won’t stop again 😉

          Thanks for you lovely comments 🙂

          xRikke

  5. Hey, Rikke, I stumbled into your blog and it’s great to read. I’m a total beginner (AIDA 2*) and it’s encouraging to read.

    I have the same problem as Jessie in dynamic freediving with fins: contractions come too soon (30 m!!!) and they are too hard from the start. My personal best is also only 50 m because of that. For most/lots of freedivers this is only one of many hurdles in the acutal race. For me, 50 m is the finish line and when I’m lucky to get there sometimes, I feel like I’ve had all the hurdles I can ever take.

    I got advice to try to relax the most when it feels the worst but that sounds quite contradictory. It’s like saying: “feel the pain the least when the pain is at its worst.” It makes me doubt whether that is even possible.

    I need some ideas about relaxing. And maybe some exercises (even dry maybe?) to train myself getting past those first hard contractions while moving. How do you cope with stuff like this?

    Anyway, hope you continue your blog!
    Kind regards,
    Jo

    PS: I tried a dynamic CO2 table: laps of 25 m, starting with 10 breaths between the laps, then 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, etc. I did two laps and quit: I was desperate for a breath, my hands were shaking. Contractions were too hard and my heart was literally trying to beat its way out of my chest. And that was only after two laps of only 25 m. Am I really that useless?

    1. Hi Jo,

      I also replied on Facebook, but I see now that I missed a few informations😊

      When you train now, do you do it alone or with someone you feel comfortable with and someone who can maybe push you a bit?

      For the drystatic, try out my suggestion in my fb mail.

      For relaxation, lie on the bed, couch or floor and simply focus on your breathing. For an example; breath in while counting to 4 and exhale while counting to 6-8. It doesn’t have to be seconds just focus on the long exhale as it’s when exhaling your heart beat lowers and your body relaxes. This is also the way to breath when doing breath up before wet/dry static apnea and dynamics.

      I’m sure you are not useless, you just need to focus and relax your mind😊

      Feel free to ask more questions if you have more😊

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