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The other night I was coaching Jorg while holding his breath at the hottub pool in the Tongelreep Eindhoven. He was experiencing his normal barrier and trying all kinds of different preparation techniques to break out of it as you can read here. As we know from our previous competition and other training sessions in the hottub, it can be very hot in there :D. This high temperature poses a range of problems which seemed easy to explain why they happen, but it turns out I was wrong about 1 of them.
When I was coaching Jorg, the time I spent in the pool doing nothing but coaching increased to a range of 25 minutes orso. That’s when I started sensing the same thing as when I’d have vasoconstriction. But although I assumed it was a free pass into having the vasoconstriction, I learned that it is actually vasodilation and thus the exact opposite of the thing you want happening with freediving.
To prove the theory I decided on doing a schedule to counteract the vasodilation and see after how many times the tingling sensation would fade away. So I did 1 minute 30 seconds breath holds and in the last 5 seconds I’d release all my air, after that I’d surface and immediately take one deep breath again and do another 1m30s. Normally with this schedule you would get the vasoconstriction kicking in at around 6 or 7 times.
The test showed us, that after only 3 times into this schedule the vasodilation was counteracted and I didn’t have the tingling feeling anymore. Theory proven and a lesson learned ;).