Freediver William Trubridge Gets Deep
American publication Outside Magazine recently caught up with world record-holding freediver New Zealander William Trubridge from his home in the Bahamas, where he runs a diving school called Vertical Blue, to learn how he prepares his body and mind for a pursuit where the most minor error could have lethal consequences.
“My approach [to training] is similar to other endurance sports: I have a base, build, peak, and taper phase,” Trubridge explains. “Most of my training takes place in a 25m pool. I swim horizontally underwater, trying to mimic the same motions of a vertical dive.
“But as I approach big dives, I get more specific and start doing longer reps in the pool and vertical dives in the ocean. I also do dry-land work: resistance training that mimics the kick and arm stroke, and yoga and breathing exercises to increase flexibility in my rib-cage. This helps when it comes to dealing with the pressure that builds during a deep dive. All told, I probably train four to six hours a day.
“I never feel fear – there are numerous safety precautions in the sport, from spotters to sonar tracking – but I do feel nervous. Whereas in some sports excitement is a positive, in freediving, that’s not the case: adrenaline accelerates your heart rate, which is the last thing I want.
“I’ve always been fascinated with exploring and discovering new things. Freediving is a sport where we are learning new things about the human body and our potential to be aquatic. To be on the forefront of that is really exhilarating.”
Original article by Bradley Stulberg, Outside Magazine, May 25, 2016.
Photo by Lia Barrett.