Ive tapered for running events but didnt realize how similar principles apply to swimming as well. Terry Laughlin from Total Immersion breaks it all down in Sharpening Your Swimming: Theories on Tapering. I think I need to get more serious with my swim before I can have a successful taper. What about you? Have you found an individualized swim taper that works?
My coach has an event each swim season called "**** Week", except it lasts from beginning/mid-December until mid/end of January. That's when practices get crazy and there's one day where we do 100 100's. Anyway. Once **** Week is over, right before Regionals and Metro, we have a taper week, granted that we've proved to him we deserve it during **** Week. During Taper Week, we do about 1000 yard practices, total. Last year, it really paid off. I got a PB at Regionals and received seventh in the region. (:
Absolutely. Periodization is as important in swimming as in any sport.
Personally, I try but it isn't overly planned. I'm a masters swimmer so don't train so much, plus make up my sessions with a number of coaches that don't talk to each other about what they are doing. But, as I approach key meets (to be honest, I don't do a lot of small meets) I will certainly reduce my training load and do more quality work. I'll also come off the weights.
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