Why do swimmers and coaches feel there is a big mystery about tapering and hope that it works? This is crazy! If your seasonal plan includes progression of race pace work and the proper recovery throughout the season then you have the experience to know that your taper will work. Tapering is the progression towards your race pace goals from the beginning of the season. It is not a resting process to recover your body from over yardage during the season. If your taper has been that simple then you have underachieved your true potential.
Just remember the confidence you have gained all season and understand the process involved. You have created muscle memory for performance and energy demands needed to swim your goal time. Your intentsity of training never decreases during taper. You do add more recovery to your swimming but your actual training work needed has to be the highest. If you have been lifting all year you will need to taper your weight program to be at your strongest before your big meets. Meets as in plural as you will be able to swim faster for many weeks in a row.
The process for tapering isn’t guess work but calculated and planned out. The biggest variable is understanding your recovery needs which includes eating, sleeping and training.
Weekly workout with emphasis on recovery:
1. Alternating upper and lower body during sets is the easiest way to include recovery as written throughout this workout.
2. You can write workouts that alternate swim sets and kick sets within the workout as active recovery.
3. Including variable speed by stroke or kick counts adds short bursts of recovery during a set.
10 slow strokes/ 10 fast or kicks. Variable speed work by 25 during a 75 swim/kick, 25 build to 80%, 25 @ 65% followed by a 25 @ 100%.
4. Be creative to help write sets that swimmers will enjoy!
Warm up: 200 choice
6 x 150 alternating 25 kick/50 swim choice
6 x 50 25 kick/25 build swim
6 x 25 descend to sprint, 1-3 and 4-6
all above :10 rest
Set #1 (:15 rest thru set)
8 x 75 kick variable speed by 25 100%, 70%, 100%
4 x 25 recovery swim
8 x 50 kick descend 1-4, sprint 5-8
4 x 25 recovery swim
2 x 100 timed all out.
200 recovery swim
Repeat this set 3 times each time adding more rest as your body needs to recover.
Start with :20 rest first time thru.
3(100 swim build to last 25 @ 100 race pace followed by 2 x 25 tarzan sprint)
50 recovery swim
3 x 50 kick descend 1-3
2 x 25 hands together head out of the water free kick.
100 recovery swim
repeat so there are 9 – 100’s in this set.
Finish working on starts and/pr turns.
For complete seasonal workouts, see the 23 Week Training Program.