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Recovery or off-season

The main features of this phase are maintaining an active approach with at least three low- to moderate­intensity aerobic swims completed each week, special­ized programs to target weaknesses in individual fit­ness profiles, and dietary control to maintain body composition.

swim4There are few studies that have directly addressed the issue of the most effective program for swimmers to follow during the off-season or in short breaks from training and competition.

There is, how­ever, a significant body of literature that details the Lime course of training adaptations with training and loss of fitness during detraining (Counsilman & Coun­silman 1991; Mujika & Padilla 2000). A typical strategy for the off-season involves a marked 50-70% reduction in the frequency, volume, and intensity of training.

swim5The following is an example of the features of peri­odization that may encompass a typical 14-week swim­ming preparation fora national championships or ma­jor international meet.

Macrocycle 1: aerobic (weeks 1-4)

As in most training programs the initial phase involves the development or reestablishment of endurance fitness. This serves as the basis for the subsequent de­velopment of aerobic and anaerobic capacities and the functional utilization of these capacities. Functional utilization refers to increased swimming speed at a given metabolic load. Apart from the underlying phys­iological adaptations, improved endurance will lead to an increased ability to cope with fatigue and more rapid recovery from the stresses of speed training and competition. In particular, the aim is to develop the capacity and efficiency of the cardiorespiratory sys­tem.

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