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I am prepping for our conference meet as well. We are 4 weeks out and just wrapped up back-to-back meets at the end of the 3 most intense weeks of training we’ll do all season.

Times at the first meet were pretty fast and a bit slower the second meet. Not unexpected and I was pretty pleased with the effort, execution and times. They were able to really attack the races at both meets. Their legs went away in nearly every event in the first meet. The second meet was worse, but it didn’t mess with race execution. The back half of their races were just slower.

I saw something like this last season. We ended up doing very well at champs, but very clearly the guys and the more built women needed more recovery. Getting the legs more completely rested was the #1 issue last year and I see it heading that way again.

Last season at this point the race pace intervals continued to go up to provide more rest. Number of reps came down a little. We would even split the race pace sets in the middle by a 2-3 min rest. The unload/taper phase was the 3-day plan I’ve seen here stretched across 5 days with 2-3 additional days inserted in between where we did no race pace, swam slower and stretched out. We were fast, but even with all that additional rest the leg were flat out cooked halfway through championships.

What I’d like to do is use the next 2-3 weeks to bring the legs back so they are more in line with the rest of the body. At that point the unload phase should be cleaner and easier to manage.
Our “normal” pattern for a week:

Mon – 3 RP sets
Tue – Full Event RP set (i.e. 15x100s on 5 mins, 10×200 on 7 mins, 4x500s on 12 mins, etc.)
Wed – 3 RP sets
Thu – Long meet warm-up, 300-600 total yards racing off the blocks
Fri – 2 RP sets

My thinking now has me considering the following:
– Reduce Wed to the point where it is a complete recovery day. This week go to 2 sets, next week 1 set, the following week just recovery
– Reduce the size of the Tue sets by 20-30% per week
– Limit the Thu off the blocks yardage to 200-300 max
– Increase the intervals on the RP sets each week by at least 10 seconds, keep the number of reps steady this week, drop by 10-15% per week after.

Part of me thinks this might be too much rest. On the other hand there I heard a big-time coach once say: If I’m going to screw up their season do I want it to be because I rested them too much or too little?

I would greatly appreciate any thoughts or insights!