Taper (Again) – Input Appreciated

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    Greg Tucker

    Championship season begins for our Boys HS team next week with Leagues (Fri and Sat) followed by State (Fri and Sat) the week after.

    Taper ideas and please dig in. Feedback appreciated as our experience is limited with this

    Monday: 2 sets, not three. 80 percent of reps done last few weeks on similar sets.

    Tues – 2 sets as usual, but 60 percent of reps.

    Wed – 1 set, not three. 80 percent of reps.

    Thurs – 1 set of 25s. 6-8 reps.

    We will swim fast all week with extra diligence on race pace. You miss, you sit. No room for slow swimming.

    Heavy emphasis on starts and turns, underwaters, breakouts and relay exchanges.

    Lots of mental tuning. Trust your training.

    We will have three groups:

    Current State qualifiers: no taper at all. They will swim selected races at League Meet so we can win, but their main focus is Stare Meet.

    Not yet qualified for State: they will do full taper as above

    Qualified for State, but looking for a better time or final spot on State Relay: this group will do a mini-taper. Less taper than above, but not a full week.

    Thoughts appreciated. I don’t mind heavy critique. We are looking to get this right and to learn from the experience of others.

    Thanks in advance.

    Greg Tucker


    Greg, I am not a coach…just a parent forced into training my own kids. Have you read the Peaking for Competitions paper on Swimming Science Bulletin? It gives specifics of routines for one week for smaller meets and two weeks for big meets. My 13 year old has noticed a huge difference in how he feels while training this way. He says is not nearly as tired between practices. In traditional training, he felt exhausted much of the time. We have not been doing this exactly correct. We have been doing 300-500 warm-up and three race pace sets. Each set is typically 300-500 yards – mostly 400. Our recoveries have been 300 and warm down is 200. We have only been getting 4-5 pool sessions per week. I am spending my weekend reading and researching how we need to change things to get as close as we can to doing USRPT correctly. I really do believe we owe it to the science to buy in completely. I feel this is the only way to fairly evaluate it.

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