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knelson
July 23rd, 2008, 02:53 PM
Do you rest for meets? I'm not talking about taper meets, just your run-of-the-mill local meets.

I almost never do. OK, I might do 4,000 yards instead of 5,000 or something the day before, but usually I tend to "swim through" anything other than a taper meet. I'm starting to think maybe this is sort of silly. In some ways I almost feel like I'm afraid to swim too fast in season. Like I don't want to shoot my wad before the big meet or something. I have a feeling this is pretty common in swimming. We've been trained to believe everything is a build up to that one big meet.

A lot of this stems from high school and college swimming, I think. Those seasons are pretty short and you've got a lot of meets packed in. You can't afford to sacrifice training sessions to rest for meets (or at least that's what most coaches think). There's no question it's considered a sign of weakness for a college team to rest for a dual meet.

These days I probably average about six competitions a year total. Do you think it's going to affect my overall training if I'd rest a couple days before some of these?

pwolf66
July 23rd, 2008, 02:59 PM
Kirk,

I only rest for big meets, i.e Nationals. I don't rest for other meets and usually swim a Friday morning practice for Sat (or all weekend) meets and swim Sat practice for Sunday meets. Since I started in September, I have participated in a total of 7 meets and only rested for SCY Nats. If I can get back into a 3-4 day a week practice routine where I am consistently getting good work in, then I might consider resting more but I also plan on competing more this year in USA-S meets.

hofffam
July 23rd, 2008, 03:06 PM
I only race a few times a year so every meet is a "big" meet for me. I don't taper for all of them, but I'll ease up a bit for 1-2 practices before non-taper meets.

Chris Stevenson
July 23rd, 2008, 03:29 PM
These days I probably average about six competitions a year total. Do you think it's going to affect my overall training if I'd rest a couple days before some of these?

I think you should back off 1-2 days before most meets. That isn't the same as a full-blown taper. (If tapering doesn't produce better results than 1-2 days rest, then something is wrong with the taper.)

Meets usually involve some travel and expense and inconvenience; I don't think you should treat any of them like some glorified practice. They are dress rehearsals for the big meets.

For non-taper meets, I will usually ease up on (or skip entirely) one lifting session and one swim practice. Maybe slightly more if it is a big meet. It is more a matter of making sure I am not completely broken down at the meet -- it is no fun racing that way -- rather than truly resting or tapering.

CreamPuff
July 23rd, 2008, 03:29 PM
I rest/ taper for one big event a season. This LC season it was the 25K. It's great to learn how to swim tired. Sometimes you can surprise yourself with best times when "tired." It's a great confidence booster. Resting too much interferes with the training cycle.

Technically, I thought resting and tapering were two different things as well.
Resting is cutting down a bit of yardage a day or two before a meet. Tapering lasts longer - less yardage/ more rest between sets and such. Right?

The Fortress
July 23rd, 2008, 03:36 PM
I rest some for every meet, a few days up to a week. I usually cut back yardage and don't lift or run the week of a meet, although I did for my last one 2 weeks ago. Don't swim in that many meets (usually about 6, like you) and, as Chris notes, have no desire to be completely broken down or treat them as glorified practices. I'd say I do a 2 week taper 2x a year or so. I have completely shed the "one big one" mentality of my youth and like to race reasonably fast "in season," especially since I don't usually go to Nats.

I don't think resting a few days for non-taper meets will effect your overall training much at all.

Blackbeard's Peg
July 23rd, 2008, 03:36 PM
Kirk,

I do a fair amount more racing than you (we're talking 13 meets for the 07-08 SCY season + 2 SCM during that time) and swim through all but nationals. I think getting up to race frequently helps me, but to a point - racing when burnt out just sets you back even further at the end of the year.

Anyways, to your question, I'm beginning to be of similar mind myself. Was talking with the parent of a young lad (mid distance) who completed his first year at 'bama and she was saying he realized that he needs to swim faster in season than he has been used to doing through USAS and HS. I did my first USAS meet (that wasn't distance only) in February, and relaxed a little the two practices prior. The rest + fastskin = times that ended up as season bests in everything, and included a then-lifetime best performance in my 100 back.

None of us are in HS/College anymore, but may still train and think like we are. If you're getting tired of that mindset and workset, a change may be the best thing that happens to you. I am going to be looking for a meet in Feb/March to have a brief rest period again. For me, it was a great confidence booster and a good start to a long, heavy training period.

Chris Stevenson
July 23rd, 2008, 03:39 PM
Resting too much interferes with the training cycle.

(S)he, I have no problem with your philosophy but I have to disagree with what may be the sentiments behind this particular statement. Resting is a critical component of any training cycle (stress-recover-adapt).

Maybe I am misreading your message. I would agree with the sentiment that too much rest is not efficient training. Neither is not enough rest.

One can view meets as a form of training, maybe even one of the most important forms. How often do we really give absolutely 100% in swims in practice, in the same way as in meets?

I started keeping a training log this year (first time ever). I just went to a meet in a trials-finals format and was surprised that, when I added up the yardage, the daily distance at the meet surpassed my usual daily workout distance. Granted, much of the distance was race prep or recovery, but it was still surprising to me.

knelson
July 23rd, 2008, 03:41 PM
Right, by resting I'm talking about cutting back for a day or two. A taper is a more full-blown affair lasting at least a week and probably considerably longer.

My thinking is starting to change to what Chris suggested: resting a day or two for most meets. For years I'll admit I've considered it sort of weak to rest for meets, but my caveman mentality is changing :)

CreamPuff
July 23rd, 2008, 04:36 PM
Hi Chris,

Very true what you said. I was very vague (and sloppy) in my message.

"Resting" can be taken in so many ways. What on earth does that mean?

So for example, in swimming with the kids, I experienced very difficult weeks followed by easier weeks (that is technically rest.)
Also, on a weekly basis, Fridays are often "rest" days. Although to an average masters swimmer, none of this would make sense as that masters swimmer may jump in with the kids on a Friday and think that was a very challenging practice. It's all relative.

When I speak w/ my masters friends, many (not all) of them feel that "rest" is either not swimming at all or jumping in for a few ez laps. "Rest" the way in which we are defining it is absolutely critical for a successful training cycle. I could not do 6x/ week 8500 meter distance free sets @ high quality day after day and week after week. That would be completely insane. Contrary to popular belief, I don't do that! :laugh2:

Too much rest is detrimental to training. I think we agree on that. So, for example, I swam 4 meets, 1 10K OW, and 1 25K OW in about 2.5 months.
Had I taken a week of rest before each event, I would not have gotten in much training. By the time the 25K came around, I'd have not been able to swim it, much less negative split it.

I too log my distance and sets primarily for GTD. I remember being surprised at the fact that I swam about 4000 to 4500 yds/ meters or so on meet days (recovery, warm up, the races, etc.) Kudos to you and Ande for doing finals! Had I done SR State I would have scratched - once is enough for me AND I don't want to take some young swimmer's spot who may have been dreaming for a certain cut.

I wasn't sure if Kirk meant taper when he said "rest" as so many people that I run into use one term and mean the other. I should have known that Kirk knew the difference and meant what he said. Sorry Kirk!

So to clarify, I taper one meet a season. Resting is thrown in there by my coach and I do rest at times throughout a season. But, resting is relative to each person, their level, their goals, etc. I agree with Chris in that resting is absolutely necessary otherwise you'll pay for it later!


BTW, I really liked this question of yours:


How often do we really give absolutely 100% in swims in practice, in the same way as in meets?

I NEVER did this @ practices until recently. For whatever reason, this group of kids that I swim with really turn it on at the end of each practice (like the last 30 minutes or so as determined by the coach) - they are a talented bunch. It KILLED me when I started doing it. I must go fast to just save face. I think it will pay off in the end. The 14 year old flyer I train with just did a 1:03 and 2:20 in the 100 and 200 LCM fly at AG State. She races when it's time to do so in practice! BRAVO!



(S)he, I have no problem with your philosophy but I have to disagree with what may be the sentiments behind this particular statement. Resting is a critical component of any training cycle (stress-recover-adapt).

Maybe I am misreading your message. I would agree with the sentiment that too much rest is not efficient training. Neither is not enough rest.

One can view meets as a form of training, maybe even one of the most important forms. How often do we really give absolutely 100% in swims in practice, in the same way as in meets?

I started keeping a training log this year (first time ever). I just went to a meet in a trials-finals format and was surprised that, when I added up the yardage, the daily distance at the meet surpassed my usual daily workout distance. Granted, much of the distance was race prep or recovery, but it was still surprising to me.

knelson
July 23rd, 2008, 04:44 PM
Yes, "resting" will mean different things to different people. I guess my question is are you training differently immediately before meets than you would otherwise? Traditionally I haven't. I've worked out exactly the same as if I weren't going to the meet at all.

craig68
July 23rd, 2008, 05:02 PM
I don't swim a whole lot of meets (four since February), but I rest some for all of them. Two weeks for the February meet, a few days for March and May, and a week for the June meet. I noticed that I always returned to training with renewed energy - lifting more weight, sprinting faster in practice. I don't swim a lot of yardage, but I hit the weights hard and usually do at least some sprinting in each practice, so it takes its toll. And I'm not doing the whole 'train until you are broken down' thing we all did in our youth. Life is too short. I think that, as we age, resting a few days (or a week) here and there can be very good for swimming fast, as well as overall fitness.

jim clemmons
July 23rd, 2008, 06:34 PM
Right, by resting I'm talking about cutting back for a day or two. A taper is a more full-blown affair lasting at least a week and probably considerably longer.

I'm to the point where I cut back 2 to 3 days before "less important" meets so I have at least an opportunity of making the swim(s) count for the long term.

Glider
July 23rd, 2008, 07:07 PM
For me, it depends on where I am in my training cycle and my objective for the meet (which somewhat ties to where I am in my cycle.) I do about five meets in a SCY season, one about every 5 weeks.

My thinking is:

1. I just don't find any value racing dog tired, so I try to rest up a little for every meet, and

2: My meet objectives are to see a progression in race speed as the season goes on.

So, this is kind of my way of building rest into my program:

Early season training means establishing endurance base. The first two meets are usually small/development meet in the middle/end of this. I may rest only the day before (cut yardage from 5,000 to 3,500 to 4,000) and drop the last lifting rotation that week. I just want to see "where I am" relative to race speed.

From there, as I start to get into more of a quality training phase, for the next meet I'll take an extra day off mid-week, followed by a day or two where again I 'll do 3,500 to 4000 yards a day. I'll drop the last lifting rotation again.

When I get to the race prep phase (say 4 weeks before taper starts), I'll cut back yardage to 3,000 a day all week, even less the day before the meet, take one day off mid-week, and drop my last lifting rotation.

Then it's off to a two-week taper before the "big one" (1,500 to 2,000 yards a day, no weights.)


I don't swim a whole lot of meets (four since February), but I rest some for all of them. Two weeks for the February meet, a few days for March and May, and a week for the June meet. I noticed that I always returned to training with renewed energy - lifting more weight, sprinting faster in practice. I don't swim a lot of yardage, but I hit the weights hard and usually do at least some sprinting in each practice, so it takes its toll. And I'm not doing the whole 'train until you are broken down' thing we all did in our youth. Life is too short. I think that, as we age, resting a few days (or a week) here and there can be very good for swimming fast, as well as overall fitness.

amyro1234
July 23rd, 2008, 07:56 PM
I don't rest for meets either. During the peak of swim season, I have a swim meet either every week, or almost every week. If I rested for every single meet, I would lose a lot of fitness!

FlyQueen
July 23rd, 2008, 08:47 PM
I taper for Nats (or state) and that's it. Otherwise I swim right through ... even lift hard the day before.

tjrpatt
July 23rd, 2008, 10:50 PM
I usually take it easy the day before the meet. But, during the summer, I don't have a Saturday practice so if I have a Sunday meet, I will get in on Saturday and loosen up. I haven't really tapered for any masters meets yet but I will probably taper for Colonies Zones LCM Champs if I go.

david.margrave
July 24th, 2008, 01:42 AM
I've seen your times vary during the course of one season and I think things are working fine the way you train now. I don't have college competitive experience to draw on, though. Today, I tend to rest a day or two if there are distance events, and not to rest if it's just sprints. But I could be doing things backwards.

How long does it take for aerobic deconditioning to start occurring? A couple days I think. But it would be nice to get a better answer and if anyone is aware of studies on this, etc.

Big AL
July 24th, 2008, 11:48 AM
Interesting thread....... some hidden egos come to the surface.

Yes, I ALWAYS rest for meets.

What that means mid-season is that when I do weights two days before the meet, I do NOT attempt anything MAX... just a standard routine, pool yardage is the same as usual. The day before is a pre-meet warm-up... 800y-1500y. I make sure to never lift the day before a meet.

Other than skipping a max weight day and cutting back a few yards, I make no other changes. If I can, I get a weight workout in Sunday evening after the meet to minimize the interruption to my schedule.

Seasonal meets are a full 2-3 week taper without weights... maybe a few abs.

Charge
July 25th, 2008, 07:45 AM
I think it depends on your goals for the meet and your training regimen. For most people, however, meets swum during the training season are swum for different purposes; 1) to test race strategy 2) to try new or different events 3) to gauge progress from similar meets in previous years 4) just for fun etc....... Most swimmers don't get in the pool for a race hoping for or even expecting to get a best time b/c they have these other motives in place. But, if the goal is to swim a best time, or to try to achieve a a national top 10, then resting should occur prior to the meet.

Typically swimmers rest for the cumulative "end-of-season" rest. I'm not going to Nationals this summer, so I rested for Zone's in Houston this weekend. I'm not sure I'll get the desired results because of various issues in my training this summer (primarily my own laziness in getting up for 5am sessions while I'm on summer break!), but we'll see just the same.

Allen Stark
August 3rd, 2008, 04:03 PM
In my regular schedule I lift on Fri.If I have a meet I skip the Fri.lift and generally do a "loosen up" workout on Thur and Fri.Otherwise I taper 3 times a year,once for each course(SCY,LCM,SCM.)