View Full Version : Tapering! Help!

March 3rd, 2010, 08:50 AM
My goal meet is March 27/28th. I am swimming 10 individual events and probably 6 relays.
My focus events are the 1650 and 1000 Freestyle. The mile is first thing Saturday, and the 1,000 is first thing Sunday morning.
I have been swimming 16k to 18 k per week since December.
1) Am I even swimming enough to think about tapering?
2) How much per week should I cut back?
3) Should I do any extra "speed" or "pace work"?
4) what should the week before the meet look like?

Usually I swim normally till the week before the meet. I then cut yardage down and take a couple nights off. I usually feel lousy the whole week but I end up swimming fine.
thanks in advance for any advice! :)

March 3rd, 2010, 09:59 AM
That is ALOT of racing in 2 days!

Having been a distance guy in my former swimming life we always tapered about 10 days bring the distance down gradually. However that was at a high level.

You seem to be swimming a bit less than me per week currently and when I tapered a bit for Auburn last month I started the week of the meet with 5K on Monday, 4K on Tuesday and then really dropped down to 2-2.5K the rest of the week. Of that 2-2.5K about 1000-1500 was warm-up and the rest build/fast 50' or 100s and some warmdown.

Tapering really is a personally sort of thing and works different for each person, its not a collective thing I think a team should do. With my body type I tend to gain weight if I taper too much...cause you know you'll keep your food intake up too for the meet. So for me, 1 full week (7 days) is about all I'd feel comfortable with without gaining weight, losing some performance, etc.

That being said, I am very interested in what other experience swimmers say. It been over 15 years since I FULLY tapered and shaved for a meet so it will be as useful to me as it is to you on what they say! My big meet is Nationals at the end of May. I have a meet (St. Pats) the same weekend as yours, but I'll only taper a few days for that so I don't fall out of "training mode".

March 4th, 2010, 07:32 PM
I agree with the other post that taper is a very individual and quirky thing. Basically the accepted strategy in the swimming world seems to be to reduce your yardage 60% over a 2-3 week period. As a female and a sprinter, I find that a 2-week taper fits me best so I continue doing weight training until 2 weeks before the meet although I sometimes cut the weights or reps in half the third week out. I continue to do all my stretching and core exercises all the way through the taper time and meet. I cut my yardage to 80% week two and 60% the third and final week of taper. I minimize my use of fins during taper, eliminating them completely the final week. It took me about 15 years and countless national meets to feel like I have a taper that fits me -- at least for now. :)