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bbpolhill
February 13th, 2012, 06:43 PM
I searched the past threads to try and find some answers to my questions about prepping for a "taper" meet. We are an uncoached masters team and I have been writing most of the workouts throughout the year, but when it comes to tapering I am a bit lost as to how to put an appropriate workout together as we close in on our biggest meet of the year.

I realize that everybody tapers differently, but what I am looking for is just a general idea of what to do. We have been averaging 4000 yards 4x a week. I've read about the 100:75:50 ratio in terms of volume, but I also would like to understand what kind of workouts we should be doing. Volume wise we were going to do something like this:

4 weeks away from the meet - 3750
3 weeks away from the meet - 3500
2 weeks away from the meet - 3000
week before the meet - 2000

Any assistance (maybe an example) is appreciated.

Waterdog7946
February 13th, 2012, 06:51 PM
The yardage drop is about right...make sure you drop the weights accordingly...you still have to get some sprints in though

Calvin S
February 13th, 2012, 07:01 PM
Focus more on speed/race work as you cut the volume down. Shorter faster sets on slower intervals helps. Broken distance sets are also helpful. Another factor that goes into taper is what you are swimming at your "taper meet" or what type of venue (LCM, SCM, SCY) you will be competing in.

For instance, I am swimming in my Zone's Sectionals meet the first weekend of March. Being an Olympic year, despite training SCY all season, the meet is being conducted in LCM. My taper changes because I need to keep the yardage higher to be preapred for swimming "longer" races. Same thing goes for if you are primarily swimming distance events at your meet. a 500/1000/1650 swimmer will not want to drop the yardage as much as someone doing the 50s and 100s.

Taper is also a time, when you drop the yardage, to focus on the "little things". Shorter distances with longer rest means more time to think about what you are doing. I think taper practices mean increasing the mental effort put into practice as the distance effort decreases.

EDIT:

another example, sort of a sampling of a taper practice:

WARM UP: Warm up should start to mimic what want to do when you warm up at the meet. In college, when taper started, we wrote down what our ideal meet warm up was. We then had open warm up for most practices for the first 30-40 minutes where we did OUR warm up. You want to do what you need to do to swim fast. Work on getting the heart rate up quickly (working with less yardage per warm up) and being ready to race.

MAIN SETS: As I mentioned above, broken sets are great in taper season. examples would be a 200 freestyle broken, :15 at the 100, :05 at the 150. Or do the 100 on an interval, say 1:40, and the 50 on another interval, say :55. I also am a fan of what my college coach called "race rehearsal". The idea behind it is to do a dive swim, lets say a 100 fly, but you want to "feel" like you want to in the race. It isn't necessarily about the time (in fact most of the time he wouldnt time us) its about imagining you are in the race and making every stroke feel how you want it to feel, practicing what you do at the 80 meter mark when your stroke starts to fall apart.

WARM DOWN: Long and easy, maybe more than you usually do at the end of a practice.

mrubacky
February 14th, 2012, 10:02 PM
One of the best sets that I've done during a taper is

10x100 @3:00
10x50 @1:30

They are all out fast, with lots of rest. If you need more time to recover then up the rest. I did this last year a couple days before Nationals and it worked out.

Fresnoid
February 15th, 2012, 12:21 AM
I am clueless about tapering. Even though I did swim a lot when younger, my training was irregular due to injuries. I was terrified of losing what little conditioning I had when my big races were supposed to be 500 & 1650.

Now, I am up to 20,000+/week. I always work hard, but how prepared can I be for a 1650 on that little mileage?

Anybody have ideas on how to taper when you don't have much to taper from?

Calvin S
February 15th, 2012, 09:19 AM
I am clueless about tapering. Even though I did swim a lot when younger, my training was irregular due to injuries. I was terrified of losing what little conditioning I had when my big races were supposed to be 500 & 1650.

Now, I am up to 20,000+/week. I always work hard, but how prepared can I be for a 1650 on that little mileage?

Anybody have ideas on how to taper when you don't have much to taper from?

Focus on speed work while not sacrificing the yardage. The distance swimmers yesterday did the following as their main set taper workout:

2x
4x100 FAST
3X250 D1-3 and build each 250
500 FAST

The second round they started with the 500 FAST and did worked backwards. It comes out to a broken 1650.

Another good taper set they did last week was the following:

4x
3x50
2x100
1x150
1x200 EZ

The goal was to hold your 500 goal pace (or be as close as possible) on each distance (it comes out to a broken 500).

The other alternative besides JUST working on speed and not dropping yards, is to just taper for a shorter period of time. Instead of two weeks of tapering, just start backing off the week before your big meet. It still comes down to perfecting your racing, but since you are racing longer distances, you continue to swim longer distances!

The Fortress
February 15th, 2012, 09:46 AM
One of the best sets that I've done during a taper is

10x100 @3:00
10x50 @1:30

They are all out fast, with lots of rest. If you need more time to recover then up the rest. I did this last year a couple days before Nationals and it worked out.

This is a taper set?! You must be a D guy.

Just my opinion wrt the above, but I think people should work on speed more during the season and not save it for the end. If you save it for taper, which I know is conventional wisdom, you could potentially get worn down from sprints and off the blocks work when you're supposed to be resting. Masters are different than kids. And, as for sprinters, they should decrease both yardage and speed work during taper. I'm basically just floating around with a few fast 15s and 25s the last week.

aquageek
February 15th, 2012, 09:58 AM
I am clueless about tapering. Even though I did swim a lot when younger, my training was irregular due to injuries. I was terrified of losing what little conditioning I had when my big races were supposed to be 500 & 1650.

Now, I am up to 20,000+/week. I always work hard, but how prepared can I be for a 1650 on that little mileage?

Anybody have ideas on how to taper when you don't have much to taper from?
I'm in the same boat as you. It is hard to basically cut way way back when you know it requires a huge effort to put in a good 1650.

What I do is about 2 weeks out just do all race pace sets and slightly reduce yardage. That way I am pounding my body somewhat less but still maintaining the conditioning and "pace knowledge" that is essential for the race. The last four days before the race I really cut back a lot and only do a few race pace yards, around 2500. Two days out it is just a bird bath and nothing the day before.

I also agree with Fort that you should not save your race pace for the end. While I do almost exclusive race pace at the end, I probably do 75-80% race pace for the three months prior as well.

I have no idea if this is correct or even what is right for me. But, it has yielded my best results.

knelson
February 15th, 2012, 10:38 AM
Now, I am up to 20,000+/week. I always work hard, but how prepared can I be for a 1650 on that little mileage?

Don't sell yourself short, this is plenty to taper from. If you've been working hard your body needs to rest. Personally I try to keep an aerobic component in my workouts until a week out from the meet, but at a lower total volume than during my non-taper times. The final week I don't even think you need to worry about any kind of short rest stuff at all. Just my opinion, of course.

Fresnoid
February 15th, 2012, 12:32 PM
Don't sell yourself short, this is plenty to taper from. If you've been working hard your body needs to rest. Personally I try to keep an aerobic component in my workouts until a week out from the meet, but at a lower total volume than during my non-taper times. The final week I don't even think you need to worry about any kind of short rest stuff at all. Just my opinion, of course.

Dude, the last time I tried to swim a 1650 you lapped me.

mrubacky
February 15th, 2012, 08:24 PM
This is a taper set?! You must be a D guy.


Yup distance all the way!

I agree though that you shouldn't save race pace stuff for the end. We try to do this set at least once a month.

turkishswimmer
February 22nd, 2012, 08:17 AM
Hello everyone. I'm 37 and have started swimming for four years. I joined 5 open water swim competetions and one Masters Swimming Championship last year. I swam 400m free in 6:12 and 200m free in 2:57 in October.

I started training in November. My monthly swimming distance are 38km in Oct, 40km in Nov, 51km in Dec, 41km in Jan and 32km in Feb. I am going to swim at Masters Event this weekend so I'm on Taper.

Here are what I did last week and this Monday:

4 x 50m free, descend@ 2:00 (43'', 40'',36'',33'')
4 x 25m free @4:00 (~0:14.5)
2 x 200m free % 85-90 tempo 75m swim/ri:10'', 75m swim/ri:10'', 50m swim/ri:10'' @6:00 (2:57 - 2:55)

This Monday:
500m wu

5 x 100m Free @ 4:00 (1:24, 1:21, 1:19, 1:17, 1:15)
5 x 50m Free @ 3:00 (~0:36)

400m cd: 300 free w/snorkel and fins, 100 easy

Now I am planning to swim this evenning and get rest until the 400m free event on this Satruday. But I dont know what should I swim this evening?