A number of people have taken to swimming workouts these days. It is not uncommon to see that many of them also participate in swimming competitions. If one is working out with a coach, then it is possible that the coach will have planned the preparation for the competition meticulously. There is no other sport, where the level of preparation right from increasing the intensity of the workouts to tapering the workouts been carried out, is as meticulously done as they are in swimming.
It is important to taper swimming workouts and also have strict control of training intensities during the training phase. Often it is also seen, that uniformity of conditions are often observed during the entire training phase, which further goes onto help the accuracy in training pace as well.
It is necessary to taper swim workouts as tapering helps in enhancing optimum performance. Tapering ensures that the body gets some amount of time to repair and heal the stressed tissues and muscles in the body. As a matter of fact, tapering a workout is one of the factors which helps to swim faster on the day of the competition. However, it is does not mean, that one stops practicing all together or drops the workout drastically. There is a particular method, which needs to be adopted, when the workout has to be tapered.
Tips for Designing Taper Swimming Workouts
When one is preparing for a triathlon, then it is natural that you have to train hard to increase your endurance. Before the triathlon, the swimming coach will ask you to taper swim workouts, as well as the other workouts that you practice. Most athletes are very happy, when it is time to taper the workout. Tapering is like a cherry on the cake, since the person had to go through a period of hard training. The swim workouts have to be tapered off gradually in anticipation of the competition.
It is best to consult the coach to decide the right timing to taper the workout. It is often recommended that the workout should be tapered after giving one of the best performance of the season, which is often a nerve wrecking task.
When one is doing the taper swim workouts, it is important that the intensity of the workouts remains the same. The tapering steps are taken on the duration one spends on the workout. Most athletes prefer to spread the taper swim workouts over a period of 4 weeks, rather than have a tapered swim workout for 2 weeks. If the intensity of the workout is reduced, then it may affect the performance as well as the fitness levels of the athletes. Therefore, there are no changes made to the speed and sprint in the workout, as the cardiovascular system has to be kept at its optimum best. Apart from tapering the duration of time one works out, it is equally important to rest and calm the mind before the big race.
The next important step that is carried out is the reduction on the frequency of the workout. Depending on the kind of workouts that the athlete performs, the frequency will be tapered. If an athlete works out everyday, then in the tapering time, the athlete is expected to work out only on alternate days. Accordingly, if there is an athlete, who does practice twice a day, then he will be expected to work out only once a day. The tapering of the frequency is decided taking the fitness level and age of the athlete into consideration.
Along with the frequency, the length of the workout is also lowered. For example, if an athlete practices for 7000 meters, then depending on a number of factors, the length is tapered. However, this tapering is carried out with brief gap. Initially the athlete will be expected to work out for 5500 meters, then 4500 meters, before they stop at 3500 meters. A principle which is commonly used for tapering the length is in the proportion 100:75:50. This means that the workout is tapered to 75% of the actual workout for a few days, then to 50%.
At this point I would like to bring it to your notice, that the tapering workouts cannot be same for all the athletes. The tapering swim workouts for triathletes has to be so designed that muscle strength and coordination are maintained. There have to be some slower sets in the workout, which helps the muscles to recover from intense workout.
It is also recommended, that the warm up and cool downs be twice the duration, than they are during regular workout. Along with the taper swim workouts, it is also important to pay attention to the diet. A taper swimming diet should also be in place, so that the body is well prepared for the competition.