Cycle I - Preseason (September - Early October): The goal is to lay the foundation for a successful season. There will be more “teaching” and development of technical skills. There will be a focus on developing good practice habits such as getting in on time, warming up/down, pace clock use, streamlining, starting and finishing at the wall, etc. We will implement a Dryland program which will emphasize translating muscular work to swimming velocity. Dryland will focus on land based aerobic work, abdominal training, the use of medicine balls, stretch cords, jump ropes, and stretching. Age Group dryland will consist of out of the water aerobic conditioning, team building and endurance based games, abdominal training and various body weight resistance exercises. During this phase we will attempt to advance the swimmers and parents general knowledge and understanding. There will be a gradual improvement and maintenance of physical conditioning. Freestyle stroke drills and technique training will be emphasized.
Cycle II - Aerobic Development (October –January): The goal is to consolidate training and to lay the foundation to meet the physical demand requirements of the season. We will begin developing a “Base”. The toleration of increased levels of physical and mental pain in order to meet challenging but realistic goal sets. More emphasis on specialty stroke drills and technique training will occur. Dryland will continue.
Cycle III - Anaerobic Development (Late January – Early February): Gradual shift from quantity intense training to quality speed work. This maximizes specific training effects without undue fatigue. Aerobic “maintenance” work will still occur. Differentiation between “sprint” and “distance” groups will become more pronounced. Dryland will continue.
Cycle IV - Race Specific Development (November- Early December / Late February - March): Development of the racing attitude with particular emphasis on specialty race technique (mental & physical). Improvement of tactical skills, starts, turns, finishes, pace judgment and race rehearsal. Relay Team bonding and technique work. Dryland will be phased out.
Cycle V - Taper (Early December / Late February or Early March): Recovery of physiological systems as the body commences the super compensation phase; which includes rest and final race rehearsal. Commitment to the high quality efforts and the necessary rest, relaxation and nutritional components that is essential to the taper phase. No Dryland except stretching.