General Season Plan for Swimmer Development
Cycle I - Preseason (September): 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 / Late December-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 (November / 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.
Competition (December / March): Go for it!
Re-tapering (Y Districts, States, JOs, Nationals – March & April) - After a successful taper, you may have to “retaper” for another meet which closely follows the original taper meet. For the first couple of practices we will move the aerobic yardage back up to 30-50 percent pre-taper yardage. We will then bump them up to full pre taper aerobic yardage for a couple of days. We will then start an abbreviated taper for the next meet relying on the same principles and belief systems which made the first taper work.
Recovery: Set mind on other interests. Post competition evaluation and assessment. Active recovery with non-aerobic effort.
Training and Training Categories
When looking at workouts you will occasionally notice “training categories.” A modified list of training categories will be used with workouts throughout the season plan. REC is recovery work, where effort is undefined, and the swimmer’s exertion level is very low. EN1 is base endurance work, with a low to moderate effort level from swimmers. EN2-3 is fast endurance work, with the swimmer exerting moderate to high amounts of effort but still able to sustain the same speed for the duration of a work set. SP1-2 is sprint work, with the swimmer going as fast as possible, even if it results in a decrease in speed during a work set. SP3 is power work, with the swimmer exerting a maximum effort, but with a short duration of work and a long duration of recovery. The following information and table shows training zones and their parameters.
We BELIEVE in PACE WORK.
Dry Land Program
Our functional dry-land training approach focuses on movements and actions related to swimming. The dry-land workouts will be planned out in advanced based on each individual's developmentally appropriate skill level and over time will be varied through their continued progression of the workouts.