Hell Week: Training During Winter Break

Stephanie Bates

Our annual Hell Week training period is almost here! If you have overheard coaches or other swimmers (and parents) talking about Hell Week, but you are not quite sure what it is and what the requirements are, keep reading to learn more! 

What is Hell Week?

Hell Week is typically a 2 week period of time during Winter Break where swimmers continue training to prepare for upcoming championship meets. It has aptly been named Hell Week because the training sessions are generally more intense, which requires more from swimmers both physically and mentally. Workouts are carefully planned to increase the training load and intensity incrementally to reduce injury while still making training fun. 

When Is It?

The schedule has been posted on the website and can be accessed no matter if you are using the website or OnDeck. 

  • To access via the website: 
    • click on the HELL WEEK banner under the sildeshow to view, download a calendar view PDF, and sign up to bring snacks!
  • To access via OnDeck:
    • access the menu > Events > Events & Meet Entries > EPAP Hell Week!  
  • Or click here: Hell Week Schedule

Why Do It?

Participating in Hell Week 
keeps endurance and fitness levels high while developing more "grit"*. It is also a great way to help develop a sense of pride in your team and build team spirit. 
*an individual's perseverance of effort combined with the passion for a particular long-term goal or end state (a powerful motivation to achieve an objective). This perseverance of effort promotes the overcoming of obstacles or challenges that lie on the path to accomplishment and serves as a driving force in achievement realization.

It is an accomplishment to survive Hell Week: to work hard while others are sleeping in, to swim fast while your friends are sitting at home playing video games all day, and to have fun with members of your swim family who you don't get to see very often because they practice on the other side of town. 

If you attend the required amount of practices (listed on the event page), you will earn a t-shirt to wear as your badge of honor to show off with pride to everyone that you survived Hell Week! The t-shirt is paid for by the team, so it is of no additional cost to parents! 

What Can I Do To Help?

If you are a parent/guardian:

  • Please declare your swimmer(s) intent to attend Hell Week and make sure their t-shirt size is up-to-date in their member profile. We will be using that t-shirt size to order shirts! 
  • Please bring your swimmer(s) on time and ready to get in the water (or do dryland) at the appropriate practice time! 
  • Make sure your swimmer(s) have the equipment required for their practice group. Chart can be found here: EPAP Equipment
  • Please sign up on the website to bring snacks and drinks. Your swimmers will be HUNGRY and will greatly appreciate any form of sustenance you provide. When planning snacks and drinks, think "recovery": chocolate milk, 100% fruit juice, banana, applesauce, cheese, granola bar, yogurt (please no Go-Gurt! Chobani "Gimmes" is a better choice), etc. 

If you are a swimmer

  • Be ready to work hard, swim fast, and have fun every day there is practice even if you are tired and even when it starts to get hard. You can and you WILL survive Hell Week! 
  • Bring all of your equipment! 

​If you have any questions regarding Hell Week, please reach out to Coach Stephanie, Coach Todd, or Coach Tavo.