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Two of the most common features of training pro­grams of swimmers competitive are the periodiza­tion of training volume and intensity and  the transition from training to racing.
A periodized train­ing and tapering program is based on the principle of overload—recovery—peaking.

This principle forms the basis of preparing swimming training programs with the aim of increasing the level of competitive performance.

A fundamental principle of preparing athletes is that periodization and tapering applies equally to all the different aspects of fitness, such as endurance, speed, strength, flexibility, and power. The training program must provide an overload (stimu­lus) to force the body to adapt to a previously un­encountered level of stress. After sufficient application of the stimulus (in terms of magnitude and fre­quency), a period of recovery and regeneration will allow residual fatigue to dissipate. If the processes of overload and recovery are managed correctly a pe­riod of super compensation will occur so that per­formance is elevated to a higher level for important competitions.

Periodization involves dividing the training plan into smaller parts using the terms mesocycle, macrocycle, and microcycle. These terms are used to establish a hierarchy of training within the overall program.

This approach is well established in practice in a wide range of endurance and power sports.

Mesocycle :

Mesocycle refers to a long-term training phase last­ing several weeks to months. In swimming this rep­resents the entire 12-20-week preparation for a ma­jor national or international competition. Most com­monly, there are two mesocycles a year with peaks for the national swimming championships and then the major international competition (e.g., Olympics, Worlds, etc.) held later in the year (luly-September).

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