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By Andrei R. Vorontsov, PhD

Associate Professor of Swimming Department, Russian State Academy of Physical Education, former member of All-Union Coaching Council for Sport Swimming.

The aim of this article is to make the British reader familiar with practical approach of former Eastern Block countries (first of all USSR and DDR) towards periodisation and building of training cycles as it was applied to the sport swimming. The theoretical aspects of periodisation were comprehensively highlighted in works of T. Bompa, I. Balyi, who just accurately re-told the principles and content of periodisation given in fundamental works of L. Matveev, N. Ozolin, D. Harre, Yu. Verkhoshansky and others. The interest of Western sport swimming specialists to the theory and practice of periodisation was reflected in the book of James Counsilman "New Science of Swimming". He built the entire content of two chapters almost exclusively on the material of leading East European specialists in theory of sport training). Good review of Eastern European approach to the problem of periodisation was made in the book of Prof. B. Rushall and F.S. Pyke "Training for sports and fitness" (Chapter 19, "Planning a training year", 1990) and series of articles of B. Rushall in his Internet’s "Swimming Science Journal" on training periodisation. It is worth to be said that the majority of the works these authors are referring to was written in the end of 1970s-early 1980s and are based on general theoretical approach to the problem of periodisation in endurance sports. Very little references may be found concerning practical implementation of the principles of planning in sport swimming. So we dare to accept the mission to make the British readers familiar with practical aspects of planning and periodisation in sport swimming how it was done not long ago in USSR and is in general still made in Russia, Ukraine and even Israel. Theoretical fundamentals of this approach applying to swimming are given in research of E. Shirkovets, V. Platonov, N. Volkov, L. Makarenko, K.-H. Stichert, V. Issurin. We recognise that this is not the only optimal way of structuring training process in swimming, but it proved its efficiency in many occasions. This approach is assigned for critical analysis of our British colleagues. We are leaving them to make their own conclusions and do hope sincerely that this material will help some young coaches to find their own style and training philosophy.
  • 1.1. The Macrocycle (MC) or Big Cycle as basic structural unit of sport season in swimming.
  • The MC recognised as optimal time span, which is required and sufficient to lead the swimmers towards new, higher level of physical and psychological condition. During MC athletes perform in definite succession all the necessary blocks of preparation, all types of training and competitive workloads in order to develop general and specific motor abilities, technical skill, will power and, finally, to form specific structure of working ability for competitive event (distance).

    In the duration of MC some blocks of training workloads may be performed simultaneously, but some blocks are not compatible and therefor must be performed successively. It is accepted in general that for adult well-trained swimmers the duration of MC may vary from 8-10 to 12-14 weeks (first MC of the season usually is the longest and supposed to be the fundamental MC for the season). Thus the entire sport season for top swimmers may consist of 3-5 MC with 4-6 weeks break after sport season.

    In young swimmers average duration of MC should be longer – 12-16 weeks – as they need more time to develop general physical abilities and more time to learn technical skills. The prime goal of training is considered as building the "better" body and creation of the premises for special training in older ages leading to sport excellence. The coaches should also keep in their minds the necessity of gradual and careful increase of the training volume and intensity.

    The number of MC in sport season and duration of each one is determined by the Calendar of National and International Events. All MC of the sport season have almost (almost!) identical structure, but differ from each other in duration, swimming and land training volume, intensity of workloads (for example – the swimming speed at anaerobic threshold may differ very much between MC1 and MC2, MC3 and so on.), training methods and regimes. Together with an increase of swimmers’ general and specific working ability from MC to MC the swimming velocity in identical training sets and testing exercises also increases.

  • 2. The structure of the Macrocycle.
  • Each MC, as a rule (but not necessarily) consists of five (5) blocks – mesocycles or periods of training. Mesocycles are considered as structural units of training process aiming to achieve 1-2 big objectives of preparation, to develop 1-2 important components of special working capability. The duration of mesocycle should be long enough to provide stable long-term adaptation of targeted physiological functions and motor abilities. Hence it is usually not shorter than 2-3 weeks. The mesocycles are:

  • 1. Recovery and Transitional Mesocycle (period) – usually after the break of the season and in the middle of the season (after "winter" season).

    2. Basic Training Mesocycle (period) – consisting of two phases:

  • a) Basic-1 period or period of the development of "slow aerobic endurance" and general strength;

    b) Basic-2 period or period of the development of "fast aerobic endurance" and local muscular endurance toward exercise with moderate resistance in training on land and in the water.

  • 3. Specific Training Mesocycle (period).

    4. Pre-Competitive Mesocycle (period) of high quality training.

    5. Competitive Mesocycle (period) including the Tapering and competitions.

  • RECOVERY & TRANSITIONAL MESOCYCLE (duration 1-4 weeks) is aimed to recover swimmers after pervious sport season or big cycle and prepare them towards significant training workloads.

    The objectives of training in this mesocycles are:

    • Recovery after training season or competitive mesocycle;
    • Refreshment of swimming technique in all strokes, techniques of starts and turns;
    • Functional economisation;
    • Development of speed;
    • Development of flexibility and mobility;
    • Development of core body strength.

    The content of swimming training is composed by distance swimming using heart rate regimes A1, A2, E1, technical drills performed as interval slow training with accent made on stroke distance, water polo.

    Land training may include cross-country running 3-5 (up to 10km). General fitness and strength exercises (first of all – exercises for development of abdomen and back muscles), sport games, stretching exercises.

    Starting with the late 1980s many top Russian swimmers began to introduce in training at these stage exercises for development of maximal muscle strength and increase of muscle. Up to the end of this mesocycle the volume of maximal strength training achieves its maximum.


    The Basic Training Mesocycle (or Period) has a maximal development of aerobic energy delivery system as its prime objective.

    BASIC-1 TRAINING MESOCYCLE (duration 2-6 weeks).

    Objectives of training:

    • To develop aerobic capacity and efficiency ("slow" aerobic endurance);
    • To perfect swimming technique in all strokes;
    • To develop general strength and flexibility;
    • To maintain speed abilities.

    Content of training:

    Extensive distance (1500-5000m with uniform or alternated speed) and interval training within training regimes A1, A2, E1 (accordingly to ICAR and US Swimming classification, average heart rate (HR) = 140-150 b/min), swimming drills in all strokes, relatively big volume of swimming using kick and pull, medley swimming).

    Land Training: cross country running – up to 5km per day; general fitness exercises for core body strength (station and circuit training) – 2-3 times a week; development of maximal strength using mainly weight training with free weights, stretching.

    BASIC-2 TRAINING MESOCYCLE (duration 3-5 weeks).

    Objectives of training:

    • To develop aerobic power ("intensive" or fast aerobic endurance);
    • To develop local muscle endurance in dynamic exercises with moderate resistance (at the level of aerobic threshold);
    • To develop special strength in the water within "aerobic range" of swimming speed;
    • To develop maximal strength (mainly by the mean of land exercises);
    • To perfect swimming technique in 2 best strokes;
    • To develop psychological tolerance to monotonous prolong physical exercises;
    • To maintain the speed, flexibility and extensive aerobic endurance.

    Content of training:

    This has to be a period of the greatest swimming volumes: interval training with "long" sets of repeats and short rest intervals; repeated and repeated – interval training using middle length and long laps (200-300-400-500-800-1000m) like 2-3x1000m, 3-5x800; 5-8x300-400m; 12-15x200; big "mountains" and "funnels": 800+2x400+4x200+8x100+16x50 or 100+200+400+800+400+200+100 using "normal" and "hypoxic" breathing (1:4; 1:6; 3/3; 5/5;7/7; 9/9, etc.); big volume of butterfly or swimming (interval training using laps 50, 100, 150, 200, 300 and even 400m) like 30-40x50m fly on 55-60", 20x100m fly on 1.40-1.50; 8-10x150-200m fly with rest intervals (RI) 20-30sec; kicking (from 1000 to 1500m every session), pulling using paddles and additional resistance. Basic training heart rate 150-170 b/min (training regimes E2 and E1, steady state swimming or "negative split" swimming). Technical preparation is focused on building of optimal ratio between stroke rate and stroke distance at swimming speed close to critical swimming speed (speed of maximal oxygen intake).

    Land training: mostly circuit training using moderate resistance (2-4 times a week by 40-5 0min) and weight training with maximal weights (1-2 times a week) to keep the power. Stretching – 10-15min after every land training before swimming.

    SPECIAL TRAINING MESOCYCLE (duration 3-4 weeks).

    Objectives of training:

    • To develop functional fundamentals of special endurance (anaerobic capacity or "lactate tolerance");
    • To develop special strength;
    • To develop local muscle endurance toward exercises with big and sub-maximal resistance (mostly, using land exercises simulating puling movements - with stretch-cords and "pulling" machines, such as "Biokinetic swim bench", mini-gyms, Huttel-Mertens pulling exerciser, Vasa Swim Trainer, etc.);
    • To maintain high level of aerobic endurance and general strength;
    • To perfect swimming technique at higher levels of swimming speed, to develop efficient stroke rate/stroke distance control.

    Content of training:

    This is a period of most heavy training (relatively big training volumes of swimming with high intensity plus hard land training). Main content of swimming training is composed by "fast" interval training (training regime SP1, E2, HR=165-180 b/min, sometimes up to 190-200 b/min); sprint efforts (20-30x15-20-25m); fast swimming using butterfly and IM (16-30x50m; 8-15x100m; 6-10x200m; 3-5x400m); periodical use of repeated swimming of middle and long laps to maintain aerobic power and capacity (5-8x300; 3-5x400; 6-10x200; 2-3x800-1000m).

    Land Training: circuit training with big weights and station training using pulling machines with sub-maximal weights (2-3 times a week); maintenance of maximal strength (1-2 times a week). Total number of land sessions – 4 per week. During this mesocycle the time of strength training on land gradually decreases while time spent for stretching increases.

    PRE-COMPETITIVE MESOCYCLE (high quality training) – duration 2-3 weeks.

    Objectives of training:

    • To develop competitive speed;
    • To develop special pulling force in the water;
    • To perfect swimming technique in 1-2 best strokes, technique of starts and turns, to develop competitive ratio between stroke rate and stroke distance;
    • To maintain maximal strength and local muscle endurance;
    • maintain high level of aerobic abilities;
    • To develop conscious control upon technique and efforts during swimming with sub-maximal (racing) and maximal speed;
    • To build racing tactics;
    • To develop competitive spirit (will power).

    Content of training:

    Repeated training using short laps and distances (25, 50, 75, 100, 150, 200m) with small number of repeats (12-20x50m; 6-12x100m; 6-10x150m; 4-8x200m); repeated-interval training (split sets or "broken" swims) – 4-8x(50+50), 5-8x(100+50); 4-6x(4-6x50); 2-3x(8-10x50); 3-5x(4x100); 2-4x(8x100); 2-4x(4x200); small "mountains" and "funnels" using full stroke or kick: (50+50+100+150+200+150+100+50+50; 400+200+200+100+100+50+50; 200+2x100+4x50).

    Average heart rate during sets is 175-190 b/min (up to 200-210 b/mm). Swimming volume gradually reduces to 65-60% of maximal training volume achieved in previous periods.

    Participation in serial competitions during this period is considered as the most efficient form of specialised training. The optimal number of competitive races should provide sufficient training load and develop technical and tactical skills.

    Land Training: "short sets of repeats with big weights and maximal speed of movements, flexibility exercises – 2-3 times a week, small amount of maximal strength exercises – 1 time a week.

    COMPETITIVE MESOCYCLE (including Tapering and Competitions). This period usually lasts 1.5-3 weeks before the major event of the MC.

    Objectives of training:

    • To develop maximal racing speed;
    • To maintain functional condition;
    • To "polish" swimming technique at maximal speed, starts and turns;
    • To finalise racing tactics;
    • To maintain specific pulling strength (2 times a week);
    • To provide swimmers with physical and mental rest.

    Content of training:

    Easy swimming (slow interval and middle distance swimming) alternated with short sprint efforts (full stroke, kicking and pulling); exercises for conscious control of optimal stroke distance/stroke rate ratio; exercises teaching to recognise swimming speed.

    During first 3-5 days of tapering it is considered to be possible to use "short" repeated sets: 8-12x25; 6-8x50; 3-6x100; 2-4x200 with maximal effort and rest between repeats 3-6min. 3-4 times during tapering should be used exercises to maintain aerobic abilities (heart rate 160-175 b/min. Training sessions are built "around" main sets consisting of short sprints (n x 15/20/25m, n x 15-20m finish efforts; n x 20-30m with turns, etc.). All power exercises are usually stopped 5-7 days before major event. Number of training session during tapering gradually decreases to 6-8 per week. Last 3-5 days before the event swimmers may train once a day, but it suppose to be desirable that majority of the girls would swim twice a day until very last day of taper because they have tendency to gain extra weight.

    Stretching, massage relaxation, mental visualisation and will power exercises help are important parts of tapering. Sauna may be used but not later than 4 days before race.


    Micro-cycles are the minor structural units of sport training with duration from 3-3.5-4 to 6-7 days. (3-3.5 days long micro-cycles are used usually during altitude training.) At the level of micro-cycles are solved such fundamental principles of training as overloadingand recovery. The content of micro-cycles is pre-determined by character of training at each given stage (mesocycle) of training. In accordance with training periodisation Russians (and other post-Soviets) sub-divide all micro-cycles into several basic categories:

  • 1) Recovery micro-cycles;

    2) Basic-1 (slow endurance) micro-cycles;

    3) Basic-2 (fast endurance) micro-cycles;

    4) Anaerobic (lactate tolerance or lactate power) micro-cycles;

    5) Sprint (tapering) micro-cycles.

  • It is worth mentioning that, for example, slow or fast endurance micro-cycles may be used also in special training mesocycle as well as during taper. In those occasions they will play a role of maintenance of aerobic capacity and power. Being used within basic-1, basic-2 mesocycle the same microcycles will have as an objective the development aerobic abilities. At the same time training in basic period admits the use of sprint and limited anaerobic workloads. Recovery micro-cycles composed mostly of stroke drills, slow aerobic swimming and short sprints are used in Recovery mesocycles early in the season, in transitional recovery mesocycles between MC and after developing micro-cycles or competitive events in fast aerobic and anaerobic mesocycles.

    Figures 1.1-1.5 show some examples of 6 days microcycles of each type. Here we stuck to the ICAR’s classification of training workloads as it should be more familiar to the majority of GB coaches and is pretty close to that one used by Russian coaches.


    Altitude training is still popular in preparation of middle distance (400-200m) and distance swimmers. Nevertheless some sprinters also use altitude training. The majority of Russian coaches are practising 21-days long altitude camps at stages of basic and pre-competitive training. In contrast with it, Igor Koshkin – the coach of Salnikov, Rusin, Chaev and many other outstanding performers, used 10 to 12-days altitude stints almost in every MC of his 5-6 Macro-Cycles model of annual planning (4-5 times a year). The training has the specialised character with high intensity/big volume training sessions (mostly E2, SP1 workloads).

    The mutual opinion among Russians is that swimmers have to go for altitude training being very well prepared. Otherwise they have nothing to do in the mountains. For this purpose they perform developing mesocycles (10-14 days) of big volume (14-15km a day) and relatively high intensity followed by 4-6 days of recovery training (8.5-10km a day). Thus on arriving to altitude they do not need special time for acclimatisation and may perform 2-3 slow aerobic micro-cycles of very high volume. This, as supposed, helps to boost EPO release at very early hours and days of staying at an altitude. After that they may shift to more specific training.

    The training at altitude is usually build of 3-3.5-4 days microcycles. During Basic training are performed mostly E1 and E2 microcycles. During Special training and tapering may be used all types of microcycles [2-3x3 days E1+2x3 days E2+2x3 days SP1 or SP2].

    In relation to the beginning of major swimming event of MC or sport season to main approaches may be used. First approach presumes return to sea level 40 days before competition. Accordingly this model at altitude is performed mostly fast aerobic training of big volume and short sprint. Upon return there is still enough time to perform high intensity specialised training and tapering. This approach is more reliable relatively outcome of training, but the gain of sport result is not as big as can be in case of return to sea level 18-20 days. It is common opinion among Russian coaches that the model presuming 18-20 days return to sea level before event contents higher risk of failure but is able to bring higher results.


    The work on annual plan begins with composing of Explanatory Note, which contains:

    • The prime purpose and distinct aims of preparation,
    • The values of sport results and testing criteria for each stage and entire season,
    • Descriptive logical model of sport season with borders of each MC.

    The number and duration of each MC is determined based on the sport calendar. After that are planed calendar borders of mesocycles composing each MC, specific aims and approximate content of each mesocycle (basic training sets and regimes, control exercises etc.).

    Now the time for calculation of the main training parameters of annual training plan has come. It should be stressed here that the plan is a document serving to the practical needs of a coach himself. The number and character of planning parameters depends mostly of coach’s attitude, experience, habits and education. These parameters usually include:

    • Number of training days for each training week;
    • Number of land sessions and volume of land training in hours for each week;
    • Number of swimming sessions and their volume in hours for each week;
    • Swimming volume (KM) for each week;
    • Total parameters of training workloads for MC and training season.

    Beyond those parameters the annual plan may also include relative parameters of workloads to be performed in different zones of metabolic power (A1, A2, EN-1, EN-2, SP1, SP2, SP3); dates of stage testing, quantitative parameters of testing criteria, calendar of training stints and camps, system of recovery measures. In tables 1-2 are given the criteria of annual plan or MC commonly used in planning. Very useful additional information to the plan may be given in graphic form (the dynamics of total and relative training volumes workloads and calendar of training camps).

    Instead of the conclusion we recommend the reader to fill the fields in the table 1. Imagine as if you would perform planning of preparation for 16 weeks MC. Please, take into consideration possible alteration of training accents and sequence of training aims within MC (general versus specific training, etc.).



    Below are given examples of exercises, which could be used in different training MC ("hypothetical" 16 weeks MC, 1st MC of triple-cycle sport season for middle distance or IM swimmers). This is made just to show the reader how the logic of MC’s architecture is reflected in its training content. Below are given main sets. The training program (warm up, kicking sets, short sprints, and warm down) is building "around" those sets.

    Recovery and Transitional Mesocycle

    2 weeks (daily swimming volume: 1st week – 3000-4000m; 2nd week – 7500-8500m.

    Technique drills in all strokes in sets like 20-30x25, 20-30x50; 10-15x100 (4-6 times a week). Distance swimming with uniform or alternated speed 1000-1500-2000m (2-3 times a week). "Slow" interval training with drag creating swimming gear (belts, swimsuits with pockets, etc.):

    30x50; 15-20x100; 10-12x150-200m (3-4 times a week).

    Water polo game – 1-2 times a week after short training (1500-2000m).

    On land: jogging – 3-4 times a week by 20-40min, sport games. General fitness exercises – 3-5 times a week. Stretching – every session (15-20min).

    1. Basic-1 mesocycle

    1st week: (9500-11500m per day).

    4x(8x100 every stroke); 8-10x400; 20-30x100 drills or swim;

    800+400+200+200+100+100+50+50 free or BK with RI 30-40";

    5-8x400 IM (change of stroke every 25 or 50m); "hypoxic training" (breathing pattern 1:4,1:6: 5/5; 3/3; etc.) 20x100; 15x200; 20x150; 40-60x50 (RI 15-20"); kicking: 20-40x25; 20-30x50; 12-15x100; 6-8x200; 3-5x300; 2-3x400; 1x800-1000.

    2nd week: (11500-12500m per day)

    4-6x800; 8-10x400; 3-4x(400+300+200+100); 800+2x400+4x200+8x100+16x50 with regular or "hypoxic" breathing; 3-4x(5x200 int=10-15").

    5-8x400 IM (change every 50m), 10-12x200 IM; 2-4x800 IM (change every 50-100m) int=15-30"; 3-4x(5x200 fly, BK, BR, free, IM).

    Butterfly: 20-30x50; 15-20x100; 8-10x150; 6-8x200; 3-4x400; 4-6x400 (50 fly/50 free); 8-12x200 (50 fly/50 free); 10-15x200 (50m right arm pull-50 left arm pull – 50 kick – 50 full stroke); one arm pull fly 15-20x100 (change every 50m).

    Stage test (Lactate Curve assessment): 5(8)x200 or 10x100, or 4x400.

    3rd week: (12500-13000m per day).

    3-4x1000; 8-10x400; 40-60x50m; 20-30x100-150; 15-20x200; 5-6x(6x100 on 90") with regular or "hypoxic" breathing, with and w/out paddles; 60-80x25 start every 25-30" (HR 140-150).

    IM: 16-20x100; 15x200; 4-8x400; (change every 50); 3-4x800 (change every 100 or 50).

    Butterfly: 20x100; 30x100 (100 fly/100 free); 10-16x150; 8-10x200; 4-5x400; kicking fly: 20-30x50; 12-16x100; 4-5x200.

    On land: cross-country running – 3-5km; general fitness exercises; power training (1-2 times a week – body building program).

    Basic-2 Mesocycle

    1st week: (13000-13500m per day).

    4-6x(6x100 int=15-20") rest 1.30; 8-10x400 paddles; 10-15x300; 3-5x(5x200 int=10-20") rest 1.30-2.00; 3x(5x300); 3x(3x400 1=20") rest 4-5’; 20-30x100; 50-60x50 free with or w/out paddles on 50".

    IM: 3x800 (change every 200/100/50m); 4x(8x100 every stroke); 15-30x100; 12-20x200; 800+2x400+4x200+8x100+16x50.

    Butterfly: 16-20x150; 10-15x200 i=20-30"; 5-8x300; 30-40x50;

    Stage test: 5(8)x200 or 10x100.

    Land training: circuit training composed by general fitness exercises – 2-3 times a week; power training – 2 times a week.

    2nd week: (13500-14500m per day).

    3-5x800; 3-4x100; 2-3x1500; 8-15x400 with resistance (RES) and paddles; 10-15x300 RES; 15-20x200 RES; 3-4x(8x100 RES); 50-60x50 RES; 60-80x25 SE 25-30".

    IM: 400 free+4x200IM+400 free+3x200 IM+400 free+2x200 IM +400 free +200 IM+400 free!; 3x400+6x200+12x100+24x50.

    Butterfly: 3x800 (50 fly/50 free); 8-10x400 (50 fly/50 free); 4-6x400; 5-8x300; 12-150x200; 4-5x(6x100); 3-5x(8x50).

    Land Training: circuit training (3-4 round x 5-6 stations x 30-40sec work/20-30 sec rest) – 1-2 times a week; power training – 2-3 times a week.

    3rd week: (14000-15000m per day).

    3x1500 w/paddles; 2000 (IM change every 50); 3000 paddles; 6-8x300 SE 4.00-4.15; 60x50 SE 50"; 4-8x400 SE 5.20-5.30; 20-30x150 rest 20"; 10x300 (200 swim/100 kick); 40-60x25 SE 30".

    IM: 10-15x200 SE 3.00-3.15; 4-6x400 SE 6.00-6.30; 15-30x100 SE 1.30-1.40; 200 IM+5x100 fly+200 IM+5x100 BK+200 IM+5x100 BR+200 IM+5x100 free+200 IM!

    #1 stroke: 800+400+200+200+200+100+100+50+50 int=30-60".

    Butterfly: 400+2x200+4x100+8x50; 3-4x(8x100 SE 1.40); 3-4x(8x50 SE 50); 6x100 free+2x50 fly+4x100 free+4x50 fly+2x100 free+6x50+100 free+8x50 fly; 30-40x25 SE 30".

    Land Training: 1 time a week – maximal power development; 2-3 times – local muscle endurance (stretch-cords, Vasa, etc).

    4th week: (12500-14000m per day).

    3-4x1000 start every (SE)13.40-14.00; 3-5x800 SE 10.45-11.20; 5-8x400 SE 5.20-5.30.

    50+50+100+200+400+800+400+200+100+50+50; 800+400+200+200+100+100+50+50+50+50; 6x(6x100 paddIes SE 1.20-1.25) rest 1.30; 60x50 with or w/out paddles SE 50". With paddles: 3x400+6x200+12x100+24x50 int20"; 30x100 SE 1.30-1.40; 10-15x200 SE 2.50-3.00; 40-60x25 SE 25-30".

    Butterfly: 4x200+8x100+16x50 int=20-40"; 5x300 int=30-60"; 20x100 SE 1.40-1.50; 30-40x50 SE 60"; 5-8x200 SE 3.10-3.20; 30-40x25 SE 30".

    IM: 3-4x(5x200 SE 3.05-3.15) rest 2.00.

    Stage test: 5(8)x200 or 10x100.

    On land: the same as during previous week.

    Special Training Mesocycle

    1st week: (12000-12500m per day).

    800+2x400+4x200+8x100+16x50 rest 30-40". 3x(5x300 SE 3.50-4.10) rest 6-10min (as kick 6-8x50); 4-5x(4x200 SE 2.40-2.50) rest 3-4 mm; 10-16x100 SE 2.15-2.30; 10-12x300 SE 4.00-4.10; 400+2x200+4x100+8x50 int=1-2’; 400+200+200+100+100+50+50; 3x100+3x200+3x300+3x200+3x100 int 30-60"; 3-5x400 paddles SE 5.10-5.20; 3x800 SE 10.205-10.40; 40-60x25 SE 25".

    Butterfly: 8x200 SE 3.00-3.15; 15-20x200 (100 swim/100 kick) SE 3.15-3.30; 12-16x100 SE 2.15-2.30; 40x50 SE 60"; 3-4x400 SE 6.15-6.30; 3x(8x100 as 100 fly/100 free on 1.30); 30-40x25 SE 30".

    Land Training: circuit training-3-4 roundsx5-6 stations (total time 40 nun) – 2 times a week; interval training using pulling devices – 2 times a week.

    2nd week: (11000-12500m per day)

    4-6x400 int.1-3 mm; 8x300 int. 1.00-1.30; 8-10x200 int. 30-60"; 800+400+200+200+100+100+50+50 (if not been used previous week); 3-4 (6-8x100 SE 1.15-1.20 paddles); 3-5x(8x50 SE 40") rest 4-7min.

    IM: 400+2x200+4x100+8x50 int.1-2min; 10-15x100 SE 1.25-1.30; 5-8x200 SE 2.50-3.00; 3x800 (change every 50) SE 11.30-12.00; 3-5x400 SE 6.00-6.15.

    Butterfly: 30x50 SE 50-60"; 12-20x100 SE 1.40-1.50; 2-3x(6x100 SE 1.30); 8-12x150 SE 2.30; 4-6x200 SE 2.50-3.00; 30-40x25 SE 30".

    Kick: 20-30x50 SE 55-60"; 400+200+200+100+100+50+50; 10-15x100 SE 1.50-1.55; 1x800-1500 all-out; 3x400 SE 8.00; 2-3x(4x100 SE 1.45-1.50).

    Stage test: 5(8)x200 or 10x100.

    Land Training: high resistance/high movement frequency pulling training – 20-3 0 mm x 3-4 times a week +20min stretching.

    3rd week: (10500-12000m per day).

    3-4x800 SE 10.20-10.40; 10x300 SE 3.50-4.00; 20x150 SE 2.00-2.05; 60x50 SE 50"; 400+200+200+100+100+50+50; 3-5x400 SE 5.05-5.20; 8-10x200 SE 2.40-2.45; 8-15x100 SE 1.15-1.20; 40-60x25 SE 25-30".

    IM; 3-6x400 SE 6.00-6.15; 8-10x200 SE 3.00-3.10; 2-3x(4x200 SE 2.50-3.00); 12-20x100 SE 1.30-1.40.

    Butterfly: 8-10x150 fast SE 2.30-2.45; 15x100 SE 1.40-1.45; 2-3x(4x100 SE 1.25-1.30); 50+50+100+200+400+200+100+50+50; 12-15x100 kick fly SE 1.45-1.50; 3-5x200 kick fly SE 3.20-3.30.

    Kick #1 stroke: 20-30x50 on 55’; 5-x200 SE 3.40-3.50; 2-3x400 SE 7.30; 8-12x100 SE 1.40-1.45.

    Land Training: high resistance/high movement frequency pulling training – 20-30minn x 3-4 times a week +20min stretching.

    4th week: (10500-11500m per day).

    4x(4x200 SE 2.30-2.40); 12-16x100 int=30-60"; 5-6x(6-8x50 5E35-40") rest 4-7min; 5-6x(6x100 SE 1.20 with or w/out paddles); 2-3x(8x150 SE 1.50-2.00); 5-8x300 SE 3.50-4.00; 30-40x50 paddles SE 40-45".

    IM: 800 (change every 200)+800 (change every 100)+800 (change every 50) rest 3-4min; 1-3x(4x200 SE 2.45-2.50); 2-3x(6-8x100 SE 1.30).

    Butterfly: 20-30x50 SE 50"; 10-12x200 (100 swim/100 kick) SE 3.20-3.30; 4-5x200 SE 2.50-3.00; 10-15x100 SE 1.30-1.40.

    Stage test: 5(8)x200 or 10x100.

    Land Training: high resistance/high movement frequency pulling training – 20-30min x 3-4 times a week +20min stretching.

    Pre-Competitive (high quality training) Mesocycle

    1st week: (9500-10500m per day).

    3x300 pull+3x300 kick+3x300 swim; 400 (anaerobic threshold speed)+4x100 fast+400+3x100 fast+400+2x100 fast+400+100 fast; 8-10x(50+50 SE 32-34"; 1st 50 dive/2nd 50 from push) rest 4-5min; 4-6x(8x50 SE 35-40"); 16-20x50fast SE 1.30-2.00; 2-3x(4x200 SE 2.30-2.45) rest 4-6min; 30-40x25 SE 30".

    Tethered swimming: 20-30x20-30 sec int. 30-40"; 20-30x15-20 sec maximal effort.

    IM: 3-4x400 int.2-4min; 5x200 (200 fly+200 BK+200 BR+200 free+200 IM); 800-1000 IM (change every 50) all out.

    Butterfly: 8x100 SE 2.30-3.00; 3-6x200 int. 3.00; 5-8x150 int=30-2.00.

    2-4x(6x50 SE 45-50"0; 50+50+100+150+200+150+100+50+50 int.30-60".

    Land training: circuit training 4-5 stations 2-4 round x 30-40 sec work/40-60 sec rest with maximal tempo – 1-2 times a week; pulling training – 10-20x30-40 sec maximal resistance rest 40-60sec (2 times a week).

    2nd week: (8500-9000m per day).

    400+200+200+100+100+50+50; 5-8x(50+50 rest 3-5" (SE 32-34")); 5-6x(4x50 SE 35-37") rest 3-5min; 6-8x(100+50 int.5-7") rest 4-6min; 3-4x200 rest 3-5min; 4-8x100 rest 2-5min; 5-8x(4-8x25 SE 20-25") rest 3-5min; 50x60 SE 50"; 5-8x100 paddles SE 3.00; 10-15x100 SE 2.30; 3-5x(4x100 SE 1.15-1.20); 1x800-1000-1500 all out; 3-4x400 rest 3-6min.

    Kick: 8x100 SE 1.40-1.50; 400+200+100+50+50 int. 40-60"; 3-4x(4x50 SE 50-55"); 10-16x50 SE 1.15-1.20; 16-20x25 SE 30"; 1x400; 1x800 all out.

    Tethered swimming: 20-30x15-20sec maximal effort; 16-20x25m.

    Starts, turns+short efforts (20-30x15-20m).

    Land Training: pulling exercises – small number of repetitions with sub-maximal resistance and maximal stroke frequency (3 times a week) + free weights to maintain power (1-2 times a week). Stretching - every day 20-3 0min.

    Tapering (12-14 days or longer).

    1st week:

    Swimming volume is 4000-3000m per session, 7500-6500m per day.

    3x200 all out from dive rest 5-8min; 3-5x100 rest 3-5min; 10x50 SE 3.00; 8-10x50 SE1.30-2.00; 16x25 SE 60". Sprint: 3x(10x15-20) as 10 pull/10 kick/10 swim; starts, turns.

    Aerobic maintenance – 1x1000 (90%); 2-3x400 (85-90%); 30-40x50 on 50"; 2-3x(6x100 SE 1.30). Stroke drills. Kick (fast): 2x50+100+200+100+2x50; 4-6x50; 3-5x100; 2-3x200.

    Land training: 2-3 times a week "maintenance training" – short sets – 8-10x30sec; 15-20x20sec; 5-8x40-45sec with maximal stroke frequency. Stretching.

    2nd week:

    2-3 days – daily swimming volume 5500-4000 (3500-2000 per session); 2-3 days (or more) – 3500-2500 per day.

    Stroke drills. Sprint: 6-10x25; 2-5x50; 16-20x15; 3-5x30-40. Kick: 4-8x25 fast; 2-4x50 fast; 2-3x100 fast. Aerobic: 800-1000 (70-80%); 3-4x300; 6-8x150; 8-10x100 (70%).

    Starts, turns, finishing.

    1.1 Example of "Slow Endurance" (Basic-1) 6-days microcycle

    Day 1

    Day 2

    Day 3

    Day 4

    Day 5

    Day 6

    Day off

    A A Rest A E1 E2 a.m.
    SP3 SP3 SP3 A
    A A E1 A A SP2 p.m.
    SP3 SP3

    1.2 Example of "Fast Endurance" (Basic-2) 6-days microcycle

    Day 1

    Day 2

    Day 3

    Day 4

    Day 5

    Day 6

    Day off

    A A Rest A A E2 a.m.
    SP3 SP3 SP3 SP3 SP3
    E1 E2 E2 E1 SP2 E1 p.m.
    SP3 SP3

    1.3 Example of "Lactate Tolerance" 6-days microcycle

    Day 1

    Day 2

    Day 3

    Day 4

    Day 5

    Day 6

    Day off

    A A Rest A E1 E2 a.m.
    SP1 SP2 SP3 SP3
    E1 A E1 A A A p.m.
    SP1 SP3 SP2 SP3 SP1

    1.4 Example of "Pre-competitive" (Sprint) 6-days microcycle

    Day 1

    Day 2

    Day 3

    Day 4

    Day 5

    Day 6

    Day off

    E2 SP2 A SP2 E2 SP2 a.m.
    SP3 SP3 SP3
    A E2 Rest A A Rest p.m.
    SP3 SP3 SP3

    1.5 Example of "Tapering" (Maintenance) 6-days microcycle

    Day 1

    Day 2

    Day 3

    Day 4

    Day 5

    Day 6

    Day off

    E1 A SP2 A E1 A a.m.
    SP3 SP3 SP3
    E2 A Rest A SP2 E2 p.m.
    SP3 SP3 A SP3

    2.1 Variant of the structure of 3.5-days "Slow Endurance" microcycle

    DAY 1 DAY 2 DAY 3 DAY "3 AND ½"
    E1 E1+SP2 E2 A+SP3
    A+SP1 A+** E1 Rest

    2.2 Variant of the structure of 3.5-days "Fast Endurance" microcycle

    DAY 1 DAY 2 DAY 3 DAY "3 AND ½"
    SP3+E1 E2+A SP2+E1 E2+SP3
    E1+** E2+A E1+** Rest

    2.3 Variant of the structure of 3.5-days "Glycolitic" microcycle

    DAY 1 DAY 2 DAY 3 DAY "3 AND ½"
    E2 E1+SP2 SP2+A A+SP3
    E1+SP1+** A+SP3 E2+** Rest

    2.4 Variant of the structure of 3.5-days "Sprint" microcycle

    DAY 1 DAY 2 DAY 3 DAY "3 AND ½"
    SP3+A SP2+E1 SP3+E1 SP3+A
    E1+** SP3+A E2+** Rest

    2.5 Variant of the structure of 3.5-days "Tapering" microcycle

    DAY 1 DAY 2 DAY 3 DAY "3 AND ½"
    A+SP3 E2 A+SP3 SP2
    E2+SP3 SP3+A A+SP3 Rest

    ** = Land Training


    Balyi I. (1995) Materials of international coaching school. Victoria, Canada. Sport Service Branch of British Columbia.

    Counsilman J.: (1993), New science on swimming.

    Harre D. (ed.): (1971) The doctrine of training, Moscow, FiS, [In Russian].

    Koshkin I.M.: (1984) The training program that developed Salnikov. In the book "How to develop Olympic level swimmer" (editor J.L. Cramer), International Sport Media, Helsinki, Finland, 106-117.

    Matvev L.P.: (1970) The theory of sport training. Moscow, FiS, [In Russian].

    Platonov V.N. Vaitsekhovsky S.M. (1985) Preparation of top-class swimmers. Moscow, FiS, [In Russian].

    Rushal B. Pyke F.S. (1990) "Training for sports and fitness" (Chapter 19, "Planning a training year").

    Schtichert K.-H.: (1981) Polycyclic design of sport season. Presentation at dual colloquium DDR-USSR "Special physical preparation of swimmers", 20-21 May 1981, Rostok, DDR.

    Shirkovets, E.A., & Evtukh, A.V. (1988). The planning of the training process of high-level athletes in cyclical sports (swimming). Moscow Russia: Scientific Research Institute for Physical Culture and Sport [In Russian].

    Shirkovets E.A. Makarenko L.P. Vorontsov A.R. (1987) Sport Swimming. Manual for students of physical education and professional swimming coaches, Moscow, Central State Institute of Physical Culture [In Russian].


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