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Periodization and Programming for Individual 400 m Medley Swimmers

Authors: Francisco Hermosilla José M González-Rave José Antonio Del Castillo David B Pyne

Knowledge in the scientific domain of individual medley (IM) swimming training over a competitive season is limited. The purpose of this study was to propose a detailed coaching framework incorporating the key elements of a periodized training regimen for a 400 m IM swimmer. This framework was based on the available coaching and scientific literature and the practical experience and expertise of the collaborating authors. The season has been divided in two or three macrocycles, further divided in three mesocycles each (six or nine mesocycles in total), in alignment with the two or three main competitions in each macrocycle. The principal training contents to develop during the season expressed in blood lactate zones are: aerobic training (~2 mmol·L-1), lactate threshold pace (~4 mmol·L-1) and VO2max (maximum oxygen uptake) (~6 mmol·L-1). Strength training should focus on maximum strength, power and speed endurance during the season. Altitude training camps can be placed strategically within the training season to promote physiological adaptation and improvements in performance. A well-constructed technical framework will permit development of training strategies for the 400 m IM swimmer to improve both training and competitive performance.

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