A TWO-WEEK TAPER IS BEST FOR FEMALE SWIMMERS
Kenitzer, R. F. (1998). Optimal taper period in female swimmers based on blood lactate concentrations and performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 30(5), Supplement abstract 611.
Female competitive swimmers (5 sprinters, 5 long-distance, 5 middle-distance) were studied during a four-week end of season taper. Training yardage was reduced by 25% weekly. Blood lactates and performances were evaluated after a 4 x 100 m test set.
All groups were similar in performance and lactate values at the initial testing and so Ss were collapsed into a single group.
The best values for performance and lactate were exhibited after two weeks indicating an effective taper. However, after that, signs of detraining occurred.
Implication. In female swimmers a taper of two weeks duration produces the best recovery.
[Editor's Note: This study assumes that all trained swimmers in all swimming programs are in the same physical and mental shape prior to a taper. That is too presumptuous. Swimmers partake of a host of training experiences leaving a great diversity of physical and mental statuses before important meets when tapers are enacted. The results of this study most likely are peculiar to the limited-subject group employed in this investigation. One should not infer that the findings of this study are appropriate for any group of trained swimmers.]
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