Wilmore, J. H., & Costill, D. L. (1988). Training for sport and activity. Chapter 11. Dubuque, IA: Wm C. Brown.
Many coaches fear the loss of conditioning and performance if they reduce training for such a long period [two to three weeks] before a major competition. A number of studies make it clear, however, that this fear is totally unwarranted. (Costill, D. L. (1985). Practical problems in exercise physiology. Research Quarterly, 56, 29-33.)
VO2max can be maintained at the training level with a two-thirds reduction in training frequency. It appears that a greater amount of work is needed to increase VO2max than to maintain its trained level. The rate of decline in physical conditioning is much slower than the speed with which it can be developed.
Implication. The most notable change during the taper period is a marked increase in muscular strength. Swimmers demonstrated increases in arm strength and power ranging from 17.7 to 24.6 percent.
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