International Center for Aquatic Research. Training response and adaptations. The Coaches' Newsletter of United States Swimming, 4(5). p

To maintain and improve aerobic endurance a higher volume of work is required than for sprinting. When comparing several forms of training it was found that:

  1. 20 minutes of work per day resulted in a loss of endurance and sprint capabilities; and
  2. 60 minutes of work per day resulted in endurance improvements but not sprinting capacity.

The problem is that too much pure aerobic work reduces anaerobic capacity. A work to recovery ratio of 2:1 improves endurance but not sprint capacity. A work:recovery ratio of 1:2 is satisfactory for the longer competitive distance races and may facilitate the maintenance of intended race-pace work.

The work:recovery ratio becomes a critical factor in determining which types of improvements are to be produced through training.

Implication. An additional concern is the performance level of the swimmer. Low level swimmers require a longer period of time to improve aerobically, as much as ten weeks, whereas high level athletes may only require three weeks. If a decrease in volume of work is to take place but the intensity level is maintained, no loss of endurance will occur for at least two weeks. This has specific implications for tapering and training national teams when they are staged prior to an international games.

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