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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