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A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2016 Apr 07

language: English

Training for a 78km solo open water swim: a case report

Maria F. PIACENTINI 1, Giulia DE IOANNON 1, Giuseppe CIBELLI 2, Sergio MIGNARDI 3, Agnese ANTONELLI 1, Laura CAPRANICA 1

1 Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, University of Rome Foro Italico, Rome, Italy; 2 Department. Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy; 3 Scuola dello Sport CONI Lazio, Italy


AIM: The purpose of the present study was to report the training of a master athlete in preparation to an ultra-marathon swimming event.
METHODS: For 32 weeks prior to a 78km “solo” open water swim from Italy to Albania, a male long distance master (48 yrs) swimmer was monitored. Training volume was recorded as total time and distance while intensities were recorded according to international classifications utilizing the primary goal of the session method. Thereafter, time spent in the three training zones: Z1 (low intensity training), Z2 (threshold training) and Z3 (high intensity training) was calculated.
RESULTS: Weekly swimming volume ranged from 15 to 70 km.week-1 and training frequency ranged from 3 to 6 days.week-1. Total weekly training dedicated to swimming ranged from 270 to 1140 min. Training intensity comprised Z1=64%. Z2=28%, and Z3=8%, respectively. During the three- week taper period, total swimming volume decreased by 43% while intensity remained unchanged. The athlete succeeded in being the first swimmer to accomplish the event.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings provide useful information for coaches on training regimens of master ultra-marathon swimmers. Compared to the literature, time spent at a Z1 training intensity was lower in favour of that spent in Z2. It could be speculated that master ultra-marathon athletes might benefit from training intensities at or above LT to counterbalance the age-related physiological decrease.

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