One of the main storage of a swimming training is a capacity training describing the swimming distance covered during one training. At the beginning of 1950s, a swimming training was limited to the distance of between 1500 and 2000 meters a day.
During the next 30-40 years, the trainings were adjusted to the rule: ‘The more, the better’.
A lot of swimming coaches think that to develop a full competitor’s ability it is necessary to swim more than 10 000 meters a day (that, in fact, corresponds with 3 or 4 hours of training a day). Another coaches claim that to achieve similar results it is enough to swim on a distance of 4000 to 6000 meters a day.
Some interesting information about the meaning of a training volume in a swimming training has been provided in researches by Costillo and co (1991). The aim of these researches were to estimate the influence of diversified training capacity on the development of swimmers physical efficiency. In the research mentioned above, competitors from swimming university clubs were divided into two groups ( with a different training capacity) and they underwent 25- day long swimming training.
During the first 4 weeks, the two groups were practicing together having one sessions a day, about 1- hour long). During next six weeks of a training session (between the 5th and the 11th week) the first group was still practicing 1 time a day (an evening session) and the second group enlarged their training time up to two sessions a day ( in the morning and in the evening). During last 14 training weeks of a training both groups were again practicing 1 time a day (for about 1,5 hour).
A constant observation of a level of chosen endurance indicators showed useful beneficial adaptative changes in both groups. A lower rate of endurance frequency of ventricular heart contractionand the value of lactate concentration in blood during swimming with certain speed were observed . Those observations correlated with endurance improvement of sports result and they showed endurance improvement and strength quantity generated.
What is more interesting, decreasing of the ability to develop maximal swimming speed on short distances in a group of swimmers practicing with enlarged capacity were observed, while among the swimmers who continued trainings with a constant capacity (1 time a day), a significant growth of their sprint abilities was observed.
The authors claimed that enlarging training capacity from 1 to 1.5 hour a day did not cause any significant beneficial adaptative changes in comparison to those changes occurred among competitors with 1 training session a day.
Information presented above clearly shows that enlarging training capacity above a certain level does not cause expected adaptative changes in swimmers’ bodies and, what is more, it lowers a person’s sprint abilities.
Swimming (Olympic Handbook Of Sports Medicine). Autorzy: David L. Costill , Ernest W. Maglischo, Allen B. Richardson. Wyd. Wiley-Blackwell, 1991.
Costill D.L., Thomas R., Robergs R.A., Pascoe D., Lambert C., Barr S., Fink W.J. (1991). Adaptations to swimming training: influence of training volume. Medicine and Science of Sports and Exercise, 23: 371-7/