You have finally reached the final stage of a macro-training block, so-called tapering.
Tapering usually involves the final 7-10 days of a training block that lasted between 12-24 weeks. Tapering always comes before a particularly important race when you need to “do well”. This is when you need to make sure your organism is as fit as possible, so that you perform to the very best of your ability.
You will reduce the number of kilometres you swim in the pool and your main training sessions will be extremely intense, but shorter. This is also the time to focus on details like your tumble turn and start.
You need to adopt the same approach out of the water.
This certainly is not the time to go to the gym and lift heavy weights. The aim is to keep on stimulating your body without wearing yourself out.
But be careful not to make the opposite mistake or, in other words, do little or nothing for fear of tiring yourself out.
If we assume that your tapering week begins on Monday and your goal race is on Sunday, you should only work out at the gym twice, on Tuesday and then on Thursday. The Tuesday session can/must, of course, be slightly tougher than Thursday’s because you have more time to recover.
Here is a plan you could use for organising your week:
Monday – Wednesday – Friday
Perform some flexibility exercises for your shoulders before swimming and do plenty of stretching afterwards.
A swim session and a gym session. The ideal workout is an explosive strength session with body-weight exercises or exercises using lightweights. The session should consist of between 4-8 exercises performing 8 reps (or 20”/30”) for each exercise. Obviously, you need to warm up quickly before the workout and stretch afterwards. The total time for this session is 45’/60’.
Final gym session. Lots of mobility and flexibility exercises, some abs work and some body-weight exercises with plenty of rest between sets. You should not tire yourself out, just get your body working.
It is race day… all that is left to say is: good luck!