Using meets as training?

Could someone explain actually how to do this without actually hurting the training itself. Also could you post examples of using meets as training and then hitting and ultimate peak later in the competition period. Would anyone like to comment, Thanks.

I was just wondering the same thing and then I saw your thread. We try to use the meets as training but I’m not exactly sure we are doing it right.

Here is what an early season week looks like for us.

Mon - usually starts out to 30 meters and something like a SE
Tuesday - 8x200 39" 2’ between
Wed- starts relay work
Thurs - meet
Friday - light starts and handoffs

What do you all think of this? How do you order a week when you have your Dual meets on thursdays and then 4x’s you have a thursday saturday combo? Do you use the Thursday meet as a “high level training day” or like your SE day?

Good question Tim.

You, like us are a little different to Viking in that we can pick the meets that we want rather than being obliged to compete in them.

This is where the planning comes in. You need to decide what you want to achieve from doing these meets as part of your overall planning.

You also need to consider that a meet will always deliver the highest intensity workout possible. No-one wants to be beaten or to run badly. The psychological ramifications of a poor race, whether you even went into the race treating it as a workout or not are dire. If you get smoked, you are going to be depressed and you will start doubting yourself for a while and this will hit your CNS hard and it will take you even longer to recover.

So, I reckon the best use for meets is
a) As a testing point, for instance after your lighter week.
b) As a greatly intensified workout which is incorporated into a specific type of cycle.

If you use the intesified workout approach, you will need to keep this in mind as part of your overall plan and reduce the volume or intensity of other components to compensate.

Swimming example, but perhaps useful.

We have organized our periodization so that the weekly sessions most intense are run on back to back days over the weekend. While this might be frowned upon in the typical alternating easy/hard approach, we feel that this is what athletes are going to deal with in competition, so as long as their is ample recovery mon-wed they are fine. We like the ability to monitor from weekend to weekend, and the cycle allows us to move from ‘training’ weekends to ‘competition’ weekends smoothly.


Another factor is to test technical improvements/technique in a competition setting to see what you need to concentrate on. I’ve done 2 meets for this purpose during this last training phase and 1 as an SE session because I was very unmotivated with doing SE.