PURPOSE: The 10-km open water swimming race is an endurance event that takes place in lakes, rivers or sea and is an Olympic event since 2008. The aim of the present brief report is to describe training volume and intensity distribution of elite open-water swimmers (OW-swimmers) during the 2016 Olympic season, verifying if, in order to maximize performance, most of the training would be performed at low intensities.

METHODS: Eight elite Italian OW-swimmers (3 males and 5 females; 25±2-yrs, 1.74±0.05-m, 68.26±8.17-kg) specialized in distances between 5 and 25-km participated in the study. Training load (TL) was determined using an online training diary. Training intensity was categorized according to the 3-zone model: Z1, light intensity; Z2, moderate intensity; Z3, high intensity. Session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) method was used to quantify training intensity distribution (TID). This method assigns the entire session into a single intensity zone based on the RPE recorded 30 minutes post training.

RESULTS: Total yearly training volume was 3,576.93±272.390-km (3,220.80-4,041.97), distributed across 446±37 (397-484) sessions monitored during the 2016 Olympic season. TID in each zone was: 76.83±8.11% in Z1, 17.70±6.79% in Z2, and 5.47±5.93% in Z3.

CONCLUSIONS: High volumes in Z1 appear to be an important training method utilized by elite OW-swimmers. However, future research is necessary to study the effects of different TID on OWS performances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-264
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019

    Research areas

  • Elite endurance athletes, Endurance performance, Training schedule

ID: 43767538