Training Distribution During a Paralympic Cycle for a Multiple Swimming Champion With Paraplegia: A Case Report

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Purpose: To describe the training volume, intensity distribution, and use of swimming styles during a Paralympic cycle in a multiple swimming champion with paraplegia. Methods: The female Paralympic swimmer was 23–26 years of age and had a body mass of 60 to 62 kg and a body height of 174 cm. She has a spinal cord injury at the Th6 level, competed in the S5/SB4 Para swimming classes, and uses a wheelchair for mobility. Training time, as well as distance in the different intensity zones and swimming styles, was registered with the “workouts for swim coaches” software throughout a full Paralympic cycle. Results: The Para swimmer performed a total of 388, 524, 471, and 656 annual hours of swimming, corresponding to 1126, 1504, 1463, and 1993 km, in the 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15, and 2015–16 seasons, respectively. In addition, she performed 1 to 3 weekly dry-land strength sessions and 4 to 6 weekly dry-land basic skill sessions. She conducted 91% to 94% of the swimming distance in each macrocycle at low intensity, 2% to 4% at moderate intensity, and 3% to 6% at high intensity. She performed 78% to 84% of the swimming distance in each macrocycle in the freestyle swimming technique and the remaining 16% to 22% in the backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly techniques. Conclusion: This case study exemplifies how a female Paralympic swimmer with paraplegia progressed her training in the seasons leading up to the Paralympic Games, reaching an annual training distance of 2000 km, which is similar to that of able-bodied swimmers.

Baumgart and Sandbakk are with the Dept of Neuromedicine and Movement Science, Center for Elite Sports Research, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. Tønnessen is with Kristiania University College, Oslo, Norway. Eklund is with the Div of Southwest Norway, Norwegian Top Sports Center, Stavanger, Norway.

Baumgart (julia.k.baumgart@ntnu) is corresponding author.
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