Preseason training commences from the low base of fitness maintained during the off-season. Swimmers typically start the preseason phase with a single session per day and gradually increase the number of sessions over the first few weeks. A graded increase sees the frequency of training increasing from one session per day, to three sessions over 2 days, and eventually to the traditional two sessions per day format followed by the majority of high-level swimmers.
The intensity of swimming is low to moderate to facilitate structural improvements leading toward improved cardiorespiratory fitness. Slower swimming also permits the acquisition and development of skills at lower speeds, before transfer to faster competitive speeds. A limited amount of shorter faster work is recommended, even from the first week of the season, to develop and main- tain neuromuscular patterns. This approach prepares the swimmer for the more intensive training that follows in the early-season and competitive-season phases.