With only three weeks left until I depart for Omaha, Neb., I begin to change my training a bit. I stopped lifting in order to give my muscles enough time to rebuild. I begin to lower my yardage in the pool so that I am focusing more on the technical aspects of my stroke. The majority of my focus is on starts and turns in order to perfect a tough part of the race.
As part of my taper, I will compete in a couple of swim meets in order to see where my times are. If they are around my best, I will begin cutting yardage at each practice. Conversely, if my times are not where I would like them to be, I will continue training longer distances until they improve.
To try to keep my focus on training and off the anticipation of the competition, I begin to spend around 20 minutes a day practicing my relaxation breathing, which helps me shift my focus to my breath. It's what they teach in yoga as a way to relax and stay focused.