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Taper Time: Jazz Carlin shares her European preparations

Welsh swimming sensation Jazz Carlin previews August’s European Championships, as a busy competition looms large.

I am really excited for Europeans. They are less than a month away so I'm still training hard for a few more weeks. I am having a shorter taper than usual for this competition as the Commonwealth Games are soon after and they are the main focus for me this year, but I still want to swim well in Budapest!

My taper consists of gradually decreasing my volume and intensity of training to ensure that I am ready to go fast at the competition. It makes sure that I’m not tired for the race but also doing enough to make sure I’m in the best condition.

Federica Pellegrini, who is the world record holder in the 200m and 400m Freestyle, is going to be in Budapest. They will be really great races.

I tend to get nervous when I am actually at the competition. There is no point worrying about racing a few weeks before. It is going to be a really great meet and I will be racing against some of the best swimmers in the world and I am looking forward to it.

The lead up to a competition is about feeling good and making sure that I can do everything in my power to ensure that I swim well on race days. I try to rest as much as possible and just relax, doing most things that I would normally do on a week-to-week basis to maintain normality!

At a competition, I always do the same warm up and swim down before and after every single race and allow a lot of time for my warm up so I am not rushing around. I like to take my time and do everything that I need to do. Some people ask if it is a superstition but I think it is more routine that anything else.

Federica Pellegrini, who is the world record holder in the 200m and 400m Freestyle, is going to be in Budapest. They will be really great races. There is only one second between the fifth and second ranking, so it will definitely be a close race and I’m really excited to be a part of it.

The last few weeks have allowed me to get a solid block of training under my belt. It has been really tough, but I know it is all in readiness for us to swim well in August and October. One of my other team-mates Megan Gilchrist also qualified for the Commonwealth Games at Scottish Nationals to represent Scotland, so it will be good to see more people from Swansea going to Delhi.

I like to get away from swimming in my free time and the weather has been really good so me and my friends have had a few barbecues. We have been to the beach a lot too which has been nice. I also went to see the new Twilight film Eclipse recently, which I thought was amazing!

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