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Here is the context:

To that end, there must be a reduction in both volume and intensity starting about 10 days out from the competition. In the week to ten days prior to the meet, the lifter should not be grinding out high volume sets of 5, nor should he be taking out maximum attempts.

What I am confused by is the use of preposition to there. Does it mean in the week that is 10 days prior to competition?

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An expression of length of time, of the form "[period] to [longer period]" is approximate, and means "not shorter than [period] and not longer than [longer period]". Thus the weightlifter is being advised to observe a period of reduced activity, starting 10, 9, 8, or 7 days (i.e. a week to ten days) before the competition, and lasting until the competition. If I say that I will complete a task in two to three hours, that means I will complete it in no less than two hours, and no more than three hours.

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  • Why were then the preposition "in" and "the definite article was used before "week"? Would it be better to just say "a week to 10 days prior to..."? – Dmytro O'Hope Jan 28 '19 at 14:42
  • So, basically "in" mean" during" there, am I right? – Dmytro O'Hope Jan 28 '19 at 15:39
  • "So, basically "in" means "during" there" - yes. – Michael Harvey Jan 28 '19 at 19:43
  • In is necessary because the advice applies to a period, not a point in time. The definite article is necessary because the period is a specific one. "In the two hours before the sun rises, the monk should pray" means the monk should pray one or more times during the 120 minutes before the sun rises, "Two hours before the sun rises, the monk should pray" means that the monk should pray once, exactly 120 minutes before sunrise. – Michael Harvey Jan 28 '19 at 21:11

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