Reply To: Traditional + USRPT = ?
Let me preface my response by making sure you know that I am not a coach, and I have no experience as a swimmer. My three kids have been swimming for about six years. They are 13 & 10 year old boys and a 10 year old girl. We left our team in October, and my husband and I have been training them and swimming USA meets unattached. My husband is an official, so he does have knowledge in that area, but he also has no experience as a swimmer. He has returned to work full time and left all of the training to me.
I have devoured Dr Rushall’s papers. My first instinct would be exactly what I see in bold letters from him, “Mixed training equals mixed results.” The team we left did traditional, high volume training. My 13 year old was swimming 5,000-6,000 yards per practice with 7-8 sessions per week. Some morning distance practices would be 8,000-9,000 yards. We did not find USRPT until after witnessing Michael Andrew go under 20 in the 50 Free in Tulsa in March. We transitioned to it and try to follow as best as we can. We have our first meet this weekend. I am very anxious to see how they do. I do see a huge difference in their exhaustion levels. The 13 year old was always tired when training traditionally. In the 6 weeks that we have been sticking with just USRPT, he has noticed a huge difference in his recovery time. All three of them seem to be much less tired and look forward to going to practice. I will update after I have hard results, but my 10 year old boy is training for the 100 Fly and hitting the target time for a 10% drop from his best time. My 13 year old is hitting targets that should equal a 1-2% drop in most races.
As far as training on your own, I think it really depends on how much you want it and if you can keep yourself accountable. I believe it is better to have a team or at least training partners. My kids do miss being part of a team. This summer, they are going to swim with an AAU team. I am only letting them do it because I need to make sure they are still having fun. They will practice 2-3 days a week with the team and participate in four AAU meets. The coach does not do a ton of yardage and works a lot on technique. We will continue our USRPT schedule. There are three AAU teams in our area. We chose this one because the other two swim 3,000-4,000 yards per practice (8-12 year olds) and do not concentrate very much on technique.
Does your coach have an objection to USRPT or just to you not training with him?