Reply To: June Issue of Swimming World

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Some good questions there Swimin.

I think the USRPT world is doing itself a big disfavor, in a sense, by promoting itself so aggressively. Years and years of swimming training is now being discredited and in the name of supposed “evidence based, science based” training.
Now I believe in USRPT, and it has worked well for me for the most part, but there are a lot of swimmers swimming real well who are not doing USRPT, and a large enough sample base to suggest that they are doing something right. Something beyond just getting physically more mature, which is what the critics will point at being Michael Andrew’s main reason for success. I fear a lot of people are going to get discouraged when they find out that they are not all of a sudden way faster than all of the dinosaurs that are stuck in the “dogma of traditional training”.
Is Michael genetically special swimmer? Of course. Would he be swimming this well in a traditional program? No way of knowing. However, looking at what he has accomplished there is no way you can say that USRPT doesn’t work.
From what I have read, he doesn’t do 3 workouts per day very often and usually his workouts are about an hour in length so it is not like he is getting that much extra water time in.
Now let’s say for the point of argument that USRPT is the ultimate form of swim training, and in 20 years almost everyone is doing it. Then what? It will be the people who learn how to improve upon it that have the most success. I say this in response to the mixed training idea. I think the key is being able to insure that they are fresh enough to achieve as many swims at race pace as possible. If you can mix training styles and still allow that to happen I think you will be on to something.