Reply To: Variance…
I am both a coach and a swimmer. I am in the midst of rehab for my own shoulder from a recent surgery, and had about 6 months of coaching experience with USRPT (20+ overall years in coaching). Once I get going again, it’s my intent to “eat my own dog food”, and train myself in the USRPT model. I expect to be very much in the minority when it comes to training in a masters environment and doing this much (or any) speed work. Masters swimmers in so many cases are opposed to this because it takes them way out of their comfort zone, and with many of the swimmers today being triathletes who want nothing but freestyle and yardage, I’m likely going to be reaching out to a few folks I know who I race against and see if we can come up with some kind of training group. Seeing what I have in USRPT from the kids I’ve trained, I cannot deny this does work, and much more so than the long-slow model. It’s a different mindset, which I love as well, but you gotta come to every practice with the intention of racing. I live for that… Especially after growing up in a model where if you’re not training more than the other guy, you’re going to be losing to them – to the tune of around 12-16K yards per day + weights + dryland. It’s no wonder I’m fighting with shoulder issues in my 40’s and get nauseous at the thought of swimming any repeat over 200 or a set more than 2000!!
From a coaching perspective, we called the USRPT sets the “bricks” and the warm-up/warm-down items the “mortar”, and during the season, we strive to see just how high of a wall we can build. While you are able to slightly vary the bricks you assign by number and stroke, there is an eventual limitation on truly original sets, assuming you stick with the Rushall guidelines (mixed methods = mixed results). I’ve prided myself on NEVER giving the same set twice (ever) with the only exception being periodic test sets. Now, when it comes to the mortar, we definitely leverage that to mix things up – drills, recovery, pull, kick, games, etc. We’ll see how it goes with my attention span of a gnat! I was just looking to see what others do to see if I may be able to augment what I do as well.
Energy is not a problem.. If you’ve ever seen Todd Schmitz (Missy’s coach), and his energy on deck, I like to think he got that from me when I was his coach 🙂 I’m a big practice cheerleader and highly interactive with mechanics, encouragement, & watch times. If I don’t leave a practice in a sweat, and a hoarse voice, I’ve left something out!