Reply To: Help with planning my weeks
Thanks for the response. I completely agree with your closer: the on-the-deck experiences are super valuable to me and I’m sure to everyone else. Thanks to those who are sharing.
The “regardless of their times” means if the set was 20x50s they did 20. I called these sets “full RP set” or “calibration RP sets”. “Exit conditions” is my shorthand for the “miss your goal time twice in a row or three total times” part of a standard USRPT set.
Doing the calibration sets definitely will have the effects you describe. I expected this and figured I had 5 weeks at most before the accumulated fatigue would impede training and/or run a risk of creating injuries. During week 4 the signs started to point to having to make the switch. This was intentional. Just a touch risky, perhaps, but pretty easy to see where the line needed to be drawn with the data I was gathering.
We’ve switched over to standard RP sets with the exit conditions at this point. What I liked about the full sets was the swimmers all now have a very clear notion of the scale of the sets we’re working toward. It frames things out and I felt that was important given the large change in training style. As mentioned in my previous post their awareness of their race level mechanics has vastly improved. Overall I view these first few weeks as heavy “shock to the system” phase and now we reset a bit and come at it in a much more standard manner and in a much more focused manner.
The data gathered for the “full” RP sets was different because the analysis is different from a standard RP set. The data you’re suggesting is exactly what we’re gathering for the standard RP sets. In both modes we’re collecting 4 numbers for each person for each set. In a past professional life I did a lot of this type of thing. Collect, collate and analyze tons of data. Data collection is always more time consuming at the outset compared with a few weeks into the process. My swimmers write their numbers on the whiteboard, I write them on the practice sheet and then enter them into a spreadsheet that is then printed & posted on the wall. I’m not sure how it will get quicker, but these things usually do. We’ll see how it plays out. If anyone has better technique in this area I’m all ears.
I hear you on the building volume and speed separately or beware the consequences. No worries on that count.
Specifically with your 3-day protocol: the numbers you are reducing are…total volume of the workout? Volume of the RP sets? Reps of the RP sets? Maybe all three? Within TT formats I’ve seen that general pattern (stretched out to, say, 7-10 days) work with first reducing overall volume, but keeping quality volume (the faster/intense sets) the same and then dropping the quality volume the last half of the taper period. I’m not sure there can be that sort of distinction within a USRP context if your non-RP volume is only around 20-30% of your total, but what sort of distinctions are you making with your 25% drops?
I like the notion of an improvement RP set, a “steady Freddy” RP set and a “half-volume” RP set. I get the first two in terms of how the expectations can be set with the swimmers. How are you doing that for the third set? Are you shifting their focus to specific facets of the race (breakout, tempo, breathing, etc.) within the context of hitting their time for the reduced reps?