Reply To: concerns about long term development

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Ok. Let me take a whack at this.

Instead of saying “aerobic base” Break it down to what adaptations occur in the “aerobic base”? Increase in collateral circulation, increase in mitochondrial density, increases respiratory functions and CNS; namely its neuromuscular co-ordination SPECIFIC to endurance activities and the list could go on.

Then what occurs with USRPT/Race Pace or whatever you want to call it? Roughly the same adaptations occur.

My question then becomes “If both make roughly the same adaptations where’s the advantage with traditional training”?

The whole base development at early ages is a little baffling to me as if the adaptations at 10 years old somehow last a lifetime. Really! Man I wish it did. I’d still be a stud at 60. Use altitude training as an example. We go up from sea level to 7,000ft. The body says wait a minute need to make some adjustments here and over about a 10 day period of time you start to feel a heck of a lot better and can actual do activities without collapsing. Because the body knew it had to do something so it increased mitochondrial density, etc. Now when I go back to sea level those adjustments will go back to normal as the body recognizes there isn’t the demand any more. It’s called “homeostasis”

Billratio is correct in that USRPT is more aerobic than most coaches think. Think about it. When you first start the season kids are making 4-6 of the repeats and then as the season progresses they can make 12-16 out to 20 and then you readjust pace. How did that occur? 4-6 x 50, then to 20 x 50 is not the same energy system. It’s the old endurance thru speed concept and it’s been around awhile.

I know the “purists” will get all worked up about this. But if you just have to do some type of more traditional training then put it that the end of workout. Make your first two sets USRPT/RP again whatever you call it and look for improvement in numbers made in both sets and then the third set is long distance aerobic go 8-12 minutes of steady state swimming. In fact we’re doing that today with 150s. You just have to remember that it is sucking up energy stores.


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