Reply To: Doubter USRPT Tried 3 months

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Lefthanded swimmer, I wouldn’t put much weight on doing a full race test sets in practice. I’ll do them every once in a while just for fun and my times are usually not close to my best times. I actually did a 100 fly short course meters last Friday. Right now I am training at 16.48 with a tempo trainer so really 15.5 from when my feet leave the wall to when my hand touches. This would estimate me at a 1:02 with a block start. I didn’t do any sets before. I did a warm up and that was it. I did it from a push timing with the digital pace clock starting to drop at the 59 on the start. I went a 1:06. I don’t have 25 splits but I know that front end speed is slower and the last lap is slower than what I would do in a meet. The middle 50 is closer to a real race but still probably a little slow. My fly training has been going decent and I felt like I could have put in a good USRPT 100 fly set that day. You do need some rest to go a top time in USRPT. If I did a 3 day protocol of dropping the distance offered by 50% for 2 days then a meet warm up on the third day I have no doubt that I could go a 1:02 with a block start on day 4.

You don’t need a lot of rest in USRPT but the idea that you can go a best time on any given day without any kind of rest is a little misleading. I’m looking back at my notes. In the week leading up to a meet in January I had a subpar training week but was still able to do well in the meet after resting. The meet was on a Sunday morning. On the Wednesday before I did a 100 free set failing on 12,14,17. Then I did some 15’s from the blocks working on my starts, underwaters, and breakouts. After that I took a full rest and did 2 25’s all out free from the block to the hand touch. This was in scy and I went 10.8 on both of them. That would put me at 11.2 to the feet and something like 11.2/12 for a 23.2 total 50 time. On that Thursday I did 10×25 for 100 breast and turns. Friday I did 10×25 100 free pace and some turns. I took Saturday off completely. On Sunday I went a 22.03 in the 50 free. I swam the 100 free and 100 IM earlier that day. From Wednesday to Sunday going 10.8 to the hand all out to going 22.03 4 days later is a big leap. Honestly, I still don’t get it. I should be faster in practice. I wasn’t concerned heading into the meet because I had been slower than I wanted to leading up to some previous meets and ended up going faster than expected. Echoing what Doc said, you need multiple seasons of data to figure this stuff out. So I wouldn’t worry about a 100 fly in practice in the middle of the season. If you go a really fast time, great. But if you go a little slower then it’s not then end of the world as long as your race pace practice sets are going well. The important thing is steady improvement in practice of actual race pace work, not something close to race pace. You wrote in the other thread that you only got 10 on a certain interval. That’s fine don’t worry about going high reps every day. Just aim for 11 next session, 12 the next time and so on. Improvement might halt at some point which is unavoidable but you just have to power through.

In Michael and Peter Andrews podcast, Peter mentioned that often times they will go down to the pool and MA can’t even get 1 repetition at race pace. I’m not sure how frequent that happens but he used the phrase often times. He said that in the past they felt like they had to do something and they would drop the pace back but when they did that they ended up swimming at that slower pace the next meet. They also said that looking back at the years of training they always have a spot in the season where they stall out and when training isn’t going well they start to have fear, doubt themselves, and doubt the training. This is in episode 5 on their podcast website They also have a step by step breakdown of butterfly technique with underwater video which you may find helpful.

The fact that doc has been a successful coach for decades and he is experimenting with something should tell you something. This stuff is hard and there will be forks in the road along the way. When USRPT hit the main stream, people got the perception that it was a declaration that it was the end all be all to swim training and everything you ever need to know. That probably wasn’t the intention but that was the impression a lot of people got. USRPT is still evolving. Dr. Rushall added IM specific training to one of the bulletins recently. In the past he was against it and put it in with the category of mixed training produces mix results. I don’t know if Dr. Rushall reads these forums but I am very thankful for his work and publications. I hope he continues to improve on the theory. I think USRPT will continue to improve in the future. I think his work should be used as a guide but not as an exact blueprint. Not even MA follows it exactly. In one of the bulletins it mentioned that he used 20 seconds rest for 100’s and 30 for 200’s for 18 months before dropping the rest interval down. They said they do IM specific stuff with 50’s of fly/bk bk/br and br/fr but they don’t do it exactly the way that Rushall lays it out in the bulletin. They also tried weight lifting even though Rushall is very against it. They may have made more adjustments than those but that is all that I know about. Peter Andrew is a really good coach. He isn’t just sitting back and letting the magic unfold. Michael Andrew will be an Olympian one day because even if they hit road blocks in training, Peter Andrew will adjust and figure out a way to make it happen. Like Doc said it is far from just plug and play. You have to make adjustments based on the long term data and 3 months isn’t enough time.