Reply To: Questions about implementing USRPT.
Lot’s of physiological concepts in play with your approach. The first time you finished with the 100s you put maximum stress on your system in the shortest amount of time. I call this stressing the entire architecture. This has value when applied correctly. Once you burn your glycogen storage you are done for the day so doing it last is the only sane approach.
USRPT is good at building the recovery architecture so that you can initiate this type of training. USRPT is also more efficient at high-volume quality repetitions (as you know). So the catch is, do I need to develop my technique or do I need to stress the entire architecture. In reality, you can’t do both at the same time.
I started taking this approach in the gym (not Bulgarian volume training BVT) but I won’t explain that here. I’ve been squeamish to try it in the pool though.
A couple ideas:
1. Training one distance up seems to help stress the respiratory system so that more work at the target distance can be accomplished (VO2max stress begins to develop at about 6 minutes of heavy work). I do 200 pace 50’s every other training session. My 200 pace times haven’t improved but my target times, rep quality, and recovery at the 50 and 100 paces have.
2. Take a USRPT set to a first failure. Maybe 25’s at your 100 pace with decent rest so you can get 10-15 in. Rest at least 3 minutes (creatine phosphate regen is 65% at 2 minutes and ~100% at 5 minutes). Then swim at 100 pace until failure. Don’t aim to swim 100 yards; just lock the pace in and go until you fall apart. This is a way to focus on technique, stress one part of the architecture, then stress the whole architecture all in one session.
I probably won’t do number 2, I’m a wuss. It seems like something you would like on those other 2 days.
Note: BVT actually doesn’t “max” that much. They hit their “true” 1RM every 3 weeks. They do one max rep “training RM” twice a week but most of the training is in the 70-90% max range. In swimming, we have a limited variety of intensities (50, 100, 200 etc.) but we list those as distances. In BVT you aren’t performing a max bench press but only moving it half the distance. The distance is always the same, for every intensity and every lift. So they are hitting a failure point but many times they are using a 3-5RM resistance. Really, weightlifting and locomotive training methods should never be directly compared. Plus, BVT plays almost no role in improving VO2max as performances are only 4-6 seconds long.