Reply To: Location and USRPT Status

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Chris, from Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, UK. Interesting to read all the info on here, thanks for posting.

I read up on USRPT last autumn. It made so much sense and answered a lot of questions about training for me. Approached the Head Coach and as a result our club has been running a USRPT lane since before Xmas as an experiment, 3 sessions a week. We try to get three sets in per 90 minute session, either 50’s, sprint and 25’s, or all 25’s if the first set is fly. It is a 25m pool. The club shelled out on some decent case clocks to stand at the end of the lane, so timing is easier for the swimmers. No drills, no kick sets, no paraphernalia ( although they often look wistfully at their fins when we start a fly set…).

The swimmers doing it are all kids but 15+, so mostly full size! So no easy PB’s due to growth…. It has taken us a while to get it running properly, both them and me! But now we get into each set with no drama. The data is all on a Dropbox account, but we will shortly be introducing log books, and I would like to update each book with target, 1st fail and completed data at the close of each session, so that the swimmers will tell me what their current target is for each set on a session, plus when their 1st fail was last time, rather than the other way around. I hope that will encourage them to hang in there a bit longer and ‘own’ their progression. Not many race results to go on so far, it is still a bit early, but they have generally been on their times or small PB’s. So far so good. I’m hoping we can get more sessions like this involving more swimmers as we move forward.

I do some private coaching in an Endless Pool at home, and have started doing a lot of this in an adapted USRPT format. I still do some drills, but once we have principles of a stroke on a firmer footing, doing USRPT 25 seconds on, 15 off, or 40 on, 20 off, really helps to hone those principles into consistent strokes. I have 15 seconds to tell them something they can use (strike forward with your breaststroke arms, not down! etc etc), and they have 25 seconds to implement it at race pace. It works well, and because in an Endless Pool you are instantly aware of falling off the pace, you can see what helps and what doesn’t, straight away. So as an example, for myself I have found that right side loping freestyle allows me to swim faster, with a lower stroke count, than swimming a bi-lateral stroke – even before I need the extra oxygen. It also shows me how long the lope can actually be to maintain a pace – it is quite surprising how long a stroke you can get away with.

I’ll post on the logbooks once they are up and running.