Reply To: Target time for 100Free LCM

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My experience with USRPT is that your PB really does not matter in chosing target time. You can really start with any target time, and if you complete the set you drop your target time. The drop should be large enough to be reasonably measurable. Small drops will result in more frequent time reductions. Big drops will require more sets at the same pace until the next drop.
Especially for swimmers coming of traditional training it can be mentally more beneficial to start at an “easy” target and then work towards the “single failure” set and then to sneak them in to the whole concept that failure is beneficial.
Soon enough, they will normalize to an appropriate fail pace where they will need to push to complete the set to achieve the next pace reduction.
It is not necessary to “correlate” to race times. The improvement over time is what is important and race pace improvement will correlate with race time improvement. The “slope” is more important than the actual time, so to say.

Thanks for your reply. I think that this observable “slope” in training is one of the most important aspects for him (and me). He can see and feel himself improving – either in target times or # of reps. I know that this fed through to when he last raced – he “knew” he was going to be fast. We are also incorporating occasional “benchmark” swims – an all-out 25 – push to hands, and a “stand-up” 50 at the end of a set. He can see that he is getting faster.
I think in the traditional programmes the constant level of fatigue masks the improvements that they may (or may not) be getting. Tapering then becomes a bit of a shot in the dark. I know in the past there have been cases where he’s raced either particularly well or badly and not really known why.