Reply To: Location and USRPT Status

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Greg McMullen


From a very high level the idea was to increase aerobic capacity through various levels of training. These levels include Recover, Aerobic, Anaerobic Threshold and VO2MAX.

All of these different levels have a color (White, Red, Blue, Purple, Green) or level (EN-1,2,3, SP-1,2-3 etc.) associated with them. Some coaches use the idea “the color of this set should be the color of your face.” Meaning that if you are white, it’s easy, if you are purple you should work as hard as possible.

Each level of training is based on the 100 average of a timed 30 minute swim (or some variation) and is tested on a regular basis.

Here’s a basic winter season cycle based on the Urbancheck system:

1st Macro – Skill Development
– 40% of season
– 3 weeks of skill development
– 50% Aerobic Training / Skill Development
– Heart rate avg < 150bpm
– 50% Aerobic – Anaerobic Threshold – VO2MAX – Lactate
– Drop taper for mid season meet
2nd Macro – Endurance and Speed
– Middle 50% of season
– 3 Weeks of aerobic endurance
– 10 weeks all training zones; multiple meets per month
– More emphasis on VO2MAX and lactate production
3rd Macro – Taper
– ~10% of season
– Strength training reduced, maintenance only
– Training reduction from 70k to 30k per week

As you can see in the 3rd macro, training volume is very heavy. Some people would be training 70k+. This is the system I’m the most familiar with and over the last 2 years results have been varied from athlete to athlete, but were overall a success. 4 NCAA D3 All-Americans, 40+ school records fell and 20+ All Conference winners came from this type of program.

It does work, but as I stated. The results do vary from person to person, and nothing is predictable. We’ve had many disappointing swims from meet to meet.