hard data of our last 8 weeks – poor results followed

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    Miklos Petras

    Hi All!
    I barely see any detailed numbers/plans here, so I share mine with you. I also ask for your comments about them. I made this plan for the 7 weeks long period and we finished it with an awful competition – most of my swimmers were barely able to reach their PB-s, really, really bad results all around, and I immediately started to search for clues: why has all this happenned? I think I found some, but I’m curious about your opinions. Any thought/advice is appreciated.

    Our training conditions (to understand the plan’s restrictions): I got 2 lanes SCM for training, 16 kids from 9-16 yo. We can train in the mornings 6:15-7:00, so at this time we’re able to do 1 USRPT set and sometimes a skills/technique-session as well. Afternoons I have 1.5 hours of pool time, but most of my swimmers can’t get to the training from the school when it starts… So I made 2 groups and they swim alternately. (When the 1st group swims the other make some out-of-pool recreation stuff: easy jogging, stretching, etc; and vice versa). This way it is possible to do 2 USRPT sets for everybody every afternoon. On wednesday afternoon we do some skills/tech swimming together with our smaller kids (starts, turns, DLKs, etc), this is some rest for the bigger guys – it seemed they need it. Oh, and one last important thing: we don’t have a poolside watch so I have to use my stopwatch and they can’t leave with just one period as a group (so if one needed to leave at every 0:53 other at every 0:58 they all leave at 0:55) That means the better swimmers at each group most of the time rest more than they should, and the slowers sometimes don’t have enough rest time. I can’t help with that.

    What’s what in the excel file: I tried to translate everything so you’ll understand everything more easily.

    Plan tab: this is the session plan. I tried to stick with it 90%. The event are what they swim for: 100s means they’ll swim 25s @ 100 pace, 200s are 50s @ 200 pace. 400s are tricky, they haven’t been logged, because smaller kids swim less, and they need to swim those sets all together. 100/50s are 50s @ 2:00, not USRPT, but high speed runs I first saw mentioned by doc here.
    Red means the first focus of the week, green the second, yellow the third. 1st week’s red is 2nd’s green and 3rd’s yellow at the 200s, later comes more 100s as we approach competition. The actual competititon was at the 8th week from WED to FRI. They swam half sets at those week’s MON and TUE (and, like I said, the competition was a complete disaster)

    Summary tab: later discussed

    Other tabs: the results of every ‘regular’ USRPT set swam in this periond (except 400s and 50s @ 2:00s. The CHoice ones are blue and aren’t included in the statistics)
    – TT: Target time
    – 1F: when the 1st failure occured
    – Out: when they left the session. If it’s smaller than Sum, it means the swimmer left with 3 failures (or 2 consecutive ones). If it’s the same, tham means he/she finished the set.
    – Sum: The set’s ‘offered’ number
    – Yellow marker at 1F means that the swimmer failed more than twice during the first 6 rep. When 1F is 7 and it marked yellow it usually means that he/she could only swim just 1 or 2 reps at race pace during this set, so the whole set is virtually broken.

    Summary tab:
    – Theoretical max: If they’d have been on every session they’d swim this many repetitions. Two numbers, because there are some swimmers who (should) come every morning and afternoon and there are some who only comes for afternoon sessions.
    – ‘distance-stroke’ offered: the total number of repetitions actually offered for the actual swimmer
    – skipped: 1st minus 2nd
    – skipped%: This reflects for the QUANTITY of the swimmers work: yellow means it’s lacking, red means great problems. (Kárpáti Ákos 2005 is a triathlete so his poor numbers aren’t that poor.)
    – ‘distance-stroke’ done: The total of OUTs for that set.
    – diff: offered minus done
    – series No: how many times a swimmer swam that set during the 8 weeks
    – fails: how many times he/she had a 1st failure during the sets
    – 3 fails: how many times a swimmer reached 3 failures (or 2 consecutive ones) and terminated the set.
    – sum metr. offered: ‘distance-stroke’ offered * 25 or 50 accordingly
    – sum metr. done: offered, minus 100 for every ‘fails’ and another 50 for every ‘3 fails’. I found that when a swimmer fails, he/she fails a 2nd time as well later. So theese numbers may be incorrect sometimes (when a swimmer only failed once, he/she swam 50m more) but more detailed sheets would mean WAY much more work on my side for very little gain).
    – diff: 1st minus 2nd
    – %done: this in percentage-format. This reflects good for the overall QUALITY of the swimmers work: yellow means problems, red means great problems…
    – TT drop: how much the TT has dropped during this 8 weeks period. When a swimmer’s QUALITY is low but this is high it could mean that he/she developed good but is not used to the new pace yet.

    I made a sum of all the 8 weeks as well, it speaks for itself.

    Now. I used green coloring for the kids who hadn’t got a ‘bad-quality’ or ‘bad quantity’ marker, therefore SHOULD do well at the races. It actually didn’t correlate well with the actual results, and at most I don’t have a clue why…

    My questions:
    – Most of my swimmers do WAY MUCH WORSE at competitions than they should by the numbers. Some examples: Tubics Fanni 2003: 100 BF TT: 16.5–>1:06, her best is 1:10.45, she swam 1:10.79 last week LCM. 200 BF: she can do sets with 0:37 TT–>2:28, she did 2:35.6… She’s even worse at FS. Or Tarnóczi Dániel 2005: he swims good 0:17 25s at FS, but last week at a competition SCM he swam 1:15 at 100FS…
    All swims looked OK (I mean: they looked as they are when swimming USRPT sets at home), but the times were awful. I don’t really know why.
    – Most of my swimmers are struggling with the last ~25% of the races: the last 15-20m of a 100 and the last 30-40m of the 200s. I think it’s because – according to Rushall – USRPT doesn’t use high lactate levels, but the last part of a race actually does! USRPT doesn’t train them for that. They’re relatively fast yes, but they can’t endure. This is especially the case with my better swimmers. Their first 50s are OK, but they drop the anchor later.
    – My best/oldest swimmers stopped developing: Bak Ádám swam 1:12.4 at 100BR two years ago at the Nationals, now he swam 1:12.8. Onofer Enikő swam 1:09.1 at 100BK at december, now she swam 1:10.5. Their TTs aren’t dropping, most of the time they’re struggling to even keep up with their latest values. I suspect that’s because they are just swimming to few ‘good’ reps (Ádám&Enikő). I don’t know why. They say they’re tired. I gave them rest, it didn’t help.

    I have some thoughts for the reasons of the overall bad results of the squad, but any thoughts/advice is accepted. My focus is on Bak Ádám 2001, Onofer Enikő 2002, Tubics Fanni 2003, those are the kids I’m struggling with the most (and also the ones that should do the best results at the Nationals) Ádám used to be a breastsroker (nowadays he struggles with that but develops in the other 3), Enikő’s best is BK, Fanni should be a good flyer. But I don’t know anymore….

    Miklos Petras

    I don’t see the attached file, maybe now…

    You must be logged in to view attached files.

    Great to see you’re recording all this data so that you can look back and make assessments like this. There’s a huge amount of info there but I’ll just ask a few questions and make a few points. Sorry if there’s anything I’ve misunderstood.

    What have you based your target times on? You say for instance that one swimmer’s PB is 1:10.45 but their target is 1:06. This is way too fast.
    In your spreadsheet there are a lot of 7s in the 1F column which again would suggest that the targets are too fast.
    Having said that, there are a lot where they have their first fail at 7 or 8 but then carry on to complete 27 or more. In my experience that doesn’t seem right. Once you’ve hit your first fail you can usually only manage another 4 to 6 until the next failure and then same again to the next.
    How long have you been using this program? Is it just these eight weeks or before that too?
    It looks like you have limited pool time so you’ve tried to spread the events out over the 8 weeks as best you can but this means inevitable compromises. I wonder if it would be better to reduce the number of events a little so that more time can be spent on those that are important to each swimmer.
    You make a comment about lactate build up. Again in my experience the aim of this training is to avoid excessive lactate build up since it ruins your stroke mechanics which has a huge effect on your speed. Training with the right target times and then swimming at that speed in the race will prevent this.
    I’d be interested to see the split times for these swimmers in their recent races to see how they compare with their training times.

    Hope this helps

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