How do I make sets?

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    My name is Nick. I am a 16 year old swimmer living in MA and I have taken it upon myself to drop time in swim using usrpt. I swim on a club but the coach doesn’t have th fundamentals that will allow me to get faster and my hs coach is a good coach but I only get to be with him during winter which gives me a small window of opportunity. I watched and read up on Micahel Andrew and want to train the same way he does to get faster because I want to qualify for Irish nationals this summer because I have a dual citizenship. I’ll have access to open lanes 3-4 times a week for about a hour by myself. I want to know what are the best sets for my events because I have no idea how to make the sets and I don’t have money because of my age to buy courses and DVDs ect. My 100 yard back is 1:05.6 and I would like to go under a minute. My 100 fly so far is a 1:07.00 and I would also like to drop in that. Lastly my 100 free is 58.3 and I want to drop in that as well. I need to know what would the best sets he for the amount of time I have to train by myself. The times seem a little slow but granted I’m only 5’4 I have to work with my genetics and what I got. My main question is how do I go about making these sets? Thanks again

    Gary P

    Hey Nick,

    There is much free info available here: . I’ve been able to build a self-training program just by reading the bulletins there and watching a few of Dr. Rushall’s videos on youtube.

    Spend some time going through the bulletins. Start with #28 to get some background on the concept. # 39 goes in more depth. #47 is the nuts and bolts of creating a training plan.

    First and foremost, you’ll need to gain an understand the concept of “failure” in the context of USRPT, what you do when you fail to make a targeted pace in a set, and what to do when you do complete a set. The biggest thing to come away with is that training to failure is good, and that while completing a set is good because it indicates you’ve mastered that pace, it also means you’re ready to increase the pace to something that you will fail at. It’s a bit of a different mind-set than the typical swimmer’s mentality where “failure” is seen as a bad thing.

    Long story short, you’ll be doing lots of 25’s on 15 seconds rest. You’ll “offer” yourself 30 opportunities each, but shouldn’t usually make them all.

    With a 1:05.6 best 100 back, you’ll probably want to start with a target time of :17.

    With a best 100 free time of :58.3, you’ll probably start with a target time of :15

    Your fly seems a little slow compared to your back and free. You need to work with your coach to make sure you have proper form before you start pressing hard on that stroke with USRPT sets. If your form is OK and you just need to work up your stamina, you’ll probably want to start with a target time of :18.

    USPRT is very mental, too. Take whatever stroke advice your coaches have given you, and concentrate on making those corrections to your technique at actual race pace. Given that most of your speed sets will be 25s, you’ll also need to add time to work on turns.

    Best of luck to you.

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