my USRPT results

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    I’ve been lurking for a while but haven’t signed up until now. I’m 27 and been training USRPT since mid August after a long break from the pool and being horribly out of shape. I thought I was going to die of cardiac arrest at the beginning and routinely got heart rates into the 220-240 range. My swimming back ground is summer league growing up. I played other sports so I couldn’t swim year round. I did try hard to improve during the summer and it was more serious than just for fun kind of thing. As a 17-18 year old I trained just for the 50’s with the idea that there wasn’t enough time to build up enough 100 endurance. I lifted 2-3 times a week, did a ton of 15meter and 25 meter sprints, a lot of drills, starts and turns work, and I did lactate sets like 6×50 all out on 4 minutes a couple of times a week. My best times were 21.8 and 50.00 in free, 28.3 breast, and 24.5 fly. I swam at a masters meet last weekend and went pr’s in everything I swam- 100 free/fly/breast and 50 breast/fly.

    I love USRPT because of the self regulating aspect. I never have to worry about doing too much or too little. Also I don’t have to mess around with a taper because with my background I have no clue what I’m doing in that department. In every practice it’s like trying to beat your high score in a game. It’s really satisfying achieving more reps than you did the session before. I practice once a day mon-sat. On mon,wed,fri I do a set for 100 breast and 100 fly. On Tues, thurs, and Sat I do a 100 free set and then I do some work on under water fly kick or I do some 25 sprints. For the under water fly kick I usually set my tempo trainer to 8 seconds and kick as far as I can in 8 seconds. I do 8 of these on a minute and I am inching my way further down the pool each week. I do 2-4 25 sprints only 1 or 2 times a week. But other than the fly kick sets I’m full USRPT, no weight lifting, fins, paddles, ect. I do a 400-500 warm up and go straight into the USRPT sets and do a 100 cool down at the end. I am going to start to up the volume on the fly kicking because that is an area I really need to improve in. I use a finis tempo trainer pro to time myself and I move the pace down .5 every time I make it to 20 reps before the third fail. One mistake that I made in my training was switching from a strict finish to the wall before the beep to the last stroke being complete before the beep. I hated being completed with my last stroke with my hands extended coming into the wall with the beep going off just before the touch. Over time the last stroke completion rule turned into every rep close to failure being a Millorad Cavic suuuuuper long finish counting as a make. But I have switched back to a strict wall finish.

    I practice in a 25 meter pool. My paces with the long finishes were 14.5 for free with 14.5 rest 1:1 ratio. After I completed that I switched to a 3:4 ratio 14.01 with 18.68 rest which I went to about a month ago. I got up to 18 before the first fail with the uber long finishes. I went with the non USRPT rest interval for free because I don’t care much about the 100 free and I thought that getting in a bunch a faster reps would help the end of my 50. I ended up not swimming the 50 and I don’t think my 100 free was effected much by the extra rest. I know that the new bulletin says that 13-18 seconds rest is ok so being .68 outside of that it’s not too bad. My fly interval was 15.5 1:1. My breast was 17.5 1:1 which is the best I could do with the tempo trainer. When I was at a 19.5 I did a 4:3 ratio setting the tempo trainer to 4.87 so it was 4 beeps for a 19.48 and 3 beeps rest for 14.61. At 17.5 1:1 is the best I can do. Anything below 4 seconds per beep is too much. But after my meet last week I switched back to a strict wall finish and had to up the intervals to 15,17, and 19. From the best I can figure it takes about a second from the beep to when my toes leave the wall so my paces are really 14,16,18. I took a few days off and I am a feeling a little slower than heading into the meet but after a few days since switching to a strict wall finish this week I know that the paces I was holding into the upper teens before the third fail heading into the meet were: (the meet was in yards so I have to do some scm to scy conversions)

    Free- 13.8 x 4 = 55.2
    100 free time 23.30/26.64 49.94 converts to a 55.43 scm

    Breast- 17.8 x 4 = 1:11.20
    100 breast 29.68/34.59 1:04.27 converts to a 1:11.34

    Fly- 15.8 x 4 1:03.2
    100 fly 25.56/31.13 56.69 converts to a 1:02.93

    My other two events were 50 breast 27.99 and 50 fly 23.65. I wish I could have done 50 free but it was too close to the 100 fly and I wanted to be fully rested so I could get proper data. I know I’m not setting the world on fire with any of these times but I feel obligated to get the info out there since USRPT critics always say there isn’t enough data out there. My splits aren’t the greatest and my 100’s should be a lot faster based on those 50 times but I did exactly what I was supposed to do base on my paces. USRPT did exactly what was advertised for me. I tried to follow the program as strict as possible trying to focus hard on technique and swim every set like there is no tomorrow. I watch a lot of video of the elite swimmers on youtube to try to improve my technique. I wish I had a little coaching because I know I probably have flaws in my strokes that I can’t perceive by myself. Either way, I have been improving steadily over time and I was in awful shape when I started the program. I did some 100 free’s for time periodically to track my progress.
    9/4/2014- 1:04 scm from a push
    10/8/2014- 1:01 scm from a push
    11/6/2014- 59 scm from a push
    12/13/2014- 56.75 scm in a masters meet
    4/11/2015- 49.94 converts to 55.43

    Progress is slowing as I am getting faster which is understandable but I am continuing to improve every week.


    Really great post!
    Appreciate you sharing. Congrats on your results!


    I’ve been inconsistent with training over the past month and a half. I took a little time off after the swim meet in April. I swim in the evening so I have been unable to train due to thunder a few times. With no meet on the horizon anytime soon it’s been a little hard to get motivated on some days. But I have jumped back into it and I’m going 100% now and I had a good week of training this past week.

    I swam a 100 free for time on Thursday and went a 57 high. This was from a push using the pace clock leaving on the 00 but starting to react at 59. I’m not sure about my splits. 2 out of the 3 turns were awful but that’s understandable because I haven’t worked on turns in 2 months. I came in too close to the wall before the flip on the 2 bad ones. I had to bring my knees to my chest which really slowed me down and I didn’t get a great push off from being so jammed up close to the wall. This was decent considering the inconsistent training. I finished strong and didn’t fall apart at the end which I was happy about.

    I’m still using a 3:4 swim/rest ratio. Right now I’m at 14.49 which is 4.83 on the tempo trainer. I use 10 beeps on the fails instead of the full time for the failed rep. The 100 free USRPT set prior to this 100 free I failed on 9,12,15. I think that I’ll be able to go a 56 once I make it to 20 before the third fail. I know that this doesn’t followed the USRPT rules because it is 19.32 rest but I’m doing this because I think that I will eventually make it to a 13.5 pace which would give me exactly 18 seconds rest on a 3:4 ratio. The fact that I didn’t die at the end is promising.

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