Practice Volumes

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  • #1983
    AvatarMatt
    Participant

    What is everyone seeing and/or targeting in their practice volumes? What percentage of your weekly volume is outright RP sets? Aerobic? Drill/skill work? Break it down as much as you’re willing.

    So far we started around 15% and worked up to about 30-35%. I think I’d like to see the RP volume well north of 50%, but I don’t have much sense of whether that’s nutty or not nutty enough.

    Matt

    #1989
    Avataroldschoolc
    Participant

    Matt,
    If you are talking about your “calibration” cycle then that would make sense about the volume question and you would need to be concerned about making too big of an increase in work.

    Once you get to the actual RP sets and your using “exit conditions” (we call them “rules”) that is going to throw your volume on its head. You may offer 1st set 20 x 50 stroke at 200 pace on whatever interval you use and some make all 20 and some will make 2. 2nd set you offer 10 x 75 stroke at 200 pace and some make 4 and others come up with zero. If you look at the “workout data” sheet I posted you’ll see they are all over the place, with some just flat out having a rough day through all sets to others having a solid training day and then the very next day everything gets reversed and just wait and see your numbers at the end of the week. There are times I’m not sure I’m on foot or horseback and I’ve tracked data for over 17 years. I think you see the dilemma with trying to think in volume terms. If you figure it out let me know!

    I think what may be a better approach is to look at numbers offered and numbers made and what percentage of made of the total through the cycle or season, which from your other posts you’re doing. Because you are basically starting from zero with regards to data in this type of system it does take a couple of cycles to then start the evaluation and adjustment processes. Something the good Dr. forgets to tell coaches. It’s not just read the bulletins and “plug and play”. Coaches are looking for help with real world questions and “crickets”. Sorry sore subject.

    This Principle of Specificity thing is messy as hell.

    Oldschool

    "Only in America. Dream in red, white and blue"

    #2018
    AvatarMatt
    Participant

    Thanks. I figured whatever measure I use will have to take the general success of the set into account. There are at least a couple statistically sound ways to do that (average, median, ect.) However one slices it there would still be a Total Yardage number and a Race Pace number and thus a Percentage at RP value.

    However one measures it there needs to be a goal or guideline. Depends on how far down the USRPT rabbit hole one wants to go, for sure, but hearing from others on what their guidelines and goals are with respect to RP volume would be interesting and helpful.

    On days that we do 2 longer RP sets (900+ offered in each) percentage volume RP offered can get over 30%. For a week it’s closer to 20-25%.

    I’ve done enough to be convinced that 60+% volume at RP per week is feasible. We haven’t done a 3-set practice yet, but that’s coming. Performance and numbers will ultimately point the way, given what i’ve seen I think 60%, while big, isn’t too crazy.

    Anyone else?

    #2020
    Avataroldschoolc
    Participant

    60% “offered” isn’t going to be hard. We average 51 – 55% “offered” per workout every day right now. If it’s “made 60% at RP” that’s going get interesting.

    I attached a chart of “n x 50 fr” LCM. The reason for LCM is no school to interfere with the numbers. We use 60% made as a goal for each set we do. You can see from the chart how that’s working out.

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    "Only in America. Dream in red, white and blue"

    #2022
    billratiobillratio
    Participant

    What do you mean if it’s made 60% RP things will get interesting? You think it would be possible to swim too much yards at pace?

    You have some swimmers who are there consistently but still only complete around 30%. How do those swimmers generally perform?

    If a swimmer made 50% of all the yards you offer, how many race pace yards would that be in a typical week?

    Are you ever going to start doing clinics on this stuff? 🙂 I feel like you have more to offer than the Andrews considering how many more athletes you’ve trained this way (not to say I don’t appreciate what they’ve done).

    "Most people have the will to win. Few have the will to prepare to win."

    #2023
    Avataroldschoolc
    Participant

    Matt’s question as I read it was: “offering” 60% of total volume at RP” which can be done. But “making 60% of what is offered at RP” is a whole different ball game. I’ll use one of my workouts as an example. TVW is 4k for the workout and of that 4k, 2000 is “offered” at RP might be 14 x 50, then 10 x 100 and finish with 12 x 25 that is 2k “offered” at RP or 50%. So using “making” 60% is 1,250 of that 2k as a goal is “going to get interesting”. Because the chart I posted just shows that’s not easy to do and shows what real live “plug and chug” swimmers are achieving.

    “Too much at pace” question: No. Every athlete has what we now believe is 3 ceilings; Technical, Physiological and Psychological. What we have seen is the technical and psychological ceilings break before they reach the physiological. It’s not that they become injured or the like, it’s just that they start to struggle with the technical skills to reach that next speed and mentally for whatever reasons don’t believe they can. Hope that makes sense.

    The rates of improvement that I have posted on other threads are based off theses same kids. I think coaches are somehow led to believe that you have to be achieving near 100% of the 20-30 x 25s, 30-40 x 50s and x number of 75s in order to perform and that’s simply not true. The chart shows that and these are kids that know no other way to swim but at RP in practice. True the more the swimmer can show “mastery” i.e. higher numbers made. The more consistent they will be with regards to performance. But those in that 30-40% range swim just as fast. Example just had a boy go 1:59.52, 200IM this weekend and in not one of his protocol sets is he over 41% made. Last year at this time he was 2:06.33. I had 7 swimmers in that same meet that did roughly the same thing with regards to % and performance.

    On average at this stage of the season I’ll offer between 15,000 to 16,000 yds per week. Which at 50% would be 7,500 to 8,000yds “made” as the chart shows it’s really more like 30-40% and the numbers at RP look more like 3,450 to 4,500.

    I just did one in Fargo ND, in May.

    Hope this helps.

    "Only in America. Dream in red, white and blue"

    #2024
    billratiobillratio
    Participant

    Thanks for all the info. I’d like to know next time you are near MN doing a talk.

    So I’m guessing you have 2 practices some days to be able to offer 15,000 a week. Is that right?

    What do you do when you are resting for a meet with those swimmers who are completing only 30%. Do you offer numbers that will make sure they drop their yardage or do you just cut a % of what you’ve been offering? I’m not sure I’m making that clear but I don’t know how to ask it.

    "Most people have the will to win. Few have the will to prepare to win."

    #2025
    AvatarRob
    Participant

    oldschool

    When I look at the chart, i see some swimmers with low numbers made. Do you use the 3 times missed is leaving the set rule or do you let them swim the number offered and record the numbers made?

    Rob

    #2026
    Avatardrpaul
    Participant

    This is a great thread….

    oldschoolc,

    2 questions

    1) when you say 4k tvw & 2k is RP, is the other 2k warm up, warm down, technique work, etc?

    2) same question as Rob, do you use the misses/fail out of the set that doc speaks of? I actually stopped using it. We still track total offered/made but they complete the entire set (outside of injury, etc)

    Thanks for all the help.

    Paul

    #2027
    Avataroldschoolc
    Participant

    Billratio,
    Will do.

    Nope we have 6 practices that average 2500ish offered. We only do doubles over Christmas break and Summer time, just too many external stressors during the school year.

    You ask an interesting question. First the 3 day protocol is a % reduction in work offered for everyone regardless of % made. The % difference between swimmers doesn’t seem to have that big of an impact with regards to say % improvement i.e. 60% vs. 33%, the 60% doesn’t really drop more time than the 33%. They will both go faster and have the same improvement rate. From what we see the only real difference between the higher percent and lower percent is race performances during season the higher kids swim at or are faster in-season on a more consistent basis. Makes since “Mastery of their craft”

    Oldschool

    "Only in America. Dream in red, white and blue"

    #2028
    Avataroldschoolc
    Participant

    Rob,
    “Rules” apply 2 in a row out and 3 for the set. I’ll ask you a question “What do you do with the kid that’s out at 6 of a set of 20 x 50?” and you have 20-40 kids in the pool, parents watching and maybe asking why is so and so (might even be their kid) sitting on the deck while the others are still swimming?

    I knew coaches would look at USRPT and say hey this sounds really good with solid science backing it up and it has volume. Well kinda and it has it’s own set of problems.

    I guess I’m one of those guys Dr. Rushall rails about “done this along time” and “guru”. Well the problem is I have. I’ve followed the basic fundamentals’ of USRPT 1.travel at a determined race speed and often 2. Let them stop when they can’t make pace and 3. I RECORD THE DATA.

    Sorry. Get carried away about this stuff.

    Oldschool

    "Only in America. Dream in red, white and blue"

    #2029
    Avataroldschoolc
    Participant

    Dr. Paul,
    Correct the other 50% is skill and or recovery.

    “Rules” apply 2 in a row out and 3 for the set. I’ll ask the same question “What do you do with the kid that’s out at 6 of a set of 20 x 50?” and you have 20-40 kids in the pool, parents watching and maybe asking why is so and so (might even be their kid) sitting on the deck while the others are still swimming? You kinda answered it in your post that you have them do it all.

    Don’t get me wrong I’m not condemning it. True Dr. Rushall would tell you then you’re not doing USRPT and you would agree. But you are doing what is practical for your situation.

    As soon as coaches started recording and looking over data. I knew this was going to get messy.

    Have a hard time getting off the soap box 🙂

    Oldschool

    "Only in America. Dream in red, white and blue"

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