Target time for 100Free LCM

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  pault1607 17 hours, 38 minutes ago.

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    Hi All – new to the forum and USRPT.

    My son has started USRPT about a month ago having come out of a “traditional” training programme and taken a break for a few months. He is 17 and has a target time of 53.0 for 100 free (LCM). He goes 24.9 50 Free and swam a 100 about a month ago (not very fit) and went out 25.4 but died on last 25 and came back 29.

    If I look at typical splits and some speed charts I have, a typical split for a 53.0 is 25.5, 27.5.

    So here’s the question. For a 53.0 and given his newness to USRPT what target times for a X x 25 set should we use? If I take 53.0/4 I get 13.25. If I take last 50 I get 27.5/2 = 13.75.

    Because he’d never done it before we started at 14.0. Over 3 weeks he’s improved from being able to do 15 reps at 14.0 to last time doing 40. SO not I think it’s time to drop his time. We’re going to try 13.8. But to target a 53.0 does he really need to get down to 13.2’s??

    I’m assuming that it will be better for him to be able to do, say 20 reps at 13.5, than 40 at 14.0?

    Any thoughts? Thanks.



    Hi pault1607,

    Have you read the USRPT step by step guide? (

    From what I remember, when training the 100m the main sets has to be done on 25’s and reraly 50’s
    for example 30×25 and 20×50, but I think if you just start it can be less – 20×25 per set maybe enough.

    I’m assuming that it will be better for him to be able to do, say 20 reps at 13.5, than 40 at 14.0? yes its better, because the closer the time to the race pace time the better.

    But remember that the main emphasis should not be on the number of reps but on failing. after 3 failures or 2 consecutive failures the set is over. So if he accomplished 40 reps without failing that not considered a good USRPT set.

    But if for example he did 8 reps until first failure (the rest after a failure should be longer then the 15 sec rest between reps, like..40-60 sec ) then another 6 until another failure and then another 4.. in total 8 + 6 + 4 = 18 reps with race pace time. That’s a good set even though that was only 18 and not 30.
    You can stick with the same time until he can do 30 reps (with 1 or 2 non consecutive failure is ok) before you drop the target time.

    In addition it maybe good for him to work on sprint USRPT for training the 50m free which is also beneficial for the 100m , you can read about it here:

    You will see that his 25 time will reduce drastically after doing sprints of 15/25 all out with full recovery for the whole session until time failure.

    Also be aware that drop in time mainly comes from technique improvement and not from conditioning, I don’t know what is your level of understanding of swimming technique and particular freestyle, but I would suggest you and also your son (it is very important that the swimmer will have a good understanding of all technique aspects) read and understand all the technique details and how to work on them (technique micro-cycles).




    Thanks Evg.

    What we’ve been doing is after a fail he swims 25 easy off the same turn around then goes again.

    On his last set he did 43 reps total including 2 fails (and so two “easys”) so he did 39 at target pace (14.0 or better) – this says to me we need to drop his time. I wonder if going to 13.8 is fast enough – 22 of his 49 reps were faster than 13.8.

    We might try 13.8 and see what happens. If it’s too slow (i.e if he does at least 20) we can always drop again.

    Thanks for the sprint link. I was wondering how you do USRPT for 50s!!



    Sorry guys – another question I forgot to put in my original post.

    Some of our sessions we only have an hour. If he does 30-40 reps he doesn’t have enough time to recover for another USRPT set. Would we bet better off using a target time where he can do about 15 reps and then do another set later rather than using a target where he can do one set of 30-40 reps?

    Gary P
    Gary P

    A few thoughts.

    1. Yes, it’s well past time to increase the pace. You’re right that it’s better to do ~20 at 13.5 (or even 20 @ 13.8) than 40 @ 14.0. Trust me, at these speeds, a couple tenths can easily drop the # of successful reps in half. For 25’s at 100 pace, I typically advance the pace when I can get to 18 before first failure, or 26 before failing the set.

    2. You’re training for LC, but training in a short course pool; I presume a 25m pool. One thing you have to consider is that the first 25 of a LC 50 is going to be faster than the second 25, due to the push off. So even if you subscribe to the “train to the back half pace,” You can’t just divide the second fifty target in half. I’d guess a 27.5 second long course 50 is split ~13.5/14.0. Since the 25 SCM replicates the front half of a LC 50, you need to train down to a 13.50, at least. My personal experience has been that the 1/4 total race time is pretty damn accurate, but your mileage may vary.

    3: My best 100 performances have come when I’m cross-training for longer distance races. My opinion, based on my “n=1” experience, is that if you want him to close a 100 stronger, you’ll work in at least a couple sets of 50’s at 200 race pace every week. (If I could have Michael Andrew’s father’s ear for 5 minutes, I’d implore him to have the kid train hard for the 400/500 free for the next year, and watch what that does for his back-half 100 free speed and the free leg of his 200 IM).

    Gary P
    Gary P

    My personal experience has been that the 1/4 total race time is pretty damn accurate, but your mileage may vary.

    I should clarify, the total race time/4 works well for me in SHORT COURSE. If your goal time is a 53.00 LCM, that converts to a ~51.40 SCM. Divide that by 4, and that means you would need to work down to a :12.85 target.

    FWIW, I was at 14.10 target time for my 100 free pace work mid-season, Swam a 56.43 at the mid-season meet where I prioritized that race (i.e. didn’t swim it in the aftermath of a 1650). Finished out the season at a 13.90 target time, went 55.45 in my Championship meet.



    Thanks Gary.

    A quick update. We had a bad week last week – he had exams and a bit of stress plus might have been fighting off a bit of a virus. Mid week last week he did 19 reps @ 13.8 with two fails but was only just making it. We stopped there because he wanted to do some front end speed too.

    This week he feels better. Tonight he went 21 reps @ 13.8 with only 1 fail. We had 3 others in the lane who were trying the set so were limited on time so I then asked them to go all out for 3 reps – he went 12.9, 12.7, 12.6. We then stopped so I don’t know how many more he might have been able to do.

    He’s very much used to managing his effort having trained “traditionally” for years i.e. he manages his effort to complete the set. So another question, given that he can throw in 3 sub 13s after 21 reps @ 13.8 – should he actually be training faster i.e. would he be better dropping his target substantially even if he could only complete less than 12 reps initially? Or should I ask him to start a set and say OK every rep all out and see how many he can do at what sort of pace before he drops off, and then use that as a target?

    He’s got his first meet this weekend after a month of this. I’ll post how he gets on. We are both intrigued to see how this translates to actual performance.



    Sorry also forgot to mention. We are in the UK where USRPT is viewed at best with some scepticism if not outright hostility, so there are a few other people watching what we’re doing and how it works out.

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