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    Hello All,

    As some of you know this year is the first foray into USRP training for my athletes and myself. Our first semester was filled with some growing pains and finding our training paces. We had our big mid-season meet a few weeks ago. The results were promising. We did a 3-day rest, put on tech suits but did not shave. We had season bests across the board (in actuality it was probably 95% but no swimmer did not have at least 2 season bests) and many personal records. Looking back on things we raced eerily similar to our training paces, which is great to have such a high translation. However for some of our athletes, their paces are slower than their best times. The reason for the slower paces was we did paces based off of meet results and seeing what we were acoomplishing in practice. I have a few questions about moving forward if anyone is willing to share:

    1. I moved many paces down to best times only to find that we have great difficulty doing more than a few, the usual set for this particular group of swimmers is get through the mulligans, miss the first live one, rest, make the next, miss and rest, make the next and then miss. Sometimes we get two makes in a row. Rushall states that when this training is new, the swimmers will be able to adapt quickly, making 1 or 2 more each week. So my question is should we keep trying these paces based on lifetime bests and improve our volume as we go or slow the paces down and hope to build speed as they complete more and more sets?

    2. I do have one swimmer in particular that for whatever reason (probably poor coaching) cannot hit paces set for her even though they are paces based on her best times this season. She training at a 2:08 200 pace first semester (best time 2:03) and went 2:04 at the midseason meet. I changed her pace to 2:04 and she rarely makes more than one. Have any other coaches encountered this? Do we continue to train at paces that get her more volume and just assume she will be faster than those paces in a meet? I more worried about her because it seems she can’t even make the times sprinting. The above example holds true when we are doing 2nd 50 of 100 pace and even at an all out sprint she sometimes can make the 1st 25 of a 100 but not very often. Again, all of her paces come directly from performances this season.

    3. Finally, how often in a week is it okay to train the 2nd 50 of the 100. I love doing it at least twice but would like to do it more with my 100 free and 100 strokers, i.e. Monday do it for free, Tuesday for Stroke, Thursday for Free, Friday for stroke, or should we have at least one day off in between those.

    I realize that all of these questions are looking for opinions and insights, if you are willing to share that is awesome but I understand if you are not. I thought I would ask just to see what everyone thinks. Okay gotta run to practice, thanks for any help.




    I guess this is an example of the mental spect. Clearly she can hold that speed since she does it at races. What do you do different? Pool warmup? Land warmup? Preparation?
    If you think about it, a significant portion of every practice is wasted on pool warmup. Who starts a race directly from a pool warmup?



    I agree completely. We have had several conversations about preparing herself for the workout and finding the same mentality she uses doing races. We do probably warm-up too long in the water, and three days a week we do have a short dryland circuit before we get in the water.


    How do you compute her training paces?

    If you’re working on 100 Pace and best time is 1:00.00 think about the race, obviously the 1st 50 is going to be faster and basically the 2nd 50 minimum goal time should be at around 51.5% of the 100, so for 1:00.00 the 2nd 50 goal would be :30.90

    N x 25 pace would be 23% of goal time, so minimum goal time of :13.80

    ? Practice Technical Skill's and Make Fast a Habit!


    I have to do a couple calculations which I hate. We train SCM and compete SCY. So I start with her yard time, we have been using 55.0, her best time is a 54.8. Then depending on what I am looking for I use several conversion factors. First, if we want just a straight 1/4 time I divide her time by the NCAA SCM conversion (55/.896=61.38) and divide that by 4 (61.38/4=15.35) and I now have her SCM time. If we are doing 2nd 50 I take her time and multiply it by .5178 (I like .4822 and .5178 for women) to get her 2nd 50 time of 28.48 then divide by .896 to get a pace of 31.79 for SCM. I know all the numbers and converting isn’t perfect, but we have found a way to make it work and most athletes have adjusted. However, I will freely admit that when we do get to swim yards at practice, they generally do better on their sets.


    Some thoughts on question 1. Years ago I thought I would be clever and start with goal speed and figured they had plenty of time to make the adaptation. They did swim fast. But man the numbers never really got very high (less than one shift) and didn’t do that again.

    I’m guessing that the shift to best times was probably too great and some may need a little more time in the pot to cook so to speak. I started with the times from their conference meet last year and broken them down into the appropriate training sets. Then I created 2 columns one was an increases to pace time of 1% slower and the other was 3% slower. They like to have a little wiggle room and it factors in stdev. I started the groups at the 3% of best time or split and with a few exception all are 1-2% faster than their conference meet performances.

    I would tweek them a little say .5% to .8% and see what happens.

    Remember I’d never seen the majority of these swimmers before September.

    Thoughts on question 2. I have 3 female swimmers in the same boat. If you looked at their trng paces and race splits you’d think they were a completely different swimmer. It’s the tech suit for whatever reason when they swim in that suit they go really fast! which is not a bad thing. But hell on the coach trying to figure out where the athlete is in trng. About drove me crazy trying to figure this out. Example of one girl: n x 50 stk on 2:00 trng pace 34.49 and race split 32.91 and n x 25 on 2:00 projected 26.04 with a race split of 24.30.

    I’m just watching and seeing what happens. Never experienced this at the club level.

    Question 3. I try and get in at least 3 x per week both free and stroke. I will adjust the numbers depending on where I want it to fall in the workout. Example: first set we are looking for improvement over last time offered (no clutter of sets before). If it’s a second set then it is more maintenance just make what you did last time and if it’s the 3rd set just give we what you got. We will play lets’ make a deal on 3rd sets. Example I’ll pick a swimmer (I call it “spotlight swimmer” and say if you make x number in a row then the group gets to stop. It might be a set of 12 x 50 on 1:00, and if the swimmer makes 6 in a row the group is done. (hint pick a swimmer that hasn’t ever made 6 in a row) they will light the pool up! We just did it tonight the 3rd set was 8 x 50 stk on 2:00 with a girl that hadn’t made 4 in a row ever and she went 27.69, 28.18, 28.34 and 28.84 with a pace time of 30.02. The group went crazy and it’s truly their brain!

    Hopefully this gives you some things to think about.

    Please tell me you are not doing the calculations from SCM to SCY by hand. EXCEL can easily handle this for your whole team.


    ? All that is not shared... is lost.


    Hey Everyone thanks for the help!

    We have made the adjustments and I think we are in a good place right now. I do have a question about lowering paces, I know the general rule is to lower the pace if they finish the set 2 times in a row. My question is this, let’s say they finish the first set of the day on Monday. Then we do the same set on Tuesday, but we do it second or third and they don’t make it to the end. Then we do the set 1st again on Wednesday and they finish the set. Now they didn’t finish the set twice in a row, but they did finish the set twice in a row when it was the first set of the day. Should we lower the pace time?

    We are closing in on our conference champs (4 weeks away) and we are training fast! I’m pumped if we can swim close to our pace times! For our midseason meet we rested 3 days and swam fairly well. I’ve seen the bad reviews for the Rushall 2 week rest, any other suggestions? Some will repeat the same rest as midseason, but I have a few swimmers that based on their midseason results need more rest. If you have any suggestions I would appreciate it!




    I’ve always used the first set as looking for improvement in numbers over last time done. So Monday they max out and then on Wednesday or Thursday again max out. I’d adjust pace.

    one side note: be careful with the amount of adjustment with 4 weeks to go if it’s too great you run the risk of a big drop in numbers and without enough time to get them back up (make a shift) at the new speed. My last adjustment to pace was last week and they are flying in practice.

    Our conference is also coming up in 5 weeks and I plan on using the same 3 day unload as we did for mid-season meet. 10 team records, 13 pool records and 90% plus season/lifetime bests.

    Just some thoughts


    ? All that is not shared... is lost.


    I am prepping for our conference meet as well. We are 4 weeks out and just wrapped up back-to-back meets at the end of the 3 most intense weeks of training we’ll do all season.

    Times at the first meet were pretty fast and a bit slower the second meet. Not unexpected and I was pretty pleased with the effort, execution and times. They were able to really attack the races at both meets. Their legs went away in nearly every event in the first meet. The second meet was worse, but it didn’t mess with race execution. The back half of their races were just slower.

    I saw something like this last season. We ended up doing very well at champs, but very clearly the guys and the more built women needed more recovery. Getting the legs more completely rested was the #1 issue last year and I see it heading that way again.

    Last season at this point the race pace intervals continued to go up to provide more rest. Number of reps came down a little. We would even split the race pace sets in the middle by a 2-3 min rest. The unload/taper phase was the 3-day plan I’ve seen here stretched across 5 days with 2-3 additional days inserted in between where we did no race pace, swam slower and stretched out. We were fast, but even with all that additional rest the leg were flat out cooked halfway through championships.

    What I’d like to do is use the next 2-3 weeks to bring the legs back so they are more in line with the rest of the body. At that point the unload phase should be cleaner and easier to manage.
    Our “normal” pattern for a week:

    Mon – 3 RP sets
    Tue – Full Event RP set (i.e. 15x100s on 5 mins, 10×200 on 7 mins, 4x500s on 12 mins, etc.)
    Wed – 3 RP sets
    Thu – Long meet warm-up, 300-600 total yards racing off the blocks
    Fri – 2 RP sets

    My thinking now has me considering the following:
    – Reduce Wed to the point where it is a complete recovery day. This week go to 2 sets, next week 1 set, the following week just recovery
    – Reduce the size of the Tue sets by 20-30% per week
    – Limit the Thu off the blocks yardage to 200-300 max
    – Increase the intervals on the RP sets each week by at least 10 seconds, keep the number of reps steady this week, drop by 10-15% per week after.

    Part of me thinks this might be too much rest. On the other hand there I heard a big-time coach once say: If I’m going to screw up their season do I want it to be because I rested them too much or too little?

    I would greatly appreciate any thoughts or insights!



    I won’t be making any more adjustments this year, I was mostly just curious for the future. I did really like the 3 day rest, but I also felt it wasn’t enough for some of our guys. I think I will have to try something with those guys and really take great notes over the next several weeks.


    Looks interesting, this is my first year of USRPT but always during my coaching career I’ve had the taper mantra that it was better to be too rested than not rested enough.

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