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Are you going to failure? Sounds like you are doing 24 x 50 at your target time but you are making all 24.
For 200s 20 x 50 is a good set, but you should be using a faster target time as you are making all of them. In USRPT you MUST go to failure on every set.
Also, you should probably be going two sets of 20 x 50. Take as much time as you need between sets.
I forgot to mention, I’m 65.
Don’t let them tell you that “you will get slower from her on in.” You do certainly have some surgery issues to get past, but if you put that phrase in your head then you will go slower!
Each person is different, but I can tell you what my experience has been. I have been swimming Masters for 35 years and last year after doing USRPT for 6 months I swam the 500 freestyle faster than I did in college. If you put in the time and EFFORT you will do well.
Just don’t waste your time with the garbage yardage, as in pulling, kicking, drills etc.
I workout 5 days a week, but I have been competing in Masters for 35 years!
It took me three months before I saw a drop in time. My 200 free time in February of last year was what I would have expected at Nationals three months later. Since starting USRPT I have swum some of my best times in 5 or 10 years.
I do swim alone but swam with a Masters team for many years. I enjoy swimming by myself and I occasionally have a few people from the Masters team join me for a USRPT workout. I just don’t see the point of the kicking and pulling and sets of 5 x 200 on 4:00 or whatever. I am basically a middle distance swimmer and feel that USRPT is ideal for my 400/500 training.
I think a mistake many people make with USRPT (and in training in general) after a long layoff is that they are very excited about getting back to swimming (a good thing), so they go at it like gangbusters (a not such good thing)!
It makes better sense to go easy in the beginning and to work into it. There is no deadline for getting into shape as far as I know.
FYI, I have been doing USRPT only for a year and a half and I too am 65.
First of all, good for you for getting back to swimming!
Sounds to me like you understand how to work USRPT sets. I am guessing however, that with your quick weight loss of 50 pounds, your body still needs to adjust. That is a lot of weight to lose in a very short period of time. It also sounds like you have gone at this with full guns blazing!
I understand that, because I tend to do the same and I have been swimming Masters for 35 years. However, although 45 is very young to my 65, I think you have gotten ahead of your body. Back off a little. Don’t worry about the second set right now. Let your body adjust to race pace work, and if that means one set, so be it. You can gradually work into two sets once, then twice a week and maybe eventually 5 times a week.
I have been doing USRPT exclusively for slightly over a year with very good results. This past week, for the first time, I did two sets of 30 x 50 everyday. I did a total of 10,000 yards at race pace this week! A year ago I was doing half that in a week.
If you are committed to USRPT, and it sounds like you are, it will work, don’t be concerned about that. You will hit the times you are training for. But give your 45 year old body a chance to adjust and it will.
Look at page 11 of the document. In the middle of the third paragraph a sentence begins…” That being said, there is one valuable factor derived from pre-meet swimming in the competition pool.” Rushall discusses familiarization i.e., get used to the blocks, the touch pads, the walls etc. So he does say there is value in that.
If the swimmer thinks he/she can make the interval, they should go for it. If they are truly out of gas they will fail the next one anyway.
Maybe they had a bad turn or hit the lane line with their hand or swallowed a little water, but still wanted to see if they could get the next one.
You are 200% correct, and I took no offense whatsoever about not being a 13+ year old swimmer. Each body, regardless of its age, reacts to stimuli in a slightly different way, plus there is no way to compare a 13 year old with a 65 year old.
I think the point I was trying to make however, is that in this era of instant gratification, it is important to be patient and let the training work. Saying it took me 6 months (which it did) is as much for effect as anything else. There has been significant discussion on the US Masters swimming forum about USRPT. Recently a Masters swimmer who had started to use USRPT asked when she should expect something to happen. When she was asked how long she was doing USRPT she said “two weeks” and after a little more probing she had actually done 6 USRPT workouts in two weeks and was wondering if the training worked or not!
I read another post yesterday from a Masters swimmer who has just discovered USRPT and says it is “the answer to his dreams”. I think any training method can be the “answer to your dreams” if and only if, you are committed to it and give it all you have while in the water and not just “hope” you will improve. I have a friend who is a 50 year old Masters swimmer who hopes to get better, but he just does not seem to want to make the commitment. And that’s the problem, he “hopes” to get better rather than making the commitment to do so.
There is no “How to” book to get this “right”. You can read Counsilman, Salo, Maglischo or Rushall. All have salient points to make, all have had success with the way they train their swimmers. But regardless, the coach must first believe in the training and the swimmer must believe in the training.
I happen to believe that race pace training is absoultely the way to go! I have never bought into a training method before with such commitment and fervor. Which is part of why I believe it has worked for me. I believe it works and therefore I expect it to work and therefore I work hard to assure that it does, in fact work!
I am not a coach and not an expert in USRPT, but if coaches work diligently on technique and on the psychological component, as well as the training piece using race pace swimming as the way to condition their swimmers, you are right, they WILL be successful.
Yes, I do think :45 would be too little rest.
I had gotten to the point where I was able to get well into the twenties before first failure consistently at a target time of :32 on the :50. I dropped it down to :31 and on a good day I can get in ten before first failure. There is a big difference for me between :31 and :32 on the :50. I suspect your swimmers would be the same way at some target time.
One thing I still do is go back to :32 on the :50 every so often. First that gives me more total race pace 50s and second it helps my confidence in being able to do 24 or 26 before first failure. Then I’ll go back to a target time of :31 on the :50 with feeling like I can move that first failure to # 11 or 12.
Just curious, how many 50s can they now do on the :45? Are they holding :25 per fifty to a hand touch?
With regard to variety, check with your swimmers, they might not want as much or as frequent variety as you might think. My impression is coaches want to feel they are doing something so when they vary the workouts, the swimmers like it more. I am not so sure that is true.
The big motivator for me on a daily basis is, how far can I push that first failure down the road. I love that challenge! Maybe your swimmers do to. Or that is what you say to them each day…”who can push the first failure farthest today?” Maybe it is a team challenge. Maybe you establish a team record for each interval for the farthest first failure, or do it by age…
Another thought. I had been doing 30 x 50 on the :50 holding :32, which means I had 18 seconds rest on each repeat. In talking with Dr. Rushall I asked if it would be going against USRPT protocol to do the set on the :55 giving me :23 seconds rest. He said he thought that :25 seconds would be the cutoff as to when it would be too much rest.
The important thing, and old school alluded to it, is you want the most amount of race pace swimming as possible, so if going to :23 seconds rest allows a swimmer to do more before failure, that is a good thing.
I haven’t spoken to anyone else who has said that it took 6 months, so maybe I am the only one!
The reason I think that happened was because I wasn’t doing the sets in the correct way in the beginning. For example, I did 3 sets of 10 x 50 with rest in between sets rather than going until failure. I also wasn’t adhering to the 20 second rest interval. So, yes it was 6 months, but technically since I wasn’t actually doing correct USRPT, it took me less time than that.
How are you doing sendoffs?
The reason I ask is because a one second difference can make a big difference in a 500. Example: If I want to go a 5:30 500, I need to hold 32s to a hand touch. A :32 to a hand touch is a :33 to a foot touch which is what you get on the split in a meet when you hit the touch pad. So, a :32 to a hand touch is a :33 foot touch which is a 1:06 per 100 which equals a 5:30 for the 500.
If you are holding :33s to a hand touch, that is a :34 to a foot touch which equals a 1:08 per 100 or a 5:40 500. Big difference.
Some people leave early on the send off and they also pop their head up to look at the clock before they actually hit the wall. Both of those habits give you false times in practice. Also, if you have an analog clock with a sweep hand rather than a digital clock, it makes getting your split a challenge. I know if my time is a :32 low, mid or high on the digital clock by how long it stays on the screen.
These things are critical in a longer race like a 500.
FYI it took my 6 months of doing USRPT everyday before I saw a difference. And after a year of doing USRPT I can’t do two sets a day 5 days a week. Best I’ve done is 3 days of two a day so far. Of course I am 65 and that might make a difference.
Good for you for going with USRPT! I have been doing USRPT almost a year with excellent results. I am not a coach.
I am a 65 year old Masters swimmer who has been swimming Masters for 35 years. In March I broke the 65-69 400free (4:54.45 SCM) World Record, then broke it again in May. I recently tied my best 100 free (LCM) time (1:03.01) of ten years ago.
At an age when I am supposed to be getting slower, I am getting faster!
I have also been in contact with Dr. Rushall many times. I understand what you are saying about how he might come across to you, however, he believes in USRPT. I can also say that now when I watch the Masters team workout as well as the age group workout, I just cringe! The mindless repeats and utter silliness of what they do totally baffles me. I just don’t see the point of it anymore.
So what I am saying is, once you are TOTALLY convinced that this is the right path, you will see that the TT stuff just doesn’t add up.
That said, there are certainly many ways to train swimmers. Many of them work very well. There have been and will continue to be Olympic Champions trained in traditional ways. But the question becomes, of those who do TT, how many would be even better if they had trained with USRPT?