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Coach Matt,

As a club coach for over 35 years and 130+ athletes that swam or are swimming in college. We use the Parametric System and USRPT. The problem of changing over I don’t think will be that hard on selling the idea. I have had over the years numerous college swimmers come for Christmas break and train, also during the summer months that were not previously my club swimmers and to a swimmer they find the workouts challenging and most of all race relevant. Every set has a purpose and a reason for being done.

With regards to the strength training it reads as not that you don’t believe the science; it has to do more with explaining why you no longer lift and fighting that battle in combination with a change over in training. I get the dilemma. It’s a “catch 22” as it may impact the results from your USRPT sets and then are you getting a fair assessment of the training due to the fact you have this supplemental work out there i.e. lifting/dryland. I think as long as you keep that in mind you’ll be OK and can fight that battle later. I remember when we stopped lifting/dryland that commotion lasted about a month then it was over. For us in the real world it’s not an easy call.

In regards to TT vs. race pace type training I’ve attached a chart showing in the 90s to 2000, our rates of improvement in the TT approach. We went 9-11 workouts per week, did the 55K to 60k on average, lifted, ran and dryland. The whole enchilada! You can see they improved but man where they tired, sore, sick and just downright nasty a good portion of the time. But again it did work. But at what cost? Since moving to more race pace specific systems you can see the improvement rates increased with the greater increases when we dropped all supplemental work .i.e. lifting, dryland, running etc.

I had a college coach ask me “what was the biggest difference I’ve seen between the two approaches?” My response was when I was doing the TT I really had no clue as to how they were going to perform. I thought I knew but not really. Now having used the more race-specific approaches and having data I can with a high degree of certainty know who is going to swim well and also who is going to struggle.

Just some thoughts.

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