200 Fly; 50 Yard Sets

Home Forums General USRPT Topics 200 Fly; 50 Yard Sets

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Author
  • #3006
    lefthanded swimmer

    I just looked at the most recent bulletin http://coachsci.sdsu.edu/swim/bullets/58LeastUnderstood.pdf (I know it isn’t a bible but I wanted to discuss nonetheless). We struggle with 50 yard repeats @ 200 pace for all strokes but especially fly which is our primary stroke! We even use 1 minute recovery and still only get 5 completed (if set 3) or 7 (if set 1). This results in getting in about 1/2 the race pace yards as a 25 fly set with 1:1 rest. The other challenge is our 200 pace is around 1.5 seconds/stroke. After practicing going fast and doing a fair amount of 100 pace work, it is VERY hard to go 1.5 seconds/stroke. It seems unnaturally slow and he says it is just as hard to go slow as it is to go fast! I talked to another coach and he said, in the long run the swimmer will need to go 1.5 or faster so don’t worry. Is doing 300 yards or less for a 50 set still helpful? Is this swimmer likely just a 100 flier? His target for 25’s is 14 flat @ 100 pace. For 50’s it is 34 @ 200 pace.

    What age groupers use 1 minute rest for 50 fly?


    Jesus! calm down! You are way to emotionally attached to this situation.

    Bulletin 58, 18 pages of BS and produced nothing! Sure a lot of studies validating his thoughts (many I agree with). But where the hell is the data! It’s been two years of preaching about USRPT and nothing. Not one example of even one swimmer doing what he says. Where the hell is the data! He claims to be some evidence based researcher. Where is the evidence? He claims that some club in Australia is having great results. Then where is the data? Training pace to race, where is it?

    His one swimmer: Michael Andrew at Mesa Arena Pro Meet splits.

    100 breast: 28.98/32.49 = 1.01.47, his 25s with no more than 20 rest should be 15.38.
    Just an FYI. I had the kid that WON that event. Using 25s on 1:00 and 50s on 2:00 and he was with in 03 of projected.

    100 fly: 25.42/30.30 = 55.71 for an average 25 pace of 13.92, I seriously doubt it.If he is, he is travelling to slow.

    200 IM: 26.33/32.75/38.56/31.78 = 2:09.42. From these splits I can tell you what he needs to hold for 25’s on 1:00, 50’s on 2:00, 50s on 1:00 and 100’s. No BS. Fact! (over 2000 splits to prove it)

    His splits DON’T line up with what is actually happening. But then again we don’t actually know because no data is produced.

    If I was trying to convince coaches that my way was better. Why would you not post data? I’ll tell you why. He doesn’t have it! He was one swimmer and that’s it and they don’t share.

    You can do this! Take his first 50 of the 200 fly and that’s “50s on 2” pace (hint it should also be the 2nd 50 of 100 fly) and for “50s on 1:10” use the average of 2, 3, & 4 figure standard deviation add that back to average and that’s pace. Simple.

    Screw the damn numbers Rushall talks about! Just do more than the last time you offered the set. That’s all you can ask for.

    God damn it! stroke/cycle is TEMPO or STROKE RATE!. If he is holding pace he will have to hold tempo and cycle. It will replicate the race! Let him swim the RACE!

    Let’s admit. You have no clue what you are doing.


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

    lefthanded swimmer

    Thanks for the numbers Doc and I agree with you on Rushall lack of data. I don’t think you know my swimmer well enough, understandably so, to know that I am using what you say for his 50 pace. I’ll forgive your angst as I know you work with fully developed college swimmers exclusively and I do not! I do take exception to what you say that I don’t know what I am doing (You sound a bit like a pious traditional coach spouting out a years worth of training systems mumbo jumbo). Maybe my swimmer will succeed is spite of me much like the best ones do with coaches all around the country where the coaches think they are playing a huge part in that success (which is largely untrue).

    As for tempo. I don’t see why you attack this. My son developed slow tempo doing traditional/survival swimming. Part of starting USRPT was to develop faster tempo (thus faster swimming). We started out doing mostly 25 repeats and got his pace down and speed way up (on the 25 repeats). However, in a test set for a 100 he is fading AND not replicating personal bests. He practically couldn’t do a 200 fly test set and goes out way too fast. Letting him swim the “race” is causing him to not even being able to hold finish the race. I think it’s a byproduct of USRPT (that I was hoping was fixable or I wouldn’t have posted!).

    As for Michael Andrews..I don’t get a rats ass about his training or Michael Phelps training. They are outliers and anyone with common sense will know not to try to replicate the outlier.

    The second part of my post is simple (and also data driven). Is it unusual to get less production out of the 50s set versus the 25s? This part I’ll be the first to tell you that I don’t have a clue. You are right. It’s why I am here. I don’t know if it matters or if it is unusual. If I had 15 kids in a group I might be able to figure this out, but I don’t. I have one kid.

    I am not too emotional about this. I am looking for data and ideas not a group hug or anything else of that nature. I understand data more than ANYONE here having been a CPA for a multinational managing 7 currencies, 400 Million in debt (also multicurrency) while compiling actual results, Forecast x 10 for 70 entities. I also am not a swimmer but played an explosive sport-tennis on a very high level and I bring a different perspective. These characteristics should be embraced by others on here. If it’s a forum for just coaches then it should say so. I am interested, well read and participating in a forum where there are mostly crickets chirping (not a lot of people here..get it?)

    Rushall did make some interesting observations about traditional training in that kids don’t do what the sets say to do. They don’t complete things, they cut corners, cheat, pull into the wall, skip sets, sandbag sets to “whip” someone on another, go to the bathroom, miss days because of school or whatever and the coach thinks it’s a good set because no one is fading into oblivion. He had a few good nuggets in the bulletin but his numbers on USRPT sets is what conflicts my data. I am here because I am a data of one.


    In some of your other posts you have mentioned paraphrase here that “he’s a late maturer and it’s going to be to late for college” and the above as I read it has a tone of urgency/panic. Right or wrong that’s how I read it. I’ll take the tongue lashing.

    I know exactly what your son is like. I spent 35 years as a club coach with the last 23 as CEO/HC. So I’ve seen hundreds. Spent more than enough time with too short, late and early maturer, no real feel for the water, etc. and had to make something out of it. Correct the data you have seen is complied from college swimmers and I also have 20+ years of club swimmers.(if you search through some older post (1+yrs) you’ll see data on the club kids) I believed it would work anywhere with any level of athlete and the DATA supports that it can.

    I’m not attacking tempo. It’s just one piece of the puzzle and can be easily address using a tempo trainer. The other part of the equation is cycles. Remember in it’s simplest form velocity is “tempo times cycles” or “SR X SL”.

    Your question about 2 fly set. Quick little test. Have him prone float. Just lay face down on the water with legs on the surface and then just relax and let the water do whatever it wants. You just watch and see what happens. If he sinks to the bottom say within 5 seconds you might want to reconsider swimming the 2 fly. If his legs sink say in the 30 degree angle or greater and his upper body stays on the surface he might be OK for the 2 fly. But could be a bit of a struggle at times. Try and see. You maybe trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

    Your 50s question. Yes, you are not going to get the same numbers. They always achieve higher numbers when doing 25s regardless of abilities. 50s hurt!

    The bulletin was nothing new. If you have read the others like you say you have then you would agree. Who cares about the “pretenders” it’s about getting results. Do you know anything about the Carlisle Programs in Australia? It’s huge and one of the better programs “down under” Dr. references them all the time as an example of USRPT. Why no data? Let coaches see how it works with all ages and see how the numbers progress good or bad. Could possibly answer some questions and get more coaches at least THINKING.

    You have no clue of how long it took on this forum just to get coaches to post actual splits.(Those that have been on the forum from the beginning know what I’m talking about)and then to start looking at them and “letting the numbers talk to them). But first you have to have the data. I believe now that coaches are posting more splits they look at what they are doing and what they had done, and can explain some things. Sure ask better questions. How do you avoid your failures and replicate successes if you don’t write stuff down?

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


    As a scientist you work with larger groups and proof of your claim is based on statistic relevance.
    If you look at the data you’ll always find individuals in the control group doing better than average and individuals in intervention group below average (non responder). For a scientist the individual doesn’t matter.
    As a coach you care for the individual. Whatever someone has found out with other individuals it might not 100% apply to your swimmer. Use what USPRT offers as a starting point and see if it works for your swimmer. For the things not working you’ve to be creative. In case of your swimmer have you considered a different technique for 200fly (i.e. https://swimswam.com/the-evolution-of-butterfly-is-yuyas-dolphin-diving-the-next-big-thing/ or look for the Hungarian Cseh swimming 200fly). Might be worth a try.

    lefthanded swimmer

    No disrespect or tongue lashing meant. You are correct that I said he was a late bloomer (14 no man’s voice, no adams apple but 5’9″, 165). When you grab his wrist or knees you quickly know that he is larger framed. You have been very very helpful and I appreciate it! On the prone float he was at the 30 degree legs with upper body floating. That was a good test. He probably will be borderline for 200’s. Overall he hasn’t shown a lot of aptitude for 200 fly when looking back over the years. He actually prefers to focus on 100’s and is pretty solid on fly, back, and breast. I just didn’t want to limit him or for him to limit himself. I guess he can try to add it back when more physically developed or not??

    Thanks Doc.


    The float idea is actually something I picked up from Bill Boomer in 1992 and is called the “Aquatic Signature”. It holds pretty true and is a simple test that at least gives you an idea of what you are dealing with and possibly the path to go (it’s not perfect. But what it takes 10 minutes of your time to maybe have a better idea?). For coaches that may read this maybe spend the last 10 minutes of practice in the deep end and see what happens. (Nothing ventured, nothing gained). Just make mental notes and then watch practice and see (kids with better float angles make higher number of of 50s on whatever interval ???). The 30 degree angle is about the high end range of 200 swimmers, including 2IM. Greater than 33ish, and things get a little rough. Not so much for you 🙂 But for the swimmer it hurts like !@##. Square peg, round hole or you may be trying to make a thoroughbred into a donkey.

    The coaches/parents/master swimmers on this forum believe the research that the good Dr. was presented. Because it is based on sound research and how the body handles work. That’s not the issue. Coaches/parents/master swimmers from the questions I see and respond to is ” does it work?” or “what kind of numbers are you getting?” etc. That’s where I have the problem with no data from Dr. Rushall. He put this out there and leaves everybody hanging. Support your idea/theory/hypothesis, DO SOMETHING! and what you get is crickets. Sure you get some note at the bottom of a new bulletin about some club in Australia, BUT no data. So we’re just suppose to accept this on blind faith? Coaches jobs depend on this working and some have made a leap of faith and crossed their fingers and hope like !@## it works and need support that they have chosen the right path.

    You guessed it! For the guys that have been on the forum from pretty much the beginning know, Good old Doc, he’s on his “soap box” again 🙂 But if I’m wrong tell me. I have no problem with it.

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

    lefthanded swimmer

    I agree with you Doc on data. I don’t want to know what sets Michael Andrews can do (although that might be interesting, it’s just not likely applicable). I want to see a team of 150 or more average to above average swimmers with the data for ALL of them! Thanks for sharing your data Doc.

    Thanks on the float test. It kind of makes sense though, on 200 fly your natural position would be more apparent at the slightly slower tempo (although the elite swimmers swim 200 fly at a pretty damn fast tempo!).

    My son has been doing better by figuring out that day 4 is a rest day and we just don’t swim on that day. If we swim 4, it’s a waste and likely to make 5 or 6 weak too.

    FYI: I just got back from vacation where we swam in a 25M pool. It didn’t have a line in it. My son always has some trouble losing tempo into the wall. In this pool without a line he didn’t loose tempo AND it was even a longer distance (25M rather than 25Y). It’s a mental thing, I suppose with knowing the wall is close..anyway, something to work through and thought it was worth sharing!

    lefthanded swimmer

    Hi Demuecke:

    I watched the race you mentioned with Yuya and it’s interesting about him doing something different and still holding his own. Cseh has always puzzled me how he goes as fast as he does with practically no kick. He also has such a high arm recovery that I am also surprised his shoulders aren’t toast!

    If my son is able to do anything with his strengths it would probably be stay under longer on ways. He is too heavy to pause like Yuya and needs his kick so Cseh style isn’t an option.

    Thanks for thinking outside the box!

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.