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    We have ~80 swimmers on our team. We are not doing LC per say so I am using the summer to implement USRPT. I started 3 weeks ago with 3 of our swimmers, all had their own lane…….ahhhhh. Brought a few more in last night. Still good but I know I need some structuring.

    Can you guys give me some ideas of how many kids you have in an average session, how you break them up & how you(they) keep track of all the intervals/times? I believe this is one of those issues/misconceptions within USRPT is you can’t do it with a larger group. I know that’s not true but if 30 kids were at my practice tonight I would hyperventilate!!


    I am running pretty crowded practices. Sometimes I end up with 8-10 per lane. In my practices:
    -each swimmer has a chart with their target times so they know their required paces.
    -If the whole group is doing the same interval (like our very common 25’s on 30 sec to practice 100 pace) I have them “set up races” so the fastest people spread out to lead each lane so they can push each other. The others try to match by speed who goes second, third, etc…
    -If we need separate intervals, I designate an interval for each lane. For instance: when we practice 200 freestyle, I designate a lane on 45 interval, a 50 interval and a 55 interval. Swimmers are expected to get into the appropriate lane for them, which would be whichever lane is closest to 20 sec over their target 50 time. They are expected also to get in order from fastest to slowest based on the event they are practicing.
    -We have ordered digital clocks but don’t have them yet. right now I turn on our scoreboard, which is on the wall at the starting end. Then I synchronize it with the wall pace clocks. All swimmers are expected to help others get their times just in case they have a hard time seeing the clock due to crowding. After a swimmer fails out of a set, they wait until we have a dead lane to start cooling off. While they are waiting they must help other swimmers still live on the set to know when they hit the wall, (14 high, 15 low, etc…) A lot of the time my swimmers will shoot and do a great race-perfect finish, but they are underwater to do it and don’t see the clock. Usually when they come up and say “when did I hit?” someone is able to tell them.
    -If we are practicing 100 fly 25’s or 500 free pace 75’s, I allow swimmers to have two sit-outs after each fail so they can start their next interval with the group rather than opposite direction to avoid collisions and other problems. I am considering letting them have two sit-outs for all sets, but I am looking for an official clarification from Dr Rushall on whether that is optimal. I really want to be consistent so I might just make that change anyway.
    -Earlier in the season I was just putting a cap on sets and making them keep going after they fail out, meaning they score it out to third fail, and then they keep going until the designated number of intervals is done. Rushall recommends 5-6 times the race distance, and a little less for races longer than 200. Now that my swimmers are getting used to it, I have started letting them stop after third fail again. It helps with crowding anyway.
    -I ask my swimmers to keep a log book and I even print and hole punch forms for them to use. Very few do, so I also keep a grade book to keep my own stats on them. At the end of each set they have to give me their score as x+y+z, with x being the number of successful targets before first fail, y being the number before the next fail and z being the ones before the third. If they have two fails in a row the score they have to clarify that so I know why they only gave me the x+y.

    I hope that helps. I have spent about three seasons slowly implementing this to see what works and what doesn’t with several swimmers per lane. This is our first season trying to run it by the book. Long Course will be a new challenge as last summer we only did USRPT sets during morning SCY practices. We did not have any way to get pace clocks in place last summer to make it work. Good luck with it. I hope this helps.

    I came into this world naked, toothless and screaming and that's exactly how I plan to go out.


    TSV…….that’s awesome, thanks so much

    where are you?


    Joplin, Missouri. I am training with it myself, so if you need any insight into that, feel free to fire away with questions. I figured I better know a little about what I am putting the kids through if I am gonna ask them to do it all the way!

    I came into this world naked, toothless and screaming and that's exactly how I plan to go out.


    can I get your email?

    I can never see the words Joplin, Missouri the same anymore. Still praying for the community & wishing everyone the best.


    Joplin is doing great. Still lots of rebuilding going on but in some ways better than ever. New long course pool and hosting our first meet this summer. my email is

    I came into this world naked, toothless and screaming and that's exactly how I plan to go out.

    Greg Tucker

    We do thinks similar to TSV. For 25 sets, we sit out two (to stay with group. For 50, sets we sit out one. For 75 sets, we sit out one (walk around to get back with group).

    Thanks TSV for record keeping ideas. Not easy.

    Greg Tucker


    We do it very similar to TSV.

    • ±8 swimmers/lane
    • each swimmer has a sheet with target paces
    • each swimmer has a log sheet to record results of sets (either x+y+z or first fail, total at race pace and overall total) and reference previous results before starting a set
    • divided in lanes either by different send-off time or having the fastest kids race each other
    • not all the kids always do the same stroke in a set, we have sets on “personal stroke” (their best stroke excluding freestyle). We still match kids based on speed, if possible.

    An practice is usually structured as follows:

    • fixed 15min dry-land warm-up (dynamic stretches, injury prevention + running and jumping)
    • set for 50m or skill set
    • set for 100m stroke/free
    • set for 200m free/stroke

    Odd weeks we first do the set for 100m, followed by a set for 200m. Even weeks we first do a set for 200m, then the set for 100m.

    If the 100m set is for a stroke, the 200m set is for freestyle and vice-versa.

    An example of a practice (of yesterday):

    • 15min dry-land warm-up
    • 200m choice
    • SKILL: 2x(6x25m) on 45s: 12,5m sprint underwater kicks + break-out + easy till 25m ; extra rest of 30s after 6
    • RECOVERY: 200m backstroke: alternate 25m kick + 25m full stroke
    • SET: 20x25m on 35s at 100m pace for best stroke (standard 3x fail or 2x subsequent fail set-up)
    • RECOVERY: 300m back/breaststroke: 25m + 25m breast, all easy, focus on perfect back-to-breast turn
    • SET: 10x50m on 1:05 at 200m free pace followed by 10×25 on 35s at 200m free pace (finish with feet)
      • after first failure on the 50’s they should switch to the 25’s, first 6 are always considered successful (so they do at least 6)
      • all 25’s have to be completed
    • RECOVERY: 300m free: breathe per 7/5/3 strokes per 25m

    It may not seem much, but if they really hit their paces (which they did) they are really exhausted after each set. But very importantly: they don’t feel “dead” after the last recovery + shower time

    EDIT: kids in practice are between 12 and 14y

    • This reply was modified 10 years ago by kevin. Reason: typo
    • This reply was modified 10 years ago by kevin. Reason: extra info
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