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  • in reply to: Speed Barrier #3177

    izSwimming, I would refer you to Swimming Science Bulletin Number 39 (Rushall, 2015):

    Eventually, swimmers will not be able to improve any more from the physiological adaptations produced by the microcycle-based progressive overloads. When that occurs, training performances for the set will not change. The programming response in those circumstances likely should focus on altering technique features (e.g., increased streamlining to reduce resistance; increasing acceleration within the propulsive-phase of the stroke). The point behind changing technique is that the performance efficiency of the swimmer should be improved. Two effects are possible.
    1. A reduction in resistance allows a swimmer to progress further each stroke with the same stroking frequency and effort, that is, the swimmer swims faster.
    2. An increase in effective force allows a swimmer to progress faster if the stroke frequency is maintained.
    The second alternative (increasing force application) is only appropriate when it also is reflected in swimming efficiency. The simple factor of increasing swimming effort usually works only at reduced velocities. When near or at maximum velocity, increased effort rarely translates into performance improvements (Capelli, Pendergast, & Termin, 1998). It only makes a swimmer more tired sooner. (pg. 43)

    It is suggested that you review your swimmer’s techniques and make changes/refinements where, and if, possible to increase performances. Be aware, that it is expected that performances will temporarily decrease whilst the changes/refinements are being made. However, with repetitious practices improvement beyond baseline can be expected soon after.

    Hope this is of some help.

    in reply to: Technique First #3094

    Sorry, maximum file size is very limited with posting annotated images. Here are the main observations I’ve made. The attachment shows the most significant (i think).

    Your streamline looks very good.
    It’s hard to tell if there is much head lift when you breath, but hips do seem to be lower than back of head from the side view.
    Timing of breathing looks good.
    You can see in some frames from the front view that the wide angle of your elbow causes your leg to kick outside of an ideal streamline (in reaction). You may consider a ‘tighter’ elbow bend to maintain streamline and maximise power, and minimise hip/leg sway.
    Looks like you have great coordination as well (i.e. no overtaking arm-action).
    End of stroke looks good. Your elbow is back and alongside your body and your forearm/hand is vertical.

    You must be logged in to view attached files.
    in reply to: Technique First #3093

    Hey juddy_009!! Thank you for getting this type of discussion happening! I admire your bravery uploading videos of yourself for critique. I’ve attached some very brief initial observations and suggestions for your freestyle. Would love to know your thoughts, and what your intentions/focus is at the moment in the pool.

    Where are you in Australia? It’d be great to have a swim with a fellow USRPTer some time!

    in reply to: Great USRPT site… not really #3085

    Thanks again for your reply Doc,

    That is very interesting about the history of the head position in freestyle. I didn’t know about that. Thanks for teaching me something!

    I tend to agree with your point about looking directly at the bottom. It seems logical that looking down would require less energy and adhere to bio-mechanical principles. Havriluk argues however, that it is a misconception for the head to be submerged for the legs to stay behind the shoulders. He suggests, that although lowering the head may help to raise the legs, breathing then requires excessive head motion that distorts the body position and increases the body cross-section. Since the spine is closer than the head to the legs, arching the back is a much more effective way to control the leg position.

    Does his argument have any weight? What evidence is there to suggest otherwise? I intuitively believe the features of body position he his suggesting would require a greater amount of energy to maintain the body in such a position than would keeping the head down and inline with back/bottom. I believe it would also minimize body rotation (effectively increasing the cross sectional area).

    in reply to: Great USRPT site… not really #3084

    Thanks for your reply Doc,

    I take it that by “training system” you mean the conditioning aspect of USRPT. For USRPT to be fully effective it needs to be implemented exactly as described. That not only includes race-specific conditioning, but also pedagogically sound race-specific technique instruction and mental skills training. If interested others are asking about USRPT, then technique and psychological factors should be emphasized more than any other feature of USRPT. Physical conditioning in the USRPT format is solely a means of providing an appropriate platform for velocity-specific techniques and velocity-relevant thought processes to be developed.

    I would assume that conditioning has become a bigger issue in this forum because USRPT is somewhat still in its initial development and for coach’s to begin implementing it the introduction of compliant USRPT sets (conditioning) is the first priority to learn accurately, as ultra-short race-pace training is the format in which all other factors are practiced. That should not be construed as suggesting conditioning is the most important feature of USRPT.

    Just because swimming technique can be less objective than conditioning principles, does not mean that it should not be discussed less than other aspects of performance enhancement. I’m sure you agree that biomechanics is the most significant feature that differentiates Gold medallists/better swimmers from non-medallists/lesser swimmers in mature-age competitions. However, it can be challenged that swimming techniques can be scientific (as outlined by Rushall). I.e. they have to 1) conform to known laws and principles of physics and mechanics, 2) be demonstrated at least in part by elite champion swimmers, and/or 3) be the product of acceptable scientific research. I would have thought these three points would provide significant grounds for in-depth discussion about swimming technique (especially in a forum such as this).

    If USRPTIA was to be accredited (I don’t know in what capacity) by another organisation, what additional recognition or meaning would you think it would be given or required?

    The point about USRPT not being implemented fully, is that stakeholders may be misguided and deceived by a partial program. In true USRPT programs, the activities to which competitive swimmers are exposed to should have direct effects on their competitive performances. If a program only offers a “partial” USRPT program (for example, just the conditioning feature), then less than expected performances/results of its participants may the reflect poorly on the training model (despite it not being implemented correctly), and participants may not reap the benefits that should be observed from a complete USRPT program.

    For a swimming program to adhere to the USRPT model, training items/sets should incorporate ALL of the following features:
    • A technique feature to be changed or retained (at race-pace)
    • Race strategy content to accompany, or race situation to be imagined each repetition
    • (Ultra) short repetition distance
    • Swum at race pace
    • Short rest interval
    Of particular note is the short rest interval. USRPT only allows for 20s rest between repetitions and 15s for repetitions of 25 m/yd.

    Any deviation or modifications from the above protocol is NOT USRPT. USRPT is specific. It is quite the “all-or-nothing” training model. This is something Rushall has expressed time and time again in his papers. It could not be more clear.

    (Not-for-profit organisations are allowed to make surplus revenue to cover expenses and run the organisation. Administrators or members of USRPTIA won’t receive any profit. I think it was unfair to insinuate Rushall would be making a gain out of the organisation.)

    in reply to: Great USRPT site… not really #3081


    For someone who has been both enlightened and motivated by Dr. Rushall’s work in both my athletic and coaching pursuits, I feel somewhat compelled to rebut your insinuations and interpretations of USRPT and the newly launched USRPTIA.

    Firstly, it is disappointing that you have failed to acknowledge, as well as the majority of other contributors to this forum, that USRPT is a TECHNIQUE-orientated model.

    I regularly read the content published in this forum with great dismay. Most of it surrounds conditioning (a lot of which is not USRPT conditioning), despite it being the least important aspect of USRPT. I cannot recall one thread or discussion about technique. I have provided a potential discussion question below as an example of what I consider should be common USRPT discussion within this forum.

    In his book, Approaching Perfect Freestyle, Dr. Havriluk recommends that for an optimal non-breathing head position in freestyle, swimmers should look forward (at a 45 degree angle) so that both the wall at the end of the pool and the bottom of the pool are within view, and to feel the water level at the hairline. Conversely, Rushall suggests that the head should be down with the eyes looking directly at the bottom of the pool, and head depth should such that some water travels over the swimmer’s cap, in correctly-postured crawl-stroke. What do other coaches believe is most optimal for fastest/efficient freestyle swimming technique? What evidence do you have to support your position?

    Moreover, and to answer your first question: My belief is that the USRPTIA does not require accreditation from any other organisation. It is an organisation in its own right. I believe it’s relevance will come from prospective membership and the value the swimming community places in it. This will obviously become more prominent as its membership grows, becomes more well known within the swimming community, and with time.

    To try and begin to answer your second question, here is an excerpt from Rushall’s 2016 article “The least understood features of USRPT: Recognising USRPT pretenders”:

    “Examples of USRPT claimants who are actually pretenders are rife across the internet… Beware of sites and programs that claim to be USRPT but fail to include one or more basic elements of the USRPT protocol in practice sessions. Recognizing USRPT program element omissions could indicate “pretenders” of USRPT coaching.”

    It is apparent that a lot of coaches are claiming to be practicing USRPT, but are unfortunately misleading their athletes and swimming program stakeholders because they do not understand the specifics the training model demands. I believe USRPTIA certification is a strategy prominent figures within the USRPT community have identified to insure coaches can competently practice USRPT and advertise thier program as being USRPT without misleading the public.

    Furthermore, I believe your statement about “make Rushall $$” is ill-informed and at least very harsh. It is clearly stated in the USRPTIA Articles and By-Laws that:

    “The USRPTIA will carry out its activities without purpose of gain for its Members. Any profits generated by the USRPTIA will be used solely to promote its aims and objectives in congruence with its Mission Statement.”

    It is a non-for-profit organisation. I hope that it is obvious to others on this forum that you have not read “through every single part of the site”. Similarly, the USPRTIA Education Committee has organised for other guest presenters to provide webinars. I am personally looking forward to Glenn Gruber’s presentation next month!

    I hope this provides some food for thought for anyone interested.

    in reply to: How to Train for the 50 Free #2773

    It sounds like you need to emphasise technique refinements/improvements over conditioning. Doing more sprinting is definitely not the answer.

    in reply to: Real-time underwater monitoring #2762

    It was working for me at a depth of around 1 meter. There is a youtube video showing that it can be done too.

    in reply to: Real-time underwater monitoring #2737

    I did try to use a newer edition of a gopro with Bluetooth connection and the gopro app on tablet or mobile. You can record video remotely from the tablet/mobile app and play it back immediately. With the gopro weighted at the bottom at a depth of 1-1.5 m it was working for me. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to refine playing back to the athlete to provide feedback during the session (I little bit rushed during practices). More practice using it away from training to get it right is probably required. This set-up has potential but more experience with it is required to make it viable.

    in reply to: Training in SCY and racing in LCM #2731

    Thanks Kevin,

    Are most USRPTers using conversion ratios when calculating their Target Repetition Time from long-course PBs?

    in reply to: Training in SCY and racing in LCM #2729

    Hi All,

    I have re-read Bulletin #47. The following paragraph got my full attention:

    If the team is able to train in a short-course pool, only short-course times should be used. Shortcourse
    swimming is faster than long-course swimming and so swimming fastest is preferable… Long-course times
    should never be swum in a short-course pool because they actually will be slower than the desirable
    long-course repetition time.

    I subsequently have a few questions:

    1. Could someone please explain to me (preferably with a worked example) how swimming USRPT long-course times in a short-course pool is counter-productive and is slower than the desirable repetition time.

    2. If a swimmer only competes in LC pools, how do they calculate their target repetition time for a USRPT set to be swum in a SC pool? (Can the LC be converted using LC:SC conversion ratios, or is their another, more precise method?)

    I assume this may only be a problem when a swimmer swims a significant Personal Best (PB) time after training at a certain RP-velocity. For example, a swimmer has been training at 2:20.00 pace for 200m freestyle. They swim a new PB time of 2:12.00 in a LC pool. How should the swimmer calculate their new target repetition time?
    Assuming they hadn’t swum the PB, their target repetition time may have gradually been reduced to around 2:16.00 pace. from just training and having a training effect. With the new PB they should obviously be swimming at 2:12.00 pace or faster for repetitions in subsequent USRPT sets. But would they actually be swimming slower than the desired pace (not practicing a faster technique velocity) if they used that new LC PB to calculate their target repetition time? How should this be correctly calculated?


    in reply to: Digital Pace Clock #2323

    Hi All,

    I’m currently using My Pace Pal waterproof digital pace clocks. They can be manually synced and are easy to move around the pool.

    My squad hasn’t had any problems with them so far.

    See link below for more info:

    Welcome to Pace Pal

    in reply to: Rest Interval #654

    Thanks Racepace,

    Do you have a bulletin name or number for this??


    in reply to: Location and USRPT Status #489

    Hi All,

    My name is Lochie and I am based in Melbourne, Australia. I’m an accredited surf lifesaving coach and have been tremendously motivated by Rushall’s USRPT. I’m looking to start my own swim squad in the next 9 months implementing USRPT at the centre of my organisation.

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)