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Tom Pamperin 11-27-2017 05:55 PM

USRPT Progression
 
I'm starting a thread to help myself track my progress with USRPT and TI. My basic goal is to learn to sustain a 1:30/100m pace for longer distances, with a 7:30 500m swim the first big step along the way. Last spring a was able to do a 7:45 after a few weeks of USRPT sets, so I'm starting there again.

My target set is 30 x 50m at a :45 speed, with :20 rest between attempts. Ideally I will also hold 16 SPL. As per USRPT, after any repeat where I miss the target time, I rest for the next repeat and then keep going. After 3 failures, or 2 failures in a row, the set is over.

Today:

5 repeats before first fail on #6 by 1-2 seconds

rested on #7

failed #8 by 1 second (two fails in a row) so set is over

I didn't expect to get very far at first, so no worries there. I also noted (as expected) that my SPL was higher than my target at 17 SPL and creeping up to 18 and 19 SPL as the set went on.

All right, so that's where I'm starting from. I'll be doing this set twice a week to begin.

Does anyone have any thoughts about how to incorporate SPL control with USRPT sets? My initial thought is to watch what happens, but NOT to treat a 17-18 SPL repeat as a failure for now--I expect as I relax into the demands of the set, SPL will decrease.

Another option would be to hold a strict expectation for SPL, and treat any repeat over the target as a failure.

Thanks for any comments.

CoachStuartMcDougal 11-27-2017 09:17 PM

Hi Tom,

I use both clock and tempo or spl and tempo. But have swimmers use both too. Typically stick more with SPL and tempo rather than clock and temp especially if swimmer has inconsistent turn - but has a consistent glide off the wall. It is important to measure time for both turn and glide off the wall and actually stroking meters in USRPT. They don't mention that in the docs I have read, only elapsed time for the length is the measure.

A typical long distance set counterpart to the 1000m test is 4x300 with 60 sec rest interval. Swimming on race tempo, holding spl to spl +2; spl + 3 is an error (same rule 3 fails or two consecutive fails on lengths - stop the set). I prefer to have swimmer go for negative split using their (longer distance) spl range, i.e. 16-18spl - start first 300 on high end of 18spl, 2nd 300 17spl, 3rd 300 17spl, 4th 300 16spl. All on same stroke rate (tempo) so swimmer is progressive swimming faster pace or descending 300's .

If successful in this set, I know the swimmer can execute their longer distance ow swim on tempo and spl for 1.2mile, 2.4mile, 5k, ...

Stuart

gary p 11-28-2017 11:45 AM

I don't use SPL as a failure criteria, but I still count strokes. If your SPL at the turn is high, you know your DPS is slipping and you either have to increase your tempo or correct your form degradation to make the target time. In the old days, I would just crank up the tempo for the next length. That would begin a spiral of bad technique/faster tempo. Now I concentrate on the technique points I know I start to let go when fatigued (steady and complete exhalation, head all the way down, don't stop the stroke short, look back when breathing, quick inhalation and start head rotation back down as the recovery hand is coming forward across the face) and try to make the targeted time by getting the SPL back down.

s.sciame 11-28-2017 01:06 PM

I always count SPL as well and have tried usrpt sets in 2 fashions:

1) as gary does (word for word)
2) with tempo trainer, by chosing beforehand a strict SPL/SR combo that gives me the exact desired target pace (counting beeps at turns and pushoff is a must): if you take one more SPL you also miss the target pace and that's a failure

From personal experience, all in all #1 is better. Actually I perform slightly better with #2, but unfortunately when I switch off the TT I can't replicate the same precise stroke (ie TT has become a crutch for me). With #1, as long as I add 1-2SPL (no more) in the second half of the set but I still hold the pace I'm fine.

One last point to note: in the 50's at 400-500 race pace it's the 2nd length of each rep that matters more. The 1st length is usually easier and faster, so you should pay attention to pace the set evenly. Your target is to hold on avg 22.5s per length (including turns) for 500m. In a set of 50's you could get away at sub :45 by starting fast and slowing down in the way back, but this does not translate well on the 75's already. For this purpose I usually set TT in lap mode and make sure that the way back is as fast as the way out.

Salvo

Danny 11-28-2017 04:28 PM

I have a question for you guys. When you try to do these USRPT sets, do you have the feeling that your basic technique is already where you want it to be, so that all you are doing is trying to execute it at faster paces or for longer duration without having it collapse on you? I have tried playing these games, and I always find myself tweaking what I would call some basic aspects of my stroke, still trying to find out what works best for me. This puts the exercise into completely different territory. The things I focus on seem like a game of whack a mole, where every day a different focus emerges until that focus diverts my attention from something else I should have been doing. Then I start focusing on that instead.

My latest philosophy in this regard (which is not in the spirit of USRPT) is to start paying attention to SPL when things start to fall apart and sacrifice time when necessary in order to do this. Thus I will allow my SPL to creep up by 1 if it is not happening all the time (only occasionally) but if it starts to become the rule then I need to slow down to get back to my target SPL and figure out why I was losing it. My target is usually 19 for 25 m, but my approach is not symmetric regarding increases or decreases. On a good day I can start making my time goals with less than 19 SPL and I don't go reducing my times as a result. Instead I try to solidify this progress in SPL because it is still not reproducible from day to day.

gary p 11-28-2017 04:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by s.sciame (Post 63960)
One last point to note: in the 50's at 400-500 race pace it's the 2nd length of each rep that matters more. The 1st length is usually easier and faster, so you should pay attention to pace the set evenly. Your target is to hold on avg 22.5s per length (including turns) for 500m. In a set of 50's you could get away at sub :45 by starting fast and slowing down in the way back, but this does not translate well on the 75's already.
Salvo

This is why I pretty much exclusively use 75's for 400/500 race pace work.

CoachStuartMcDougal 11-28-2017 07:16 PM

Hi Gary,

The 75's are great to hone stroke, race tempo and stroke length - but I wouldn't fear adding a 400 test in at least once a week to see if your 75's hold up throughout the 400 or fade in last half or near end.

Stuart

Tom Pamperin 11-29-2017 01:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Danny (Post 63961)
I have a question for you guys. When you try to do these USRPT sets, do you have the feeling that your basic technique is already where you want it to be, so that all you are doing is trying to execute it at faster paces or for longer duration without having it collapse on you? I have tried playing these games, and I always find myself tweaking what I would call some basic aspects of my stroke, still trying to find out what works best for me. This puts the exercise into completely different territory. The things I focus on seem like a game of whack a mole, where every day a different focus emerges until that focus diverts my attention from something else I should have been doing. Then I start focusing on that instead.

My latest philosophy in this regard (which is not in the spirit of USRPT) is to start paying attention to SPL when things start to fall apart and sacrifice time when necessary in order to do this. Thus I will allow my SPL to creep up by 1 if it is not happening all the time (only occasionally) but if it starts to become the rule then I need to slow down to get back to my target SPL and figure out why I was losing it. My target is usually 19 for 25 m, but my approach is not symmetric regarding increases or decreases. On a good day I can start making my time goals with less than 19 SPL and I don't go reducing my times as a result. Instead I try to solidify this progress in SPL because it is still not reproducible from day to day.

Danny,

great question. I feel like I have a pretty solid foundation so I am mainly trying to sustain a faster pace/tempo--i.e. trying to swim with my best form faster and longer--with USRPT sets. I monitor SPL as an indicator of when I'm going off form. It always seems to come back to the inescapable truth that paying attention to form and stroke length ALWAYS pays off more than simply trying to "go faster."

Another set I started using is to train the SPL that I want to race at, without any worry about pace. So, for me, I want to race mostly at 16 SPL as my default. So I've started swimming pyramids where my only goal is to hold that SPL (or better) and make it feel easier and easier. I'll start with a 25m repeat, rest, 50m repeat, rest, and keep adding one 25m length until I break my target SPL. Then I'll start all over. Often by the middle of the set I'm hitting 15 SPL consistently. It's a nice way to work on skill without the aerobic demands of a USRPT set--I'm hoping the two approaches will complement each other as I go along.

I think you're doing useful work by prioritizing SPL over speed. Get SPL consistent, then you can work on tempo to increase speed at any given SPL.

s.sciame 11-29-2017 12:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal (Post 63963)

The 75's are great to hone stroke, race tempo and stroke length - but I wouldn't fear adding a 400 test in at least once a week to see if your 75's hold up throughout the 400 or fade in last half or near end.

Stuart

That's a very good point that leads me to a question on something I've never found on USRPT bulletins: if a swimmer succeeds a given set at a given pace, what can he/she expect from a time trial or race?

Before the summer, after 12 weeks of pure usrpt training I could complete 40x50m (scm) on 1:00 at sub 40s without failures (ie pace 1:20-1:21/100m). However, when I tested a straight 200m, I couldn't do any better than 2:45 (ie pace 1:23/100m). Maybe it depends on the individual, but for me resting 20s after each usrpt rep is too much rest to say I really own that pace.

Salvo

gary p 11-29-2017 01:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by s.sciame (Post 63965)
That's a very good point that leads me to a question on something I've never found on USRPT bulletins: if a swimmer succeeds a given set at a given pace, what can he/she expect from a time trial or race?

Before the summer, after 12 weeks of pure usrpt training I could complete 40x50m (scm) on 1:00 at sub 40s without failures (ie pace 1:20-1:21/100m). However, when I tested a straight 200m, I couldn't do any better than 2:45 (ie pace 1:23/100m). Maybe it depends on the individual, but for me resting 20s after each usrpt rep is too much rest to say I really own that pace.

Salvo

After 9 months of intense, USRPT exclusive training, I found great correlation. I predicted my 100 free time to within 1/100th of a second of my actual race performance, and predicted my 400 free time to within a second. Few points, though. That was in a race environment, off the blocks, shaved, rested, and in a technical race suit. Also, my 400 estimate was based on 75 repeats, not 50's.

FWIW, 6 weeks before that championship meet, I went to a local meet just to get some long course race experience, as I hadn't done an LC meet in over 25 years. With no rest, not shaved, in a standard jammer, I went 18 seconds slower in the 400 than I ended up going a month and a half later. Maybe the young guns training with USRPT can just rip off full race on demand at or close to the same pace they're training at with no rest, but this old guy had a lot of accumulated training fatigue.


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