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TSB.
February 3rd, 2015, 09:19 AM
Is USRPT better than CSS for training distances like 800m and 1500m.
http://swimsmooth.com/training_adv.html this is a link to CSS training.

Glenn
February 3rd, 2015, 11:26 AM
Is USRPT better than CSS for training distances like 800m and 1500m.
http://swimsmooth.com/training_adv.html this is a link to CSS training.


I am not sure what CSS training is, but I do know that USRPT is good for distances as well. Despite the fact that the training method is call Ultra Short Race Pace Training and despite the fact that most people assume that it is really for sprinters only, I believe that it is actually better for distance swimmers than for sprinters.

All you really have to do is determine your goal time for the 800 and or 1500. Then break that time down into 100s and that is the pace you need to maintain. I train for the 400/500 and do mostly 50 repeats. For 800/1500 you can do 100 repeats with 20 seconds rest, skip if misssed.

pwb
February 3rd, 2015, 12:57 PM
You can brand it however you like, but the key is race pace training. The longer the distance, though, the shorter the rest interval, I think. That is, 15 x 100 on 2:00 holding 1:00 is going to do less to train you for a 15:00 1500 than 15 x 100 on 1:10 holding 1:00.

If you really want to train for the 800 or 1500, figure out what the Michigan pro team is doing.

Caveat - I grew up in the old school, 1970's/80's animal lane mentality for distance swimming. YMMV.

Glenn
February 3rd, 2015, 01:33 PM
You can brand it however you like, but the key is race pace training. The longer the distance, though, the shorter the rest interval, I think. That is, 15 x 100 on 2:00 holding 1:00 is going to do less to train you for a 15:00 1500 than 15 x 100 on 1:10 holding 1:00.

If you want to train for the 800/1500 here is the set you should do:

30 x 100 holding x:xx on an interval that gives you 20 seconds rest, skip if missed. Where x is the pace you want to hold. In USRPT you should never be able to do the entire set of 30 x 100. If you can do them all, the pace is too easy. When you miss an interval you rest until the next one comes around. Once you have missed three total or two in a row with the extra rest, the set is done. Period. When doing USRPT you must always swim until failure.

These are not easy. They are not meant to be. It will take some time to get used to it. Eventually you should do two sets a day like this. No need to do kicking, pulling or drills. They are all a waste of your time (unless you just want to get in yardage - but what is the benefit of that).

Once I began to do the USRPT sets correctly, I saw a big difference in 3 months.

flystorms
February 3rd, 2015, 02:22 PM
This is great information, Glenn, thanks for sharing. I wondered how to best do the longer distances as well with USRPT. I've been doing some research on it lately. May have to give this approach a try for the longer distances.

How much time have you dropped in those 3 months, if you don't mind? How many days/week do you do these sets? And what's a good warmup before you get cranking on these?
- Kari

knelson
February 3rd, 2015, 02:23 PM
No need to do kicking, pulling or drills. They are all a waste of your time

The caveat, of course, is "according to USRPT philosophy."

Jazz Hands
February 3rd, 2015, 02:26 PM
From the CSS article:



For distance swimmers - including open water athletes and triathletes - one physiological factor is all important: your lactate threshold. If you can improve your lactate threshold speed your race speeds will improve. Your ability to sprint or work anaerobically above threshold is largely irrelevant in distance swimming and triathlon. So is your ability to lift heavy weights.

Here's the secret: To improve your lactate threshold you want to do your quality swim sets at your current threshold pace or just below it. Many athletes make the mistake of training above lactate threshold in short sharp swim sets - that isn't nearly as effective. We'll explain more about getting that right below.


To use a technical term, this is super dumb. Lactate threshold is the swimming speed below which lactate does not accumulate. Yes, this is obviously what you need to improve for distance swimming, because lactate accumulation is unsustainable. However it's quite a leap to say that sprinting and lifting cannot change lactate threshold.

If you think of your lactate threshold as the percentage of your top speed, then yeah, you probably want to train it near or below threshold. However, you don't want to be a high percentage of fast; you want to be fast. Why not also just increase your top swimming speed by increasing strength? Then your lactate threshold can increase without increasing its percentage of top speed.

I'd ask any distance swimmer who doesn't think speed is important whether they can swim a 100 LCM freestyle in under 49 seconds. Because Sun Yang can, and that means he has to work a lot less hard than most people to maintain whatever his threshold pace is, regardless of how much time he spends working on it.

Glenn
February 3rd, 2015, 03:56 PM
The caveat, of course, is "according to USRPT philosophy."


For me regardless of USRPT philosophy, I have believed for a long time that drills, in particular were useless. Probably not for beginners, because there is value in slowing a skill down for them in order for them to be able to even do the skill. However, for accomplished swimmers, and by that I mean swimmers who compete on a regular basis, regardless of their speed, they can integrate any change in their stroke while practicing at race pace.

Example, you want me to have a high elbow catch, just tell me. I can think about that and change my elbow position while I am doing USRPT, no problem. Head in the wrong position, no problem, tell me to look at the bottom of the pool, I can do that while doing race pace sets.

Things like the finger drag drill make NO sense to me. Why would I drag my fingers on top of the water (creating more drag BTW) because the coach feels I am lifting my hand too high on recovery? If that's my problem, tell me and because I am aware of it, I can concntrate on it while swimming.

As for pulling and kicking, I have raced hundreds, maybe thousands of times and I have never raced while only pulling or kicking. When those two activities become an event, then I will probably do my race pace sets that way.

To me it is very simple, "train how you are going to race". That quote I have heard many times from Rich Abrahams. I think that has worked fairly well for him.

__steve__
February 3rd, 2015, 03:57 PM
At what point would an USRP set be too hard requiring an additional second or two split , say for a 30 x 100?

Glenn
February 3rd, 2015, 04:50 PM
At what point would an USRP set be too hard requiring an additional second or two split , say for a 30 x 100?

USRPT is not like traditional training where you do a set of 10 x 100 on 1:30 and you are expected to do all 10. The number of repeats you do in a USRPT set is not really the main point. The main point is how many you can do at your race pace. And it's your race pace, not the guy next to you.

In a set of 30 x 100, you should be able to do maybe 12 or 14 before your first failure. Then maybe you can string together another 4 or five before your next failure and finally maybe you can get in 4 or 5 more before your third failure before you stop the set. So if you have done 24 of the 30 where 21 where at race pace and three were failures, that is a good start.

The challenge with USRPT is to try to move that first failure farther and farther down the road. So if today your first failure was at # 12, try to go one more tomorrow and have your first failure at #13 etc.

If you are doing the set and your first failure comes at number 6 and your second failure at number 8 and your third failure at number 10, then you need to adjust your target time to be a little easier. You do not adjust your rest. It is always at 20 seconds.

On the other hand, if you are doing a set of 30 and you do 26 before your first failure, I would say the time you chose was too soft. You need to make it more difficult.

The point of USRPT is swimming at the speed you will swim the race.

Glenn
February 3rd, 2015, 04:55 PM
This is great information, Glenn, thanks for sharing. I wondered how to best do the longer distances as well with USRPT. I've been doing some research on it lately. May have to give this approach a try for the longer distances.

How much time have you dropped in those 3 months, if you don't mind? How many days/week do you do these sets? And what's a good warmup before you get cranking on these?
- Kari


At the point I knew it was working for me at three months, I had swum a 200 free at 2:03.35 in early February. In years past I had swum the 200 free in early February in 2:07 - 2:09.

I do these sets 5 days a week. At my age (65) I feel my body needs the two days off on Sat and Sun.

I do a very short warmup. I do 2 x 200 and then go at it!

Chris Stevenson
February 3rd, 2015, 06:13 PM
The caveat, of course, is "according to USRPT philosophy."

Amen. The claim that kicking, pulling and drilling are an utter waste of time is one of the several things that I dislike about USRPT (though there are things I like).

The Fortress
February 3rd, 2015, 07:02 PM
Amen. The claim that kicking, pulling and drilling are an utter waste of time is one of the several things that I dislike about USRPT (though there are things I like).

Don't forget his dismissal of drylands/weights ... John Mullen wrote a critique of USRPT's treatment of this issue. There was a rather testy comment from Rushall in response. http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/science-of-performance-questioning-usrpt-founder-dr-rushalls-thoughts-on-dryland-training/

Jazz Hands
February 3rd, 2015, 07:09 PM
Don't forget his dismissal of drylands/weights ... John Mullen wrote a critique of USRPT's treatment of this issue. There was a rather testy comment from Rushall in response. http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/science-of-performance-questioning-usrpt-founder-dr-rushalls-thoughts-on-dryland-training/

My favorite part of the hissy fit:


The basic investigative technique for determining another person’s thoughts is the interview. Dr. Mullen has never interviewed me.

Can't argue with things I wrote, because you didn't interview me.

Glenn
February 3rd, 2015, 08:00 PM
Amen. The claim that kicking, pulling and drilling are an utter waste of time is one of the several things that I dislike about USRPT (though there are things I like).


I have not agreed with the notion that kicking, pulling and drills add anything of importance to a swim workout long before I ever heard of USRPT. That said, if you want to add some yardage by doing those activities, go ahead. I just don't think they help you swim fast. The only thing that helps you to swim fast, is to swim fast.

How does kicking with your head out of the water, holding onto a kick board and not rotating as you do when you actually swim, have anything to do with what you do in a race? When I did kicking drillls on any of the Masters workouts I have ever been in over the last 35 years they have almost always been "social time". There is value in that, but not for swimming fast.

Everyone jumps on Rushall for poo-pooing kicking, pulling and drills. But this is not something he made up. What he is saying is that there is NO scientific evidence that these activities help you to swim faster. He is a scientist. He deals with scientific evidence and as such does not believe that there is any evidence that these things actually help. Maybe they DO help, but there is not evidence that they do.

As far as weight training is concerned, again, there is no scientific evidence that shows that it helps swimmers, mostly due to the idea of specificity. When weight training on land you are anchored by the floor which is different than when you swim. The swim bench looks like it simulates swimming, but it doesn't. You are lying on a bench, not suspended in water, you cannot rotate as you do in the water etc. Also Rushall does not say that weight training absolutely is no good for Masters swimmers. He only says that there is no evidence, no study, that shows that it helps, which is different than showing or not showing that it is a hindrance. I happen to think weight training for masters swimmers is useful. Not because it may or may not help with swimming, but because it offsets the effects of Sarcopenia.

With regard to drills, I taught physical education for many years in the public schools. And except for beginners to a physical skill, I always found it possible to correct students' movement flaws within the context of the larger movement itself. In other words kids could grasp the proper movement easily by showing them how it should be done, giving them the right cue words and having them do it while peforming the entire skill, not just a piece of it.

So, if you think kicking, pulling and drills are of benefit to you, by all means do them. You can still do USRPT. Doing drills does not negate race pace training, it just may not be the best use of your time.

Allen Stark
February 3rd, 2015, 08:00 PM
Don't forget his dismissal of drylands/weights ... John Mullen wrote a critique of USRPT's treatment of this issue. There was a rather testy comment from Rushall in response. http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/science-of-performance-questioning-usrpt-founder-dr-rushalls-thoughts-on-dryland-training/

I have always respected Dr Rushall,even though I did not always agree with his conclusions,but his response to this article was incredibly unprofessional.

The Fortress
February 3rd, 2015, 08:32 PM
How does kicking with your head out of the water, holding onto a kick board and not rotating as you do when you actually swim, have anything to do with what you do in a race?

This is the only way we kick? I think not. I believe dedicated SDK sets are absolutely valuable, especially for sprinting. Rushall has basically conceded already that USRPT has nothing to do with 50s. I find it valuable to do SDK work at both AFAP and 100 pace. The problem with a strict Rushall style sprint set, e.g., 30 x 25 @ 100 pace @ :20 rest is that it's awfully difficult to execute the # of SDKs you would take in a race for that many reps (at least for masters). Even if you go up to :30 rest per 25, I still think it's hard to replicate a race effort.

I rather think the Rushall sets are better for training middle to long distances. And for those distances, the kick is not as important.

Glenn
February 3rd, 2015, 10:36 PM
This is the only way we kick?

I rather think the Rushall sets are better for training middle to long distances. And for those distances, the kick is not as important.


Obviously I wasn't thinking about SDK. You are right about SDK since you can do them as a part of doing any repeats in USRPT.

And I agree that USRPT is much better suited for middle and long distance swimming, which is why it appeals to me. The interesting thing is most people I talk to assume, because it is called Ultra Short Race Pace Training, that it is mainly for, or only for, sprinters. I don't think it is for sprinters at all, but don't tell that to Michael Andrew who just won the 100 breast at the last Grand Prix meet.

Jazz Hands
February 4th, 2015, 02:02 AM
He is a scientist.

Uh-huh.


As far as weight training is concerned, again, there is no scientific evidence that shows that it helps swimmers, mostly due to the idea of specificity.

Except that, you know, there is: http://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Abstract/2007/05000/Effects_of_Dry_Land_Vs_Resisted_and.54.aspx

Here's the part that will totally blow your mind, though: the effect illustrated in the study existed before the study was even published. It's almost as though things can be true without direct scientific evidence for them, and we might have to use other scientific principles to construct a hypothesis, and then act according to the hypothesis alongside anecdotal evidence, instead of waiting for someone to get the funding to study a single training variable in a 12-week randomized experiment. WHOOOOAAAAAHHH.

MartinK
February 4th, 2015, 04:14 AM
Uh-huh.



Except that, you know, there is: http://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Abstract/2007/05000/Effects_of_Dry_Land_Vs_Resisted_and.54.aspx



I don't like studys like that, I dont't even like studys in any kind of sports at all.
It always seems to forget one aspect of human being: the mental, psychological aspect.
I often think the group of people are described like robots with some specific physiological characteristics but without any kind of spirit.
The question is not if dry-land training is helpful or not (I personally think it is) the question is: what can you do out of the water to bring your body, spirt, mind and soul in the right interaction and cooperation to reach your full potential at the date X of your peak preformance.

pwb
February 4th, 2015, 08:36 AM
I'd ask any distance swimmer who doesn't think speed is important whether they can swim a 100 LCM freestyle in under 49 seconds. Because Sun Yang can, and that means he has to work a lot less hard than most people to maintain whatever his threshold pace is, regardless of how much time he spends working on it.I completely agree with you. Katie Ledecky's growing prowess in the 100 is more evidence to this.


I rather think the Rushall sets are better for training middle to long distances. And for those distances, the kick is not as important.So, Leslie, I agree with you on the value of kicking sets and kicking in a lot of different ways. However, I disagree with the point about kick not being as important on distance events. If I compare the way we thought about kicking on distance events in the 70 & 80's to the way I see "the kids" swimming today, the single biggest difference I see (anecdotally) is far more use of the legs in the distance races. If anything, I think the biggest factor contributing to faster distance times these days is legs. And, I think you need to train those legs beyond just swimming more.

knelson
February 4th, 2015, 10:06 AM
I think what Rushall advocates is an extreme view, but there's certainly some merit to it, and I think it's especially useful for masters swimmers. His basic premise is that the optimal way to train is to train at your race pace. Any other kind of training is suboptimal. If you have limited time to train (as nearly all masters swimmers do) you should focus on the things that give you the most bang for your buck. Where I think he fails is in advocating that since some other types of training may be less optimal than purely race pace swimming, you should not do them at all. Sort of like what Glenn said about kicking with a board. Yeah, I'll agree kicking with a board does not translate 100% to kicking while swimming, but it's still working your legs and it's hard for me to believe that's not worth something.

So if you've got 45 minutes a day, three days a week to swim I think you should be doing USRPT, or at least some kind of race paced training as much as possible. As you move away from that extreme I think a less extreme training paradigm makes more sense.

The Fortress
February 4th, 2015, 10:17 AM
Obviously I wasn't thinking about SDK. You are right about SDK since you can do them as a part of doing any repeats in USRPT.

And I agree that USRPT is much better suited for middle and long distance swimming, which is why it appeals to me. The interesting thing is most people I talk to assume, because it is called Ultra Short Race Pace Training, that it is mainly for, or only for, sprinters. I don't think it is for sprinters at all, but don't tell that to Michael Andrew who just won the 100 breast at the last Grand Prix meet.

For the reasons I said above, I think it's extremely difficult to do race simulation SDKs in an USRPT set. You simply don't have enough air to do the required number of repeats. At least I don't. And there's value in doing concentrated dedicated SDK work that has nothing to do with USRPT. At least for short course, SDK could almost be considered a separate stroke.

Yeah, I find that people often associate USRPT with sprinting, and I correct them all the time. Michael Andrew is just a genetically talented kid and prodigy. He'd probably excel no matter what type of training he was doing. His 100 breast was a nice breakthrough at a grand prix. Kind of weird looking stroke though.

Patrick, I didn't say the kick wasn't important for distance swimmers, and your observations about the trend away from the 2 beat kick is correct. I don't know what the best way is to train "distance kick." I'd be curious to know what Ledecky and some of the other distance studs are doing. But I would guess that a lot of it, as Glenn says, is just really focusing on the kick while they are swimming. That's not to say that high intensity and high volume kick sets wouldn't have some merit in conditioning the legs.

TSB.
February 4th, 2015, 11:49 AM
If you really want to train for the 800 or 1500, figure out what the Michigan pro team is doing.
YMMV.

I thought Michigan pro team is a basketball team?

Glenn
February 4th, 2015, 04:11 PM
but it's still working your legs and it's hard for me to believe that's not worth something.


It certainly would seem that "it is worth something". It is a logical conclusion that most people would make. However, in the field of motor learning there is something called specificity. Specificity means, in terms of motor skills, that transfer of training is specific. I am not an expert on specificity. It was a concept discussed in a graduate school motor learning course I took many years ago. But the essence of the concept as far as I remember is that motor skills don't necessarily transfer from one activity e.g. kicking with a kick board, to another activity e.g. kicking while racing. This is not something I have made up. This is what the literature in kineseology and motor learning says.

The problem most people have (including myself sometimes) is that it seems like transfer should occur because the two activities are so similar, yet that is not the case.

Glenn
February 4th, 2015, 04:16 PM
At least for short course, SDK could almost be considered a separate stroke.


I certainly agree!

I had not considered SDK in my earlier post as I have gotten out of the habit of doing them. I surely do them at the beginning of a race, but not during the race. I am not sure that I do them well enough to do them off of the walls during a 50 or 100.

On the other hand, I have watched you rocket through the water with your SDKs. That is a big part of your success in the sprints, and it's beautiful to watch.

Jazz Hands
February 4th, 2015, 04:21 PM
I am not an expert on specificity.

Yes, clearly. Specificity in exercise is something that's still being studied. It's not an iron law of nature. There are many examples in exercise science of non-specific training transfer (e.g. the study I linked to on the previous page that you ignored because it doesn't fit your dogma), and the actual interesting part is figuring out the mechanisms of transfer and the situations where it does or does not happen.

Glenn
February 4th, 2015, 04:35 PM
Except that, you know, there is: http://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Abstract/2007/05000/Effects_of_Dry_Land_Vs_Resisted_and.54.aspx


There are several studies that say just the opposite.

One of the problems with many of these studies, regardless of which side of the fence you are on, is that the number of participants is usually vey small. Probably 10 -12 or so or even less.

When the American Cancer Society does a study with 300,000 participants, you then have the numbers to generalize to the general population and the statistical analysis can support the conclusions. However, in these small swimming studies (including the ones Rushall cites) the only real conclusion you can make is with the small population in the study. So you can't with a high degree of certainty generalize the results to the general swimming population, not to mention the Masters population!

So, we can argue forever about the merits of USRPT or any other training method and we could both cite chapter and verse of the studies out there and be sure that we are right. But right or not, it comes down to (A) what you believe in and (B) what works for you.

I have been doing USRPT and only USRPT for a year and a half. No kicking, pulling or drills. I have had best times in ten years and have had best times since college (1970). I think for me it has much to do with the fact that I believe in the training and do it faithfully everyday.

Glenn
February 4th, 2015, 04:39 PM
Yes, clearly.


Do I detect a little nastiness there? Is that really necessary?

Jazz Hands
February 4th, 2015, 04:39 PM
There are several studies that say just the opposite.

One of the problems with many of these studies, regardless of which side of the fence you are on, is that the number of participants is usually vey small. Probably 10 -12 or so or even less.


Uh, yeah, that is a problem. Also the studies are often too short to detect the change. In both cases, they lack sensitivity to real effects. Both simple ways for an effect to be real when "several studies say just the opposite." So what, exactly, is your point? Also good work shifting from universally claiming that weight training is bad and specificity is God to the less objectionable "whatever works for you if you believe in yourself!" stuff. No one noticed.

Jazz Hands
February 4th, 2015, 04:42 PM
Do I detect a little nastiness there? Is that really necessary?

Better question: why are you lecturing at length about something that you admit you don't know about?

Glenn
February 4th, 2015, 04:57 PM
Better question: why are you lecturing at length about something that you admit you don't know about?


Didn't realize I was lecturing. But if you don't like the lecture, then leave...

Glenn
February 4th, 2015, 05:06 PM
Uh, yeah, that is a problem. Also the studies are often too short to detect the change. In both cases, they lack sensitivity to real effects. Both simple ways for an effect to be real when "several studies say just the opposite." So what, exactly, is your point? Also good work shifting from universally claiming that weight training is bad and specificity is God to the less objectionable "whatever works for you if you believe in yourself!" stuff. No one noticed.


My point is that the studies do in fact suggest certain things, which is all studies of the size that we see in swimming can do. I can also choose to believe them or not just as you do.

I never said weight training is bad. I said the studies do not support the claim that there is transfer, that is all I have said. IF you still want to pump iron, please go ahead.

I do believe in specificity AND I believe that the psychological/mind part of swimming is probably as important as training. USRPT is not for everyone. Obviously it is not for you.

Jazz Hands
February 4th, 2015, 05:10 PM
USRPT is not for everyone. Obviously it is not for you.

I might be bold enough to claim that my training is more ultra-short and race-pace than anyone else's.

Chris Stevenson
February 4th, 2015, 07:07 PM
How does kicking with your head out of the water, holding onto a kick board and not rotating as you do when you actually swim, have anything to do with what you do in a race? When I did kicking drillls on any of the Masters workouts I have ever been in over the last 35 years they have almost always been "social time". There is value in that, but not for swimming fast.

When swimmers rest during kick sets that isn't a fault of kicking as an activity, it is the fault of the coach for failing to emphasize it or the swimmer for slacking off.

Fortress answered much as I would have, except I would continue to say that there is value in using a kick board too. SDK sets are great but sometimes I just don't have it in me to do the breath control part of it, and I want to concentrate on punishing my legs.

That said, I have even done some USRPT-like kick sets with SDK, but they have to be adapted by adding additional rest due to the hypoxic component. For example I might do no-breather "shooter" 25s holding 12-13s on an interval of 35 or 40 (depending how good a shape I am in). No person who swims short course 100 fly or 100 back and emphasizes SDKs would think this type of thing a waste of time.

But back to boards: you asked, what does kicking with a board have in common with swimming? Well...you're kicking hard in both cases...

In the past decades I've heard lots of comments about the relatively low fraction of propulsion that comes from kicking (aside from SDKs of course, and probably aside from breaststroke). I'd have to say that attitude misses a lot. Kicking does a lot more than just propel you forward, it is also critical for body position. When my legs die in fly and my hips sink, it's all over, no matter how fresh my arms are.

But of course that oversimplifies things too, because it is simply not possible that your legs die without your arms dying, and vice versa. When I'm hurting at the end of a race, I don't usually think to myself "hmm, the legs are tired but my arms are okay." Usually the whole body starts shutting down.

So yes, hard kick sets are valuable for conditioning your legs, which helps your swimming. When people are only swimming they often do not push their legs hard enough, so isolating them has value. (IMO)


Everyone jumps on Rushall for poo-pooing kicking, pulling and drills. But this is not something he made up. What he is saying is that there is NO scientific evidence that these activities help you to swim faster. He is a scientist. He deals with scientific evidence and as such does not believe that there is any evidence that these things actually help. Maybe they DO help, but there is not evidence that they do.

I'm a scientist too. I read hundreds of peer-reviewed articles a year. Sorry, but Rushall doesn't write or present this material like a scientist, he acts like someone selling a product. (Which of course he is.)

My thoughts on the evidence for USRPT are well articulated here:

http://www.swimmingscience.net/2015/01/usrpt-science-standards-evidence.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Swimmingscience+%28Swimming+S cience%29

I dislike Rushall's online persona and think he is guilty of intellectually bullying and misrepresenting science and scientists. But of course that doesn't mean his ideas are wrong, I just don't think that they represent settled science.


The only thing that helps you to swim fast, is to swim fast.

We'll have to agree to disagree on this point. Good luck in your training.

Jazz Hands
February 4th, 2015, 07:15 PM
Yeah, what Chris said :)


I'm a scientist too. I read hundreds of peer-reviewed articles a year. Sorry, but Rushall doesn't write or present this material like a scientist, he acts like someone selling a product. (Which of course he is.)

Is he selling something? I'd say he is a bit more like a cult leader. And, yes, the kind-of bizarre thing about all of this is that USRPT is obviously a good training system that works for a lot of people. The fanaticism is unnecessary, and I think it would stand on its own due to the results people get.

knelson
February 5th, 2015, 12:04 AM
USRPT is pretty much the CrossFit of swimming. :)

Stevepowell
February 5th, 2015, 12:59 PM
To the posters original question:
http://coachsci.sdsu.edu/swim/bullets/ultra28.htm

Edit: Poster wanted long distance info, above quote is sprint. But it does address threshold vs short sprint intervals.

15 years ago Rushall collected a lot of good info on sprinting. It seems only recently the 'net is full of statements like "In USRPT blah blah blah" Maybe he hired a consultant to generate buzz. Doesn't seem to be any unique research he's done, just a guy trying to make a buck helping swimmers. If he can get the tri's to switch from LSD to intervals than more power to him.

Allen Stark
February 6th, 2015, 01:07 PM
If you are doing the set and your first failure comes at number 6 and your second failure at number 8 and your third failure at number 10, then you need to adjust your target time to be a little easier. You do not adjust your rest. It is always at 20 seconds.

On the other hand, if you are doing a set of 30 and you do 26 before your first failure, I would say the time you chose was too soft. You need to make it more difficult.

The point of USRPT is swimming at the speed you will swim the race.

If the point of USRPT is swimming at race pace and you are getting your first failure at 6 as in your example,why not increase the rest instead of increasing the goal time? It seems to me that, given our varying physiologies as Masters Swimmers, some of us just need more rest. As I have noted,I need more rest in BR sets than in free sets.To clarify,this is a question,not a critique,what makes 20 sec. special that it is optimal for everyone?

Gary P
February 6th, 2015, 02:08 PM
If the point of USRPT is swimming at race pace and you are getting your first failure at 6 as in your example,why not increase the rest instead of increasing the goal time?

Because holding that pace with more rest won't likely correlate well to the pace you'll actually be able to maintain in a race where you get no rest between segments.

Jazz Hands
February 6th, 2015, 02:17 PM
If the point of USRPT is swimming at race pace and you are getting your first failure at 6 as in your example,why not increase the rest instead of increasing the goal time? It seems to me that, given our varying physiologies as Masters Swimmers, some of us just need more rest. As I have noted,I need more rest in BR sets than in free sets.To clarify,this is a question,not a critique,what makes 20 sec. special that it is optimal for everyone?

If I remember, this is where Rushall gets suuuuper hand-wavy (sorry, I mean "scientific") and says that when there's too much rest the adaptation is no longer in the correct recovery zone or something.

no200fly
February 6th, 2015, 05:27 PM
I have been doing what I call SUSRPT. I train for a 100 fly and I figure that anything greater that 4 x 25 at race pace is inefficient since I will not race more than 100. It also may be because I don't want to endure the pain of 16 or 26 more repeats. If this works, it may be the equivalent of six minute abs.

I will see where this goes at Nationals.

Jazz Hands
February 6th, 2015, 06:44 PM
I have been doing what I call SUSRPT. I train for a 100 fly and I figure that anything greater that 4 x 25 at race pace is inefficient since I will not race more than 100. It also may be because I don't want to endure the pain of 16 or 26 more repeats. If this works, it may be the equivalent of six minute abs.

I will see where this goes at Nationals.

I've done meet prep like that without resting, just doing the event all the way through. It works. I'm curious how it goes as 4x25.

loonytick
February 9th, 2015, 03:34 PM
Because holding that pace with more rest won't likely correlate well to the pace you'll actually be able to maintain in a race where you get no rest between segments.

But it seems like it would make just as much sense to have a regiment of a set number of repeats of whatever distance at race pace, but with rests that shorten over time.

It seems to me that, as much as any "science" that is or isn't being used to back up the USRPT model, there's also a fair bit of appealing to a sort of chest-thumping machismo going on in the setting of high goals for repetitions (you're going to try to do it 100 times because you're tough!) and a sort of rest-is-for-losers mentality to the fail twice and you're out for the day approach.

Maybe it works. Maybe for some people it's the best method. But even if you buy that the basic concepts are sound (I'm not sure I do), it's hard to argue that USRPT is the only way of implementing the training concepts behind it.

Gary P
February 9th, 2015, 06:19 PM
But it seems like it would make just as much sense to have a regiment of a set number of repeats of whatever distance at race pace, but with rests that shorten over time.


I suspect you'd get a similar conditioning effect, but you won't get the same training effect. Both swimmers will be capable of swimming faster, but the swimmer who got there via USRPT way will have had extensive practice swimming at the faster pace the better conditioning will allow and have an almost innate knowledge how to pace the race. Someone who kept the initial pace but shortened the interval and/or increased the reps will very much have to guess how that better conditioning actually translates to a faster race. The latter is much more likely to go out too fast or too slow. The USRPT swimmer is more likely to achieve the full potential of their conditioning.

Allen Stark
February 9th, 2015, 08:29 PM
I suspect you'd get a similar conditioning effect, but you won't get the same training effect. Both swimmers will be capable of swimming faster, but the swimmer who got there via USRPT way will have had extensive practice swimming at the faster pace the better conditioning will allow and have an almost innate knowledge how to pace the race. Someone who kept the initial pace but shortened the interval and/or increased the reps will very much have to guess how that better conditioning actually translates to a faster race. The latter is much more likely to go out too fast or too slow. The USRPT swimmer is more likely to achieve the full potential of their conditioning.

I am not sure you are reading loonytick the same way I am. Lets say my goal time for a 50 at 200 pace is 35.Say I can do 6 of them before the first failure with 20 sec rest,but I can do 12 to first failure either by increasing my goal time to 37 sec with 20 sec rest,or increasing my rest to 30 sec and keep the 35 sec goal time.Why is the 20 sec rest, slower goal time better? Since I started rest pace work,originally with HIT,now with increasing use of USRPTish sets,I have always tried to keep my goal times constant and adjust my rest,decreasing rest as conditioning improves.That makes more sense to me for me,YMMV.

loonytick
February 10th, 2015, 11:26 AM
I am not sure you are reading loonytick the same way I am. Lets say my goal time for a 50 at 200 pace is 35.Say I can do 6 of them before the first failure with 20 sec rest,but I can do 12 to first failure either by increasing my goal time to 37 sec with 20 sec rest,or increasing my rest to 30 sec and keep the 35 sec goal time.Why is the 20 sec rest, slower goal time better? Since I started rest pace work,originally with HIT,now with increasing use of USRPTish sets,I have always tried to keep my goal times constant and adjust my rest,decreasing rest as conditioning improves.That makes more sense to me for me,YMMV.

Yes, exactly!

Also:


Someone who kept the initial pace but shortened the interval and/or increased the reps will very much have to guess how that better conditioning actually translates to a faster race

But increasing the reps is exactly what USRPT seems to be, in effect. I mean, the fact that you always start with the same goal is more a psychological exercise than anything if the way you carry it out is to stop when you fail to make the interval twice, and then work to make it a rep or two more each subsequent time you get in the pool (and, I must note, always getting rests in between rather than practicing how to actually, really seamlessly sustain the effort). Instead, I'm suggesting an alternative would be to swim at a consistent, race-pace speed with each effort, always doing x number of repeats of swimming at that pace, changing only the amount of time standing at the pool so that the rest time shrinks and the you build up to maintaining that race pace more and more consistently for periods of time that become closer and closer to the exertion that would be required during the nonstop race.

sickfish
February 10th, 2015, 01:27 PM
swim at a consistent, race-pace speed with each effort, always doing x number of repeats of swimming at that pace, changing only the amount of time standing at the pool so that the rest time shrinks and the you build up to maintaining that race pace more and more consistently for periods of time that become closer and closer to the exertion that would be required during the nonstop race.

Everything sounds so simple and reasonable until you try to do it fly :)

This is why I don't do usrpt anymore. I can hit my goal pace with 20 seconds rest all day, but in the race I don't take 20 seconds between lengths. I have better results with practicing for speed (i.e. as much rest as I need) and just doing the race itself in practice. Nothing prepares you for a 100 fly like a 100 fly for time.

Gary P
February 10th, 2015, 01:28 PM
I'm certainly willing to believe there's some wiggle room in the various variables (pace/distance/rest/repetitions) that deliver the desired effect. If you swing too far to the "higher effort, longer rest" side of the spectrum, however, it changes the ratio of energy demand (more anaerobic, less aerobic) than what may be most efficient for adaptation.

From Rushall's bulletin #39:

If the rest interval is too long, the aerobic demand in the rest period decreases. On the commencement of the next repetition,considerable early energy is derived anaerobically until the aerobic system once again functions fully. As the set progresses, anaerobic fatigue builds throughout the set making the energy sources and muscular function increasingly irrelevant for the race for which the set was intended. The varying demand on aerobiosis does not replicate what occurs in a race and therefore, is not race specific. There is no alternative to short rest-intervals in race-pace training.

In the same bulletin, Rushall suggests that 30 seconds rest might be the threshold beyond which the adaptation falls off precipitously.

Gary P
February 10th, 2015, 01:53 PM
But increasing the reps is exactly what USRPT seems to be, in effect.... Instead, I'm suggesting an alternative would be to swim at a consistent, race-pace speed with each effort, always doing x number of repeats of swimming at that pace, changing only the amount of time standing at the pool so that the rest time shrinks and the you build up to maintaining that race pace more and more consistently for periods of time that become closer and closer to the exertion that would be required during the nonstop race.

But the point of USPRT is to eventually, and incrementally, increase the pace. You increase the reps to a point, but once you get there, you increase the pace which almost certainly results in a drop in the number of reps you can successfully complete. And you start climbing the ladder again.

At what point in your suggested alternative do you increase the pace?

Chris Stevenson
February 10th, 2015, 06:23 PM
Everything sounds so simple and reasonable until you try to do it fly :)


I like it, I think I will adopt this phrase as my training motto!

arthur
February 11th, 2015, 12:32 PM
Everything sounds so simple and reasonable until you try to do it fly :)

This is why I don't do usrpt anymore. I can hit my goal pace with 20 seconds rest all day, but in the race I don't take 20 seconds between lengths. I have better results with practicing for speed (i.e. as much rest as I need) and just doing the race itself in practice. Nothing prepares you for a 100 fly like a 100 fly for time.
Most USRPT stuff seems to make sense but the fly sample sets seem insane. They have a how to write a USRPT set video where they write a set for a 55s 100m fly swimmer. He has to hold 27.5s 50m fly on 45 seconds which just seems not possible. In their example he "makes" 9 in a row before the first failure:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AfoICvh8A0

Chris Stevenson
February 11th, 2015, 03:28 PM
Jokes aside, if you are interested in the 100 fly as a target race then I would limit my USRPT sets to 25s, such as 40 x 25. I think 20 sec is too much, it should be 15-17 sec. I don't think you should do USRPT 50s fly (w/ 20 sec rest) unless you want to do the 200 fly.

I agree that you shouldn't limit yourself to USRPT because it avoids producing lactate at the levels you might experience towards the end of a race.

The Fortress
February 11th, 2015, 03:48 PM
Jokes aside, if you are interested in the 100 fly as a target race then I would limit my USRPT sets to 25s, such as 40 x 25. I think 20 sec is too much, it should be 15-17 sec.

I'm interpreting this as a joke. 40 x 25 fly?!

I will never do a true USRPT set. I'm too much a drop dead sprinter, too old and too weak minded. :)

MartinK
February 11th, 2015, 04:08 PM
USRPT is just crazy...and for the most masters swimmers is a suicide (my opinion).
If your mindset is result oriented, so you stuck on this stuff and think you are doing well but to be honest you are doing nothing more than forcing your body to hell......maybe your results are right, and you are swimming world records with this kind of stuff and you are getting happy for one moment...
But you will pay a high price for your short-thinking and reslut oriented thinking.
For me it is one dimensional thinking and improving...
If you will grown on youself as person and not as "record-robot" in doing what you are doing,
you have to thing in matters of progress and in matters of spirituality.
I dont see any progress in USPRT.

USPRT is ONE way to get where you want, but not becoming who you are.

I guess with USPRT after some time let me say (3 to 5 years) you will burn out, because your body and soul going crazy...your body can't stand the force and you will burn out, there is no way out...
I cant belive some one is doing always the same stuff and getting happy with it.

-------
If you want more as you really can you will get nothing

Gary P
February 11th, 2015, 04:14 PM
Most USRPT stuff seems to make sense but the fly sample sets seem insane. They have a how to write a USRPT set video where they write a set for a 55s 100m fly swimmer. He has to hold 27.5s 50m fly on 45 seconds which just seems not possible. In their example he "makes" 9 in a row before the first failure.

If you look in the comments, he admits its an incorrect example. That's actually a set for a 1:50 200 flyer!

A :55 100 flyer should be attempting 30 25's at :13.5 on :30.

Gary P
February 11th, 2015, 04:23 PM
USRPT is just crazy...and for the most masters swimmers is a suicide (my opinion).
...... to be honest you are doing nothing more than forcing your body to hell..... for your results you will pay a high price....I guess after some time let me say (3 to 5 years) you will burn out doing stuff like this, because your body and [soul] going crazy...your body can't stand the force and you will burn out...You cant swim just always at the [absolute] limit...


I'm not sure you understand how USRPT works. As soon as you're too fatigued to swim at race pace, you stop and recover for a minute, give or take. The third time you stop in a set for fatigue, you abandon the set and move on to a more extended recovery cycle before taking on the next set. It's a body saver, not a body destroyer. USRPT is clearly not not the only way to get faster. It may be the most efficient, however.

MartinK
February 11th, 2015, 04:35 PM
I'm not sure you understand how USRPT works. As soon as you're too fatigued to swim at race pace, you stop and recover for a minute, give or take....

I don't get it why you have to train always in race pace?
By the way "race pace" is for me a misleading word in this case.
You can swim always ONE TIME in a really race pace and that is in the competition and not during your training.

Gary P
February 11th, 2015, 05:10 PM
You can swim always ONE TIME in a really race pace and that is in the competition and not during your training.

On this point we'll just have to disagree.

MartinK
February 12th, 2015, 10:09 AM
The whole concept of USRPT doesnt't make any sence for me. I can't understand people who try be like a machine which is automaticly programming and if they failed they have to repeat again. Whats about bad days, where you are feeling bad?
USRPT is build for a human-machine eith a simply binary code: 1 and 0...passed or failed.

__steve__
February 12th, 2015, 10:12 AM
Goes back to the theory of training as a cat or dog. USRPT is for dogs

opeleroy
July 15th, 2017, 02:38 PM
Boston University's swim team tried USRPT in 2014-2015. This was detailed in an issue of Swimming Technique magazine last fall. Almost completely across the board they swam slower (only 3 of 26 events benefited more from the USRPT regimen compared to a more traditional training program).

Most notable was that during the USRPT season the swimmers' kick faltered badly at the end of races.

In the words of the coach, the race pace training was found to be best used "as seasoning rather than the main course."

cinc3100
July 17th, 2017, 05:51 PM
[QUOTE=opeleroy;321941]Boston University's swim team tried USRPT in 2014-2015. This was detailed in an issue of Swimming Technique magazine last fall. Almost completely across the board they swam slower (only 3 of 26 events benefited more from the USRPT regimen compared to a more traditional training program).

Most notable was that during the USRPT season the swimmers' kick faltered badly at the end of races.


I think USPT gets a bum rating since coaches like the higher yardage. As a kid I didn't dropped that much time from swimming on novice teams that did more workout like USPT, lots of 50's and 25's and only 100's for kicking, free and IM to higher volume AAU workout outs/ I think with the high yardage too much freestyle is done. I think more of an IM approach with less yardage would help young swimmers more. They can do some more race pace and some aerobic.

Allen Stark
July 17th, 2017, 08:28 PM
if CSS stands for continuous slow swimming, and those are the only 2 choices, then I vote USRPT. To me USRPT alone doesn't tax the anaerobic system enough, but at least it gives race pace work. Some Masters Swimmers have done great in distance events with USRPT. I get too bored doing the same workouts, so I vary, but I get really bored with long slow stuff, so I don't do it. YMMV

knelson
July 18th, 2017, 11:54 AM
In the words of the coach, the race pace training was found to be best used "as seasoning rather than the main course."

This seems reasonable to me. Everything in moderation. Race pace training is essentially, but shouldn't be the be all, end all.

Sportygeek
July 18th, 2017, 11:44 PM
if CSS stands for continuous slow swimming, and those are the only 2 choices, then I vote USRPT.

In this context, CSS is likely Critical Swim Speed. Repeat 100-400 intervals at threshold pace (as calculated from the results of 400 and 200 time trials). http://www.swimsmooth.com/training.html

Allen Stark
July 19th, 2017, 08:34 PM
In this context, CSS is likely Critical Swim Speed. Repeat 100-400 intervals at threshold pace (as calculated from the results of 400 and 200 time trials). http://www.swimsmooth.com/training.html
Thanks.I had not heard of that. That is probably a good workout paradigm for distance swimmers.

ElaineK
July 20th, 2017, 12:34 PM
In this context, CSS is likely Critical Swim Speed. Repeat 100-400 intervals at threshold pace (as calculated from the results of 400 and 200 time trials). http://www.swimsmooth.com/training.html

Great article, Sporty! Thanks for posting. :agree:

SwimDogs
April 11th, 2019, 12:03 PM
I just posted a new thread related to this topic, but I thought I would post here as well:

Is anyone out there using CSS and/or USRPT as the training basis for open water and/or triathlon?

Having drifted away (pardon the pun) from the pool and into the open water, I am using these metrics to establish a platform for my 1.5K, 5K, 10K, and marathon swim events (26.4K Sri Chimnoy on Lake Zurich in August).

I'm currently training in a 25-yard pool until the ice thaws and the water warms up enough to get into my local swimming hole.

I'd love to start a dialogue with anyone out there who's interested.

Mark

miklcct
April 11th, 2019, 08:35 PM
I just posted a new thread related to this topic, but I thought I would post here as well:

Is anyone out there using CSS and/or USRPT as the training basis for open water and/or triathlon?

Having drifted away (pardon the pun) from the pool and into the open water, I am using these metrics to establish a platform for my 1.5K, 5K, 10K, and marathon swim events (26.4K Sri Chimnoy on Lake Zurich in August).

I'm currently training in a 25-yard pool until the ice thaws and the water warms up enough to get into my local swimming hole.

I'd love to start a dialogue with anyone out there who's interested.

Mark

Although my target is long distance OW races, I have a too big drop off from 100 m to 400 m by the predictor, while the time between 400 m and 1500 m is reasonable so I am using USRPT to work on my 400 m / 800 m time now.

My standard set now is 50 m intervals, attempting to complete 40 before 3 failures.