SwimCents Episode 3 – Putting Together a USRPT Set

Episode 3 

Peter and Michael shares how they approach designing a USRPT set discussing preparing for 100’s 200’s, 200 IM’s and long distance races.  Purpose of this VodCast is to provide you with tools to design your own USRPT training program.  They also answer first question submitted by Mark.  

Check out this episode!

Comments 13

  1. Hi,

    Thanks for the videos and good luck with your swimming career.

    It is very clear that the focus of USRPT is on specificity in training. I wondered what your opinion was on drills with or without toys such as pull buoys / paddles / fins and if you ever incorporate these or if you just use your weekly cycles to focus on different elements of the stroke?

    Would you recommend the same approach for top tier swimmer versus amateurs who may not have the same polished stroke?



  2. Hi,
    I am a masters swimmer, age 62. who took up competitive swimming 2 1/2 years ago after many years competing as a mid-distance runner. Not having a swimming background, I have technique challenges that I am steadily picking away at.

    For 18 months I have trained exclusively USRPT, with the exception of periodically getting a bit of stroke coaching. I started USRPT at the urging of my excellent masters coach, Cokie Lepinski.

    Since starting USRPT, my times have steadily improved. I have moved from the middle of the national rankings for my age group to the top quarter. I am very happy with this progress, as I am now getting competitive with those who were collegiate swimmers. And I’m still getting faster.

    I credit the USRPT training discipline. And, while my stroke is still far from perfect, I can FEEL the small technique changes and how they affect the times on my repeats.

    My main question is this: What should I do on the (not infrequent) days when I can’t get a single 25 done at race pace for a given stroke/distance? I don’t really want to soften my “fail” time, as that teaches me to swim slower. On the other hand, I don’t want to leave practice without any training. Sometimes, if I rest for a bit and try another stroke I may have better success finding race pace. Other times, I can’t find race pace for any stroke or distance.

    I don’t know if this is a problem specific to being an older swimmer with less than perfect technique.

    I also find that the inability to swim at race pace at all happens predictably starting a few days after the big meet of the season. I don’t think it’s all in my head. But there are also some days (or even 2-3 weeks) during the race season when I can’t find race pace no matter how deep I dig.

    My secondary question is: What do you recommend doing during the 15 minutes recovery time between sets? I don’t tend to favor a lot of drills, but maybe they are effective? Or should one do kick sets? Or just relaxed swimming concentrating on technique?

    I am really happy to find your blog. I will be a regular viewer. I also believe there would be a market/interest in swim camps for USRPT. The discipline is pretty much a solo practice approach, as the point is to swim at the individual’s race pace (not the group’s). But it would be useful to have, once in a while, a coached environment in which one could do USRPT workouts with the benefit of tips about technique, turnover, and the race pace training fine points.

    Mimi Willard
    Swymnut Masters,
    Marin County, CA

  3. I have been training usrpt periodically in the last 2 years. I am going to college on a swim scholarship. Well I be able to adapt back into a traditional program and be successful? Thoughts?

  4. Hey Andrew and Michael thanks for the great vodcast!
    My question is.. how do i the warm up before going into the race pace sets?
    are there any specific warmup drills that you can recommend about?
    Thanks alot!!

  5. sorry i got a little confused with my last comment heres the fixed one! sorry guys 🙂

    Hey Michael and Peter thanks for the great vodcast!
    My question is.. how do i warm up before going into the race pace sets?
    are there any specific warmup drills that you can recommend about?
    Thanks alot!!

  6. Hey, I bought your dvd, bought how do you train your underwater dolphin kick? I’m currently kicking 10.5 on SCM, but I would like to go faster
    Great podcast

  7. Hi guys,
    My name is Patrick King and I am a coach in Great Falls, Montana. I am HUGE fan of USRPT (and Jesus, love the shirt!) and we have implemented it in our training since last year with GREAT results. The only problem we are finding is the kids can get bored of the day in day out 30×25 or 30×50. We mix up the training as recommended but we are trying to figure out different ways to implement the same training with a different spin on it. Do you have any ideas from other coaches or other ways you implement the USRPT? Also I saw the video on ESPN outside the lines, are those gymnast rings hanging above the pool? Does Michael do dryland training with those? Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!
    Thanks and God Bless,
    Patrick King

  8. You said that you’re doing overspeed training to train your 50s and not back doing 100 pace after that. Did you mean that you dedicate that training session to only train your 50s? And how many sets you usually takes when you train overspeed and how often in a week you train that?

  9. hey my name is Lukas and I swim in Canada
    How would i train for a 400IM?
    my coach said to train for the 400 I’m by doing 75s at my 200 pace fly,bk, br,and free
    to train for the 200Im i would do the 30 50s set doing 10 fly-bk, 10k-br, 10br-fr at 100 pace but i found it very difficult and i had to add a second or 2 in order to make my goal time time.
    Also, for the 200 pace sets doing 50s i used to go on 20 seconds rest but i found it too easy because i can recover very quickly because i don’t have much muscle and i don’t build up a lot of lactic acid so now i go on 15 seconds rest instead for the 50 75 and 100 repeats when i am training distance. Is this better or is that too little?
    Thanks so much if you can answer these questions

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