Archives for posts with tag: usrpt

It’s exciting to hear that some open water swimming venues are now open (Box End and TriFarm) and some of you are taking full advantage.  OK, it’s still very early days and places are very limited but it is positive progress.  Adding this opportunity to those of you that have managing tethered swimming in your garden or a dip a local river then we are seeing more people gradually getting back in the water.  We are also making plans for our return to Impington as you will have seen from Matt’s recent email.  No news on dates or numbers yet but it is good to be making progress towards this.

The Saturday session this week will help us continue with our plan to be stronger and more mobile when we return to the pool with some more stretching, strength and conditioning work.  We will be doing a Tabata style main set this week, which reminds me of the intestity we try and hit in the USRPT fast 50s we do in the pool.

Please do be careful in all the land training and work within your ability.  I know some of you find some bits challenging and are picking up slight injuries so please do work within your limits.

See you Saturday!

Rob

We are getting close to race season so it’s time to keep cranking up the pace with the return of USRPT. As a reminder, USRPT stands for Ultra Short Race Pace Training and it is has some very simple rules to make it a very effective form of training for building your speed.  They are:

  1. Swim every 50 fast.
  2. Leave exactly 5s intervals between swimmers and take your time for each 50.
  3. Repeat until your time drops by 1s or more.  When this happens miss out the next 50m.
  4. If the person in front of you misses a 50m for this reason DO NOT close the gap on the next swimmer – keep to the same turnaround for yourself for the whole set.
  5. You do not get to choose when you miss a 50m.  The clock decides when you miss a 50m by telling you your time dropped by 1s or more.
  6. If you do not miss out any 50s then you have not worked hard enough on the set.

Patience and acceleration is critical to getting you swimming at the maximum speed in this set.  If you are tense you will not swim fast for long.  You still need patience to ensure you are relaxed and only apply the acceleration and power when it is effective during the push phase of the stroke.  We will be doing some drills before the main set to help you think about this.

See you Saturday!

Rob

Did you see Adam Peaty smash his own world record?  If not, I would highly recommend watching it together with his interview afterwards on the BBC.  He is the first man ever to swim 100m breast stroke under 57 seconds.

I love a number of things about this.  Firstly, it’s an amazing athletic achievement to watch  someone who has changed the way everyone now tries to swim sprint breast stroke.  Secondly, I love the fact that he’s now achieved his goal of “Project 56” that he has committed to in a very public way and worked towards for some time (you can read a great article about Project 56 by my wonderful wife here.)  And finally, I love his interview after the race and his approach to the process of dealing with doubt.  What’s your Project 56 and what process are you going to take to try and overcome your doubts?

I would like to help you take a step towards your Project 56 with our swimming session this week with a great main set for speed work.  It is the return of the Ultra Short Race Pace (USRPT) main set of fast 50s.  This is a great set for increasing your top-end speed and so making it easier to find your easy-speed at a faster overall pace.  To get the most benefit make sure you swim at an unsustainable fast pace that means you need to miss out at least 2 x 50s to maintain your times.

See you Saturday!

Rob

Back by popular demand it is USRPTs this week!  OK, it’s not really popular demand but because I get to choose sessions that I think will help us build towards the race season, but who’s checking?

As a reminder, USRPT stands for Ultra Short Race Pace Training and it is has some very simple rules to make it a very effective form of training for building your speed.  They are:

  1. Swim every 50 fast.
  2. Leave exactly 5s intervals between swimmers and take your time for each 50.
  3. Repeat until your time drops by 1s or more.  When this happens miss out the next 50m.
  4. If the person in front of you misses a 50m for this reason DO NOT close the gap on the next swimmer – keep to the same turnaround for yourself for the whole set.
  5. You do not get to choose when you miss a 50m.  The clock decides when you miss a 50m by telling you your time dropped by 1s or more.
  6. If you do not miss out any 50s then you have not worked hard enough on the set.  Hang your head in shame!

See you Saturday!

Rob

PS Some of you already know that the secret to this session is all about easy-speed.  You also have to put in a good amount of effort but pushing too hard often makes you go a bit slower.  So do try and use this set to practice easy-speed at a higher stroke rate than what we have done in previous weeks.

Photo by Nicolas Hoizey on Unsplash

Well done for your efforts last week on the faster paced 100s.  It was good to see you putting in some great efforts consistently over the whole set and many of you hitting consistently fast times.

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I will be swimming and coaching the session as usual this week (4th August) and then away for the next 3 weeks returning on 31st August.  Chrissie and Simon are also away then so you will be doing the sessions yourselves.  I will leave them in the club box tomorrow for you to get out for each of the sessions over the next few weeks so please help set up the pool and get the sessions out if you are there first for the 7am session.  The plan for August is as follows:

  • This week we will be building on the fast 100s last week with some even faster 50s this week with the return of the USRPT (Ultra Short Race Pace Training) set with every swim at your 200m race pace.
  • Next week is more 50s with the Will Clarke Set of faster and steadier paced 50s off different turnaround times.  The aim of this is to keep the top-end swim speed you have been building over the previous two weeks and combine it with some more speed endurance.
  • The week after that sees the return of the ratchet set which is all about speed endurance.  With the faster paced swimming we have been doing leading up to that you should be able to really feel comfortable at the start of the set with some easy speed to help you make the increasingly tight turnaround times and stay relaxed.
  • The final week before I am back will be the main set of positive-split 200s.  It is a very long main set and including plenty of 200s where you will be practising starting fast before dropping back into a sustainable race-pace cruise.

Enjoy your August and your holidays if you are going away.  Have fun and enjoy the swimming wherever you can!

Rob

Photo by David Marcu on Unsplash

Well done for all of your efforts last week with the quicker breathing and keeping it going through the main set.  There were occasions where I saw people slipping back into their normal slower breathing patterns but I was really pleased to see the efforts you put into keeping what you practised in the drills going as much as possible through what was quite a long main set.

The person I saw with the best breathing was Elisa in lane 2 during the second session.  If you get a chance please do watch how quickly and well she times her breathing.  She has worked really hard at changing her breathing over the last year since we first did these quick breathing drills and you can really see how well she times her breathing now.  She has also managed to knock 43 seconds off her 400m time trial time, too!

Changing any aspect of your technique requires persistence and effort but with time improvements can be made.  Changing breathing is a challenging change since it is one of those changes that doesn’t feel better when you start.  The problem is that you usually get less breath when you first try it, because you are more tense than usual as you concentrate on making a change and have less time to actually breathe, which can’t be good, right?!  Right!  Getting less breath is not good but quicker breathing usually also helps improve your stroke rate and helps your head position mean you get a stronger catch when starting the first pull after the breath.  So the challenge of making a change to quicker breathing permanently requires you to find a way of getting the benefits from stroke rate and catch but without the drawbacks of getting less breath.  My advice for how to do this is 3-fold:

  • Keep trying and practising and you will get more comfortable and less tense so getting more breath
  • Try explosive breathing – doing a quick exhale before you turn to breathe – to maximise the amount of breath to get each time
  • Think about your breathing especially towards the end of the main sets when you are most tired as this is often when you can get the most benefit and you naturally relax to conserve energy

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This week we will be doing some of the same quick breathing drills we did last week before going into a set of fast ultra-short race-pace training (USRPT) 50s.  The quick breathing fits really well with USRPTs where you will need the faster stroke rate it helps you generate and stronger catch to keep your speed going.

Late breaking news: Did you see Katie Ledecky break the 1500m world record this week with an amazing 15m20s?!  If not you can watch it here.  See if you can manage her splits of under 31s per 50m for some of the USRPT 50s this week to understand what it feels like to swim that fast!

See you Saturday,

Rob

Photo by Robert Baker on Unsplash

It was really interesting to see people doing hip-connector drill last week.  The most common issue it highlighted was many of you rushing the catch of the stroke and trying to apply some power too soon in your stroke so being inefficient by pressing the water downwards rather than backwards.  Although the hip-connector drill is really designed to think about timing rotation with your catch it did show up a rushed catch for many of you, which I was pleased to see you corrected when I asked you to be a bit more patient.

This week we will be doing some Unco and reverse catch-up drills before the main set and I’d like you to think about being patient with the catch by counting 1-2-3 with each stroke.  1 is when your hand enters the water, 2 is taking your hand to the catch or early-vertical-forearm position and 3 is for the push.  Take a slight pause after 1, 2 and 3 to focus on the next phase.  Having a bit more patience, especially after 2, is a good way to make sure your forearm is completely vertical before starting the real power phase of the stroke with a push.

For the main set we will be doing our first set of USRPT 50s for 2018.  This is a great set of high-intensity interval training and I have written several times before about how to tackle this set (in this post for example.)  Every time we do this set I am amazed by the number of people who do this set without missing out any 50s.  You do get a good workout by doing this but it is not the way to get the most benefit from the set.  This set is all about swimming faster than is sustainable so your times will inevitably drop off and when they do you should miss out the next 50 to give you the additional recovery to swim faster again.  So if you are tempted to try and go all the way through without missing any out then please try and swim a bit faster!

See you Saturday,

Rob

 

It’s time for our USRPT main set of fast 50s again this week.  Read my previous post if you want a reminder on how best to tackle this set to get the most from it.  Also, as it’s the Great East Swim this week I will only be around to coach the 7am session but Chrissie has kindly offered to coach the 8am session.  The session is all mine, though, so don’t blame Chrissie!

See you Saturday,

Rob

Well done for all your efforts last week on the USRPT 50s.  It was good to see some good times from those pushing the pace and also some great consistency from those swimming at a more comfortable pace in preparation for racing on Sunday.

This week we will keep pushing the pace with some fast 100s.  I’d like you to aim to swim them at double your USRPT 50 pace plus 3-5 seconds.  So, if you were swimming each 50 last week in 50 seconds, I’d like you to aim for 1:43-1:45 for each 100 this week.  There will be a reasonable amount of rest plus a few Brucey Bonus rests to ensure you can keep the pace high.  To help keep the pace going throughout the 100 please focus on the second half of each 100 and think about the “Hinge” (2) of your 1-2-3 on each stroke to ensure you are maintaining your strong catch.

See you Saturday,

Rob

This week we will be doing the set of fast 50s as USRPT (Ultra Short Race Pace Training).  This can be swum in a couple of different ways.

The first way is to swim it at a comfortable pace and focus on good pacing and technique.  As the turnaround times are comfortable this is very possible and will give you a comfortably-paced session that is not too taxing.  This is ideal if you have a race coming up, you are coming back from injury or just need a low intensity session.

The other way is to swim it at an unsustainably fast pace that means you will need to miss out at least 2 of the 50s to maintain your times.  This is how the set is intended to be swum and designed to give you the benefit from a lot of faster than race pace swimming and helps you work on maintaining your technique and speed while fatigued.  Please read my previous post on the details of how to swim it this way here.

I am very happy with whichever way you decide to tackle this session as you know what sort of session is best for you at this stage of the season.  My only request is that you put yourself in the right position in the correct lane (with everyone swimming 5s intervals and getting 20-25s rest) to make sure everyone can get the right workout we want from this session.

Thanks and see you Saturday!

Rob

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