Last week we looked at building the qualities (and fitness) required for getting your USRPT face on. Without wanting to go over old ground we are going to make the assumption that the criteria used within the progressive 200 pace sets can be mimicked over other distances and strokes. The key element being: find your start mark – this might be pace goal time plus 2 or 3 or even 5!!!! Just find the right place for you to start, and if your first exposures reps are under 10, it would be wiser to increase your target a tad more because what is required is specific volume! Aim for 12+, then we know we have got a good base to work with – with my uni teams I will run a set of 20×25 for example with the aim being to complete all reps (at the slower turnaround) before looking to reduce the targets and start challenging goal pace!
Phase 2 therefore is to introduce the 100. Same method, find your pace (+2/3/4?) and set yourself:
20×25 @ 100 pace @ closest time to + 15*
*as we are only swimming 25’s the target rest should be closer to 15 seconds as opposed to 20 on the 50’s – so add 15 seconds to your goal target and round up/down to nearest 5 (30/35 etc – you can always reduce this at a later date if you are somewhere in between as a method of progression – its always better to do less that more early on so you have somewhere to progress!!)
Now build in the session format… The golden mile!!!
We are looking for bang for your buck sessions, get in, get it done, get out! The USRPT set may suffice and be all you can squeeze in. But if you want a format and one that will fit into your lunch break or one to cover your fitness portion of a usual session, go for a mile!
1600m in total to include some race skill work, a USRPT set (or 2) a quick cool down and out! Below is a session that can be performed regularly, will progress like a charm and gets in all the bang your buck will require – certainly at this early stage of your USRPT career!
warm up + skill set:
400m with fins (optional) as 25 swim, 50 side kick (focus head/body position), 25 fast kick underwater
32×25 @ 100 Pace @ +15 – remember your target is 12-20 in a row, then as many as you can until 3 fails are used – as and when you hit 20 in a row or your third fail (or 2 in a row) use the rest of the 25s as recovery
12×25 butterfly @ 30/35 – target at this point is to just swim them holding form – swim ez 25s as required during this to recover as your qualities build – then increase the pace at which you swim them!
4 lengths ez side kick – consolidate and re focus on the head/body position
You can progress this set by reducing target times on the 100 pace, introducing target times on the fly etc. but you should find over a 3-4 week period your gains will be apparent, particularly if performed 2-3 times per week. Combine this with the 200 pace sets from last week and you have 4-6 high quality progressive sessions to really build all the fitness pre-requisites for a full on USRPT programme!