Friday, May 29, 2015

Viking's new routine is starting to flow...

Lately I have been finding a groove with my minimal modifications to the full USRPT method.  I don't really feel like I am breaking away from it at all, but I have tried a few hacks to make up for my lack of ability to consistently train.  For example, last week, my Friday workout time was hijacked by extra work duties, and this week I was only able to get in the water on Tuesday morning for 1000 yards and Friday for 1400 yards.  Seriously... 2400 yards of training over 8 days.  That is just something I had to accept from day one of this comeback adventure. I make the most of what I have and don't stress about the rest.

Here is where I try to make up for some of it, beyond my USRPT sets for 100 and 200 breast:

  • I still run because it is easy to fit those in. I run early but it isn't hard to get going.  I can put in anywhere from 3-6 miles, and can be anywhere from 7:10-8:40 per mile pace depending on my mood.  Later I plan to alternate in a lot of short sprints and jogs rather than just steady state runs because that is when I see improvement.  Right now I just run out of guilt. 
  • After almost every USRPT set I do, I give myself a couple minutes to recover and then push a fast 100 or 200 for time.  This started because on days I didn't make a good score on my targets I wanted to redeem myself.  What I found was that actually doing the race has helped me to apply race strategies in a new way and I have been able to use it as an additional gauge for improvement. Plus, I think that it takes me to that "point of failure" that we seek in USRPT and helps me focus on keeping race technique. As a matter of fact, I still have not mastered 20x50 on 50sec at 32 high, even though my recent shaved times would put my target at 31 high... But my practice runs of the push 200 have improved from 2:28 to 2:15.  
  • I like to pull parachutes. There is something about breaststroke with a chute that helps me get my timing where I want it. I don't like using tools much but this one I kept. I also bought a pocket drag suit and when I am feeling lazy (just don't have the mental will to hit USRPT hard) I will work breaststroke kick with a board wearing it.
  • Mini-Max: after warm up, before my USRPT set, I like to do a mini-max or two.  If you are not familiar with this, it is like an efficiency game where a lower score is an improvement.  Your score is your time for a 50 plus the number of strokes it took you to complete it.  I feel like this also helps my timing and keeps me from rushing.  I started with a couple different combinations of 45, like 29+8+8 and 31+6+8... but I have since worked my way to a few 43's that were 30+6+7 and 31+6+6. (And yes, the pullout counts as one stroke.) 
One thing I have found is that my morning swims aren't always as good, so I keep track of my best scores and times in the morning versus the afternoon.  Also, I finally get to try long course next week, and I intend to start at my paces based on where my sets landed at the end of the summer rather than jumping in with targets based on my new best shaved times. 

And oh yeah, one more big thing... Running seems to kick my butt and often my next workout or two can be lousy. I plan to cut that out about three weeks before my biggest meet. I think it hurts breast a little more than the other strokes simply because stiff legs interfere with the whip kick more than the others. 

If you are out there giving USRPT or LCHF a try, please drop a note and let us hear how it is going!  I feel like we are taking a ship into uncharted territory here, to places where the good old boy network is afraid to tread! I am pumped that Chris is on board now too!!

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to try that mini max thing. I do something similar in warm up right now. I do a 25 breast in 6 strokes for time then a 25 in 8 strokes for time.

    Do you count strokes in your USRPT sets? I'm curious what your range is. I swim in a 25 meter pool and I start at 8 strokes for the first 2 or 3 and then work my way up to 11 as I fatigue. I am comfortable with a high stroke rate. I like to swim breast sort of like Ruta's style. My last USRPT breast set I failed on reps 12,15,17 My stroke count was something like 8,8,9,9,9,10,10,10,10,11,11,11,10,11,11,11,12.