Going Fast To Go Far

Going Fast To Go Far

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Randy Soler of Boulder Aquatic Masters is pushing Matthew Moseley far and fast, applying a training philosophy and methodology not widely used in the marathon swimming world.

Moseley will attempt a 25-mile swim across Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana, a traverse that has never been accomplished before. For a swim that will take over 10 hours, Coach Soler is pushing Moseley in a unique way using USRPT.

USRPT stands for ultra-short race-pace training and is championed by Professor Brent Rushall.

With age-group phenom Michael Andrew as its showcase athlete, many pool swimming coaches across America are adopting the philosophy of training fast for relatively short distances and durations.

But Coach Soler introduced USRPT to Moseley in a methodical approach. “I didn’t start USRPT until Matt had a good aerobic base in himself. First, I started with a periodization dividing it by cycles in addition to dry land training up to 3 times per week. In the first cycle, we worked with Matt on building his aerobic capacity with a lot of yards and muscular resistance training. In second cycle, we worked on more endurance and strength training. By the third cycle where each cycle is 6 weeks long, we started with a combination of 4 days of long distance swims plus 2 days of USRPT mixed in with 2 days of weight training and 1 day of dry land training using his own body weight.”

Unlike the mega-distances that marathon swimmers are well-known for, Moseley focused on speed during his USRPT training on Tuesdays and Thursdays. “We always start and finish with a long warm-up and cool down – between 1,000-1,500 yards,” explains Coach Soler. “During the first week of USRPT, we started with 40 x 25 @ 15 seconds or less, then a 400 easy of whatever Matt wanted. Then we did 30 x 50 @ 32 seconds or less. Matt knew it was very hard. During the second week, we did 40 x 25 @ 15 seconds or better, plus 12 x 75 @ 53 or less. On third week, we hit 2 x 15 x 100 @1:40, hitting 1:13s. During that third week, Matt was rocking even with all the fatigue in his body.”

As Moseley continued to swim faster in the pool, his confidence also began increasing. “Then we repeat those sets as we decrease Matt’s times. By the end of this cycle, I knew that he was ready with speed and endurance that he needed. So now it was time to move away from USRPT and do the famous 100 x 100 set.”

But with a 47-year-old body, Coach Soler recommends masters swimmers approach USRPT differently than a world-class teen phenom might. “My suggestion is to combine your training and not do USRPT every day. Distance swimmers can do a long distance set on one day and then USRPT on the next day, then middle distance on the following day followed by a USRPT day and a recovery day. But on all our training days, we do non-freestyle and kicking sets and drills that can be usedas a warm-up , main set or cool down.”

Moseley’s attempt across Lake Pontchartrain will be on June 10th. For more information, visit here.

Additional articles about Moseley’s crossing include:

* Dancing With The Water By Wayne Ewing
* Gator Doesn’t Stop Matthew Moseley From The ‘Train
* Matthew Moseley Makes It Across The ‘Train
* Training For The Big Swim Across Lake Pontchartrain
* Preparing To Paddle Across Pontchartrain
* The Long And Short Of Training For Lake Pontchartrain

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones