This week’s workout is for beginner swimmers who are interested in short, but FAST swim workouts – also known as Ultra Short Race Pace Training (USRPT).

This style of training is perfect for those who want to compete in shorter events, such as the 100 Freestyle, 50 Freestyle, or 50 Butterfly.

Watch our video for tips and workout ideas to get started:

Listen to podcast:

This Workout of the Week is a 1,000 yard session I completed with the MySwimPro app on the Apple Watch. In the video below I’ll overview the workout strategy and walk you through a set-by-set analysis of all the data captured in this MySwimPro workout!

What Is USRPT?

Are you curious what this swimming term USRPT means? Is it the future of performance training? Let’s find out!

USRPT stands for “Ultra Short Race Pace Training”. This essentially means that in training, you only swim at your goal race pace – or faster, in practice. This means no partial swimming – meaning drills, kicking, or any of that technique-focused work. If you don’t do in a race, you don’t do it in training. You’re only allowed to swim at race pace.

The premise for this training methodology is that race-specific high intensity swimming will yield the optimal performance results and fastest times in competition.

The overall goal is to simulate a racing situation in a workout to better prepare an athlete’s body for the actual race. Easier said than done, and this is actually the opposite of how 99% of people train today!

Related: The Most Common Mistakes Made By Beginner Swimmers

USRPT has become increasingly popular because of Dr. Rushall’s publications and promotion after 2011. Dr. Rushall’s notion is that conventional training for swimmers is outdated, and based largely on the physiology of runners. Under this thought process, the energy demands of swimmers differ greatly from runners and other cyclic sports.

Typically in age-group, high school, college, or masters workouts, you’ll often spend most of your time swimming a lot slower than race pace. The goal is not necessarily to be race ready all the time, but to build an aerobic foundation. Then if and when you decide to go to a competition, you’ll taper down, reduce your overall swimming volume and let your body recover to swim fast. 

Related: Detailed Look at USRPT

Try This Free Workout:

  • Distance: 1,000 Yards
  • Duration: 30 Minutes
  • Focus: Short and quick freestyle! Race pace!

How to get this workout – open the MySwimPro app to manually create a new custom workout. Type in the sets and intervals and then log it for free!


  • 1 x 200 Freestyle
  • 8 x 25 Kick (OPTIONAL: try to keep your full body underwater as you kick, breathing every few seconds)

Main Set (3x times):

  • 4 x 25 Freestyle
  • 1 x 50 Freestyle

Cool Down:

  • 6 x 25 Freestyle

Related: 4-Week USRPT Training Plan

Watch the video above for a full tutorial, and an analysis on this workout.

Keep in mind, these intervals are the ones I wrote for myself in the MySwimPro app. You can personalize every part of this workout to be more specific to your speed, goals and duration of workout you desire.

It doesn’t change the effect of the set at all, if anything – the opposite! The workout becomes more personalized and you get more out of the session!

If you thought this workout was helpful, checkout the MySwimPro app for iPhone and Android. Get started with a personalized Training Plan and Guided Workouts designed to help you reach your goals! Save $35 on your first year of training with code SWIM35 >

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