Following Winter Break, the swim team dove back into the pool for the first time since February 2020. The short season poses many challenges to the swimmers.
A majority of the season is typically spent training, and the last month or so is dedicated to racing. This year, the team had its first meet on February 4, just one month after the start of practices.
“The training we do as a team is usually broken up into three phases. Conditioning phase, power phase, and a taper phase,” Coach Sean Hansen said. “The first conditioning phase is four-to-five weeks long that focuses on the details of swimming: turns, stroke technique, underwater kickouts, and some aerobic conditioning to get into swimming shape. The second power phase is primarily the heaviest training of the year which takes place through winter break until we start our dual meet season in January. This consists of some anaerobic training, Aerobic Threshold training, and speed work. The final phase is our taper phase. The ‘taper’ concept is one in which you start to gradually decrease the amount of speed and power training while increasing your recovery time heading into a peak competition.”
Instead, the team adopted a training style known as USRPT. The style shortens the lengths of practices but increases the intensity.
“USRPT challenges our traditional training methodology of swimming slower all the time in hopes of building a big foundation and peaking after a rest or taper period. Instead, with USRPT, the goal is to swim fast all the time. If you want to swim fast, you have to train your body to perform fast. This training is combined with a complex dryland/lifting regimen that consists of both endurance and power lifts, all coupled with ample recovery time,” Coach Hansen said.
“I benefit from the training because I had to teach my body how to race again. The training has also given me an opportunity to ease back into it, as the lengths of practices are practically cut in half.”Pierre Koenig ’21
For practically all of the team, the training style is unique. However, the team seems to like the short, intense training.
“I’m a huge fan of the training,” Sixth Former Koenig said. “As I am still recovering from a serious shoulder injury that had me sidelined for all of last season, I benefit from the training because I had to teach my body how to race again. The training has also given me an opportunity to ease back into it, as the lengths of practices are practically cut in half.”
Despite the short season and other short-term obstacles, the Fords are still amped up to finish out the season.
Sixth Former Jack Deppen is confident with how the team has done despite all the obstacles.
“It seems like every single week there is something that gets in the way of our practices. Since we can’t practice on weekends or days off, we definitely have limited time in the pool,” Deppen said. “We’re definitely bringing the intensity to practices in the pool as well as in the weight room. I’m proud of everyone’s hard work and am confident we can finish our season strong.”