Morning Swim Show: Masters Swimmer Glenn Gruber Finding Success With USRPT

PHOENIX, Arizona, August 13. MASTERS world record holder Glenn Gruber is getting ready for the U.S. Masters Swimming national championships, and he joins today’s edition of The Morning Swim Show to talk about his excitement for the meet a year into his new training program.

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Gruber talks about his daily workouts under the Ultra Short Race Pace Training routine, and details the set he does that he believes got him two short course meters world records this year and significant time drops in long course meters at the world championships last week. Be sure to visit SwimmingWorld.TV for more video interviews.

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  1. avatar

    We have a masters swimmer (47) on our club who has been training USRPT for the last 1.5 years now. This past spring beat times from 3 years ago and was going times this summer that he hadn’t approached since 2009, going faster than he has the last 2-3 years in some (he competes at USA Swimming Meets, including our sectional championships every season). His best day this past spring was a triple: 200IM, 50FR, (200BR between) 100BK.

    This training is great for masters swimming, without question. He gets tired, but not beaten down. He is able to do 3 sets daily (he trains all four strokes focusing on 100-200 training, with our senior team) M-T-TH-F, with Wednesday and the weekend off. For someone who doesn’t have a lot of time everyday, you can get hard, focused work in a short period of time. Whether you have 30 minutes or 90 minutes, you can get some quality work in. All you need is a pace clock or tempo trainer and you are set. For some, the first several weeks are tough, getting used to doing pace everyday and “not finishing” a set, but he was able to get through it and is performing well as a result.

    • avatar
      Glenn Gruber


      Thanks for the comments. I was not aware when I started the training almost a year ago, that most people thought that USRPT is for age groupers and younger swimmers. In my experience, it certainly seems that it is also workable for us older swimmers.

      I’m retired, so time is not an issue, but quality in the water is maximized with this training.

      Glenn Gruber

  2. avatar

    This is the same type of training that coaches have used over the years just packaged and promoted differently. Most Masters Swimmers have swam long enough to develop the base that would be required to get something out of this type of training but I don’t believe it’s “the wave” of the future of swimming. Still the best swimmers and coaches in the country (masters included) do not do this type of training only, race pace training is nothing new.

    • avatar


      You are correct, USRPT is not new at all. The name is new so that it is identifiable, but that is so when talking about it people know what you are referring to.

      I don’t know if it is or should be the “wave of the future”, but it is something that coaches might consider. There is no question that there are many different ways to train swimmers, including Olympians, that are very successful. Many world records have been set by swimmers who have done the old mega yardage type training of the 70s and all of the other types of training that coaches have used over the years.

      USRPT is another choice for those who want to give it a try. My question is, if a swimmer has had success training with traditional training methods, would they be better if they trained only at race pace? We might never know.

      I don’t do drills, or kicking or pulling or descending sets or pyramids or garbage yardage. I swam my best 200 free yesterday in 10 years. I’m at an age when I am supposed to be getting slower, not faster. Race pace training may not in fact be for everybody, and that is OK. But I have had outstanding success with it and I will continue training this way.

      Sometimes people are afraid to try something they have never done before. I understand that. I am glad, however, that I was willing to do so.

      Glenn Gruber

Author: Jeff Commings

Jeff Commings is the Senior Writer for and Swimming World Magazine. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism and was a nine-time NCAA All-American.

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