Brent Rushall, Mastermind of Ultra Short Race Pace Training, Headlines ISCA Coaches Clinic

The International Swim Coaches’ Association Coaches Clinic runs Tuesday, August 27th through Friday, August 30th in Clearwater, Florida at the Hilton Clearwater Beach hotel.

All coaches clinics have big lineups of high-profile coaches speaking and giving lectures, and are a great networking opportunity. This year’s ISCA clinic, though, has one really intriguing speaker.

The festivities will be kicked off on Wednesday morning with a 90-minute lecture titled “Training for the 21st Century: The New Paradigm of Ultra Short Race/Pace Training”.

Starring Dr. Brent Rushall.

Brent Rushall is the man responsible for the race-pace training methodologies that Peter Andrew uses to train National Age Group Record holder, and the youngest pro swimmer in U.S. history, Michael Andrew.

This training style has been one of the hottest topics in swimming for several years now, but like it or hate it, this is an opportunity to really sit and learn from the man who developed the theories behind USRPT. Rushall doesn’t make a ton of  public appearances, but note that the ISCA is heavily affiliated with the National Age Group Swimming Association, who hosts the meet in Clearwater every year that this season saw an appearance from Michael Andrew.

See the full itinerary here.
Register for the clinic here.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
8 years ago

A lot of pressure on this young kid to prove his dad and professor correct.

8 years ago

These ideas / this movement is certainly a big step forward for swimming. However, as many elude to in the comments… there is a bigger picture here of producing training regimes and adapting swim techniques to the INDIVIDUAL ATHLETE. Michael Andrew’s training obviously works for him and you sure as H*LL don’t see every swimmer on his team breaking NAG records as well…

Any scientific research takes into account statistical error by evaluating weather the data has a “P-Value” >= 0.05… Do this with a group of VERY DIFFERENT athletes at DIFFERENT AGES and you will NOT find this to be true using ONLY USRP training and the “just do it right the first time” mindset for their technique coaching.… Read more »

Tony Goodwin
8 years ago

I tried Dr Rushall’s system last year for World Masters and won all 3 breaststroke events at 75. It suits me at my age to swim less and it has not killed me….. Yet! I think I’ll keep at it.

Reply to  Tony Goodwin
8 years ago

I would like to give this type of training a go as I find it hard to recover fron volume sets these days after developing AF.

Reply to  Tony Goodwin
8 years ago

I would like to give this type of training a go as I find it hard to recover from volume sets these days after developing AF.

8 years ago

Rushall’s work is all sciency, and as a typical swim coach that scares me. There ain’t no room for that in this sport. If I am in a bad mood my athletes do distance work. If I am in a good mood, they sprint. It works. All your fancy scientific mumbo jumbo learning stuff ain’t gonna change that.

dammit. now all this arguing has me thinking up long torturous sets. Thanks a lot, guys.

Reply to  The Screaming Viking!
8 years ago

Before everyone goes nuts – he’s kidding!

8 years ago

Bravo for Doug, Randy and the other guys running the ISCA clinic to bring in a variety of different voices.

I think it’s always important to look at what is our role as developmental coaches. Is it more important to see how fast a kid can be at 16, or is it our role to see that the athlete has the background necessary to continue to improve into and throughout college? Does training one way make for a better/worse prepared adult athlete?

We’ve got dozens of examples of guys who have trained more traditionally as age-groupers who have made it onto the USA Olympic team and brought home medals – even sprinters who grew up training in traditional programs. Are… Read more »

Reply to  coach
8 years ago

I think most of Salo’s age group kids trained High intensity coming up. He has often said as such.

8 years ago

I know the draw of Michael Andrew is huge right now, but why don’t you guys set up interviews with Coley Stickels? This guy has been using HIIT for a long time now seeing success at a high level with MULTIPLE swimmers.

8 years ago

Dave Salo said in his publication SprintSalo, “As a coach, shouldn’t my goal be to see how LITTLE I have to train to achieve peak performance”.

Highest possible training efficiency should be the goal of every swim program. You don’t see any other sports training 5 hours per day 5 or 6 days a week. Why should swimmers?

8 years ago

Rushall’s approach to training is fantastic, and I think race pace training is now a major part of any college program that is serious about swimming fast….the better question might be…who out there doesn’t do race pace training?

My major fault with Rushall has always been and will always be….weights. Strength. Power.

He is of the belief that strength training has nothing to do with fast swimming, and I cannot wrap my head around that. I’m no scientist, but would love to debate Rushall in an open forum about such issues.

Reply to  DutchWomen
8 years ago

Dutchwomen – If you can provide evidence (and I mean, hard, scientific evidence) that weights / dryland strength training do in fact improve swimming performance then I’d be delighted to read about it! 😉

Btw, Rushall has never said that the actual physical attributes of strength & power won’t improve swimming (I know that that’s not what you meant, but others on this site seem to be missing the point big time), rather he states that strength/power/whatever that has been gained whilst undertaking activities other than swimming won’t convert to race performance. (IE. Strength and power and obviously important, but if that power is not gained by actual race-specific work then the chances it will help an athlete improve are… Read more »

Reply to  SprintDude9000
8 years ago

It’s going to be very difficult to find a study that is going to show hard evidence because there are so many variables that go into swimming faster/slower. In addition, most studies, whether swimming related or not, don’t ever provide “hard” evidence.

Lastly, you can’t study age group kids because as they age and grow, they are naturally going to get faster. You can’t look at HS aged kids because are you really expecting a coach to have half the team lift/dryland and the other half not throughout the season? You can’t look at college aged kids because the vast majority are already doing dryland/lifting, and for the same reason for HS kids. The only other group is kids… Read more »

Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
8 years ago

I incorporated 1/2 hour of a dryland circuit routine offered 5 days a week this summer. It consisted of running (Indian chases and sprinting up hill for speed at starts), medicine balls, vertical jumping, squat thrust jumps with push ups in between. Stretching & NO WEIGHTS . We did this for 4 weeks.

The swimmers who did this routine (most of my swimmers averaged doing dryland 3x per week), absolutely reaped the benefits across the board in all their events and had FUN !

I’m puzzled why no one seems to be concerned about the importance of stroke drills and proper technique. The best coach I ever had was Bill Stremmel. A graduate of Annapolis, his focus was on proper… Read more »

Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
8 years ago

ARTVANDELEGH10 – actually there was a study published in 2000 by
Genadijus Sokolovas that concluded that weights and dryland training DO NOT improve swimming performance.

Don Megerle
Reply to  DutchWomen
8 years ago

Brent would bury you!!!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »