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.

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Steve Nolan

I really like the whole race-pace training stuff, at least in the abstract. Grindin’ out billions of yards never seemed that efficient to me.

Though, if this book has taught me anything (and OH MY GOD it’s so good, you guys, all coaches/athletes should read it) it’s that everybody’s right and everybody’s wrong. One approach that’s perfect for one person is horrible for another.

I’m really looking forward to the irrational arguments that sometimes come out of this, is what I’m saying.

Right / Wrong

In my opinion it doesn’t matter what “type” of training Michael Andrew does. If he is consitantly in the water he will improve due to his physical gifts. Using Andrew’s workout results and meet results is not a barometer for this “mastermind” training approach.

Steve Nolan

That’s too broad, though. There are optimal ways for specific people to train – odds are, Andrew’s found something close to his. He’d probably still be a great swimmer in a different program, just maybe not at this level.

(And that’s not to say any another talented swimmer would do just as well training in the same manner; whatever they’ve been doing may be the best thing for them.)

Everyone is Wrong

The debate is infinite, Andrews might be even faster under a more traditional training regimen. Interesting post below about Rushall’s involvement in the sport for decades. His bio even references “Dr. Rushall has assisted legendary coaches Dr. James (Doc) Counsilman at Indiana University in the latter half of the 1960’s.”
Until just recently this approach hasn’t gained much momentum, seems it has taken some time to fine tune.


Totally agree. He’s the biggest 14 year old I’ve ever seen. Massive limbs and extreme musculature are what is making this kid fast. His technique is fair, but his size and and strength are compensating.


Rushall has been around for decades! It’s not new… Yawn!

Kevin T

I am excited about this type of training. It seems that most swimmers go through the massive yardage for several months followed by a taper. So for 8 months or so, they are swimming tired. It seems to have worked really well for guys like Michael Phelps. Then you have those who burn out though and never really improve/ swimming roughly the same times at age 20 that they swam at 15. So far, the ultra short-race pace training has been working wonders for Michael Andrew. I wonder for how long though he will be able to keep improving using this style of training. Won’t there come a time that he will have to do mega yardage for several months… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder 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, …

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