You are going to crush it this year, that base is going to always be there to back you up. And the speed gains you will get from an intensive focus over distance, well that is just the icing on your cake..
Now dont just substitute high intensity where you had yardage last year, that will surely burn you out as well. I know for me, if I were to do those USRPT sets 3 or 5 times a week, it would just become a drag chasing speed numbers over distance ones. Your governor on this will be your fun factor, once it is not fun, time to reevaluate and swim in the moments..
I will be joining you to some degree, but without that big base!! I'm at the point where I think I just have to swim faster on more rest, to actually swim fast in meets. My 45 year base still gets me through OW races, figure that is enough to get me to the finish. But speed is a whole different animal, so lets give it a go!
Todays was just basic after a week of sick people all around me, and having a runny nose. Still making the daily run the priority:
5x100s@1;40(1;26 to 1;22) 5x100IM kick@2;00(1;52 to 1;49)
500 easy pull@6;45(6;29) 5x100IM kick@2;00(1;54 to 1;51)
4x50@1;00, odds easy fly/evens buoy easy(fly-39/38--free-40/41)
In line with what you are saying, my main set during today's swim was simple
- 20x50m as 25m stroke-25m free on one minute
- Then a 400m as 50 fly hard +50 free easy four times
- Then a 400m IM alternating hard and easy lengths with fins on with dolphin kick for breast leg.
At least 4x per week there is more swimming at pool race intensity. Actually the first half of last year was kind of like that, and then I got run over by a bus, which first gets in the way of everything then it gets in the way of volume, then it gets in the way of intensity. Now I am close to being able to do much more intensity without my arm feeling like a bus ran over it (oh hang, on, a bus did LOL).