Adding Resistance Technique to Sets

How do you maximize the use of EZ/Pace Swimming? I want to explore how we, as coaches, can use an active recovery swim as a way to advance the swimmers technique or race strategy.

This type of swim is typically used as an ‘active recovery’ to slow down the heart rate and working out the lactic acid in the muscles after a fast race pace swim. In my practices, we do a race for time. These swims push the swimmers to their limits and this is where the active recovery comes into play. By keeping them active, they can get their mind and body to a normal level without the distraction of teammates. While this recovery swim is at a point where swimmers are exhausted, they are still able to focus on one thing.

I like to add technical equipment or a focus to these swims. By adding ONE thing to the swim, it gets the swimmer refocused.
Technical Focus
In my practices, i like to focus on the turn, breathing technique, underwaters, etc. These focuses should be simple and something you have been working on. If you try to throw something new at them while they are exhausted, you will not get the results. You need to pick a specific detail you have been working on for the previous few practices. This will make things easier for the swimmer and help them understand quickly what you are looking for.

Technical Equipment
Technical Equipment is a term I came up with to categorize equipment that has a point of advancing the technique of the swimmer. Any piece of equipment can be categorized as technical, BUT ONLY if it is used for the specific reason for advancing the technique. I will give a couple examples…
Power Bags over the calves for a Breaststroke recovery swim. This helps the swimmer focus on the kick and whipping the toes.
Weight Belt. This makes the swimmer aware of the placement of the hips.
Glide Paddle. Perfect for making the swimmer aware of the hand placement.
Dual Ankle Buoy. Focus on the body balance, front to back and side to side rotation.