Adjusting swim pace for paddles


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    What would be the best way to account for swimming with hand paddles. Pace certainly increases when paddles are used. I would assume that this would affect pace zones when using them. Would it be recommended to actually do a CV test using paddles and create a separate zone range for when they are used?

    Leyla Porteous


    If using or prescribing hand paddles in a swim set it is best to use RPE and a form cue for those intervals. A baseline for stroke rate with paddles vs without paddles can also help if RPE is difficult to determine

    Unless you are doing a swimrun event where you will be competing with them on I wouldn’t do a seperate test with paddles. I would use the threshold pace from the 400/200 or 1000 time trial to set your zones, knowing there will be a pace change when using swim aids in training.



    Thanks Leyla.

    I’ve been using RPE but was just curious your folks thoughts on perhaps establishing two sets of zones, one with one without. I typically only use them for occasional Z2 500s.

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