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Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, EMBASE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Online ISSN 1827-1812
Zoretic D. 1, Kuterovac P. 2
1 School of Kinesiology, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia;
2 Croatian Swimming Association, Zagreb, Croatia
Aim. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the training and life at an altitude of 2200 meters during three week period improves the speed of swimming at aerobic and anaerobic threshold, and whether there is a difference in hematologic blood picture (hemoglobin [Hb], red blood cell [RBC] and hematocrit [HCt]) after returning to sea level.
Methods. Five categorized Croatian national team swimmers were tested. Blood sampling and progression swimming tests were performed to examine the physiological adaptation to altitude. Swimming tests and blood sampling were performed five days before altitude preparation and eight days after altitude preparation, when swimmers came on sea level.
Results. Statistically significant changes between two measurement points were determined in variables: the speed of swimming at aerobic threshold (Vaet1, Vaet2; t=-3.13; P=0.035), the speed of swimming at anaerobic threshold (Vant1, Vant2; t=-8.57; P=0.001) and Red blood cells (RBC1, RBC2; t=-3.34; P=0.029). The speed of swimming at aerobic threshold (Vaet) increased by 4.1%, and 3.3% anaerobic threshold (Vant) after returning from altitude training. In the hematologic blood results, it can be seen that the number of red blood cells increased by 3.7% after returning from altitude training, while the level of haemoglobin and the percentage of haematocrite remained the same.
Conclusion. Regarding the increase in Vaet and Vant, it can be said that the increase in speed measured during progressive swimming test occurred mainly because of a significant increase in the number of erythrocytes which is responsible for increased oxygen supply to muscles (increased max. oxygen consumption), and thus increased the speed of swimming.