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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2018 October;58(10):1398-402

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.17.07570-3

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Critical velocity in swimmers of different ages

Alex RIZZATO, Giuseppe MARCOLIN , Alessandro RUBINI, Nicola OLIVATO, Simone FAVA, Antonio PAOLI, Gerardo BOSCO

Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Padua, Padua, Italy


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BACKGROUND: In swimming one of the most employed training speed among coaches is the non-invasive theoretical critical velocity (TCV) defined as the velocity that can be maintained continuously without exhaustion.
METHODS: We calculated the 4 mmol/L lactate critical velocity (MCV) in a group of swimmers of different ages (young, elite and master), and compared results to the predicted TCV defined starting from the 200 and 400 m freestyle best seasonal performances. A steady-state test consisted in 20 repetitions of 100 m each was performed to study the effect of the imposed MCV in the three athletes’ categories.
RESULTS: TCV mean values resulted slightly higher than MCV mean values. A strong correlation between TCV and MCV was found considering the whole sample (r=0.96, P<0.001), the Masters (r=0.97, P<0.001) and the Elite (r=0.93, P<0.01). Lactate concentration of the three groups after the steady-state test was 4.2 mmol/L, 3.3 mmol/L and 4.9 mmol/L respectively for young, elite and master groups.
CONCLUSIONS: TCV is a reliable, practical and quick parameter that well approximate the anaerobic threshold pace. MCV underestimated the fixed 4 mmol/L lactate threshold pace in the elite swimmers and overestimate it in the master swimmers. Further investigation is needed to understand more in detail TCV applicability for athletes of different ages.


KEY WORDS: Swimming - Exercise - Anaerobic threshold

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