• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of brjsmedBritish Journal of Sports MedicineVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
Br J Sports Med. Oct 2005; 39(10): 752–756.
PMCID: PMC1725039

Characterising the individual performance responses to mild illness in international swimmers

Abstract

Objectives: To determine individual differences in the impact of illness on the change in performance of swimmers in international competitions.

Methods: Subjects were members of the Australian swimming team (33 male and 39 female, aged 15–27 years). Swimmers provided a weekly seven day recall of symptoms of illness during final six weeks of preparations for international competition over a three year period. Swimmers were categorised as either ill (one or more episodes of illness) or healthy. The measure of performances was the international point score. Mean changes in points score were calculated for healthy and ill swimmers between a national championship and an international competition (~16 weeks later). Likelihoods of substantial effects of illness on an individual's true change in performance (beneficial/trivial/harmful) were estimated from means and standard deviations, assuming a smallest substantial change of 6 points.

Results: Illness was reported before international performances by 38% of female and 35% of male swimmers. For female swimmers the change in performance was –3.7 (21.5) points (mean (SD)) with illness and –2.6 (19.0) points when healthy; for male swimmers the changes were –1.4 (17.5) points with illness and 5.6 (13.2) points when healthy. The likelihoods that illness had a substantial beneficial/trivial/harmful effect on performance of an individual swimmer were 32%/31%/37% for female and 17%/31%/52% for male participants (90% confidence limits ~±10% to 20%).

Conclusions: Although mild illness had only a trivial mean effect on female swimmers and a small harmful mean effect on male swimmers, there were substantial chances of benefit and harm for individuals.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (84K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Brenner IK, Shek PN, Shephard RJ. Infection in athletes. Sports Med. 1994 Feb;17(2):86–107. [PubMed]
  • Pyne DB, McDonald WA, Gleeson M, Flanagan A, Clancy RL, Fricker PA. Mucosal immunity, respiratory illness, and competitive performance in elite swimmers. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001 Mar;33(3):348–353. [PubMed]
  • Hopkins WG, Hawley JA, Burke LM. Design and analysis of research on sport performance enhancement. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1999 Mar;31(3):472–485. [PubMed]
  • Guyatt GH, Juniper EF, Walter SD, Griffith LE, Goldstein RS. Interpreting treatment effects in randomised trials. BMJ. 1998 Feb 28;316(7132):690–693. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Dalton GW, Keating JL. Number needed to treat: a statistic relevant for physical therapists. Phys Ther. 2000 Dec;80(12):1214–1219. [PubMed]
  • Liow David K, Hopkins William G. Velocity specificity of weight training for kayak sprint performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003 Jul;35(7):1232–1237. [PubMed]
  • Hopkins WG, Hewson DJ. Variability of competitive performance of distance runners. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001 Sep;33(9):1588–1592. [PubMed]
  • Stewart AM, Hopkins WG. Consistency of swimming performance within and between competitions. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000 May;32(5):997–1001. [PubMed]
  • Pyne David, Trewin Cassie, Hopkins William. Progression and variability of competitive performance of Olympic swimmers. J Sports Sci. 2004 Jul;22(7):613–620. [PubMed]
  • Shephard RJ, Rankinen T, Bouchard C. Test-retest errors and the apparent heterogeneity of training response. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2004 Mar;91(2-3):199–203. [PubMed]
  • Pyne DB, Gleeson M, McDonald WA, Clancy RL, Perry C, Jr, Fricker PA. Training strategies to maintain immunocompetence in athletes. Int J Sports Med. 2000 May;21 (Suppl 1):S51–S60. [PubMed]
  • Gleeson M. The scientific basis of practical strategies to maintain immunocompetence in elite athletes. Exerc Immunol Rev. 2000;6:75–101. [PubMed]
  • Cox Amanda J, Gleeson Maree, Pyne David B, Saunders Philo U, Clancy Robert L, Fricker Peter A. Valtrex therapy for Epstein-Barr virus reactivation and upper respiratory symptoms in elite runners. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2004 Jul;36(7):1104–1110. [PubMed]
  • Mujika I, Padilla S, Pyne D. Swimming performance changes during the final 3 weeks of training leading to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Int J Sports Med. 2002 Nov;23(8):582–587. [PubMed]

Articles from British Journal of Sports Medicine are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group

Formats:

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...

Links

  • MedGen
    MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...