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Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2014 Apr;24(2):369-76. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2012.01517.x. Epub 2012 Aug 16.

Estimating the energy contribution during single and repeated sprint swimming.

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1
School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK; British Swimming, EIS Loughborough Pool, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK.

Abstract

The extent to which aerobic processes contribute to energy supply during short duration sprint swimming is not known. Therefore, the energy contribution to a maximal 30 s fully tethered swim (FTS), and repeated 4 × 30 s high intensity semi-tethered swimming bouts (STS) with 30 s of passive rest at 95% of the 30 s FTS intensity was estimated in eight elite male swimmers. Blood lactate concentration and pH after the 4 × 30 s test were 12.1 ± 3.6 mmol/L and 7.2 ± 0.1, respectively. Accumulated oxygen demand was estimated to be 50.9 ± 9.6 mL/kg and 48.3 ± 8.4, 47.2 ± 8.5, 47.4 ± 8.3, and 45.6 ± 6.8 mL/kg for the 30 s FTS and 4 × 30 s bouts, respectively. Accumulated oxygen uptake was 16.6 ± 3.6 for the 30 s FTS and progressively increased during the 4 × 30 s bouts 12.2 ± 2.1, 21.6 ± 2.5, 22.8 ± 1.8, and 23.5 ± 2.0 mL/kg (P < 0.01). The estimated aerobic contribution therefore was 33 ± 8% for the 30 s FTS and 25 ± 4, 47 ± 9, 49 ± 8, 52 ± 9% for bouts 1-4 during the 4 × 30 s STS test (P < 0.01). The results underline the importance of aerobic energy contribution during single and repeated high intensity swimming, which should be considered when prescribing swimming training sets of this nature.

KEYWORDS:

energy systems; fatigue; oxygen consumption; oxygen deficit; repeated sprints; tethered swimming

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