Alves, F., Reis, J., Vleck, V., Bruno, P., & Millet, G. (2009). Oxygen uptake kinetics in heavy intensity exercise and endurance performance in swimmers. ACSM 56th Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington. Presentation Number 978.

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This study determined if VO2 kinetics components determined at heavy intensity swimming are related to middle distance swimming performance. Portuguese male swimmers (N = 15) performed on one day 5 x 200 m with 30 seconds rest with 5-10% velocity increments for determination of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and ventilatory threshold. The last repetition was performed at maximal velocity. VO2max was recorded as the highest 30-second average and ventilatory threshold was established by the V-slope method. On another day two 6-minute constant velocity exercise bouts with at least 24 hours rest were performed. All tests were crawl stroke with breath by breath analysis using a swimming snorkel. Endurance performance (T400) was recorded as the time performed in an official 400 m freestyle competition within one month of the tests. The breath-by-breath data from the two 6-minute controlled swims were interpolated, time-aligned, and averaged. The parameters of the VO2 kinetics (i.e. time delay, time constant and amplitude of the primary phase and slow component, respectively) were modeled with two exponential functions. The modeling incorporated an individual “snorkel delay” corresponding to the difference between the onset of exercise and the time when the following breaths summed a tidal volume superior to the outlet tube volume.

T400 was significantly correlated with the fast component and VO2max. No other VO2 kinetics parameters were significantly correlated T400 performance.

Implication. The shorter time constant for the primary phase of the VO2 response to swimming seems to be related to middle distance swimming performance, whereas slow components of the response are not.

Return to Table of Contents for Physiology of Swimming.

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