LACTATE THRESHOLD VELOCITY BEST EFFORT LEVEL FOR POST-SWIM RECOVERY

Greenwood, J. D., Moses, G. E., Bernardino, F. M., Gaesser, G. A., & Weltman, A. (2008). Intensity of exercise recovery, blood lactate disappearance, and subsequent swimming performance. Journal of Sports Science, 26, 29-34.

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This study examined the effects of active versus passive recovery on blood lactate disappearance and subsequent maximal performance in competitive swimmers. Male swimmers from the University of Virginia swim team (N = 14) completed a lactate profiling session during which swimming at the velocity of the lactate threshold, the velocity at 50% of the lactate threshold, and the velocity at 150% of the lactate threshold were determined. Ss also completed four randomly assigned experimental sessions that consisted of a 200-yard maximal-effort swim followed by 10 minutes of recovery (passive, and swimming at the velocity of 50% of the lactate threshold, the velocity of the lactate threshold, and the velocity at 150% of the lactate threshold) and a subsequent 200-yard maximal effort swim.

All active recovery sessions resulted in greater lactate disappearance than passive recovery, with the greatest lactate disappearance associated with recovery at the lactate threshold velocity and the velocity at 150% of the lactate threshold. Active recovery at the lactate threshold velocity and the velocity at 150% of the lactate threshold resulted in faster performance on the second time trial than did passive recovery. Only active recovery at the lactate threshold velocity resulted in significantly improved performance on the second time trial relative to the first time trial.

Implication. Active recovery at the velocity associated with the lactate threshold results in the greatest lactate disappearance and improved subsequent performance. Coaches should consider incorporating recovery at the lactate threshold velocity during competitions and perhaps during hard training sessions.

Previously published in preliminary form as http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/dept/coachsci/swim/physiol/weltman.htm.

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