Marinho, D. A., Amorim, R. A., Costa, A. M., & Neiva, H. P. (2011). The relationship between "anaerobic" critical velocity and swimming performance in young swimmers. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 43(5). Supplement abstract 2451.

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This study analyzed the relationship between anaerobic critical velocity and short-distance performances in the four swimming strokes in young swimmers (~12.1 years; M = 12; F = 8). Ss' stroke specialties were front crawl (N = 20), backstroke (N= 6), breaststroke (N = 6), and butterfly (N = 7). To assess anaerobic critical velocity, Ss performed four distances (10, 15, 20, and 25 m) at maximum velocity, with 30-minute rest intervals, in a 25 m swimming pool. Two stopwatches registered times and in-water starts were used. Anaerobic critical velocity was considered as the slope of the linear regression equation established between distance and time. 50, 100, and 200 m individual short-course best performances of the season in the four swimming strokes were used to compare to anaerobic critical velocity.

Anaerobic critical velocity was correlated with the 50 m swimming event velocity in breaststroke (r = 0.92), front crawl (r = 0.85), and backstroke (r = 0.85), and with the 100 m swimming event velocity in the same swimming strokes (breaststroke: r = 0.90; front crawl: r = 0.91; backstroke: r = 0.86). Considering the 200 m swimming performance, relationships were found in front crawl (r = 0.90) and in breaststroke (r = 0.89). Differences between anaerobic critical velocity and 50 m swimming performance were observed for all swimming strokes, and also in breaststroke, front crawl, and backstroke for the 100 m. However, when comparing anaerobic critical velocity and the 200 m swimming event velocity, there were no differences in the four swimming strokes.

Implication. Linear relationships between anaerobic critical velocity and performance in the 50 m and 100 m events were found. The 200 m swimming event velocities relate similarly to anaerobic critical velocity in the four swimming strokes. Anaerobic performance components are important in young swimmers. [This finding is in conflict with those who consider only aerobic training is important for prepubescent swimmers.]

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