PHYSIOLOGICAL MEASURES ARE NOT PARTICULARLY SENSITIVE FOR TRAINED SWIMMERS
Montpetit, R., Duvallet, A., Serveth, J. P., & Cazorla, G. (1981). Stability of VO2max during a 3-month intensive training period in elite swimmers. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association of Sport Sciences, Halifax.
Members of the French national swimming team (11 males, 5 females), were measured on four variables over three months of serious training.
It was found that VO2max did not change but performance did. Fluctuations in performance were independent of measures of VO2max.
It was concluded that VO2max does not predict performance during peak training.
Implication. Physiological measures may not be sensitive enough to account for performance variations when athletes are in a trained stated. The main value of VO2max measures seems to be to indicate whether or not it has changed in concert with performance variations. Once it has achieved its ceiling level, it cannot account for any further contribution to performance improvements. However, when performances deteriorate it is probably worthwhile to evaluate VO2max to see if it has deteriorated also. If it has not, then other variables that affect performance should be considered.
Measures of VO2max are probably most useful for indicating changes in the training status of an athlete when the athlete is returning from a detrained state or extended period of inactivity due to injury. Once VO2max stabilizes, its value for predicting performance ceases.
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