Tsalis, G., Toubekis, A., Michailidou, D., Gourgoulis, V., Douda, H., & Tokmakidis, S. (2010). Blood lactate responses during interval training corresponding to critical velocity in different age-group female swimmers. A paper presented at the XIth International Symposium for Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming, Oslo, June 1619, 2010.

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This study examined the lactate responses of female swimmers when swimming at critical velocity. Three groups of female swimmers, 8 children, 11 young, and 7 adults were timed over 50, 100, 200, and 400 m. The slope of the time vs. distance relationship was calculated to express critical velocity. On a later day, swimmers of young and adult groups performed a 5 x 400 m set, and the children performed a 5 x 300 m training set endeavoring to maintain critical velocity. Blood lactate, ratings of perceived exertion, and the rating of perceived exertion to lactate ratio were determined after each repetition.

Critical velocity of the young and adult swimmers was higher than the children's group. There was no difference between the young and adult groups. The average velocity during the training set corresponded to ~101, ~98, and ~98% of critical velocity for the three groups. Blood lactate concentration during the training set did not change after each repetition in all groups and was not different between groups. Ratings of perceived exertion and the rating of perceived exertion to lactate ratio were also similar between groups. Both factors increased after the second and third repetition compared to the first repetition.

Implication. Female swimmers 10-19 years old, maintain critical velocity in a long duration interval training set with steady-state lactate concentration and within a range lower than that reported for male swimmers. The longer duration of the standard distances (50, 100, 200, and 400 m) used for critical velocity calculation or inherent factors between genders may account for the differences.

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