Johansen, L., Jørgensen, S., Kilen, A., Larsson, T. H., Jørgensen, M., Rocha, B., & Nordsborg, N. B. (2010). Increased training intensity and reduced volume for 12 weeks increases maximal swimming speed on a sprint distance in young elite swimmers. A paper presented at the XIth International Symposium for Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming, Oslo, June 16–19, 2010.

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"Training volumes of elite swimmers consists of 40-70 km per week depending on the time season and competitive level. Given this volume, the average training intensity typically becomes relatively low, compared to the intensity during competition. The training is carried out over a large span of intensities and taxes the anaerobic and aerobic energy systems."

A group of male (N = 20; ~19 years old) and female (N = 11, ~18 years old) elite swimmers were randomly assigned to an intense-training group (N = 16) or a control group (N = 15). For 12 weeks, the control group continued normal training of 25-50 km per week including supra-maximal bouts 1-2 times per week. The intense training group reduced training volume by 50% and performed at least four sets of supra-maximal interval training per week. Before and after the experimental period, a 5 x 200 m progressive step test on a five-minute cycle was performed. On the first four steps, speed was controlled and was the same before and after the study. The last level was as fast as possible with even pacing. During the pause between repetitions, a finger tip sample for lactate analysis was obtained. After a break of at least three hours, a 100 m time-trial was performed with split times for each five meters recorded.

A higher maximal swimming velocity was observed in the intense training group when pre- to post-training measures were compared. There were no differences between groups for any of the split times on the 100 m time-trial. Higher lactate values were observed in the control group when compared to the intense training group after the fourth repetition. No difference in lactate values between groups was noted.

Implication. Twelve weeks training consisting of doubling the amount of high-intensity training and reducing the training volume by 50%, increased Ss' abilities to reach higher maximal velocities (~5% increase) over 100 m without compromising endurance capacity. Intense training also produced less lactate accumulation when compared to the traditional endurance-based (supposed) training group.

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