ILLNESS DURING TAPER IS LIKELY TO IMPAIR SWIMMING PERFORMANCE

Pyne, D.B., Fricker, P. A., Gleeson, M., & Hopkins, W. G. (2004). The practical significance of illness on competitive performance in international swimmers. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 36(5), Supplement abstract 1766.

Australian swimmers (Males = 64 performances; Females = 69 performances) provided a weekly 7-day recall of symptoms of respiratory, gastrointenstinal, and skin infections to the team physician during preparations for international competitions over three years. Ss were categorized as either ill (one or more episodes of illness in the six weeks before competition) or healthy. Performances were rated on the International Point Score system. A notable performance change was deemed to be equal to 6 points.

Illness occurred before 36% of swims. With illness, performances declined 2.6 19.4 IPS points. Without illness, performances improved 1.7 16.6 IPS points.

Implication. Illness during taper is likely to impair performance.

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