DEPENDING UPON RACE DISTANCE, AGE-GROUP SWIMMERS REPRODUCE PACING PATTERNS IN DIFFERENT WAYS

Skorski, S., Faude, O., Rausch, K., & Meyer, T. (2010). Reproducibility of pacing strategies in high-level junior 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 determined the reproducibility of pacing strategies in high level junior swimmers (M = 7; F = 9) during 200, 400, and 800 m tests. Ss performed each distance twice, within one week. All 100 m splits as well as total times were recorded for the 800 and 400 m tests and 50-m splits were recorded for the 200 m test. Blood lactate concentrations were measured after each test. Training and nutrition on test days and the day before were tightly controlled.

Correlation coefficients for the 800 m were between r = 0.83 and 0.97 for all split times, except for the last section (r = 0.79). During the 400 and 200 m distances, the correlation coefficients were above 0.90 for each section. The blood lactate correlation for the 800 m was r = .88, for the 400 m r = .80, and for the 200 m r = .32.

Implication. The reproducibility of pacing profiles of junior swimmers is reasonable. However, for the longest (800 m) distance, there is a hint of greater variation in the last 100 m (perhaps on occasion energy is conserved for a finishing "effort"). For the 400 m distance, pacing was more consistent. [The difference with 800 m suggests there is an alteration in pacing strategy as the distance grows greater.] For 200 m, while pacing is reasonably consistent, the expenditure of energy is not, given the blood lactate variations. Pacing is a factor that is worthy of stressing in teaching and training to compete.

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