Pelayo, P., Mujika, I., Sidney, M., & Chatard, J. C. (1996). Blood lactate recovery measurements, training, and performance during a 23-week period of competitive swimming. European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology, 74, 107-113.

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This study related measurements of blood lactate concentration, performance during a maximal anaerobic lactic test, and training loads during a 23-week swimming season. Elite 200-m freestyle male swimmers (N = 6) participated in the study. The maximal anaerobic lactic test consisted of four all-out 50-m swims interspersed with 10-second recovery periods. Blood lactate concentrations were determined at 3 and 12 minutes post-exercise and were performed on weeks 2, 6, 10, 14, 18, and 21. Ss participated in 200-m freestyle competitions in weeks 1, 7, 13, and 23 (national championships). During weeks 1-10, training was mostly aerobic, while during weeks 11-23 it involved anaerobic exercise.

At 3 and 12 minutes after the maximal anaerobic lactic test, lactate concentrations varied non-systematically throughout the season. The percentage of mean blood lactate decrease between minutes 3 and 12 of the passive recovery after the maximal anaerobic lactic test improved from week 2 to 10 with aerobic training and decreased from week 10 to 21 with anaerobic training. The maximal anaerobic lactic test performance improved continuously throughout the season, while competition performance improved during the first three competitions but declined in the final championships, coinciding with the lowest percentage of mean blood lactate decrease and signs of overtraining, such as bad temper and increased sleeping heart rate.

Implication. The percentage of mean blood lactate decrease could be an efficient marker for monitoring the impact of aerobic and anaerobic training and avoiding overtraining in elite 200-m swimmers.

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