DiCarlo, L. J., Sparling, P. B., Millard-Stafford, M. L., & Rupp, J. C. (1991). Peak heart rates during maximal running and swimming: implications for exercise prescription. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 12, 309-312.

College fitness swimmers (M = 19, F = 15) were maximally tested in treadmill running and tethered swimming.

It was concluded that treadmill heart rates should be reduced by 12 bpm to produce a similar exercise demand for swimming. There were no differences between lactate levels for either exercise mode, but females recorded lower levels than males.

Implication. It is not appropriate to take heart rate measures determined on a running treadmill or in other activities and assume the same rates are applicable to swimming (swimming usually has lower HRs). Beware when reading research articles on other activities and "transferring" their results to swimming.

Return to Table of Contents for this issue.