Nagle, E. F., Robertson, R. J., Zoeller, R. F., Moyna, N. M., & Goss, F. L. (1998). Prediction of swimming performance times using a mixed model of physiological and stroke variables. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 30(5), Supplement abstract 279.

Physiological variables (maximal oxygen consumption, velocity at VO2max), lactate variables (VO2 and %VO2max at lactate inflection point; swimming velocity, VO2, and %VO2max at blood lactate accumulation of 4.0 mM), and stroke work/power variables (stroke rate, distance per stroke) were analyzed in swimmers (M = 16; F = 12) using 50 and 500 yard times as criterion variables. Six submaximal flume trials of three minutes each were used to determine lactate profiles. Regression analyses were used to predict both swimming times.

Two variables: velocity at VO2max and distance per stroke were most correlated with 50 yards (r = -.60, r = - .59 respectively) and 500 yards (r = -.46; r = -.78). When all significant variables were included the amount of variance predicted for 50 yards was 7 5% and for 500 yards 74%. The only other variable common to both regression equations was velocity at blood lactate accumulation of 4.0 mM.

These results show that single tests supposedly associated with swimming only account for a small portion of the factors involved in both a 50 and a 500-yard performance. When many tests results are included in a prediction the percentage of variance accounted for increases although not all tests involved in this study are worthy of inclusion. The mechanical variable of distance per stroke was the variable that correlated highest with either swim, indicating it was the variable most associated with a 500-yard performance.

Implication. Physiological and stroke dynamic testing does not yield great amounts of insight into either 50 or 500-yard performances. Distance per stroke and velocity of swimming at VO2max appear to be the only variables worthy of consideration among those used in this investigation.

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