Wakayoshi, K., D'Acquisto, J. D., Cappaert, J. M., & Troup, J. P. (1996). Relationship between metabolic parameters and stroking technique characteristics in front crawl. In J. P. Troup, A. P. Hollander, D. Strasse, S. W. Trappe, J. M. Cappaert, & T. A. Trappe (Eds.), Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming VII (pp. 152-158). London: E & FN Spon.

Relationships between physiological parameters and stroking characteristics in front crawl were evaluated in trained male swimmers (N = 8).

Ss performed a swimming economy test to determine steady-state oxygen uptake (VO2) and an incremental test to exhaustion to determine peak aerobic power (VO2peak). Stroke length, stroke rate, and velocity at onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA) were measured.

For each sub-maximal swim, stroke length and rate remained unchanged and VO2 reached steady-state. During 80% and 100% VO2peak swims stroke length decreased and stroke rate and VO2 increased significantly. Lactate threshold (LT) occurred at 1.3 m/s while OBLA occurred at 1.423 m/s (a 10% difference).

At aerobic intensities stroking techniques are relatively constant. At anaerobic intensities they are altered as are the nature of the physiological energy requirements.

Implication. Stroking techniques are different for aerobic and anaerobic swims. Unless a swimmer experiences considerable, but judiciously applied, anaerobic swimming the appropriate technique nuances will not be "learned."

It is likely that for performance-time improvements to occur that swimming intensities will have to be harder than at LT. LT promotes consistent aerobic properties whereas OBLA intensities start to tap into required characteristics for anaerobic adaptations.

Return to Table of Contents for Biomechanics of Swimming.