Castro, F., Franken, M., & Diefenthaeler, F. (2010). Perceived exertion at different percents of the critical velocity in front crawl. A paper presented at the XIth International Symposium for Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming, Oslo, June 1619, 2010.

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This study compared and correlated perceived exertion at different levels of critical velocity in front crawl. Male swimmers (N = 10; ~19.4 years) performed five repetitions of 200 m at different percents of critical velocity (90, 95, 100, 103 and 105%), in random order with 90 seconds of passive rest. Estimates of perceived exertion were obtained during the rest periods. Comparisons were made between different percents of critical velocity, prescribed critical velocity, and real velocity. When differences were observed, real critical velocity was compared to the percent immediately above.

Differences occurred at 90, 95, and 100% of critical velocity when compared to real velocity and between percents immediately above, indicating that protocol used was valid. Perceived exertion distinguished differences between percents of critical velocity as well as correlating with them. Perceived exertion increases (from 12 to 17 points) as percent of the critical velocity increases, but in a non-linear relationship.

Implication. Small increases in swimming velocity (5% of critical velocity) can be distinguished by changes in perceived exertion.

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