Buchheit, M., Al Haddad, H., Chivot, A., LeprÍtre, P. M., Ahmaidi, S., & Laursen, P. B. (2009). Effect of in- versus out-of-water recovery on repeated swimming sprint performance. European Journal of Applied Physiology, October 1. [E-pub ahead of print].

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This study compared the effect of passive in- versus out-of-water recovery on performance during repeated maximal sprint swimming. Well-trained male swimmers (N = 9) performed six repeated maximal 50-m sprints, departing every two minutes, interspersed with either in- or out-of-the-water recovery. Best and mean sprint times, percentage speed decrement, and between-sprint heart rate recovery were calculated for both conditions. Blood lactate was measured after the third and sixth sprints. Rating of perceived recovery level and exertion were collected before and after each sprint.

Repeated sprint performance was significantly lower in the out-of-water condition. Out-of-water recovery was also associated with poorer heart rate recovery and higher lactate levels after the third repetition. Post-set lactates were similar for both recovery conditions. Rating of perceived exertion and rating of perceived recovery level were not different between the two conditions.

Implication. In-water recovery is better than out-of-water recovery for performing the best repeated swim sprint performances.

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