Hinman, M. G., Wright, B. V., Scofield, E. W., Lundgren, E. A., & Stager, J. M. (2008). Use of accelerometers as a means of quantifying swim training load. ACSM 55th Annual Meeting Indianapolis, Presentation Number, 2121.

This study determined if a commercially available accelerometer is capable of assessing swimmer's distance and velocity during an assigned interval training bout. Competitive swimmers (M = 4; F = 2) were fitted with two accelerometers (placed on their right wrist and ankle) while completing a 50, 100, 200, and 400 m even-paced freestyle swim set, as well as a progressive set of 4 x 50 m freestyle swims (i.e. each consecutive 50 m was swum faster). On a separate day, swimmers completed an interval swim training session composed of varying distances and intensities with all bouts timed and recorded by an independent observer. Accelerometer output from this session and the individual regression equations were then given to a third party not present during the training bout. Estimated velocity and distance were calculated and compared to measured values.

Linear equations using accelerometer output to calculate swim distance and velocity. The correlation between actual and predicted swim bout distance was high (r = 0.97) as was the correlation for swimming velocity (r = 0.97).

Implication. Activity monitors could produce a better appreciation for the content of a swimmer's training session than current "eye-balling" techniques.

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