Kocjan, N., Bogerd, C. P., Allenspach, P., Perret, C., & Rossi, R. M. (2009). Does precooling improve 1,500 m swimming performance? A paper presented at the 14th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, Oslo, Norway, June 24-27.

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This study investigated the effect of pre-cooling on 1,500 m swimming performance. Ss (M = 4; F = 4) performed control and pre-cooling trials at the same time of a day, at least one week apart. Both trials consisted of 10 minutes of warm-up at 40% of each Ss VO2peak on a cycle ergometer, followed by 1,500 m swimming at competition speed in water with the temperature of ~27.6C. During the pre-cooling trial, Ss wore an ice vest for 35 minutes preceding and during the warm-up. During the trials, gastrointestinal temperature and skin temperature on four body locations were continually monitored. Ss rated their thermal perception prior to the warm-up and post-swimming. The time for swimming 1,500 m indicated performance.

Pre-cooling produced a significant decrease in gastrointestinal temperature and skin temperature. The lowered gastrointestinal temperature in the pre-cooling trial persisted through the end of swimming. At the end of swimming, gastrointestinal temperature was significantly lower than that recorded in the control condition. However, skin temperature was similar at the end of swimming in both trials. Before swimming, Ss' thermal perceptions were slightly warm in the control condition and cool in the pre-cooling condition. At the end of swimming, Ss' thermal perceptions were rated as hot in the control condition and warm in the pre-cooling condition. Swimming performance was significantly improved in the pre-cooling trial when compared to the control trial.

Implication. Pre-cooling with an ice vest prior to and during the warm-up significantly decreases core temperature and improves distance-swimming performance.

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