Matsunami, M., Taimura, A., & Mizobe, B. (2012). The role of high volume endurance training in competitive swimming. Presentation 1564 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012.

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This study examined the role of high volume endurance training aimed at the improvement of aerobic capacity. Competitive female swimmers (N = 5) had taken a one-month break after the intercollegiate swimming championships in Japan, and then trained in high volume endurance swimming for eight weeks. The swimming performance tests (200 m x 4t, 3t, 2t) were conducted before the training period and after the first and the second four-week periods. Swimming velocity and heart rate after each phase were measured. Aerobic capacity was evaluated from the relation between swimming velocity and heart rate. Moreover, Ss took part in swimming competitions in the fourth week and the eighth week of the training period.

After the training for the first four weeks the velocity-heart rate line shifted to the right of the starting position, and a fall in heart rate at the same velocity was observed. However, a change of position of the velocity-heart rate line was not observed after the second four weeks of training. In the competition in the first four weeks, personal best times were improved in two out of ten races. In the second competition four weeks later, personal best times improved in five out of ten races. There were significantly more improvements in the second competition than in the first.

Implication. Endurance training improves endurance factors in the first four weeks of training after a lay-off. After that, no further improvements occur. However, significantly more improvements in swimming performances occur during the second four weeks of training when endurance factors had ceased to improve. The form of endurance developed early in a season does not appear to be associated with performance or performance improvements.

This study supports traditional thinking for early training. Unfortunately, it does not compare the effects of other forms of training that mobilize aerobic adaptation quicker and achieve higher levels of adaptation than those produce by extended low-intensity swimming.

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