DEPENDING UPON RACE DISTANCE, AGE-GROUP SWIMMERS REPRODUCE PACING PATTERNS IN DIFFERENT WAYS

Skorski, S., Faude, O., Rausch, K., & Meyer, T. (2010). ** Reproducibility of pacing strategies in high-level junior swimmers. ** A paper presented at the XIth International Symposium for Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming, Oslo, June 16–19, 2010.

This study determined the reproducibility of pacing strategies in high level junior swimmers (M = 7; F = 9) during 200, 400, and 800 m tests. Ss performed each distance twice, within one week. All 100 m splits as well as total times were recorded for the 800 and 400 m tests and 50-m splits were recorded for the 200 m test. Blood lactate concentrations were measured after each test. Training and nutrition on test days and the day before were tightly controlled.

Correlation coefficients for the 800 m were between r = 0.83 and 0.97 for all split times, except for the last section (r = 0.79). During the 400 and 200 m distances, the correlation coefficients were above 0.90 for each section. The blood lactate correlation for the 800 m was r = .88, for the 400 m r = .80, and for the 200 m r = .32.

**Implication**. The reproducibility of pacing profiles of junior swimmers is reasonable. However, for the longest (800 m) distance, there is a hint of greater variation in the last 100 m (perhaps on occasion energy is conserved for a finishing "effort"). For the 400 m distance, pacing was more consistent. [The difference with 800 m suggests there is an alteration in pacing strategy as the distance grows greater.] For 200 m, while pacing is reasonably consistent, the expenditure of energy is not, given the blood lactate variations. Pacing is a factor that is worthy of stressing in teaching and training to compete.

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