n International SportMed Journal - Physiological determinants of performance in breaststroke swimming events : original research article




: The comprehension of the relationships between physiological parameters and swimming performance in Breaststroke events seems not to be fully understood. : The aim of this study was to correlate aerobic and anaerobic physiological measurements with the performance in 100m and 200m breaststroke. This performance was determined either with the subjects' performance in 100m and 200m simulated breaststroke events with the Aquatrainer valve and with the subjects' season best performance in true competitions. : Twenty two male swimmers involved in systematic training and competition programmes participated in this study. The swimmers were divided in two groups (10 for 100m group and 12 for 200m group). The swimmers' personal best performance for the 100m and the 200m breaststroke was converted according to the FINA table. The subjects performed a graded swimming test and an all-out test on different days. Throughout all testing expired gases were collected breath by breath and analysed with a K4b2 Gas Analyser connected to an AquaTrainer Valve to determine different physiological parameters. Capillary blood samples were also collected from the finger to determine the blood lactate concentration after each boot. The subjects' performance during the all-out tests was taken as dependent variable and the physiological measures were defined as independent variables. : The performance during the all-out bout correlated with the season best FINA score (r = 0.52; p<0.05). The best season performance was more accurately predicted by the combination of aerobic fraction of energy release, peak blood lactate post-exercise and VO elicited at the swimming velocity corresponding to the 2mmol.L-1 threshold for the 200m event (imprecision ≈5%), while in the 100m event it was best predicted by the combination of estimated body fat, VO elicited at the swimming velocity corresponding to the 4mmol.L-1 threshold and peak VO (imprecision ≈3%). : Physiological testing with direct VO measurement and blood lactate assessment may provide some insights into the performance ability of breaststroke swimmers, namely by the assessment of peak VO and both sub-maximal and supra-maximal blood lactate.


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