Validation of a swimming maximal. mas test to calculate training rhythms for triathletes and swimmers

Por: C. Gonzalez-haro, F. Drobnic, J. M. Padulles e P. A. Galilea.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Introduction

The aim of this study is to validate a swimming test to measure Maximal Aerobic Speed (MAS) as a performance and training rhythm predictor.

Methods
7 triathletes and swimmers with different performance levels passed three sets of tests. The first day the subjects swam 400 m at maximal speed. After 20 minutes of passive recovery, the athletes made a progressive test in order to measure MAS. One week later, maximum time and distance at MAS were measured. After 20 minutes of passive recovery, the individual anaerobic threshold (IAT) was determined by a progressive swimming test composed of six repetitions of 200m at different speeds, with one minute recovery between each repetition. One week later, the two first tests were repeated (retest). Pearson’s correlation and Student’s t test for paired data were used to study the relationship, and differences, between the studied variables. The Bland-Altman method was used to study the agreement between the data obtained in the first and third days of the study. Significative level was established at p < 0.05.

Results

We observed statistically significative differences between mean speed in the 400 m test and the MAS (4.56 ± 0.24 m•s-1 vs. 3.94 ± 0.21 m•s-1; p < 0.01; 4.60 ± 0.13 m•s-1 vs. 4.05 ± 0.19 m•s-1; p < 0.01, respectively). These differences also existed in the backward extrapolated VO2max at the end of the two tests (50.5 ± 13.6 ml•kg-1•min-1 vs. 63.8 ± 10.4 ml•kg-1•min-1; p < 0.05; 53.0 ± 12.2 ml•kg-1•min-1 vs. 61.4 ± 4.0 ml•kg-1•min-1; p < 0.05, respectively). Mean lactate at IAT was 4.0 ± 0.3 mmol•l-1 and speed at IAT was 95% ± 1% of the MAS. Mean heart rate at IAT was 147 ± 4 b•min-1, and time of exhaustion (limit) at MAS was 7:17 ± 1:00 min. Repeat index was 8%.

Conclusion

Taking into consideration that the sample was composed by very few athletes, and that test repeatability was a little higher than expected, the time that swimmers were able to maintain MAS was close to the value that some authors assign to the capacity of maintaining VO2max.
The VO2max was higher in the MAS test than in the 400m crawl, although at slower speeds. This would mean that swimmers achieve intensities near VO2max at the MAS test, although not at 400m maximal speed test.

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