Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2008) 07, 106 - 113

Research article
Can Blood Gas and Acid-Base Parameters at Maximal 200 Meters Front Crawl Swimming be Different Between Former Competitive and Recreational Swimmers?
Jernej Kapus , Anton Usaj, Boro Strumbelj, Venceslav Kapus
Author Information
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Sport, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Jernej Kapus
‚úČ University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Sport, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Email: nejc.kapus@fsp.uni-lj.si
Publish Date
Received: 8-10-2007
Accepted: 12-12-2007
Published (online): 01-03-2008
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ABSTRACT

The aim of the present study was to ascertain whether maximal 200 m front crawl swimming strategies and breathing patterns influenced blood gas and acid-base parameters in a manner which gives advantage to former competitive swimmers in comparison with their recreational colleagues. Twelve former competitive male swimmers (the CS group) and nine recreational male swimmers (the RS group) performed a maximal 200 m front crawl swimming with self- selected breathing pattern. Stroke rate (SR) and breathing frequency (BF) were measured during the swimming test. Measures also included blood lactate concentration ([LA]) and parameters of blood acid-base status before and during the first minute after the swimming test. The CS group swam faster then the RS group. Both groups have similar and steady SR throughout the swimming test. This was not matched by similar BF in the CS group but matched it very well in the RS group (r = 0.89). At the beginning of swimming test the CS group had low BF, but they increased it throughout the swimming test. The BF at the RS group remained constant with only mirror variations throughout the swimming test. Such difference in velocity and breathing resulted in maintaining of blood Po2 from hypoxia and Pco2 from hypercapnia. This was similar in both groups. [LA] increased faster in the CS group than in the RS group. On the contrary, the rate of pH decrease remained similar in both groups. The former competitive swimmers showed three possible advantages in comparison to recreational swimmers during maximal 200 m front crawl swimming: a more dynamic and precise regulation of breathing, more powerful bicarbonate buffering system and better synchronization between breathing needs and breathing response during swimming.

Key words: Swimming, freestyle, breathing, blood gas, acid-base status


           Key Points
  • Training programs for competitive swimmers should promote adaptations to maximal efforts.
  • Those adaptations should include high and maximal intensity swims with controlled breathing frequency (taking breath every fourth, fifth, sixth or eighth stroke cycle for front crawl swimming).
  • Such training will improve breathing regulation in order to impose a better synchronization between breathing needs and breathing response during maximal swimming.
 
 
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