How narrow is the spectrum of submaximal speeds in swimming?

Camila Coelho Greco, M.F.M. Oliveira, F. Caputo, Benedito Sérgio Denadai, Jeanne Dekerle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to identify the boundary of submaximal speed zones (i.e., exercise intensity domains) between maximal aerobic speed (S-400) and lactate threshold (LT) in swimming. A 400-m all-out test, a 7 × 200 m incremental step test, and two to four 30-minute submaximal tests were performed by 12 male endurance swimmers (age = 24.5 ± 9.6 years; body mass = 71.3 ± 9.8 kg) to determine S-400, speed corresponding to LT, and maximal lactate steady state (MLSS). S-400 was 1.30 ± 0.09 m·s (400 m-5:08 minutes:seconds). The speed at LT (1.08 ± 0.02 m·s; 83.1 ± 2.2 %S-400) was lower than the speed at MLSS (1.14 ± 0.02 m·s; 87.5 ± 1.9 %S-400). Maximal lactate steady state occurred at 26 ± 10% of the difference between the speed at LT and S-400. Mean blood lactate values at the speeds corresponding to LT and MLSS were 2.45 ± 1.13 mmol·L and 4.30 ± 1.32 mmol·L, respectively. The present findings demonstrate that the range of intensity zones between LT and MLSS (i.e., heavy domain) and between MLSS and S-400 (i.e., severe domain) are very narrow in swimming with LT occurring at 83% S-400 in trained swimmers. Precision and sensitivity of the measurement of aerobic indexes (i.e., LT and MLSS) should be considered when conducting exercise training and testing in swimming.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1450-1454
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2013


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