Physiological effects of intense swimming competition on elite female swimmers

A. Griffin, V.B. Unnithan

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Swimming involves a long season of both training and competition. The effects of overtraining are well documented, however the acute effects of intensive competition are poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of a weekend of intense swimming competition on aerobic power, anaerobic power and shoulder flexibility in a group of elite female swimmers. Eight elite female swimmers(age: 16.6±0.5 years) participated in this study. All subjects were National/International status. Testing took place on three occasions, prior to and after a weekend of competition and also on one separate occasion to establish diurnal variability of each test. Test 1 took place on a morning following a weekend of rest and test 2 took place on the morning following a weekend of heavy competition. Resting blood lactate(Bla) were taken at the beginning of each testing session. Testing involved a discontinuous VO2max treadmill test during which on-line open circuit spirometry measures of VO2 were obtained. Heart rate (HR) was also measured. Bla measurements were taken between each increase in exercise intensity and the change in Bla from rest was calculated (ΔBla). A 30s leg Wingate test was used to measure anaerobic power. Paired t-tests were carried out on all data, comparing pre- and post-competition (seetable). All other comparisons were non-significant. The results suggest that intensive competition causes a number of the recognised symptoms related to excitatory (acute) overtraining. A number of physiological parameters are significantly altered following competitive performance highlighting the need to review the training for adaptations that take place following intense swimming competition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-285
Number of pages1
JournalMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1997
Externally publishedYes


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