The respiratory system is not typically associated as the limiting factor in maximal exercise, and the influence of inspiratory (breathing inward) muscle fatigue during maximal exercise is unclear. Studies suggest long and short duration high intensity exercise causes inspiratory muscle fatigue leading to impaired performance. Breathing during swimming is especially important since breathing frequency is less compared to land sports.
All endurance athletes are familiar with the term VO2 or VO2max. We know elite endurance athletes have high VO2max, whether it is Lance Armstrong (84 mL/kg/min) or Steve Prefontaine (84.4 mL/kg/min). VO2max is the maximal amount of oxygen in liters the body can transport and utilize during exercise. Swimmers VO2max can be assessed outside the pool (running/biking), but performing this test with a different stimulus can stress the body providing invalid results.
I've talked about shoulder pain and rehabilitation in the past, but why does it seem the location of shoulder pain is erratic? I've had a few high level coaches tell me treating shoulder pain is nearly impossible, since the pain can jump around, described as unpredictable. This article will address this topic and uncover common areas of shoulder pain, potential cause and treatment.
Ice baths and cold water baths (cyrotherapy) are commonly seen in sports medicine. From experience, ice baths are cold…obviously, but after a few minutes you are able to relax. At the Beijing Olympics ice baths were frequently used with swimmers, but do ice baths really work and how do they work? Ice baths are proposed to help the athlete recover faster, reduce pain/soreness, and prevent injuries, but what does the literature indicate.
Exercise physiology is poorly understood not just by laymen, but exercise physiologist alike. New techniques of training, rehabilitation and performance are constantly being discovered. Some of these findings confirm old beliefs and others test new ideas. Some of these ideas can be normal, obvious or crazy.
Recovery after a race is an area of concern for most coaches and swimmers.How much do you do?How fast do you do it?Do I wear my hi-tech suit...well I guess that doesn't apply anymore.A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research compared passive recovery, recovery with low intensity (40% of best 100 meter time) and high intensity recovery(60% of 100 m time).Moreover the paper states “however, improved performance after AR (active rest) has been reported only when long duration maximum intensity bouts were applied (i.e., 60 to 120 seconds but not after short duration sprint swimming bouts (i.e., ;10 to 30 seconds)."