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European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 84, Issue 1–2, pp 95–99 | Cite as

The V˙O2 slow component in swimming

  • Sabrina Demarie
  • Franco Sardella
  • Veronique Billat
  • Walter Magini
  • Marcello Faina
ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Abstract

All studies on the oxygen uptake (O2) slow component have been carried out for the sporting disciplines of cycling or running, but never for swimming. Considering that front crawl swimming is a sport discipline that is fundamentally different from both running and cycling, the aim of this study was to verify whether this slow component also appears in swimming. Six elite pentathletes were tested in a swimming flume while front crawl swimming to exhaustion. Swimming velocity for the slow component test was determined as v50Δ=CV+[(vV˙O2peak−CV)/2], where CV is the critical velocity and vV˙O2peak the lowest velocity at which peak O2 occurred. To set the subject's CV, expressed as the slope of a straight line that describes the correlation between swimming distance and time, the record times over three swimming distances were recorded in a 50 m swimming pool. The vV˙O2peak was measured by means of an incremental test in the swimming flume. Gas exchange was measured by means of a telemetric metabolimeter (K4 RQ, Cosmed, Italy) that was connected to a snorkel. The slow component was found in all subjects, with a mean (SD) value of 239 (194) mlO2 · min−1. Therefore, although front crawl swimming is fundamentally different from both running and cycling, it appears that it also incurs a O2 slow component. The origin of this phenomenon, however, is even more uncertain than for the other sport disciplines.

Key words Swimming Oxygen uptake kinetics Critical velocity Slow component 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sabrina Demarie
    • 1
  • Franco Sardella
    • 2
  • Veronique Billat
    • 3
  • Walter Magini
    • 1
  • Marcello Faina
    • 2
  1. 1.Rome University Institute of Motor Sciences, Piazza Lauro de Bosis 15, 00194 Foro Italico Rome, Italy e-mail: s.demarie@libero.it Fax: +39-06-36733598IT
  2. 2.Institute of Sport Science, Italian National Olympic Committee, Via dei Campi Sportivi 46, 00194 Rome, ItalyIT
  3. 3.Lille 2 University, 9 rue de l'Universitè, 59790 Ronchin, FranceFR

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