Volume 11, No. 2

Authors: Kapus, Jernej; Ušaj, Anton; Kapus, Venceslav; Štrumbelj, Boro

The influence of training with reduced breathing frequency in front crawl swimming during a maximal 200 metres front crawl performance

Vpliv vadbe z zmanjšanim številom vdihov med plavanjem na sposobnost premagovanja maksimalnih naporov pri 200 metrov kravl

Abstract (English)

The aim of the study was to ascertain how four weeks of training with reduced breathing frequency during front crawl swimming would influence a maximal 200 metres front crawl performance. Two matched groups of five recreational-level male swimmers trained five times per week. Each training session consisted of 600 metres of warming up and an intense interval front crawl set. During each swimming session breathing frequency was distinguished between the control (the B2 group was taking a breath every second stroke cycle) and an experimental group (the B4 group was taking a breath every fourth stroke cycle). The swimmers performed a maximal 200 metres front crawl swim with an optional breathing pattern (swimmers chose their own breathing frequencies) before and after the training. Swimmers whose breathing pattern was changed by the training additionally performed a maximal 200 metres front crawl swim after the training with the same breathing pattern they had chosen for this swimming test before the training. Measures included lactate concentration and parameters of blood acid-base status before and during the first minute after the exercise.


Both groups swam the maximal 200 metres front crawl after the training significantly faster than before the training (the B4 group from 154.69 ( 14.63 s to 148.48 ( 10.89 s; the B2 group from 161.12 ( 8.25 s to 157.11 ( 8.13 s) (p<0.05). The improvement was significantly greater in the B4 group (6.20 ( 4.18 s) than in the B2 group (4.00 ( 1.31 s) (p<0.05). Group B4 swam a maximal 200 metres front crawl after the training with fewer breaths than before the training (breathing frequency decreased from 32 ( 5 to 25 ( 7 min-1). The breathing pattern in the B2 group was unchanged by the training. According to its lower breathing frequency, the B4 group had a significantly higher Pco2 after the training (5.6 ( 0.5 kPa) in comparison with the Pco2 before the training (5.3 ( 0.5 kPa) (p<0.05). Group B4 also had a higher [LA-] (13.9 ( 1.1 mmol/l), Pco2 (5.6 ( 0.5 kPa) and a lower pH (7.14 ( 0.04) than the B2 group after the training (10.3 ( 1.6 mmol/l, 5.0 ( 0.5 kPa, 7.24 ( 0.03, respectively) (p<0.05). However, when the B4 group also performed a maximal 200 metres front crawl with the same breathing pattern they had chosen for this swimming test before the training there were no differences between the pre- and post-training conditions in the B4 group and between groups in most measuring data.


It may be concluded that swimmers adapted to swimming with fewer breaths due to training with reduced breathing frequency (taking a breath every fourth stroke cycle) during front crawl swimming. The adaptation to hypercapnia and respiratory acidosis could also be the result of this kind of training. All of this resulted in a larger decrease in the time for swimming a maximal 200 metres front crawl in comparison with training with the usual breathing frequency (taking a breath every second stroke cycle) during front crawl swimming.

Keywords (English)

swimming, training, reduced breathing frequency, blood acid base status, blood lactate

Abstract (Slovenian)

Namen raziskave je bil ugotoviti, kakšni so učinki štiri tedenske vadbe z manjšim številom vdihov med plavanjem na plavalčevo sposobnost premagovanja maksimalnih naporov pri 200 metrov kravl. Deset rekreativnih plavalcev je bilo razdeljenih v dve skupini. Plavalci kontrolne skupine (B2) so vadbene intervalne serije kravl plavali z običajnim vdihom ob vsakem drugem zaveslaju, plavalci eksperimentalne skupine (B4) so iste serije plavali z vdihi ob vsakem četrtem zaveslaju. Pred vadbo in po njej so plavalci odplavali 200 metrov kravl maksimalno s poljubnim načinom dihanja. V skladu s pričakovanji sta obe vadbi vplivali na povečanje maksimalne hitrosti plavanja 200 metrov kravl. Večji napredek je dosegla skupina, ki je vadila z manjšim številom vdihov med plavanjem. Skupina B4 je z vadbo zmanjšala število vdihov med 200 metrov kravl, medtem ko je le-to pri skupini B2 z vadbo ostalo nespremenjeno. Skladno z manjšo frekvenco vdihov je imela skupina B4 po vadbi višji Pco2 kot pred vadbo. Skupina B4 je imela po vadbi višjo koncentracijo laktatov, višji Pco2 in nižji pH od skupine B2. Večja hitrost ob zmanjšanju števila vdihov med 200 metrov kravl maksimalno skupine B4 po vadbi je bila verjetno posledica prilagoditve na drugačno hidrodinamiko plavanja, ki ima boljše značilno

Keywords (Slovenian)

plavanje, vadba, man

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