Freestyle race pacing strategies (400 m) of elite able-bodied swimmers and swimmers with disability at major international championships
Taylor, Joseph B.
Mellalieu, Stephen D.
Taylor & FRancis
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Freestyle race pacing strategies (400 m) were compared between elite able-bodied swimmers and those with minimal physical (International Paralympic Committee S10 classification) and visual disabilities (International Paralympic Committee S13 classification). Data comprised 50-m lap splits and overall race times from 1176 400-m freestyle swims from World Championships, European Championships and Olympic/Paralympic Games between 2006 and 2012. Five pacing strategies were identified across groups (even, fast start, negative, parabolic and parabolic fast start), with negative and even strategies the most commonly adopted. The negative pacing strategy produced the fastest race times for all groups except for female S13 swimmers where an even strategy was most effective. Able-bodied groups swam faster than their S10 and S13 counterparts, with no differences between S10 and S13 groups. The results suggest adoption of multiple pacing strategies across groups, and even where impairments are considered minimal they are still associated with performance detriments in comparison to their able-bodied counterparts. The findings have implications for the planning and implementation of training related to pacing strategies to ensure optimal swimmer preparation for competition. Analogous performance levels in S10 and S13 swimmers also suggest a case for integrated competition of these classifications in 400-m freestyle swimming.
Journal of Sports Sciences;
Taylor, J.B., Santi, G. and Mellalieu, S.D. (2016) 'Freestyle race pacing strategies (400 m) of elite able-bodied swimmers and swimmers with disability at major international championships', Journal of Sports Sciences, 34(20), pp.1913-1920
This article was published in Journal of Sports Sciences on 08 February 2016 (online), available at https://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2016.1142108
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
- Sport Research Groups 
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