Increased variability of lap speeds differentiate medallists and non-medallists in middle distance running and swimming events

Mytton, Graham, Archer, David, Turner, Louise, Skorski, Sabrina, Renfree, Andrew, Thompson, Kevin and St Clair Gibson, Alan (2014) Increased variability of lap speeds differentiate medallists and non-medallists in middle distance running and swimming events. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. (In Press)

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Abstract

Purpose: Previous literature has presented pacing data of groups of competition finalists. The aim of this study was to analyse the pacing patterns displayed by medallists and non-medallists in international competitive 400-m swimming and 1500-m running finals.
Methods: Split times were collected from 48 swimming finalists (four 100-m laps) and 60 running finalists (4 laps) in international competitions between 2004 and 2012. Using a cross sectional design, lap speeds were normalised to whole race speed and compared to identify variations of pace between groups of medallists and non-medallists. Lap speed variations relative to the gold medallist were compared for the whole field.
Results: In 400-m swimming the medallist group demonstrated greater variation in speed than the non-medallist group, being relatively faster in the final lap (p<0.001; moderate effect) and slower in laps one (p=0.03; moderate effect) and two (p>0.001; moderate effect). There were also greater variations of pace in the 1500-m running medallist group compared to the non-medallist group with a relatively faster final lap (p=0.03; moderate effect) and slower second lap (p=0.01; small effect). Swimming gold medallists were relatively faster than all other finalists in lap 4 (p=0.04) and running gold medallists were relatively faster than the 5th to 12th placed athletes in the final lap (p=0.02).
Conclusions: Athletes that win medals in 1500-m running and 400-m swimming competitions show different pacing patterns from non-medallists. End spurt speed increases are greater with medallists, who demonstrate a slower relative speed in the early part of races but a faster speed during the final part of races compared to non-medallists.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Sciences > Sport Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Applied Sciences > Department of Sport and Excercise Sciences
Faculty of Applied Sciences
Depositing User: David Archer
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2014 09:12
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2015 09:53
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/5114

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