University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Increased Variability of Lap Speeds Differentiate Medallists and Non-Medallists in Middle Distance Running and Swimming Events.

Mytton, G.J., Archer, D.T., Turner, L., Skorski, S., Renfree, Andrew ORCID:, Thompson, K.G. and St Clair Gibson, Alan (2015) Increased Variability of Lap Speeds Differentiate Medallists and Non-Medallists in Middle Distance Running and Swimming Events. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 10 (3). pp. 369-373. ISSN Print: 1555-0265 Online: 1555-0273

Mytton_ijspp_2014_0207-in press.pdf - Accepted Version

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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
Additional Information:

This version of the article is "as accepted for publication".

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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: sports performance, pacing, medallist, middle distance running, swimming
Subjects: Q Science > QP Physiology
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Sport and Exercise Science
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Depositing User: Andrew Renfree
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2014 10:24
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2020 04:00

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