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Author(s): Rodrigo Zacca
Title: Biophysical Evaluation of Age-Group Swimmers During a Training Season.
Issue Date: 2018-06-29
Abstract: Understanding more about competitive swimmers and their athletic potentialrequires organized, systematic and consistent evaluation. The evaluation andtraining control of swimmers give the coach valuable information about anathlete's improvement, stagnation, or deterioration in training and competitiveperformance. Assessments addressing both biological and physical aspects areusually called biophysical studies. This type of integrated approach allows adeeper understanding of the determinant variables in swimming and how theycombine to enhance performance. However, few biophysical studies have beenconducted on age-group swimmers, and almost all of them have been crosssectionalrather than longitudinal in design. Although cross-sectional analysis isrelevant, it is not sufficient to fully describe time-course and factors influencingprogression over a training period. The aim of this Thesis was to quantify changein and relationships between energetics, technique and anthropometricscharacteristics in age-group swimmers during a training traditional periodizationdesign. For that aim, we developed and validated methodological tools andprotocols. Useful tools have been developed for the sports/research community,highlighting the importance of a biophysical approach to evaluate swimmingperformance through longitudinal studies.We validated the 400-m test (T400) against the gold standard 7 x 200-mincremental intermittent protocol, comparing physiological and biomechanicalcharacteristics in national level age-group swimmers. We also paved the waytowards a straightforward analysis of oxygen uptake (V̇ O2) kinetics in exercise bydeveloping a freely available and open-source software, which eases the V̇ O2kinetics analysis in exercise, and can be applied for research and performancediagnostics in elite, sub-elite or recreational athletes. We then performed threelongitudinal experiments. In the first longitudinal study, physiological andbiomechanical effects of a typical off-season period were quantified in age-groupswimmers, controlling growth and non-swimming specific physical activitiesperformed during this training cessation period. In the second study, wequantified changes and contributions of energetic, technique and anthropometricprofiles across the first training macrocycle (16-week) in a traditional three-peakswimming season. Finaly, we identified changes in energetics, technique and anthropometric profile while following age-group swimmers over a trainingseason trough a traditional three-peak preparation program. We are confidentthat these methodological and longitudinal studies provide relevant tools andcientific contribution to the sports and scientific community, helping to betterunderstand the relationships between performance-related domains.
Subject: Ciências da saúde
Health sciences
Scientific areas: Ciências médicas e da saúde::Ciências da saúde
Medical and Health sciences::Health sciences
Document Type: Tese
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:FADEUP - Tese

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