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Purpose: To quantify the impact of successive competitions on swimming performance in world-class swimmers. Methods: An entire data set of all events swum during a new competition named the International Swimming League was collected. A Bayesian linear mixed model has been proposed to evaluate whether a progression could be observed during the International Swimming League’s successive competitions and to quantify this effect according to event, age, and gender. Results: An overall progression of 0.0005 (0.0001 to 0.0010) m/s/d was observed. The daily mean progression (ie, faster performance) was twice as high for men as for women (0.0008 [0.00 to 0.0014] vs 0.0003 [−0.0003 to 0.0009] m·s−1). A tendency toward higher progression for middle distances (200 and 400 m) and for swimmers of a higher caliber (above 850 FINA [Fédération Internationale de Natation] points) was also observed. Swimmers between 23 and 26 years of age seemed to improve their swimming speed more in comparison with the other swimmers. Conclusions: This new league format, which involves several competitions in a row, seems to allow for an enhancement in swimming performance. Coaches and their support staff can now adapt their periodization plan in order to promote competition participation.
Pla and Raineteau are with the French Swimming Federation, Paris, France. Leroy is with the Laboratoire MAP5 (UMR 8145), Université de Paris, Paris, France. Hellard is with CREPS Bordeaux, Talence, France.