The purpose of this study was to evaluate use of the critical power concept with swimmers ages 8 to 18 years. Critical velocity (CV) and anaerobic swimming capacity (ASC) were determined from the results of three short time trials (n = 86) or competition swims (n = 60). Data fit the critical power model well, as evidenced by high R2 and low SEE of CV and ASC estimates. CV was correlated with velocity in an endurance swim (r ≥ 0.86) and ASC was correlated with peak lactate (r ≥ 0.69). Thus, even in very young swimmers, CV and ASC provide mode-specific indices of endurance and anaerobic capacity, respectively.
The authors are with the Department of Kinesiology, PO Box 13857, University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76203.