Critical speed and endurance capacity in young swimmers: Effects of gender and age
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This study analyzed the relationship between critical speed (CS) and maximal speed for 30 min (S30) in swimmers of ages 10-15 years. Fifty-one swimmers were divided by chronological age (10-12 years = G10-12, 13-15 years = G13-15), sexual maturation (pubic hair stages; P1-P3 and P4-P5), and gender (M = boys, F = girls). The CS was determined through the slope of the linear regression between the distances (100, 200, and 400 m) and participants' respective times. CS and S30 were similar in the younger (G10-12M = 0.97 vs. 0.97 m/s, and G10-12F = 1.01 vs. 0.97 m/s, respectively), and older swimmers (G13-15M = 1.10 vs. 1.07 m/s and G13-15F = 0.93 vs. 0.91 m/s, respectively). In conclusion, the CS can be used in young swimmers for the evaluation of aerobic capacity, independent of gender and age. © 2005 Human Kinetics, Inc.