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Abstract

The main aim of the present investigation was to verify if the aerobic capacity (AC) measured in tethered swimming corresponds to the maximal lactate steady state (MLSS) and its correlation with 30 min and 400m free style swimming. Twenty-five swimmers were submitted to an incremental tethered swimming test (ITS) with an initial load of 20N and increments of 10N each 3min. After each stage of 3min, the athletes had 30s of interval to blood sample collections that were used to measure blood lactate concentrations ([La-]). The ACBI was determined by the abrupt increase in [La-] versus force (F). The points obtained between [La-] versus force (N) were adjusted by an exponential curve model to determine AC corresponding to 3.5mmol.l-1 (AC3.5) and 4.0mmol.l-1 (AC4.0). After these procedures, the swimmers performed maximal efforts of 30min and 400m in free style swimming. We used the distance performed in 30min and the time performed in 400m to calculate the median velocities (i.e. V30 and V400) of these protocols. After one week, in order to measure the MLSS, nine athletes performed three 30-min tethered swimming efforts with intensities of 90, 100, and 110% of ACBI. The ANOVA one-way was used to compare the ACBI, AC3.5 and AC4.0. Correlations between ACs, and between ACs and V30 and V400 (p<0.05) were determined using the Pearson’s correlation coefficient. The intensity corresponding to 100% of ACBI was similar to the MLSS. It was observed significant correlations of the aerobic capacities (i.e. ACBI, AC3.5 and AC4.0) with V30 (r>0.91) and V400 (r>0.63). According to our results, it is possible to conclude that the ACBI corresponds to the MLSS, and both the AC - individually determined - and the AC - determined using fixed blood lactate concentrations of 3.5 and 4.0mmol.l-1 - can be used to predict the mean velocity of 30min and 400m in free style swimming. In addition to that, the tethered swimming system can be used for aerobic development in places where official sized swimming pools are not available, such as rehabilitation clinics and health clubs.