Can You Go The Distance?

Can You Go The Distance? A swimmer who specializes in 100 meter events has to be up for the challenge if he or she plans to jump in and race 400 meters. Fortunately the well-trained swimmers in this study were ready and willing to go 100, 200 and 400 meters to determine the impact of race distance on exercise-induced respiratory strength. Results were published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

Ten volunteers from a local swim club engaged in 100, 200 and 400 meter time trails on separate days. Before and after each race, scientists measured maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP), which is the strength of your respiratory muscles. At all distances, MIP was lower after the race, meaning the athlete's ability to inhale air had been temporarily compromised. Distance didn't significantly affect the level of post-race MIP and didn't impact heart rate significantly either.

True Strength Moment: These swimmers had the wind to go all out in sprint situations as well as medium distance races because they were in peak physical condition. There might have been a very different result if researchers had recruited subjects who weren't as dedicated to fitness. What can you do to raise the bar on your own performance between now and the fall?
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