Critical Swim Speed
Testing and measurement are the means of collecting information upon which subsequent performance evaluations and decisions are made but in the analysis we need to bear in mind the factors that may influence the results.
The objective of the Critical Swim Speed (CSS) test is to monitor the athlete's aerobic capacity (Ginn 1993).
To undertake this test you will require:
How to conduct the test
This test requires the athlete to swim 400m and, following a rest, 50m as fast as possible
Calculation of CSS
Analysis of the test result is by comparing it with the athlete's previous results for this test. It is expected that, with appropriate training between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement in the athlete's lactate threshold and critical swim speed.
This test is suitable for swimmers but not for individuals where the test would be contraindicated.
Test reliability refers to the degree to which a test is consistent and stable in measuring what it is intended to measure. Reliability will depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual's level of motivation to perform the test. The following link provides a variety of factors that may influence the results and therefore the test reliability.
Test validility refers to the degree to which a test is consistent and stable in measuring what it is intended to measure. Reliability will depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual's level of motivation to perform the test.
The concept of CSS has proven to be a valid and reliable measure of a swimmer's aerobic capacity. The obtained CSS value can be used to determine the training times for the swimmer (Ginn 1993). For example:
Ginn also found that the CSS for a swimmer was about 80 to 85% of maximum 100 metre swim speed and 90 to 95% of their 400 metre swim speed.
The reference for this page is:
The following Sports Coach pages should be read in conjunction with this page: