Critical Swim Speed
Testing and measurement are the means of collecting information upon which subsequent performance evaluations and decisions are made. In the analysis, we need to consider the factors influencing the results.
The objective of the Critical Swim Speed (CSS) test is to monitor the athlete's aerobic capacity (Ginn 1993).
To conduct 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
I have been unable to locate any normative data for this test.
Calculation of CSS
The test result is analysed by comparing it with the athlete's previous results for this test. It is expected that the analysis would indicate an improvement in the athlete's lactate threshold and critical swim speed with appropriate training between each test.
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 various factors influencing the results and test reliability.
Test validity refers to how a test is consistent and stable in measuring its intended measure. Reliability will depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual's level of motivation to perform the test.
CSS's concept has proven a valid and reliable measure of a swimmer's aerobic capacity. The obtained CSS value can determine the swimmer's training times (Ginn 1993). For example:
Ginn also found that the CSS for a swimmer was about 80 to 85% of maximum 100 metres swim speed and 90 to 95% of their 400-metre swim speed.
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