Purpose: Different aspects of pacing in endurance events have been investigated, however, there are very limited information on pacing strategies during open-water swimming. The aim was to describe and compare the pacing profile used by male and female open-water swimmers (OW-swimmers) during the 5-, 10- and 25 km races in the main international competitions. Methods: A total of 438 performances were analysed for 5 km, 579 for 10 km and 189 for 25 km, from 2012 to 2017. Swimmers were divided into four groups based on finishing time. G1 whose finishing times were within 0.5% of the winner’s time, G2 between 0.51% and 1% slower than winner’s time; G3 between 1.1% and 2% slower than winner’s time; G4 over 2% of winner’s time. Kolmogorov–Smirnov test was used to verify the normal distribution of data and repeated measures ANOVA was performed. Results: G1 adopted a negative pacing and significantly increased the speed in the last split compared with the other groups during the 5-, 10- and 25-km races in both males and females (p <.001). During the 5- and 10-km race, the last split speed of G1 was significantly faster compared to the other groups in both males and females (p <.05). Conclusions: OW-swimmers that used a conservative approach remaining in G1 until the finish of the race, increase the possibility to win a medal in the main international competitions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-431
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Sport Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2019

    Research areas

  • Endurance, competition, performance

ID: 44908809