Critical Swim Speed
Your Critical Swim Speed (CSS) is the predicted pace you could currently swim a 1500 time trial. The 400 and 200 times within your test are used to calculate your CSS.
Relationship of Systems Used
During both parts of the test, you will be utilizing both your aerobic and anaerobic systems. The test is designed to determine what you are capable of swimming aerobically as this is a sustainable effort. The anaerobic part of your test is ignored. (The CSS test assumes you are unable to swim the whole 200 anaerobically).
The test establishes the difference between your 400 and 200 times and predicts your 1500 pace from that. It assumes that your 200 will be swam at a quicker pace than 400.
To calculate CSS the time taken for 200 is subtracted from the time taken to complete the 400 and the resultant time divided by two to get your min per 100 pace. CSS is reliant upon the relationship between the two parts of the test as well as the speed itself.
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