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Physiological demands of competitive sprint and distance performance in elite female cross-country skiing
Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Sport and Health Science. Umeå universitet; Dala Sports Academy.
Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Sport and Health Science. Umeå universitet; Dala Sports Academy.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7178-5357
Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Sport and Health Science. Dala Sports Academy.
Regional Sports Federation of Dalarna.
Show others and affiliations
2016 (English)In: Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, ISSN 1064-8011, E-ISSN 1533-4287, Vol. 30, no 8, 2138-2144 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose was to investigate the relationship between elite females' competitive performance capability in sprint and distance cross-country skiing and the variables of gross efficiency (GE), work rate at the onset of blood-lactate accumulation (OBLA4mmol), maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), maximal speed (Vmax), and peak upper-body oxygen uptake (VO2peak). Ten elite female cross-country skiers (age 24.5 ± 2.8 years) completed treadmill roller-skiing tests to determine GE, OBLA4mmol, and VO2max using the diagonal-stride technique as well as Vmax and VO2peak using the double-poling technique. International Ski Federations ranking points for sprint (FISsprint) and distance (FISdist) races were used as competitive performance data. There were correlations between the FISsprint and the VO2max expressed absolutely (P = 0.0040), Vmax (P = 0.012), and VO2peak expressed absolutely (P < 0.001) and as a simple ratio-standard (P = 0.049). The FISdist were correlated with OBLA4mmol (P = 0.048), VO2max expressed absolutely (L·min) (P = 0.015) and as a simple ratio-standard (P = 0.046), and VO2peak expressed absolutely (P = 0.036) and as a simple ratio-standard (mL·min·kg) (P = 0.040). The results demonstrate that the physiological abilities reflected by VO2max and VO2peak are indicators of competitive sprint and distance performance in elite female cross-country skiing. In addition, the ability to generate a high Vmax indicates the performance in sprint races whereas the skier's OBLA4mmol reflects the performance capability in distance races. Based on the results, when evaluating the performance capacity of elite female cross-country skiers, it is recommended to use physiological variables that reflect competitive performance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 30, no 8, 2138-2144 p.
Keyword [en]
double poling; lactate threshold; maximal speed; Vo 2 max; women
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Health and Welfare
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-20469DOI: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001327ISI: 000380752800009PubMedID: 26808846OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-20469DiVA: diva2:885709
Available from: 2015-12-20 Created: 2015-12-20 Last updated: 2017-01-26Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Physiological demands of competitive elite cross-country skiing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Physiological demands of competitive elite cross-country skiing
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Introduction Researchers have, for decades, contributed to an increased collective understanding of the physiological demands in cross-country skiing; however, almost all of these studies have used either non-elite subjects and/or performances that emulate cross-country skiing. To establish the physiological demands of cross-country skiing, it is important to relate the investigated physiological variables to the competitive performance of elite skiers. The overall aim of this doctoral thesis was, therefore, to investigate the external validity of physiological test variables to determine the physiological demands in competitive elite cross-country skiing.

Methods The subjects in Study I – IV were elite male (I – III) and female (III – IV) cross-country skiers. In all studies, the relationship between test variables (general and ski-specific) and competitive performances (i.e. the results from competitions or the overall ski-ranking points of the International Ski Federation (FIS) for sprint (FISsprint) and distance (FISdist) races) were analysed. Test variables reflecting the subject’s general strength, upper-body and whole-body oxygen uptake, oxygen uptake and work intensity at the lactate threshold, mean upper-body power, lean mass, and maximal double-poling speed were investigated.

Results The ability to maintain a high work rate without accumulating lactate is an indicator of distance performance, independent of sex (I, IV). Independent of sex, high oxygen uptake in whole-body and upper-body exercise was important for both sprint (II, IV) and distance (I, IV) performance. The maximal double-poling speed and 60-s double-poling mean power output were indicators of sprint (IV) and distance performance (I), respectively. Lean mass was correlated with distance performance for women (III), whereas correlations were found between lean mass and sprint performance among both male and female skiers (III). Moreover, no correlations between distance performance and test variables were derived from tests of knee-extension peak torque, vertical jumps, or double poling on a ski-ergometer with 20-s and 360-s durations (I), whereas gross efficiency while treadmill roller skiing showed no correlation with either distance or sprint performance in cross-country skiing (IV).

Conclusion The results in this thesis show that, depending on discipline and sex, maximal and peak oxygen uptake, work intensity at the lactate threshold, lean mass, double-poling mean power output, and double-poling maximal speed are all externally valid physiological test variables for evaluation of performance capability among elite cross-country skiers; however, to optimally indicate performance capability different test-variable expressions should be used; in general, the absolute expression appears to be a better indicator of competitive sprint performance whereas the influence of body mass should be considered when evaluating competitive distance performance capability of elite cross-country skiers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, 2015. 46 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1713
Keyword
Performance capability, maximal oxygen uptake, lactate threshold, lean mass, double poling, power output, maximal speed, sprint skiing, distance skiing.
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Health and Welfare
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-20624 (URN)978-91-7601-269-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-06-05, Föreläsningssal 6, Högskolegatan 2, 79188, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-01-07 Created: 2016-01-07 Last updated: 2016-01-07Bibliographically approved

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