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Physiological demands of competitive elite cross-country skiing
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Sports medicine. School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Dalarna University, Falun, Sweden..
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 [en]
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
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-102878ISBN: 978-91-7601-269-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-102878DiVA: diva2:810895
Public defence
2015-06-05, Föreläsningssal 6, Högskolegatan 2, 79188, Falun, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-05-13 Created: 2015-05-08 Last updated: 2015-06-30Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Validation of physiological tests in relation to competitive performances in elite male distance cross-country skiing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Validation of physiological tests in relation to competitive performances in elite male distance cross-country skiing
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2012 (English)In: Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, ISSN 1064-8011, E-ISSN 1533-4287, Vol. 26, no 6, 1496-1504 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of the present study was to establish which physiological test parameters reflects the distance performances in the Swedish National Championships in cross-country skiing (SNC) and the International Ski Federation's ranking points for distance performances (FISdist). The present study also aimed to create multiple regression models to describe skiing performance for the SNC distance races and International Ski Federation's (FIS) ranking. Twelve male, Swedish, national elite, cross-country skiers (maximal oxygen consumption [V̇O2max] = 5.34 ± 0.34 L·min) volunteered to participate in the study. Their results in the 2008 SNC (15 km race [SNC15] and 30 km race [SNC30]) and FISdist points were used as performance data. On the week preceding the Championship, subjects completed a test battery consisting of 7 physiological tests: isokinetic knee extension peak torque (PT), vertical jumps (VJ), lactate threshold (LT), V̇O2max, and 3 double poling tests of different durations (DP20, DP60, and DP360). Correlations were established using Pearson's correlation analysis, and models to describe skiing performance were created using standard multiple linear regression analysis. Significant correlations were found between the performance parameters and test parameters derived from LT, V̇O2max, and DP60 tests. No correlations with any performance parameter were found for PT, VJ, DP20, and DP360 tests. For FISdist and SNC15, the models explain 81% and 78% of the variance in performance, respectively. No statistically valid regression model was found for SNC30. The results of this study imply that the physiological demands in male elite distance cross-country skiing performances are different in different events. To adequately evaluate a skier's performance ability in distance cross-country skiing, it is necessary to use test parameters and regression models that reflect the specific performance.

Keyword
V̇O2max, double poling, lactate threshold, regression models, ski ranking
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-56345 (URN)10.1519/JSC.0b013e318231a799 (DOI)000304363900007 ()22614140 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2012-06-14 Created: 2012-06-14 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
2. Oxygen uptake at different intensities and sub-techniques predicts sprint performance in elite male cross-country skiers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Oxygen uptake at different intensities and sub-techniques predicts sprint performance in elite male cross-country skiers
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2014 (English)In: European Journal of Applied Physiology, ISSN 1439-6319, E-ISSN 1439-6327, Vol. 114, no 12, 2587-2595 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

PURPOSE: To investigate the relationship between sprint-prologue performance (using the classical technique) and the oxygen uptake at the lactate threshold (V̇O2obla), maximal oxygen uptake (V̇O2max), and mean oxygen uptake during double poling (V̇O2dp).

METHODS: Eight elite male cross-country skiers [age 24.8 ± 4.8 years, (mean ± SD)] completed two treadmill roller-skiing tests using the diagonal-stride technique and a 60 s double-poling test on a ski-ergometer to determine their V̇O2obla, V̇O2max, and V̇O2dp. Performance data were generated from a 1.25 km sprint prologue. Power-function modelling was used to predict the skiers' race speeds based on the oxygen-uptake variables and body mass.

RESULTS: There were correlations between the race speed and the absolute expression of the V̇O2obla (r = 0.79, P = 0.021), V̇O2max (r = 0.86, P = 0.0069), and V̇O2dp (r = 0.94, P = 0.00062). The following power-function models were established for race-speed prediction: 1.09 · V̇O2obla(0.21), 1.05 · V̇O2max(0.21), and 1.19 · V̇O2dp(0.20); these models explained 60 % (P = 0.024), 73 % (P = 0.0073), and 87 % (P = 0.00073), respectively, of the variance in the race speed. However, body mass did not contribute to any of the models (P = 0.97, 0.88, and 0.21, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: Oxygen uptake at different intensities and sub-techniques is an indicator of elite male sprint-prologue performance. The absolute expression of the investigated oxygen-uptake variables should be used when evaluating elite male sprint-prologue performances; if skiers oxygen uptake differs by 1 %, their performances will likely differ by 0.2 % in favour of the skier with higher oxygen uptake.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2014
Keyword
double poling, sprint skiing, scaling, V̇O2max, lactate threshold
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-95074 (URN)10.1007/s00421-014-2980-0 (DOI)000344740500014 ()25138966 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2014-10-21 Created: 2014-10-21 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
3. Prediction of race performance of elite cross-country skiers by lean mass
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Prediction of race performance of elite cross-country skiers by lean mass
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2014 (English)In: International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, ISSN 1555-0265, E-ISSN 1555-0273, Vol. 9, no 6, 1040-1045 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

PURPOSE: To investigate the relationship between race performance and lean mass (LM) variables, as well as to examine sex differences in body composition in elite-standard cross-country skiers.

METHODS: Thirty-four elite cross-country skiers (18 men and 16 women) underwent a dual-emission x-ray absorptiometry body composition test to determine LM, fat mass, and bone mineral content. For both sexes, performance data were collected from a sprint prologue and a distance race.

RESULTS: The absolute expression of LM variables [whole body (LMWB), upper body (LMUB), and lower body (LMLB)] was significantly correlated with finishing time in the sprint prologue independent of sex. Distance-race performance was significantly related to LMWB, LMUB, and LMLB in women; however, no correlation was found in men. Men had a significantly higher LM and lower fat mass, independent of expression (absolute or relative), for the whole body, arms, trunk, and legs, except for the absolute fat mass in the trunk.

CONCLUSIONS: The absolute expressions of LMWB, LMUB, and LMLB were significant predictors of sprint-prologue performance in both sexes, as well as of distance-race performance in women only. Compared with women, male skiers have a higher LM in the body segments that are major contributors to propelling forces. These results suggest that muscle mass in the lower and upper body is equally important for race performance; thus, more focus of elite skiers' training should be directed to increasing whole-body muscle mass to improve their competitive performance capability.

Keyword
body composition, muscle mass, DXA
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-95076 (URN)10.1123/ijspp.2013-0509 (DOI)000344834500023 ()24700141 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2014-10-21 Created: 2014-10-21 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
4. Physiological demands of competitive sprint and distance performance in elite female cross-country skiing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Physiological demands of competitive sprint and distance performance in elite female cross-country skiing
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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 (V[Combining Dot Above]O2max), maximal speed (Vmax), and peak upper-body oxygen uptake (V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak). Ten elite female cross-country skiers (age 24.5 ± 2.8 years) completed treadmill roller-skiing tests to determine GE, OBLA4mmol, and V[Combining Dot Above]O2max using the diagonal-stride technique as well as Vmax and V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak 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 V[Combining Dot Above]O2max expressed absolutely (p = 0.0040), Vmax (p = 0.012), and V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak expressed absolutely (p < 0.001) and as a simple ratio-standard (p = 0.049). The FISdist were correlated with OBLA4mmol (p = 0.048), V[Combining Dot Above]O2max expressed absolutely (L·min) (p = 0.015) and as a simple ratio-standard (p = 0.046), and V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak 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 V[Combining Dot Above]O2max and V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak 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
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2016
Keyword
lactate threshold, (V) over doto(2)max, double poling, maximal speed, women
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-102885 (URN)10.1519/JSC.0000000000001327 (DOI)000380752800009 ()26808846 (PubMedID)
Note

Originally included in thesis in submitted form.

Available from: 2015-05-08 Created: 2015-05-08 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved

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