Analysis of classical time-trial preformance and technique-specific physiological determinants in elite female cross-country skiers
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonFrontiers in Physiology. 2016, 7, 1-9 http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2016.00326
The present study investigated the contribution of performance on uphill, flat, and downhill sections to overall performance in an international 10-km classical time-trial in elite female cross-country skiers, as well as the relationships between performance on snow and laboratory-measured physiological variables in the double poling (DP) and diagonal (DIA) techniques. Ten elite female cross-country skiers were continuously measured by a global positioning system device during an international 10-km cross-country skiing time-trial in the classical technique. One month prior to the race, all skiers performed a 5-min submaximal and 3-min self-paced performance test while roller skiing on a treadmill, both in the DP and DIA techniques. The time spent on uphill (r = 0.98) and flat (r = 0.91) sections of the race correlated most strongly with the overall 10-km performance (both p < 0.05). Approximately 56% of the racing time was spent uphill, and stepwise multiple regression revealed that uphill time explained 95.5% of the variance in overall performance (p < 0.001). Distance covered during the 3-min roller-skiing test and body-mass normalized peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) in both techniques showed the strongest correlations with overall time-trial performance (r = 0.66–0.78), with DP capacity tending to have greatest impact on the flat and DIA capacity on uphill terrain (all p < 0.05). Our present findings reveal that the time spent uphill most strongly determine classical time-trial performance, and that the major portion of the performance differences among elite female cross-country skiers can be explained by variations in technique-specific aerobic power.
© 2016 The Author(s). This is an Open Access article.