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Purpose: To compare the effects of a short specific and a long traditional warm-up on time-trial performance in cross-country skiing sprint using the skating style, as well as related differences in pacing strategy and physiological responses. Methods: In total, 14 (8 men and 6 women) national-level Norwegian cross-country skiers (age 20.4 [3.1] y; VO2max 65.9 [5.7] mL/kg/min) performed 2 types of warm-up (short, 8 × 100 m with gradual increase from 60% to 95% of maximal speed with a 1-min rest between sprints, and long, ∼35 min at low intensity, including 5 min at moderate and 3 min at high intensity) in a randomized order with 1 hour and 40 minutes of rest between tests. Each warm-up was followed by a 1.3-km sprint time trial, with continuous measurements of speed and heart rate. Results: No difference in total time for the time trial between the short and long warm-ups (199  vs 200  s; P = .952), or average speed and heart rate for the total course, or in the 6 terrain sections (all P < .41, η2 < .06) was found. There was an effect of order, with total time-trial time being shorter during test 2 than test 1 (197  vs 202  s; P = .004). No significant difference in blood lactate and rating of perceived exertion was found between the short versus long warm-ups or between test 1 and test 2 at any of the measurement points during the test day (P < .58, η2 > .01). Conclusions: This study indicates that a short specific warm-up could be as effective as a long traditional warm-up during a sprint time trial in cross-country skiing.
Solli, van den Tillaar, and Torvik are with the Dept of Sports Sciences and Physical Education, Nord University, Bodø, Norway. Solli, Haugnes, Kocbach, and Sandbakk are with the Center for Elite Sports Research, Dept of Neuromedicine and Movement Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. Kocbach is also with the NORCE, Norwegian Research Center, Bergen, Norway.