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This investigation examined the adjustments made in cycle rate and length to velocity changes during roller skiing with the double pole (DP), kick double pole (KD), and VI skate (VS) techniques. Eight cross-country ski racers roller skied with each technique on a flat track at submaximal and maximal velocities while being videotaped from a lateral view. Increases in submaximal velocities were associated with increases in cycle rate and cycle length for KD and VS but only with increases in cycle rate for DP. Maximal sprint velocities were approximately 7% lower (p < .01) for KD than for DP and VS and were associated with increases (p < .01) in cycle rate for each technique combined with decreases (p < .01) in cycle length for DP and VS. The findings indicate that there are differences among techniques in the manner in which cycle rate and length are adjusted to change submaximal velocity, but each technique relies upon an increase in cycle rate to achieve maximal velocity.
Martin D. Hoffman and Frank Bender are with the Sports Performance and Technology Laboratory and Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Philip S. Clifford is with the Departments of Anesthesiology and Physiology, Medical College of Wisconsin and VA Medical Center, 5000 W. National Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53295.