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Øyvind Skattebo, Thomas Losnegard and Hans Kristian Stadheim

Purpose: Long-distance cross-country skiers specialize to compete in races >50 km predominantly using double poling (DP). This emphasizes the need for highly developed upper-body endurance capacities and an efficient DP technique. The aim of this study was to investigate potential effects of specialization by comparing physiological capacities and kinematics in DP between long-distance skiers and skiers competing using both techniques (skating/classic) in several competition formats (“all-round skiers”). Methods: Seven male long-distance (32 [6] y, 183 [6] cm, 76 [5] kg) and 6 all-round (25 [3] y, 181 [5] cm, 75 [6] kg) skiers at high international levels conducted submaximal workloads and an incremental test to exhaustion for determination of peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) and time to exhaustion (TTE) in DP and running. Results: In DP and running maximal tests, TTE showed no difference between groups. However, long-distance skiers had 5–6% lower VO2peak in running (81 [5] vs 85 [3] mL·kg−1·min−1; P = .07) and DP (73 [3] vs 78 [3] mL·kg−1·min−1; P < .01) than all-round skiers. In DP, long-distance skiers displayed lower submaximal O2 cost than all-round skiers (3.8 ± 3.6%; P < .05) without any major differences in cycle times or cyclic patterns of joint angles and center of mass. Lactate concentration over a wide range of speeds (45–85% of VO2peak) did not differ between groups, even though each workload corresponded to a slightly higher percentage of VO2peak for long-distance skiers (effect size: 0.30–0.68). Conclusions: The long-distance skiers displayed lower VO2peak but compensated with lower O2 cost to perform equally with the all-round skiers on a short TTE test in DP. Furthermore, similar submaximal lactate concentration and reduced O2 cost could be beneficial in sustaining high skiing speeds in long-duration competitions.

Open access

Thomas Haugen

recommended to solely focus on high-intensity intervals, whereas low-intensity training was considered a waste of time. This was followed by a marked performance decline in many endurance sports after the 2002 Olympics, particularly for Norwegian cross-country skiing. It was not until Stephen Seiler and his

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Øyvind Skattebo and Thomas Losnegard

Biathlon is a complex Winter Olympic sport that combines intensive cross-country skiing with high-precision rifle marksmanship. Depending on the competition format, an event consists of 3 to 5 skiing laps of 2 to 4 km interspersed by 2 to 4 shootings, each consisting of 5 shots. The combination of

Open access

Louise M. Burke and Peter Peeling

was shown to be equally effective, when repeated, 24 hr apart, to enhance the performance of two cross-country ski time-trials ( Stadheim et al., 2014 ). This benefit occurred despite increased muscle damage and soreness from the first bout, attributed to the greater exercise effort made possible by

Open access

Peter Peeling, Martyn J. Binnie, Paul S.R. Goods, Marc Sim and Louise M. Burke

numerous exercise modalities (i.e., cycling, running, rowing, cross-country skiing, and swimming). Studies reporting benefits typically used caffeine dosages of 3–6 mg/kg of body mass (BM), in the form of anhydrous caffeine (i.e., pill or powder form), consumed ∼60 min prior to exercise ( Ganio et