To investigate differences in double-poling (DP) endurance performance, economy, and peak oxygen uptake (V̇O2peak) at low (–15°C) and moderate (6°C) ambient temperatures (T A) in cross-country skiers wearing standard racing suits.
Thirteen well-trained male cross-country skiers performed a standardized warm-up followed by a 5-min submaximal test (Sub1), a 20-min self-paced performance test, a 2nd 5-min submaximal test (Sub2), and an incremental test to exhaustion while DP on an ergometer at either low or moderate T A, randomized on 2 different days. Skin and rectal temperatures, as well as power output and respiratory variables, were measured continuously during all tests.
Skin and rectal temperatures were more reduced at low T A than moderate TA (both P < .05). There was a 5% (P < .05) lower average power output during the 20-min performance test at low T A than at moderate T A, which primarily occurred in the first 8 min of the test (P < .05). Although DP economy decreased from Sub1 to Sub2 for both T As (both P < .01), a 3.7% (P < .01) larger decrease in DP economy from Sub1 to Sub2 emerged for the low T A. Across the sample, V̇O2peak was independent of T A.
These results demonstrate a lower body temperature and reduced performance for cross-country skiers when DP at low than at moderate TA while wearing standard cross-country-skiing racing suits. Lower DP performance at the low T A was mainly due to lower power production during the first part of the test and coincided with reduced DP economy.