Cross-country (XC) skiing is one of the most demanding of endurance sports, involving protracted competitions on varying terrain employing a variety of skiing techniques that require upper- and/or lower-body work to different extents. Through more effective training and extensive improvements in equipment and track preparation, the speed of cross-country ski races has increased more than that of any other winter Olympic sport, and, in addition, new types of racing events have been introduced. To a certain extent this has altered the optimal physiological capacity required to win, and the training routines of successful skiers have evolved accordingly. The long-standing tradition of researchers working closely with XC-ski coaches and athletes to monitor progress, improve training, and refine skiing techniques has provided unique physiological insights revealing how these athletes are approaching the upper limits of human endurance. This review summarizes current scientific knowledge concerning the demands involved in elite XC skiing, as well as the physiological capacity and training routines of the best athletes.
Øyvind Sandbakk and Hans-Christer Holmberg
Pierre Gervais and Craig Wronko
In the past few years there has been a change from emphasizing the classical cross-country ski technique to introducing the skating technique. Use of the skating stride has led to the adoption of roller skates instead of the ratchet-type roller skis for dryland training. Therefore the question arises as to whether the roller skates simulate the movement pattern observed on snow. This study attempted to answer this question and to evaluate the movement similarity between a newly designed skating-specific roller ski and snow skis in performing the skating stride. The marathon skate was chosen for analysis as it was the most established and consistent skating stride. Biomechanical cinematography was used to acquire a sagittal and anterior view of the skiers. Temporal and angular kinematic data were collected. Both dryland devices approximated the snow skiing pattern, yet it was found that due to the discrepancies in the propulsion phase between the roller skates and the snow skis, the “Nordic Skate” roller skis proved to more closely simulate the on-snow technique.
Espen Tønnessen, Vegard Rasdal, Ida S. Svendsen, Thomas A. Haugen, Erlend Hem and Øyvind Sandbakk
Performing at an elite level in Nordic combined (NC) requires both the explosiveness required for ski jumping performance and the endurance capacity required for cross-country skiing.
To describe the characteristics of world-class NC athletes’ training and determine how endurance and non–endurance (ie, strength, power, and ski jumping) training is periodized.
Annual training characteristics and the periodization of endurance and non–endurance training were determined by analyzing the training diaries of 6 world-class NC athletes.
Of 846 ± 72 annual training hours, 540 ± 37 h were endurance training, with 88.6% being low-, 5.9% moderate-, and 5.5% high-intensity training. While training frequency remained relatively constant, the total training volume was reduced from the general preparatory to the competition phase, primarily due to less low- and moderate-intensity training (P < .05). A total of 236 ± 55 h/y were spent as non–endurance training, including 211 ± 44 h of power and ski-jump-specific training (908 ± 165 ski jumps and ski-jump imitations). The proportion of non–endurance training increased significantly toward the competition phase (P < .05).
World-class NC athletes reduce the volume of low- and moderate-intensity endurance training toward the competition phase, followed by an increase in the relative contribution of power and ski-jump training. These data provide novel insight on how successful athletes execute their training and may facilitate more-precise coaching of future athletes in this sport. In addition, this information is of high relevance for the training organization of other sports that require optimization of 2 fundamentally different physical capacities.
Øystein N. Wiggen, Cecilie T. Heidelberg, Silje H. Waagaard, Hilde Færevik and Øyvind Sandbakk
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.
Thomas Losnegard, Håvard Myklebust, Øyvind Skattebo, Hans Kristian Stadheim, Øyvind Sandbakk and Jostein Hallén
In the double-poling (DP) cross-country-skiing technique, propulsive forces are transferred solely through the poles. The aim of the current study was to investigate how pole length influences DP performance, O2 cost, and kinematics during treadmill roller skiing.
Nine male competitive cross-country skiers (24 ± 3 y, 180 ± 5 cm, 72 ± 5 kg, VO2max running 76 ± 6 mL · kg–1 · min–1) completed 2 identical test protocols using self-selected (84% ± 1% of body height) and long poles (self-selected + 7.5 cm; 88% ± 1% of body height) in a counterbalanced fashion. Each test protocol included a 5-min warm-up (2.5 m/s; 2.5°) and three 5-min submaximal sessions (3.0, 3.5, and 4.0 m/s; 2.5°) for assessment of O2 cost, followed by a selfpaced 1000-m time trial (~3 min, >5.0 m/s; 2.5°). Temporal patterns and kinematics were assessed using accelerometers and 2D video.
Long poles reduced 1000-m time (mean ± 90% confidence interval; –1.0% ± 0.7%, P = .054) and submaximal O2 cost (–2.7% ± 1.0%, P = .002) compared with self-selected poles. The center-of-mass (CoM) vertical range of displacement tended to be smaller for long than for self-selected poles (23.3 ± 3.0 vs 24.3 ± 3.0 cm, P = .07). Cycle and reposition time did not differ between pole lengths at any speeds tested, whereas poling time tended to be shorter for self-selected than for long poles at the lower speeds (≤3.5 m/s, P ≤ .10) but not at the higher speeds (≥4.0 m/s, P ≥ .23).
DP 1000-m time, submaximal O2 cost, and CoM vertical range of displacement were reduced in competitive cross-country skiers using poles 7.5 cm longer than self-selected ones.
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
Wesley J. Wilson
fitness units, which include aerobics, swimming, weight training, cross-country skiing, and fitness activities. The greatest strength of Part II lies in the number of teaching units (38 in total) and their variety. Many sports and physical activities may be more or less available (or preferred) based on
Øyvind Sandbakk, Guro Strøm Solli and Hans-Christer Holmberg
distance also appears in some upper-body-dominant modes such as canoeing and double-poling cross-country skiing, whereas the sex differences in kayaking are relatively constant at 12% to 13%. In the sprint events of these 2 sports (ie, 200-m kayaking and canoeing), the differences are 19% and 23
Marie Lund Ohlsson, Jonas Danvind and L. Joakim Holmberg
Comparison between the AnyBody Modeling System and in vivo measurements 13 has shown quite good agreement for shoulder joint reactions. 19 In able-bodied cross-country skiing, lower back injuries are a common problem and believed to arise because of the large range of motion and monotony of lower back
Estela Farías-Torbidoni, Demir Barić and Sebastià Mas-Alòs
supporting areas was based on the sectorial maps included on the official web page: http://parcsnaturals.gencat.cat/es/alt-pirineu/visiteu-nos/guia-visita/planol/ . a For instance, rivers for fishing. b Snowshoeing, snow mountaineering, and cross-country skiing. Data Collection The data used in this study