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Harri Luchsinger, Jan Kocbach, Gertjan Ettema and Øyvind Sandbakk

). Differences in skiing performance between the sexes and performance levels have, to date, not yet been examined in biathlon. In the most recent attempt to analyze the competitive demands of biathlon sprint races, Cholewa et al 9 found an average course speed of 7 m/s, an 88% hit rate, and a total shooting

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Harri Luchsinger, Jan Kocbach, Gertjan Ettema and Øyvind Sandbakk

each missed shot at the shooting range. In a recent study of Biathlon World Cup sprint races, we found that the performance-level differences between those finishing in the top 10 (G1–10) and those finishing between 21st and 30th place (G21–30) were 3% to 5% in both sexes for the total race time. 1 In

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Johanna Belz, Jens Kleinert, Jeannine Ohlert, Thea Rau and Marc Allroggen

athletes’ performance level and age, have been examined far less and shown inconsistent results. To date, the adolescent athlete population has received scant scientific attention, despite adolescence representing an especially sensitive period, from a neurobiological standpoint, for the development of

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Nico W. VanYperen

This study of 65 highly skilled young male soccer players (mean age = 16.6 years) employed a 7-month longitudinal design to examine the causal relationship between performance level and interpersonal stress within the team. Particular attention was paid to the moderating effect of parental support. No evidence was found that interpersonal stress within the team was an important determinant of performance level. Rather, a low performance level leads to negative feelings about the social climate within the team. But this is only true under specific circumstances (i.e., when there is a perceived lack of parental support). The theoretical and practical implications of these results are discussed.

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Montassar Tabben, Laurent Bosquet and Jeremy B. Coquart

Purpose:

This study examined the effect of performance level on the validity and accuracy of middle-distance running-performance predictions obtained from the nomogram of Mercier et al in male runners.

Methods:

Official French track-running rankings for the 3000-, 5000-, and 10,000-m events from 2006 to 2014 were examined. The performance level was determined from the official reference table of the Fédération Française d’Athlétisme, and the runners were divided in 3 groups (ie, low, moderate, and high levels). Only male runners who performed in the 3 distance events within the same year were included (N = 443). Each performance over any distance was predicted using the nomogram from the 2 other performances.

Results:

No difference was found in low- and moderate-performance-level athletes (0.02 ≤ effect size [ES] ≤ 0.06, 95% limits of agreement [LoA] ≤ 6%). By contrast, a small difference in high-performance-level athletes (P < .01, 0.23 ≤ ES ≤ 0.45, 95% LoA ≤ 11.6%) was found.

Conclusion:

The study confirms the validity of the nomogram to predict track-running performance with a high level of accuracy, except for male runners with high performance level (ie, national or international). Consequently, the predictions from the nomogram may be used in training programs (eg, to prescribe tempo runs with realistic training velocities) and competitions (eg, to plan realistic split times to reach the best performance).

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Kari Fasting, Celia Brackenridge and Nada Knorre

This article investigates whether there is a relationship between the sport performance level of female athletes inside the sport (at clubs, competitions, or training events) and outside sport (in family or community settings) and the likelihood that they will be victims of sexual harassment. The study sample consisted of 595 women from the Czech Republic and was divided into three performance groups: elite, non-elite/competing, and exercisers. No significant differences were found between the groups in relation to overall cases of sexual harassment, but when their experiences of sexual harassment inside and outside sport were examined, the picture changed. The chances of being harassed by someone in sport increased with performance level, from 29.7% among the exercisers to 55.2% among the elite-level athletes. However, the highest proportion of women experiencing sexual harassment was seen in the group of the exercises outside of sport (73%). This article discusses the prevalence of sexual harassment in relation to the gender order in Czech society.

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Sergei V. Kolmogorov, Olga A. Rumyantseva, Brian J. Gordon and Jane M. Cappaert

The purpose of this study was to describe the hydrodynamic characteristics of the four strokes by gender and performance level. Active drag during maximal swimming was measured in each of the four swimming strokes (freestyle, butterfly, backstroke, and breaststroke) on males and females of varying ability levels using the perturbation method developed by Kolmogorov and Duplisheva (1992). Active drag (FDa), the hydrodynamic coefficient (Cx Da), and total external mechanical power output (Pto) were calculated at each swimmer's maximal swimming velocity. There were complex, nonlinear relationships between maximum swimming velocity and the three hydrodynamic indicators. The four swimming strokes were ranked in order of resistance based on the three hydrodynamic indicators. The order, from least to most resistance, was (1) freestyle, (2) backstroke, butterfly, (3) breaststroke. No statistical difference was seen between the backstroke and butterfly. Within each stroke, the most important factor for reducing active drag appeared to be individual biomechanical technique.

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Matteo Levi Micheli, Luca Pagani, Mario Marella, Massimo Gulisano, Antonio Piccoli, Fabrizio Angelini, Martin Burtscher and Hannes Gatterer

Purpose:

Bioelectrical-impedance standards (resistance, reactance, and phase angle) are well established for the normal population or in the clinical setting and are considered indicators for cell mass, cell function, and hydration status. However, such standards do not exist for the male soccer population. Therefore, the goal of the current investigation was to provide a set of bioelectrical-impedance data of a large sample of soccer players with different performance levels.

Methods:

A sample of 893 players, registered in all Italian soccer divisions, was divided into 5 groups according to their performance level. Whole-body impedance measurements were performed during the first half of the competitive period. Besides estimation of body composition, bioelectrical-impedance vector analysis (BIVA) was performed. BIVA does not depend on equations and displays differences in hydration and body-cell mass (BCM). Individual vectors can be classified by using the 50%, 75%, and 95% tolerance ellipse.

Results:

In comparison with the other divisions and the normal population, the mean vector of the elite level showed a shift to the left (P < .001). Compared with the elite level, players of a lower performance level had lower phase angles, BCM, and fat-free mass.

Conclusions:

In conclusion, soccer players belong to a specific population. Muscle mass and function, as indicated by BCM and phase angle, increase with increasing performance level. The soccer-specific tolerance ellipses might be used for classifying individual vectors and to define target regions for low-level players.

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Carol A. Parise and Martin D. Hoffman

Background:

Even pacing has been recommended for optimal performances in running distances up to 100 km. Trail ultramarathons traverse varied terrain, which does not allow for even pacing.

Purpose:

This study examined differences in how runners of various abilities paced their efforts in the Western States Endurance Run (WSER), a 161 km trail ultramarathon in North America, under hot vs cooler temperatures.

Method:

Temperatures in 2006 (hot) and 2007 (cooler) ranged from 7-38°C and 2-30°C, respectively. Arrival times at 13 checkpoints were recorded for 50 runners who finished the race in both years. After stratification into three groups based on finish time in 2007 (<22, 22-24, 24-30 h), paired t tests were used to compare the difference in pace across checkpoints between the years within each group. The χ2 test was used to compare differences between the groups on the number of segments run slower in the hot vs cooler years.

Results:

For all groups, mean pace across the entire 161 km race was slower in 2006 than in 2007 (9:23 ± 1:13 min/km vs 8:42 ± 1:15 min/km, P < .001) and the pace was slower from the start of the race when temperatures were still relatively cool. Overall, the <22 h cohort ran slower in 2006 than 2007 over 12 of the 14 segments examined, the 22–24 h cohort was slower across 10 of the segments, and the >24 h cohort was slower across only 6 of the segments χ2 2 = 6.00, P = .050). Comparable pacing between the 2 y corresponded with onset of nighttime and cooling temperatures.

Conclusions:

Extreme heat impairs all runners’ ability to perform in 161 km ultramarathons, but faster runners are at a greater disadvantage compared with slower competitors because they complete a greater proportion of the race in the hotter conditions.

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Olivier Galy, Olivier Hue, Karim Chamari, Alain Boussana, Anis Chaouachi and Christian Préfaut

Purpose:

To study the relationship between performance and exercise-induced arterial hypoxemia (EIAH), 5 internationally ranked (INT) and 8 regionally ranked (REG) triathletes performed cycle-run successions (CR) and control runs (R) in competitionlike conditions: at ≍75% VO2max.

Methods:

Ventilatory parameters and oxyhemoglo-bin saturation (SpO2) data were collected continuously. Arteriolized partial pressure in O2 (PaO2) and alveolar ventilation (VA) were measured before and after cycling (CRcycle), the successive run (CRrun), and R. Pulmonary diffusing capacity (DLco) was measured at rest and 10 minutes post-CR. Training and short-distance triathlon data were collected.

Results:

INT showed signifcantly greater experience than REG in competition years (P > .05), training regimen (P > .05), and swimming (P > .05), and cycling (P > .05) volumes; running showed a trend (P < .06). Cycling, running, and total triathlon performances were significantly higher in INT than REG (P > .01). SpO2 during CR dropped significantly more in INT than in REG. Both groups showed significant inverse correlations between the magnitude of the SpO2 change from CRcy-cle to CRrun and the triathlon running time (r = −0.784; P < .05 and r = −0.699; P < .05; respectively). When compared with CRcycle, PaO2 significantly decreased and VA significantly increased after CRrun and R in both groups (P < .01). DLco significantly dropped between pre- and postexercise in CR and R with no between-group difference (P < .05).

Conclusions:

EIAH was aggravated in higher performers during simulated cycle-run segments, related to longer experience and heavier training regimens. Possibly, relative hypoventilation caused this aggravated EIAH in INT, although pulmonary diffusion limitation was observed in both groups. Beyond EIAH severity, the magnitude of SpO2 variations during the cycle-run transition may affect triathlon running performance.