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Dzhilkibaeva, N., Ahrens, M. & Laaksonen, M. (2019). Can performance in biathlon world cup be predicted by performance analysis of biathlon IBU cup?. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 19(5), 856-865
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Can performance in biathlon world cup be predicted by performance analysis of biathlon IBU cup?
2019 (English)In: International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, ISSN 1474-8185, E-ISSN 1474-8185, Vol. 19, no 5, p. 856-865Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Biathlon performance consists of skiing speed, shooting accuracy (ShAcc) and shooting time (ShT). For coaches, the evaluation of the performance level of biathletes to select biathletes to particular competitions is crucial. The present study aimed to compare two different approaches to analyse biathletes’ skiing performance (relative skiing speed, SS%, and skiing time coefficient, STC), and to analyse the relationship between different parameters of performance between two competition levels (World Cup, WC and IBU Cup, IC). The data from four competitive seasons were analysed including 166 male and 184 female biathletes. The correlation between SS% in IC and WC was similar for both sexes (males r = .81; females r = .78) compared to correlation between STC in IC and WC (males r = .80; females r = .75) (p < .001), whereas the mean absolute percentage error was higher for STC (1.2% and 1.8% vs. 18% and 22%). SS%, ShAcc and ShT in IC explained 54% and 45% (p < .001) of the entire WC rank for males and females, respectively. Thus, SS% is recommended to be used for evaluation of biathletes’ skiing performance. To predict the performance in WC from results in IC should be used with caution.

Keywords
Shooting accuracy, shooting time, skiing speed, sprint
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-37249 (URN)10.1080/24748668.2019.1665884 (DOI)000486753100001 ()
Available from: 2019-09-18 Created: 2019-09-18 Last updated: 2019-11-12Bibliographically approved
Jonsson, M., McGawley, K. & Laaksonen, M. (2019). Rifle carriage decreases speed at lactate threshold, anaerobic energy contribution and performance in biathlon skiing.. In: : . Paper presented at European College of Sport Science (ECSS) in Prague, 3-6 July, 2019.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Rifle carriage decreases speed at lactate threshold, anaerobic energy contribution and performance in biathlon skiing.
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Biathlon is an endurance sport combining rifle shooting and intermittent cross-country skiing while carrying a rifle (minimum weight 3.5 kg). Previous studies have shown that the skiing component explains 60% of overall biathlon performance (1) and that rifle carriage affects different physiological responses such as blood lactate, oxygen uptake (VO2) and heart rate during skiing (2, 3). However, the effects of rifle carriage on skiing performance and variables such as maximal VO2 (VO2max), lactate threshold, efficiency of movement and anaerobic energy contribution have not yet been investigated.METHODS:Seventeen biathletes (9 females, 8 males; age 23.0 (3.3) years, VO2max 59.8 (7.3) mL/kg/min), competing at a national and/or international level, and completing approximately three biathlon training sessions/week with the rifle on the back, performed a submaximal incremental test and a 900–1000-m maximal time-trial (TT) using treadmill roller-skiing (gear 3 skating technique) on two occasions separated by at least 48 hours. One condition involved carrying the rifle on the back (WR) and the other no rifle (NR), with the order randomized. The VO2 and skiing speed at 4 mmol/L of blood lactate (VO2@4mmol and speed@4mmol, respectively), gross efficiency (GE), metabolic aerobic (MRae) and anaerobic (MRan) rates, and VO2max were determined. RESULTS:Submaximal VO2 at all levels and GE (16.7 (0.9) vs 16.5 (1.1) %, p<0.05) were higher for WR compared to NR, while speed@4mmol (11.3 (1.5) vs 11.7 (1.5) km/h, p<0.05) and MRan (27.3 (6.7) vs 30.5 (7.6) kJ/min, p<0.01) was lower. There were no differences in VO2@4mmol or MRae between the two conditions. The mean speed during the TT was higher for NR compared to WR (16.5 (1.5) vs 15.5 (1.4) km/h, p<0.001), but there was no difference in VO2max. Mean speed during the TT was correlated to speed@4mmol (WR: r=0.810, p<0.001; NR: r=0.659, p<0.01), GE (WR: r=0.691; NR r=0.529, both p<0.05) and VO2max (WR: r=0.514; NR: r=0.526, both p<0.05). Speed@4mmol together with MRan explained more than 80% of performance in the TT (WR 83.7%, NR 81.5%). There was no difference between male and female biathletes in response to rifle carriage, although the relative mass of the rifle was higher for the females (5.6 (0.4) vs 5.0 (0.4) % of body mass, p<0.01).CONCLUSION:According to this study, the most important variables for skiing speed in biathlon seem to be the speed at lactate threshold combined with the metabolic anaerobic rate, both of which were lower for skiing with the rifle compared to without. In addition, GE was related to biathlon performance and was also affected by rifle carriage. Thus, to improve skiing performance in biathlon, improving speed at the lactate threshold, anaerobic energy delivery and GE while carrying the rifle are recommended.

National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-36825 (URN)
Conference
European College of Sport Science (ECSS) in Prague, 3-6 July, 2019
Available from: 2019-08-12 Created: 2019-08-12 Last updated: 2019-08-13Bibliographically approved
Karlsson, Ø., Laaksonen, M. & McGawley, K. (2019). Training characteristics of highly-trained cross-country skiers throughout the transition from junior to senior level. In: : . Paper presented at European College of Sport Science (ECSS) in Prague, 3-6 July, 2019.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Training characteristics of highly-trained cross-country skiers throughout the transition from junior to senior level
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

INTRODUCTION: Reaching an international level in any endurance sport requires a large volume of systematic training performed over time. While the annual training characteristics of senior, elite-level cross-country (XC) skiers are well documented (1), limited data exist regarding the long-term training of developing XC skiers. The current study aimed to describe the training undertaken by a group of highly-trained XC skiers throughout their transition from junior- to senior-level athletes. METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, self-reported training data were obtained from 32 highly-trained female (n = 13) and male (n = 19) XC skiers for the season they turned 16 years old (y) until the season they turned 23 y. At the time of inclusion, 26 skiers (11 females and 15 males) had represented at least one of the Swedish national teams (senior, development or junior), and eight of these skiers (6 females and 2 males) had won at least one individual U23 or Junior World Championship medal. The remaining six skiers were part of a specialist ski university in Sweden, where selection is based on the potential to perform at a world-class level. Training data were organized by training form (endurance, strength, and speed), mode (e.g. on-snow skiing, roller skiing, running, and cycling), and intensity (using a 4-zone model), which were then divided into five annual training phases (transition, general preparation [GP], specific preparation [SP], competition [CP], regeneration). RESULTS: Data from 155 seasons, including 59 026 individual training sessions and 94 964 h of training, were analysed. From age 16 to 22 y the total volume of endurance training increased from 472 ± 70 to 721 ± 86 h/yr (p < 0.001). Low-intensity training (LIT, below the first lactate threshold, <85% HRmax) and high-intensity training (HIT, above the first lactate threshold, >85% HRmax) increased from 414 ± 61 to 656 ± 72 h/yr (p < 0.001) and 58 ± 33 to 65 ± 16 h/yr (p = 0.018), respectively. The training-volume distribution developed progressively from a more even distribution across training phases at age 16 y (GP: 10.6 ± 1.8 h/wk; SP: 10.4 ± 1.5 h/wk; CP: 8.6 ± 1.5 h/wk) to a more traditional periodised model at age 22 y (GP: 17.5 ± 1.7 h/wk; SP: 12.7 ± 1.9 h/wk; CP: 11.1 ± 2.1 h/wk), whereby a higher proportion of the total training volume was performed in GP, and a lower proportion in SP and CP, as athletes developed. CONCLUSION: In conclusion, this group of highly-trained XC skiers progressively increased their endurance training volume from age 16 to 22 y, to a level that is required of elite XC skiers. This increase in training volume was primarily due to an increase in LIT in the general preparation phase. In addition, training-volume distribution became more periodised as athletes developed from junior to senior level. REFERENCES 1. Ø. Sandbakk & HC. Holmberg, International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance 9, 117-121 (2014).

National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-37190 (URN)978-3-9818414-2-8 (ISBN)
Conference
European College of Sport Science (ECSS) in Prague, 3-6 July, 2019
Available from: 2019-09-11 Created: 2019-09-11 Last updated: 2019-10-01Bibliographically approved
Köykkä, M., Ihalainen, S., Laaksonen, M., Häkkinen, K., Mikkola, J., Leppävuori, A., . . . Linnamo, V. (2018). Differences in biathlon standing shooting performance in senior and junior biathletes. In: : . Paper presented at 19th International Symposium “Modern Science and Practice for Strength and Endurance Training". University of Jyväskylä, Finland, October 10-12, 2018.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Differences in biathlon standing shooting performance in senior and junior biathletes
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2018 (English)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Refereed)
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-35254 (URN)
Conference
19th International Symposium “Modern Science and Practice for Strength and Endurance Training". University of Jyväskylä, Finland, October 10-12, 2018
Available from: 2018-12-17 Created: 2018-12-17 Last updated: 2018-12-17Bibliographically approved
Laaksonen, M., Kyröläinen, H., Kemppainen, J., Knuuti, J. & Kalliokoski, K. (2018). Muscle free fatty-acid uptake associates to mechanical efficiency during exercise in humans. Frontiers in Physiology, 9(AUG), Article ID 1171.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Muscle free fatty-acid uptake associates to mechanical efficiency during exercise in humans
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2018 (English)In: Frontiers in Physiology, ISSN 1664-042X, E-ISSN 1664-042X, Vol. 9, no AUG, article id 1171Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Intrinsic factors related to muscle metabolism may explain the differences in mechanical efficiency (ME) during exercise. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the relationship between muscle metabolism and ME. Totally 17 healthy recreationally active male subjects were recruited and divided into efficient (EF; n=8) and inefficient (IE; n=9) groups, which were matched for age (mean±SD 24±2 vs. 23±2 yrs), BMI (23±1 vs. 23±2 kg m-2), physical acitivity levels (3.4±1.0 vs. 4.1±1.0 sessions/week), and V ̇O2peak (53±3 vs. 52±3 mL kg-1 min-1), respectively, but differed for ME at 45% of VO2peak intensity during submaximal bicycle ergometer test (EF 20.5±3.5 vs. IE 15.4±0.8 %, P < 0.001). Using Positron Emission Tomography, muscle blood flow (BF) and uptakes of oxygen (mVO2), fatty acids (FAU) and glucose (GU) were measured during dynamic submaximal knee-extension exercise. Workload-normalized BF (EF 35±14 vs. IE 34±11 mL 100g-1 min-1, P = 0.896), mVO2 (EF 4.1±1.2 vs. IE 3.9±1.2 mL 100g-1 min-1, P = 0.808), and GU (EF 3.1±1.8 vs. IE 2.6±2.3 μmol 100g-1 min-1, P = 0.641) as well as the delivery of oxygen, glucose, and fatty acids, as well as respiratory quotient were not different between the groups. However, FAU was significantly higher in EF than IE (3.1±1.7 vs. 1.7±0.6 μmol 100g-1 min-1, P < 0.047) and it also correlated with ME (r=0.56, P < 0.024) in the entire study group. EF group also demonstrated higher use of plasma fatty acids than IE, but no differences in use of plasma glucose and intramuscular energy sources were observed between the groups. These findings suggest that the effective use of plasma fatty acids is an important determinant of mechanical efficiency during exercise.

Keywords
economy, free fatty-acid, metabolism, skeletal muscle, oxygen uptake
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-34215 (URN)10.3389/fphys.2018.01171 (DOI)000442246300001 ()30246804 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85052085806 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2018-08-08 Created: 2018-08-08 Last updated: 2018-10-01Bibliographically approved
Ihalainen, S., Laaksonen, M., Kuitunen, S., Leppävuori, A., Mikkola, J., Lindinger, S. & Linnamo, V. (2018). Technical determinants of biathlon standing shooting performance before and after race simulation. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 28(6), 1700-1707
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Technical determinants of biathlon standing shooting performance before and after race simulation
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2018 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, ISSN 0905-7188, E-ISSN 1600-0838, Vol. 28, no 6, p. 1700-1707Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to identify performance determining factors in biathlon standing shooting in rest and after intense exercise. Eight Finnish national and nine junior team biathletes participated in the study. Participants fired 40 resting shots (REST) and 2*5 competition simulation shots (LOAD) after 5 min of roller skiing at 95% of peak heart rate. Hit percentage, aiming point trajectory and postural balance were measured from each shot. Cleanness of triggering (ATV, movement of the aiming point 0-0.2 s before the shot) and vertical stability of hold (DevY) were the most important components affecting shooting performance both in REST (DevY, R=-0.61, p<0.01; ATV, R=-0.65, p<0.01) and in LOAD (DevY, R=-0.50, p<0.05; ATV, R=-0.77, p<0.001). Postural balance, especially in shooting direction, was related to DevY and ATV. Stability of hold in horizontal (F(1,15)=7.025, p<0.05) and vertical (F(1,15)=21.285, p<0.001) directions, aiming accuracy (F(1,15)=9.060, p<0.01), and cleanness of triggering (F(1,15)=59.584, p<0.001) decreased from REST to LOAD, accompanied by a decrease in postural balance. National and junior team biathletes differed only in hit percentage in REST (92±8 % vs. 81±8 %, p<0.05) and left leg postural balance in shooting direction in LOAD (0.31±0.18 mm vs. 0.52±0.20 mm, p<0.05), and the intense exercise affected the shooting technical components similarly in both national and junior groups. Biathletes should focus on cleanness of triggering and vertical stability of hold in order to improve biathlon standing shooting performance. More stable postural balance in shooting direction could help to improve these shooting technical components.

Keywords
performance, biomechanics, technique, optoelectronic measures, postural balance
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-33148 (URN)10.1111/sms.13072 (DOI)000433594000008 ()29446507 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85047976533 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2018-03-05 Created: 2018-03-05 Last updated: 2018-09-27Bibliographically approved
Laaksonen, M., Finkenzeller, T., Holmberg, H.-C. & Sattlecker, G. (2018). The influence of physiobiomechanical parameters, technical aspects of shooting, and psychophysiological factors on biathlon performance: A review. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 7(4), 394-404
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The influence of physiobiomechanical parameters, technical aspects of shooting, and psychophysiological factors on biathlon performance: A review
2018 (English)In: Journal of Sport and Health Science, ISSN 2095-2546, E-ISSN 2213-2961, Vol. 7, no 4, p. 394-404Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The biathlon, an Olympic sporting discipline that combines cross-country skiing with rifle marksmanship, entails considerable physiological demands, as well as fine motor control while shooting after intense exercise and under mental pressure. Although much of our knowledge about cross-country skiing is probably also applicable to the biathlon, carrying the rifle and shooting under stress make this discipline somewhat unique. The present review summarizes and examines the scientific literature related to biathlon performance, with a focus on physiological and biomechanical factors and shooting technique, as well as psychophysiological aspects of shooting performance. We conclude with suggestions for future research designed to extend our knowledge about the biathlon, which is presently quite limited.

Keywords
Cortical activity, Gaze behavior, Postural balance, Skiing, Triggering
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-34061 (URN)10.1016/j.jshs.2018.09.003 (DOI)000449479900003 ()30450247 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85054729968 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2018-07-02 Created: 2018-07-02 Last updated: 2018-12-06Bibliographically approved
Laaksonen, M., Jonsson, M. & Holmberg, H.-C. (2018). The Olympic biathlon – Recent advances and perspectives after Pyeongchang. Frontiers in Physiology, 9(JUL), Article ID 796.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Olympic biathlon – Recent advances and perspectives after Pyeongchang
2018 (English)In: Frontiers in Physiology, ISSN 1664-042X, E-ISSN 1664-042X, Vol. 9, no JUL, article id 796Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The biathlon, combining cross-country ski skating with rifle marksmanship, has been an Olympic event since the Winter Games in Squaw Valley, United States, in 1960. As a consequence of replacing the classical with the skating technique in the 1980s, as well as considerable improvements in equipment and preparation of ski tracks and more effective training, the average biathlon skiing speed has increased substantially. Moreover, the mass-start, pursuit, and sprint races have been introduced. Indeed, two of the four current individual Olympic biathlon competitions involve mass-starts, where tactics play a major role and the outcome is often decided during the last round of shooting or final sprint. Biathlon is a demanding endurance sport requiring extensive aerobic capacity. The wide range of speeds and slopes involved requires biathletes to alternate continuously between and adapt different skating sub-techniques duringraces, a technical complexity that places a premium on efficiency. Although the relative amounts of endurance training at different levels of intensity have remained essentially constant during recent decades, today’s biathletes perform more specific endurance training on roller skis on terrain similar to that used for competition, with more focus on the upper-body, systematic strength and power training and skiing at higher speeds. Success in the biathlon also requires accurate and rapid shooting while simultaneously recovering from high-intensity skiing. Many different factors, including body sway, triggering behavior, and even psychology, influence the shooting performance. Thus, the complexity of biathlon deserves a greater research focus on areas such as race tactics, skating techniques, or shooting process.

Keywords
performance, physiology, shooting, skiing, training
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-34056 (URN)10.3389/fphys.2018.00796 (DOI)000437003100001 ()30013486 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85049854938 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2018-07-02 Created: 2018-07-02 Last updated: 2018-09-28Bibliographically approved
Fasel, B., Laaksonen, M. & Supej, M. (2018). Trajectory matching by low-cost GNSS allows continuous time comparisons during cross country skiing. In: : . Paper presented at Spinfortec Munich 2018, Symposium der dvs-Sektion Sportinformatik und Sporttechnologie, Munich, Germany, September 6-7, 2018.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Trajectory matching by low-cost GNSS allows continuous time comparisons during cross country skiing
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In most endurance sports, including cross-country (XC) skiing, the fastest athlete wins the race. Successful performance requires an optimal pacing strategy i.e., effective distribution of work and energy throughout a race (Abbiss & Laursen, 2008). For any given lap of a race, no more than a few split times are usually available, due to the complex logistics of setting up a timing system. However, optimal tracking of pacing (speed) during a race requires determination of more split times at regular and shorter intervals. For example, a high-end Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) can be used to easily obtain a high number of split times based on a comparison of positions (Andersson et al., 2010; Supej & Holmberg, 2011). Accordingly, the aim here was to determine whether comparison of position at onemeter intervals using a standard GNSS gives reliable split times during XC skiing.

National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-35252 (URN)
Conference
Spinfortec Munich 2018, Symposium der dvs-Sektion Sportinformatik und Sporttechnologie, Munich, Germany, September 6-7, 2018
Available from: 2018-12-17 Created: 2018-12-17 Last updated: 2019-01-16Bibliographically approved
Laaksonen, M., Andersson, E., Jonsson, M. & McGawley, K. (2017). Laboratory-based factors predicting performance in biathlon skiing. In: : . Paper presented at 22nd Annual Congress of the European College of Sports Science, July 5-8, 2017, Essen, Germany. European College of Sports Science
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Laboratory-based factors predicting performance in biathlon skiing
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
European College of Sports Science: , 2017
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-31634 (URN)
Conference
22nd Annual Congress of the European College of Sports Science, July 5-8, 2017, Essen, Germany
Available from: 2017-09-18 Created: 2017-09-18 Last updated: 2017-09-21Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-5574-8679

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