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A Reappraisal of Success Factors for Olympic Cross-Country Skiing.
Norwegian University of Science and Technology. (Swedish Winter Sports Research Centre)
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences. (Swedish Winter Sports Research Centre)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3814-6246
2014 (English)In: International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, ISSN 1555-0265, E-ISSN 1555-0273, Vol. 9, no 1, p. 117-121Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Cross-country skiing has been an Olympic event since the first Winter Games in Chamonix in 1924. Due to more effective training and tremendous improvements in equipment and track preparation, the speed of Olympic cross-country ski races has increased more than that of any other Olympic endurance sport. Moreover, pursuit, mass-start and sprint races have been introduced. Indeed, ten of the twelve current Olympic competitions in cross-country skiing involve mass-starts, in which tactics play a major role and the outcome is often decided in the final sprint. Accordingly, reappraisal of the success factors for performance in this context is required. The very high aerobic capacity (VO2max) of many of today's world-class skiers is similar that of their predecessors. At the same time, the new events provide more opportunities to profit from anaerobic capacity, upper-body power, high-speed techniques and "tactical flexibility". The wide range of speeds and slopes involved in cross-country skiing require skiers to continuously alternate between and adapt different sub-techniques during a race. This technical complexity places a premium on efficiency. The relative amounts of endurance training performed at different levels of intensity have remained essentially constant during the past four decades. However, in preparation for the Sochi Olympics in 2014 cross-country skiers are performing more endurance training on roller skis on competition-specific terrain, placing greater focus on upper-body power and more systematically perform strength training and skiing at high speeds than previously.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 9, no 1, p. 117-121
Keywords [en]
Aerobic capacity, Anaerobic capacity, Efficiency, Maximal oxygen uptake, Speed, Strength, Tactics, Technique
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-20920DOI: 10.1123/IJSPP.2013-0373ISI: 000333364200017PubMedID: 24088346Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84892917306OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-20920DiVA, id: diva2:683026
Available from: 2014-01-01 Created: 2014-01-01 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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Holmberg, Hans-Christer

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