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Aerobic power and lean mass are indicators of competitive sprint performance among elite female cross-country skiers

Authors Carlsson T, Tonkonogi M, Carlsson M

Received 7 July 2016

Accepted for publication 12 October 2016

Published 8 November 2016 Volume 2016:7 Pages 153—160


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Andreas Imhoff

Tomas Carlsson, Michail Tonkonogi, Magnus Carlsson

School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Dalarna University, Falun, Sweden

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to establish the optimal allometric models to predict International Ski Federation’s ski-ranking points for sprint competitions (FISsprint) among elite female cross-country skiers based on maximal oxygen uptake (V̇O2max) and lean mass (LM). Ten elite female cross-country skiers (age: 24.5±2.8 years [mean ± SD]) completed a treadmill roller-skiing test to determine V̇O2max (ie, aerobic power) using the diagonal stride technique, whereas LM (ie, a surrogate indicator of anaerobic capacity) was determined by dual-emission X-ray anthropometry. The subjects’ FISsprint were used as competitive performance measures. Power function modeling was used to predict the skiers’ FISsprint based on V̇O2max, LM, and body mass. The subjects’ test and performance data were as follows: V̇O2max, 4.0±0.3 L min-1; LM, 48.9±4.4 kg; body mass, 64.0±5.2 kg; and FISsprint, 116.4±59.6 points. The following power function models were established for the prediction of FISsprint: 3.91×105 VO -6.00 2max and 6.95×1010 ∙ LM-5.25; these models explained 66% (P=0.0043) and 52% (P=0.019), respectively, of the variance in the FISsprint. Body mass failed to contribute to both models; hence, the models are based on V̇O2max and LM expressed absolutely. The results demonstrate that the physiological variables that reflect aerobic power and anaerobic capacity are important indicators of competitive sprint performance among elite female skiers. To accurately indicate performance capability among elite female skiers, the presented power function models should be used. Skiers whose V̇O2max differs by 1% will differ in their FISsprint by 5.8%, whereas the corresponding 1% difference in LM is related to an FISsprint difference of 5.1%, where both differences are in favor of the skier with higher V̇O2max or LM. It is recommended that coaches use the absolute expression of these variables to monitor skiers’ performance-related training adaptations linked to changes in aerobic power and anaerobic capacity.

Keywords: V̇O2max, anaerobic capacity, cross-country skiing, allometric scaling

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