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The influence of sex, age, and race experience on pacing profiles during the 90 km Vasaloppet ski race

Authors Carlsson M, Assarsson H, Carlsson T

Received 7 December 2015

Accepted for publication 12 January 2016

Published 18 February 2016 Volume 2016:7 Pages 11—19


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Andreas Imhoff

Magnus Carlsson,1,2 Hannes Assarsson,1 Tomas Carlsson1,2

1School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Dalarna University, 2Dala Sports Academy, Falun, Sweden

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate pacing-profile differences during the 90 km Vasaloppet ski race related to the categories of sex, age, and race experience. Skiing times from eight sections (S1 to S8) were analyzed. For each of the three categories, 400 pairs of skiers were matched to have a finish time within 60 seconds, the same start group, and an assignment to the same group for the other two categories. Paired-samples Student’s t-tests were used to investigate sectional pacing-profile differences between the subgroups. Results showed that males skied faster in S2 (P=0.0042), S3 (P=0.0049), S4 (P=0.010), and S1–S4 (P<0.001), whereas females skied faster in S6 (P<0.001), S7 (P<0.001), S8 (P=0.0088), and S5–S8 (P<0.001). For the age category, old subjects (40 to 59 years) skied faster than young subjects (19 to 39 years) in S3 (P=0.0029), and for the other sections, there were no differences. Experienced subjects (≥4 Vasaloppet ski race completions) skied faster in S1 (P<0.001) and S1–S4 (P=0.0054); inexperienced skiers (<4 Vasaloppet ski race completions) had a shorter mean skiing time in S5–S8 (P=0.0063). In conclusion, females had a more even pacing profile than that of males with the same finish time, start group, age, and race experience. No clear age-related pacing-profile difference was identified for the matched subgroups. Moreover, experienced skiers skied faster in the first half whereas inexperienced skiers had higher skiing speeds during the second half of the race.

Keywords: pacing strategy, cross-country skiing, endurance performance, sex difference

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