Science and Skiing

By E.Müller; H. Schwameder et al. | Go to book overview

37

THE PHYSIOLOGY OF COMPETITIVE C.C. SKIING ACROSS A FOUR DECADE PERSPECTIVE; WITH A NOTE ON TRAINING INDUCED ADAPTATIONS AND ROLE OF TRAINING AT MEDIUM ALTITUDE1)

B.SALTIN

August Krogh Institute, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

1) This article includes previously unpublished data continuously collected since the early 1970's. P.D. Gollnick was a co-investigator in the first studies together with Eva Jansson and Bertil Sjödin, and lately Bengt Stattin and his junior skiers have made decisive contributions.

Keywords: aerobic capacity, cross-country skiing, anaerobic energy yield, muscle fibre types, altitude and training.

In Northern Europe c.c. skiing has a long tradition as a mode of transportation in winter times. Skis have been found in a peat moss in Scandinavia, dated back thousands of years. Very interesting is that the very old skis closely resembles those made early this century and which most of this century's older generation used when they were taught the basic skills of c.c. skiing. In this perspective the changes which have occurred over the last half a century are dramatic. They are closely linked with c.c. skiing nowadays barely being important for transportation, but instead a competitive sport where survival at the international scene to a large extent depends upon its attraction for the media. Some of these technical developments have had a significant, positive impact on the recreational skiing, both when performed leisurely in the home terrain as well as when exploring mountain areas.

In this article some of the effects of these technical “developments” on the training and the bodily adaptation of the competitive c.c. skiers will be analyzed. Special focus will be on the last four decades, one reason being that a broad range of reasonable measurements on good c.c. skiers are available over this time span. Another is that skating was introduced as a separate discipline in c.c. skiing in this period which has markedly affected the training performed by the c.c. skiers. The harmonic interaction between arms and legs has always characterized the skilful c.c. skier, but today's skiing has put a greater demand not only on the arms, but on the whole

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