Development of aerobic power in relation to age and training in cross-country skiers

H K Rusko
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 1992, 24 (9): 1040-7
In most of the training studies on different populations the effects of training have been investigated up to a frequency of five to six times per week and a duration of 45 min per session. These correspond to the training regimens of 15-yr-old cross-country skiers and, consequently, the results cannot be applied to older athletes. The maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) of cross-country skiers increases with age and training from about 55-60 to 75-80 between 15 and 25 yr of age. After 20 yr of age VO2max starts to level off, but elite skiers are able to increase VO2max further concomitantly with an increase in the volume of training and the volume of intensive training. The activity of oxidative enzymes in muscles of skiers is increased with training, but distance runners have had a higher oxidative capacity in their leg muscles. Although widely used by cross-country skiers, the training effects of roller skiing, skiwalking-skistriding, and long-distance training on skis are to a large extent unknown. However, intensive training at the intensity of "anaerobic threshold" or higher seems to be most effective in inducing improvements in maximal oxygen uptake; distance training at relatively low intensity seems to be most effective in producing improvements in the determinants of submaximal endurance.

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