Changes in performance and poling kinetics during cross-country sprint skiing competition using the double-poling technique

Jussi Mikkola, Marko S Laaksonen, Hans-Christer Holmberg, Ari Nummela, Vesa Linnamo
Sports Biomechanics 2013, 12 (4): 355-64
In this study, changes in skiing performance and poling kinetics during a simulated cross-country sprint skiing competition were investigated. Twelve elite male cross-country skiers performed simulated sprint competition (4 x 1,150 m heat with 20 min recovery between the heats) using the double-poling technique. Vertical and horizontal pole forces and cycle characteristics were measured using a force plate system (20-m long) during the starting spurt, racing speed, and finishing spurt of each heat. Moreover, heat and 20-m phase velocities were determined. Vertical and horizontal pole impulses as well as mean cycle length were calculated. The velocities of heats decreased by 2.7 +/- 1.7% (p = 0.003) over the simulated competition. The 20-m spurting velocity decreased by 16 +/- 5% (p < 0.002) and poling time increased by 18 +/- 9% (p < 0.003) in spurt phases within heats. Vertical and horizontal poling impulses did not change significantly during the simulation; however, the mean forces decreased (p < 0.039) (vertical by 24 +/- 11% and horizontal by 20 +/- 10%) within heats but not between the heats. Decreased heat velocities over the simulated sprint and spurting velocities within heats indicated fatigue among the skiers. Fatigue was also manifested by decreased pole force production and increased poling time.

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