JOURNAL ARTICLE

The Effects of Cold Environments on Double-Poling Performance and Economy in Male Cross-Country Skiers Wearing a Standard Racing Suit

Øystein N Wiggen, Cecilie T Heidelberg, Silje H Waagaard, Hilde F X E Revik, Øyvind Sandbakk
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance 2016, 11 (6): 776-782
26658616

PURPOSE: To investigate differences in double-poling (DP) endurance performance, economy, and peak oxygen uptake (V̇O2peak) at low (-15°C) and moderate (6°C) ambient temperatures (TA) in cross-country skiers wearing standard racing suits.

METHODS: Thirteen well-trained male cross-country skiers performed a standardized warm-up followed by a 5-min submaximal test (Sub1), a 20-min self-paced performance test, a 2nd 5-min submaximal test (Sub2), and an incremental test to exhaustion while DP on an ergometer at either low or moderate TA, randomized on 2 different days. Skin and rectal temperatures, as well as power output and respiratory variables, were measured continuously during all tests.

RESULTS: Skin and rectal temperatures were more reduced at low TA than moderate TA (both P < .05). There was a 5% (P < .05) lower average power output during the 20-min performance test at low TA than at moderate TA, which primarily occurred in the first 8 min of the test (P < .05). Although DP economy decreased from Sub1 to Sub2 for both TAs (both P < .01), a 3.7% (P < .01) larger decrease in DP economy from Sub1 to Sub2 emerged for the low TA. Across the sample, V̇O2peak was independent of TA.

CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate a lower body temperature and reduced performance for cross-country skiers when DP at low than at moderate TA while wearing standard cross-country-skiing racing suits. Lower DP performance at the low TA was mainly due to lower power production during the first part of the test and coincided with reduced DP economy.

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