The aim of this study was to assess potential changes in the performance and cardiorespiratory responses of elite cross-country skiers following transition from the classic (CL) to the skating (SK) technique during a simulated skiathlon. Eight elite male skiers performed two 6 km (2 × 3 km) roller-skiing time trials on a treadmill at racing speed: one starting with the classic and switching to the skating technique (CL1-SK2) and another employing the skating technique throughout (SK1-SK2), with continuous monitoring of gas exchanges, heart rates, and kinematics (video). The overall performance times in the CL1-SK2 (21:12 ± 1:24) and SK1-SK2 (20:48 ± 2:00) trials were similar, and during the second section of each performance times and overall cardiopulmonary responses were also comparable. However, in comparison with SK1-SK2, the CL1-SK2 trial involved significantly higher increases in minute ventilation (VE, 89.8 ± 26.8 vs. 106.8 ± 17.6 L·min-1) and oxygen uptake (VO2; 3.1 ± 0.8 vs 3.5 ±0.5 L·min-1) 2 min after the transition as well as longer time constants for VE, VO2, and heart rate during the first 3 min after the transition. This higher cardiopulmonary exertion was associated with ~3% faster cycle rates. In conclusion, overall performance during the 2 time trials did not differ. The similar performance times during the second sections were achieved with comparable mean cardiopulmonary responses. However, the observation that during the initial 3-min post-transition following classic skiing cardiopulmonary responses and cycle rates were slightly higher supports the conclusion that an initial section of classic skiing exerts an impact on performance during a subsequent section of skate skiing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Physiology (medical)