Comparisons of Macro-Kinematic Strategies During the Rounds of a Cross-Country Skiing Sprint Competition in Classic Technique

Finn Marsland, Judith Mary Anson, Gordon Waddington, Hans-Christer Holmberg, Dale Wilson Chapman

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    This study was designed to examine macro-kinematic parameters of six female cross-country skiers during the qualifying, semi-final and final rounds of a 1.1 km sprint competition in classical technique. During each round these skiers were monitored continuously with a single micro-sensor, and their cycle parameters and relative use of these two sub-techniques calculated. Within each round six sections of the course, during which all skiers employed either double pole (DP) or diagonal stride (DS) sub-technique, were chosen for additional analysis. The mean macro-kinematic cycle parameters and relative usage of sub-techniques over the full course did not differ significantly between rounds. On average 54% of the course was covered employing DP and 13% using DS, while 32% was covered utilizing a non-cyclical or irregular technique. With DP, the mean racing speed and cycle rate (CR) on the starting, middle and finishing sections of the course differed significantly, with no differences in mean cycle length (CL) between the last two sections. At the finish, higher DP speed was achieved by increasing CR. On the three hills, where all athletes utilized DS, mean racing speed and CL, but not mean CR, differed significantly. On these sections DS speed was increased by utilizing longer cycles. The individual skiers utilized a variety of macro-kinematic strategies during different rounds and on different sections of the course, depending on individual strengths, preferences and pacing strategies, as well as the course topography and tactical interactions with other skiers. Such collection of macro-kinematic data during competitions can help to identify an individual skier's strengths and weaknesses, guiding the testing of different cycle rates, and lengths on different terrains during training in order to optimize performance.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-9
    Number of pages9
    JournalFrontiers in Sports and Active Living
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2021


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