Using micro-sensor data to quantify macro kinematics of classical cross-country skiing during on-snow training

Colin MacKintosh, Judith Anson, Keith Lyons, Gordon WADDINGTON, Dale Chapman

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    Micro-sensors were used to quantify macro kinematics of classical cross-country skiing techniques and measure cycle rates and cycle lengths during on-snow training. Data were collected from seven national level participants skiing at two submaximal intensities while wearing a micro-sensor unit (MinimaxX™). Algorithms were developed identifying double poling (DP), diagonal striding (DS), kick-double poling (KDP), tucking (Tuck), and turning (Turn). Technique duration (T-time), cycle rates, and cycle counts were compared to video-derived data to assess system accuracy. There was good reliability between micro-sensor and video calculated cycle rates for DP, DS, and KDP, with small mean differences (Mdiff% = -0.2 ± 3.2, -1.5 ± 2.2 and -1.4 ± 6.2) and trivial to small effect sizes (ES = 0.20, 0.30 and 0.13). Very strong correlations were observed for DP, DS, and KDP for T-time (r = 0.87–0.99) and cycle count (r = 0.87–0.99), while mean values were under-reported by the micro-sensor. Incorrect Turn detection was a major factor in technique cycle misclassification. Data presented highlight the potential of automated ski technique classification in cross-country skiing research. With further refinement, this approach will allow many applied questions associated with pacing, fatigue, technique selection and power output during training and competition to be answered.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)435-447
    Number of pages13
    JournalSports Biomechanics
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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