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Endurance training for cross-country skiers

Endurance training for cross-country skiers

Skiers should also incorporate plyometric, explosive jumping exercises into their strength routine cross--country the pre-competition phase. Sports 16, 49— Simplified, these athletes can enter the final stages of the race with lower lactate values than their opponents. Example: Endurance sessions strictly at level 1. Endurance training for cross-country skiers

Endurance training for cross-country skiers -

Developing the ability to use fat as the main source of energy longer is a deciding factor for success in long races such as marathons and cycling stage races. A well-developed fat burning ability also aids in restitution.

Generally, the farther into a race athletes can rely on fat for energy, the lower the wear on the athletes. In other words, just another reason to train high volumes. I have never experienced that high volumes negatively affect athletes' speed performance.

And I have yet to see high volumes produce overtrained athletes. I have, however, seen athletes who train fewer hours become overtrained.

These "undertrained" athletes tend to favor quality and high intensity on an insufficient base. That is not a short cut. Athletes with solid bases resulting from large training volumes and anaerobic threshold percentages that follow from such training, tend to last longer into the race before going anaerobic.

Simplified, these athletes can enter the final stages of the race with lower lactate values than their opponents. Naturally fast racers who enter the final stages with high lactate values are more vulnerable regardless of pace.

Due to an insanely high anaerbic threshold, Ingrid Kristiansen was able to beat sprint-guns such as Maricia Puica during the final laps of fast-paced meter races.

That time, Peter Snell from New Zealand won the sprint in the meter final, even though he had the slowest personal best in the meter among the meter finalists. Even so, Snell was so well-trained that he sustained the speed of the first meters after which he was able to enter the sprint phase with lower lactate values than his opponents.

I am surprised that so few Norwegians - maybe particularly among the 1,meter runners - who have grasped this relationship. I believe this relationship is the reason for Lars Martin Kaupang's year-old 15,meter Norwegian best is still standing.

Kaupang trained much like 5, and 10,meter runners, and also had a meter personal best of British athletes Steve Ovett and Steve Cram are other perfect examples supporting my "Peter Snell theory.

The following factors are critical when composing a training regimen. In my experience, analyzing the athlete's abilities and potential related to training and racing is helpful whe determining areas of improvement. The following lists factors I find useful to rate. Analyzing the athlete in this way maps out where training time is best spent, how to help the athlete find answers and how to build a rational organization around the athlete.

This chart is a critical tool in constructing an individualized, targeted training program. Easy distance run about 1 hour 30 minutes total. Stop to do for example 6x10 second - moosehuf without poles , sprint relay where each skier runs at least 3 or 4 times meters , various bounding exercises say, 3x15 skate bounds, one-legged jumps, two-legged jumps and so on.

Skate Roll Distance with Speed Bursts Distance with lots of technique work and instruction. Add a small section with speed bursts 5x10 second sprint or sprint relays.

Total workout: about 2 hours. Distance run Easy distance run in active terrain, orienteering also possible. Total workout: 1 hour 30 minutes. Easy Foot Overdistance Keep it low key!!!! Skiwalk the hills, use plenty of wetlands, varied terrain.

Total workout: 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours. Classic Roll Distance with Speed Bursts Distance with lots of technique work and instruction. Thereafter, three HIT sessions were performed during the final 7 days, which include competitions at day 6—4 before the championship's start.

However, since this analysis is based on the training conducted prior to the first competition in each championship, it is not certain that this was the day with the best performance although gold medals were won already at the first competition. Our study supports previous findings highlighting the importance of a high training volume, using a polarized training pattern with a large amount of LIT to reach world-class level in XC skiing.

This study provides unique data on the world's most successful XC skier's long-term training process, including novel information about the physiological development and the distribution of and interplay between sessions of different training forms, intensities, and exercise modes throughout the annual season.

By using a single-case approach, where quantitative data were supported by qualitative interviews, we were able to present the sophisticated training of a world-class athlete from a macro- to a micro-level, allowing the generation of new hypotheses that can be tested in future research with larger samples.

GS, ET, and ØS designed the study; GS performed data collection; GS, ET, and ØS performed data and statistical- analysis; GS, ET, and ØS contributed to interpretation of the results; GS and ØS wrote the draft manuscript; GS, ET, and ØS contributed to the final manuscript.

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. The authors sincerely thank Marit Bjørgen, her manager Guri Hetland and her coaches Svein Tore Samdal, Egil Kristiansen, and Idar Terje Belsvik for their valuable cooperation and participation in this study.

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PLoS ONE 9:e Keywords: altitude training, endurance training, high-intensity training, performance, periodization, speed training, strength training, tapering. Citation: Solli GS, Tønnessen E and Sandbakk Ø The Training Characteristics of the World's Most Successful Female Cross-Country Skier.

Received: 29 September ; Accepted: 05 December ; Published: 18 December Copyright © Solli, Tønnessen and Sandbakk.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY. The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author s or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice.

No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms. sandbakk ntnu. Disclaimer: All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers.

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This training included many long-distance sessions, typically performed as a daily 3- to 5-h session. The week-to-week periodization of endurance training load was relatively evenly distributed in GP and SP, while all the skiers maintained a high training volume during training weeks in the CP but halved their volume and reduced the amount of DP during weeks with competitions.

The average annual training volume of ± 90 h performed by the skiers in this study is in line with the — h previously observed in Olympic distance XC skiers Sandbakk and Holmberg, , As previously reported for all successful XC skiers Sandbakk and Holmberg, , the most training was LIT, which is considered to provide an important foundation for long-term endurance adaptations, by increasing tolerance for high volumes of training without being injured or overloaded, as well as complementing training at higher intensities Laursen, ; Sandbakk and Holmberg, However, the pyramidal distribution is related to more MIT than previously reported in Olympic XC skiers, who normally show a more polarized intensity distribution Sandbakk and Holmberg, , , probably due to differences in competition demands.

Large endurance training volumes, with the majority performed as LIT, are common among endurance and ultra-endurance athletes across sports Knechtle and Nikolaidis, While studies from a range of endurance sports show either polarized or pyramidal intensity distributions Stöggl and Sperlich, , the intensity distribution of long-distance or ultra-endurance is currently lacking in the literature.

Most long-distance races are performed with DP in relatively even terrain, which is similar to the demands of longer-duration MIT sessions performed with DP common among long-distance XC skiers. This is supported by the latest research Stöggl et al. The training routines of long-distance specialists consist of relatively high training volumes i.

The skiers studied here performed MIT sessions about once or twice per week during GP and SP, but mainly in competition-free weeks in CP, as recovery of the arms and upper body was prioritized before competitions.

Specifically, these MIT sessions were performed using DP, either with long intervals 8—15 min with short breaks 1—2 min or as continuous to min sessions. Such sessions aim to delay the duration-related fatigue of long-distance races, which leads to reduced coordination, and this directly or indirectly affects the ability to maintain muscle power throughout the competition Zoppirolli et al.

During CP, most of the reported HIT time came from competitions. However, many HIT sessions performed by the long-distance skiers during GP and SP were designed to simulate the competitive demands of certain important races.

This concept is similar to Olympic XC skiing, where the specialized HIT sessions target the demands of either sprint or distance skiing disciplines Sandbakk and Holmberg, An example highlighted in this study was a skier who focused mainly on Vasaloppet reported that he started many sessions with 1 h of MIT, followed by 2 h of LIT, before finishing with 30—40 min of HIT.

Other skiers describe similar approaches prior to winning the Marcialonga where they finished the LIT training sessions with a min HIT using DP on steep uphill terrain, simulating the 3-km final uphill finish in this particular race.

In addition, regular HIT sessions were performed to increase participants' general aerobic capacity, such as short intervals from 45 s to 5 min with s to 3-min recovery periods. Many of these sessions were in a non-specific training mode, such as diagonal stride, running, or running with poles to recover the arms while stimulating their V O 2max.

The previous focus on Olympic XC skiing may have led to the development of a high maximal aerobic capacity Holmberg, that can be maintained with smaller amounts of HIT when specializing in long-distance XC skiing, and greater focus on long-duration LIT and MIT sessions.

After reduced training load in May and beginning of June, a gradual progression of both training volume and intensity from June to September was present in these long-distance skiers. The week-to-week periodization of this training load, including the distribution of LIT, MIT, and HIT, was relatively evenly distributed in GP and SP, with an overall reduction of training volume during CP.

Although a few skiers included a few blocks of strength training or focus on the DP mode, block periodization was not greatly used and not systematically as previously described for some seasons of the most successful female skier in history Solli et al.

In CP, all skiers had a pronounced periodization pattern, where high-volume training weeks were followed by competition weeks with half of the usual training load and less strain on the upper body to ensure muscular fitness for the competitions.

Accordingly, these long-distance skiers used a traditional periodization model, which emphasizes a mixed focus on training forms and intensities during all periods across the annual season, but with a progressive reduction in training volume substituted by higher training intensity and more specific training toward the CP Matwejew, ; Tønnessen et al.

Although several successful endurance athletes have organized their training according to this Tønnessen et al. As an alternative, it has been suggested that a more effective way of organizing endurance training is to include defined blocks of increased focus on specific intensities, such as block periodization of HIT Issurin, This means that ~— h per year were performed using DP, which is probably more than double the volume performed by Olympic XC skiers.

The high amount of DP in long-distance skiers may benefit their DP endurance capacity and technique in a wide range of different terrains and speeds. Consequently, Sagelv et al. In addition, previous research has shown that O 2 extraction in the upper body of XC skiers approaches that of the legs Calbet et al.

However, the high volume of upper-body training using the DP mode in long-distance XC skiers may allow them to extract more O 2 from the upper body than shown in previous research on Olympic XC skiers. Many of these DP sessions were relatively long 3—5 h LIT sessions, and up to 8 h were reported by some skiers.

In addition to being specific for the demands of long-distance XC skiing, these extended LIT sessions may provide a positive supplement to their previous training as Olympic XC skiers.

Similar approaches have been used for decades by cyclists Faria et al. Giving priority to extended sessions requires longer recovery and often only one session each day.

Consequently, fewer sessions are performed by long-distance XC specialists than by Olympic XC skiers, who normally have shorter sessions twice per day.

The long-distance skiers who reported training two sessions per day used a shorter second session as active recovery, often in a non-specific training mode. Generally, the skiers placed strength training sessions in their schedule based on the goal of the session, e.

Other sessions were aimed at developing movement-specific power and therefore took place directly after warm-up. As for types of strength exercises, the athletes agreed that upper-body and core exercises aimed at developing power in the DP movement were most important, with chins as an example of an exercise used by all athletes.

Sessions mainly focused on speed training were not prioritized by long-distance specialists, but all participants reported having regularly included 5—10 short sprints in their LIT sessions.

Such sessions target their ability to accelerate and maintain high speed during attacks or when they were in position to fight for victory at the end of a race.

Therefore, these sessions are often performed at the end of LIT sessions. Their training data and self-reported sprint ability might suggest that long-distance skiers' training routines have an unused potential to further develop their speed systematically.

The strength of this study is the high number of top-level long-distance XC skiers providing novel data on training associated with success in this sport.

However, the study also has some limitations: 1 recall bias is a limitation of retrospective questionnaires; 2 we were unfortunately not able to recruit any female participants and thus to investigate potential sex differences and generalize the findings to the female population; and 3 as the authors used their own network in the recruitment process, potential selection bias such as including only Norwegian and Swedish skiers may have affected the findings.

The training of world-class long-distance XC skiers consists of high volumes i. More specifically, long-distance skiers perform relatively long but few sessions i. In addition, competition-specific sessions, such as long-duration LIT-to-MIT finalized with HIT or sprint training, are specific features of the training of long-distance XC skiers.

Accordingly, the training routines seem to match the specific demands of long-distance XC skiing, with competitions commonly performed as long-duration DP. The week-to-week periodization included relatively evenly distributed training loads in GP and SP.

However, all skiers had a pronounced periodization pattern during CP, where high-volume training weeks were followed by competition weeks with half of the training load and less strain on the upper body to ensure muscular fitness for the competitions.

The raw data supporting the conclusions of this article will be made available by the authors, without undue reservation. The studies involving human participants were reviewed and approved by The Regional Committee for Medical and Health Research Ethics waives the requirement for ethical approval for studies of this type.

Therefore, the ethics of the study were according to the institutional requirements, while approval for data security and handling was obtained from the Norwegian Center for Research Data.

P-ØT and ØS planed and designed the study. P-ØT and GS performed the data collection. P-ØT, GS, and ØS analyzed and presented the data, authored and finalized the manuscript for publication, and have approved the final manuscript. All authors contributed to the article and approved the submitted version.

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

We would like to thank the skiers for their participation, enthusiasm and cooperation in this study. CP, Competition period; GP, General preparation period; HIT, High-intensity training; MIT, Moderate-intensity training; LIT, Low-intensity training; SP, Specific preparation period; VSC, Visma Ski Classics; XC, Cross country.

Calbet, J. Why do arms extract less oxygen than legs during exercise? PubMed Abstract Google Scholar. Cohen, J. Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioural Sciences. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Google Scholar. Faria, E. The science of cycling.

Sports Med. doi: CrossRef Full Text Google Scholar. Holmberg, H. The elite cross-country skier provides unique insights into human exercise physiology. Sports PubMed Abstract CrossRef Full Text Google Scholar.

Foe of Refreshing hydration drinks intensity tfaining training is the foundation for any endurance athlete. The principles guide training methods are the same Skiere all endurance sports. And it doesn't matter if Endurance training for cross-country skiers is XC skiing, running, cycling, rowing, or triathlon etc. The difference is only in technique and strength training. From all endurance sports, cross country skiing and swimming are the most technical. Cross country skiers also need good lower and upper body strength as well as good balance for leg stability. The foundation is simply low intensity endurance training built through various daily activities. By Pro CTS Coach Fo Nordgren. Later summer and cross-counntry fall are the times that many endurance athletes start cross-contry about cross-country traaining as a winter alternative crlss-country their current summer sports. If appetite regulation and metabolism do have plans to incorporate Nordic Endurance training for cross-country skiers into your Encurance this winter sliers want Endurance training for cross-country skiers tackle Endurancr xc-ski races or events in the coming months, then read on for some of my tips for preparing for a great transition to snow. With the exception of swimming, there is no other endurance sport where performance is so heavily reliant on technical proficiency. Just like any endurance sport, the best predictor of xc-ski success is good fitness. I was a high school ski coach in Minnesota when future Olympic gold medalist Jessie Diggins was racing as a 7th grader. She was skiing with and in many cases beating 11th and 12th-grade competition with technique that made you cringe at the inefficiency.

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