Top level xc ski physiology | Uphill Athlete

Top level xc ski physiology

  • Creator
  • #63117

    I am not a xc skier. However, it has caught my attention that many of the top men’s skiers have had enormous success in both the sprints (~3 min effort) and the 50 km race (~2 hr effort). This strikes me as dramatic; certainly the same thing could not happen in running.

    Questions: How is this physiologically possible? Is there something unique to the mechanics or metabolism of skiing? Are there sufficiently few skiers in the world that a few top dogs can win at each end of the distance scale?

  • Participant
    brianbauer on #63145

    I am a big fan of nordic racing and watch it whenever I can. in your example, its not limited to men( like Klaebo) its also true with women( like Diggins). in the olympics this week, Klaebo came apart in the 30k( 40th place) but won the sprint. Diggins was 6th in the 15k and 3rd in the sprint. Diggins is not the strongest classic skier which is likely more of a technique issue not a physiological issue. if the 15k was pure skating, Diggins prob could have challenged Johaug( who btw does not normally sprint).

    one of the things that is a little misleading about short sprints, is that racers will generally have to race 4 times within a handful of hours. Qualify, Quarters, Semis, Finals. the efforts stack up and begin to favor those with some endurance. same is true in the team sprints which is more like a 5k for the women, rather than a 1.5k “sprint”.
    in track running, it would be like a 1500 or 800 meter runner having to race 4 times in a night. at a certain point it would begin to favor a runner with more endurance.

    the most elite nordic racers generally have the highest Vo2max numbers of any sport.

    to me, what is going to be fascinating will be where the Olympic Skimo winners come from…sky runners? nordic racers? etc

    Brandon Phillips on #63388

    Brian makes a good point about the amount of racing done in relatively quick succession for a sprint race. It’s probably also worth noting that it has significantly less impact on your body than running the same distance – greatly reducing the recovery time.

Viewing 2 replies - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
  • The forum ‘General Training Discussion’ is closed to new topics and replies.