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The energy cost of level cross-country skiing and the effect of the friction of the ski.

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Istituto Tecnologie Biomediche Avanzate, C.N.R., Milano, Italy.


Oxygen consumption [(VO2) in], blood lactate concentration ([La] in mM) and dynamic friction of the skis on snow [(F) in N] were measured in six athletes skiing on a level track at different speeds [(v) in m.min-1] and using different methods of propulsion. The VO2 increased with v and F, the latter depending mostly on snow temperature, as did [La]. The VO2 was very much affected by the skiing technique. Multiple regression equations gave the following results: with diagonal stride (DS), VO2 = -23.09 + 0.189 v + 0.62 N; with double pole (DP), VO2 = -30.95 + 0.192 v + 0.51 N; and with the new skating technique (S), VO2 = -32.63 + 0.171 + 0.68 N. In terms of VO2 DS is the most expensive technique, while S is the least expensive; however, as F increases, S, at the highest speed, tends to cost as much as DP. At speeds from 18 to 22 km.h-1, the speeds measured in the competitions, the F for DS and DP can represent from 10% to 50% of the energy expenditure, with F ranging from 10 to 60 N; with S this range increases to 20%-70%. This seems to depend on the interface between the skis and the snow and on the different ways the poles are used.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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