Full course macro-kinematic analysis of a 10 km classical cross-country skiing competition

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Abstract

In this study micro-sensors were employed to analyse macro-kinematic parameters during a classical cross-country skiing competition (10 km, 2-lap). Data were collected from eight male participants during the Australian championship competition wearing a single micro-sensor unit (MinimaxX™, S4) positioned on their upper back. Algorithms and visual classification were used to identify skiing sub-techniques and calculate velocities, cycle lengths (CL) and cycle rates (CR) over the entire course. Double poling (DP) was the predominant cyclical sub-technique utilised (43 ± 5% of total distance), followed by diagonal stride (DS, 16 ± 4%) and kick double poling (KDP, 5 ± 4%), with the non-propulsive Tuck technique accounting for 24 ± 4% of the course. Large within-athlete variances in CL and CR occurred, particularly for DS (CV% = 25 ± 2% and CV% = 15 ± 2%, respectively). For all sub-techniques the mean CR on both laps and for the slower and faster skiers were similar, while there was a trend for the mean velocities in all sub-techniques by the faster athletes to be higher. Overall velocity and mean DP-CL were significantly higher on Lap 1, with no significant change in KDP-CL or DS-CL between laps. Distinct individual velocity thresholds for transitions between sub-techniques were observed. Clearly, valuable insights into crosscountry skiing performance can be gained through continuous macro-kinematic monitoring during competition.

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Marsland, F., Mackintosh, C., Holmberg, H. C., Anson, J., Waddington, G., Lyons, K., & Chapman, D. (2017). Full course macro-kinematic analysis of a 10 km classical cross-country skiing competition. PLoS ONE, 12(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0182262

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