Association between laboratory capacities and world-cup performance in Nordic combined
by Vegard Rasdal, Ronny Fudel, Jan Kocbach, Frode Moen, Gertjan Ettema, Øyvind SandbakkBackground
Nordic combined (NC) is an Olympic winter-sport performed as a ski jumping (SJ) event followed by a cross-country (XC) pursuit race employing the skating style.Purpose
To elucidate the associations between sport-specific laboratory capacities and SJ, XC skiing, and overall NC performance in a world-cup NC event.Methods
Twelve international world-cup NC athletes from 8 nations performed laboratory testing one day prior to participating in a world-cup NC event. Squat jumps and SJ imitations (IMIT) were performed on a three-dimensional force plate, whereas XC skiing-specific physiological characteristics were obtained from roller ski skating tests on a treadmill and an all-out double poling (DP) test. Finally, body composition was measured. Laboratory capacities were correlated against performance in SJ, 10-km XC skiing, and overall NC in the world-cup event. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine the best suited laboratory variables for predicting performance.Results
Vertical IMIT velocity together with body-mass provided the best prediction for SJ performance (r2 = 0.70, p<0.01), while body-mass-normalized V˙O2peak and DP power provided the best prediction for XC performance (r2 = 0.68, p<0.05). Body-mass-normalized V˙O2peak was the only significant correlate with overall NC performance (r2 = 0.43, p<0.05) in this competition.Conclusion
Overall, the concurrent development of V˙O2peak, upper-body power, and SJ-specific vertical jump capacity while minimizing body-mass within the BMI limit set by FIS should be considered in the seasonal training of NC athletes.
Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article
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