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The Differences in Pacing Among Age Groups of Amateur Cross-Country Skiers Depend on Performance


Nikolaidis, Pantelis T; Rosemann, Thomas; Knechtle, Beat (2019). The Differences in Pacing Among Age Groups of Amateur Cross-Country Skiers Depend on Performance. Journal of Human Kinetics, 66(1):165-173.

Abstract

Pacing strategies have mainly been investigated for runners, but little is known for cross-country skiers. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of performance and age on pacing strategies in cross-country skiing. All finishers (women, n = 19,375; men, n = 86,190) in the 'Engadin Ski Marathon' (42 km) between 1998 and 2016 were analysed for the percentage change of speed at 10 km (Change A), 20 km (Change B) and 35 km (Change C). They were classified in performance groups according to quartiles of average race speed (Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4) and in 5-year age groups (<20, 20-24, 25-29… 85-89 years). Men were faster than women by +14.3% (15.2 ± 4.0 vs. 13.3 ± 3.3 km/h; p < 0.001, η = 0.215). A small impact of age group × performance group interaction on Change A was shown in women (p < 0.001, η = 0.026) and men (p < 0.001, η = 0.025), where Q1 augmented and Q4 attenuated the decrease in speed with aging. However, the impact of age group × performance group interaction on Change B and C was trivial (p = 0.002, η ≤ 0.010). Based on these findings, it was concluded that the differences in pacing among age groups depended on the performance level. Thus, the coaches and fitness trainers working with cross-country skiers should advise their athletes to consider both age and performance.

Abstract

Pacing strategies have mainly been investigated for runners, but little is known for cross-country skiers. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of performance and age on pacing strategies in cross-country skiing. All finishers (women, n = 19,375; men, n = 86,190) in the 'Engadin Ski Marathon' (42 km) between 1998 and 2016 were analysed for the percentage change of speed at 10 km (Change A), 20 km (Change B) and 35 km (Change C). They were classified in performance groups according to quartiles of average race speed (Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4) and in 5-year age groups (<20, 20-24, 25-29… 85-89 years). Men were faster than women by +14.3% (15.2 ± 4.0 vs. 13.3 ± 3.3 km/h; p < 0.001, η = 0.215). A small impact of age group × performance group interaction on Change A was shown in women (p < 0.001, η = 0.026) and men (p < 0.001, η = 0.025), where Q1 augmented and Q4 attenuated the decrease in speed with aging. However, the impact of age group × performance group interaction on Change B and C was trivial (p = 0.002, η ≤ 0.010). Based on these findings, it was concluded that the differences in pacing among age groups depended on the performance level. Thus, the coaches and fitness trainers working with cross-country skiers should advise their athletes to consider both age and performance.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of General Practice
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:March 2019
Deposited On:12 Jun 2019 14:10
Last Modified:17 Sep 2019 20:24
Publisher:De Gruyter
ISSN:1640-5544
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.2478/hukin-2018-0055
PubMed ID:30988850

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