This study was conducted to evaluate the physiological parameters of elite speed skaters after a period of summer training, and to examine the relationships between these measures and speed skating performance. The subjects were eight male and eight female members of the Canadian National Speed Skating Team. The tests performed included assessment of body composition, aerobic power, anaerobic power and isokinetic peak torque measures for knee and hip flexion/extension and hip abduction/adduction. Mean values obtained for [latin capital V with dot above]O2 max were 61.9 +/- 2.7 and 53.5 +/- 2.0 ml[middle dot]kg-1[middle dot]min-1 for male and female skaters, respectively. Male sprinters were found to have significantly higher five-second peak anaerobic power than all-around skaters (16.6 +/- 0.9 versus 14.4 +/- 1.1 W[middle dot]kg-1 of body weight). Anaerobic five-second peak power was significantly correlated with both relative knee extension at 180[degrees][middle dot]sec-1 for male skaters (r = 0.78) and 500-meter velocity (r = 0.81). These results demonstrate a relationship between laboratory measures and sprint speed skating performance. However, because [latin capital V with dot above]O2 max was unrelated to distance performance, further research is required to determine the underlying determinants of endurance performance in speed skating.
(C) 1991 National Strength and Conditioning Association