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Grade Influences Blood Lactate Kinetics During Cross-Country Skiing

LaRoche, Dain P1; Amann, Markus2; Rundell, Kenneth W3

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: January 2010 - Volume 24 - Issue 1 - p 120-127
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181c3b429
Original Research

LaRoche, DP, Amann, M, and Rundell, KW. Grade influences blood lactate kinetics during cross-country skiing. J Strength Cond Res 24(1): 120-127, 2010-The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of level vs. graded skate skiing on capillary blood lactate (BLa), heart rate (HR), oxygen consumption (o2), and training intensity prescriptions. Eleven Nordic skiers completed 2 submaximal skate roller skiing treadmill protocols during which intensity was increased either by grade (G inc) or by speed (S inc). The protocols were compared for prethreshold BLa, HR, and o2 at lactate threshold (LT) and the HR/o2 relationship. Additionally, double-pole (primarily upper body) and skating (arms and legs combined) protocols were used to measure peak o2 and peak HR. Heart rate and o2 at LT were lower during G inc compared with S inc (154.9 ± 6.8 b·min−1 vs. 162.0 ± 9.1 b·min−1 and 46.3 ± 2.8 ml·kg−1·min−1 vs. 49.1 ± 1.6 ml·kg−1·min−1, respectively, both p < 0.01). Prethreshold BLa and the HR/o2 relationship were not different between the submaximal protocols. o2peak and HRpeak were higher in skating compared with double poling (64.6 ± 1.8 ml·kg−1·min−1 vs. 60.3 ± 2.8 ml·kg−1·min−1, 192.6 ± 5.8 b·min−1 vs. 187.8 ± 6.7 b·min−1, respectively, both p < 0.01). Greater reliance on upper-body musculature during graded skiing and its associated lower aerobic capacity increases BLa when compared with level skiing. The leftward shift in the BLa vs. intensity curve during uphill skiing should be recognized to properly prescribe training intensity as well as interpret laboratory results.

1Department of Kinesiology, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire 03824; 2Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah; and 3Human Performance Laboratory, Marywood University, Scranton, Pennsylvania

Address correspondence to Dain P. LaRoche,

© 2010 National Strength and Conditioning Association