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Thirty-Eight Years of Training Distribution in Olympic Speed Skaters


Abstract and Figures

Unlabelled: During the last decade discussion about training-intensity distribution has been an important issue in sports science. Training-intensity distribution has not been adequately investigated in speed skating, a unique activity requiring both high power and high endurance. Purpose: To quantify the training-intensity distribution and training hours of successful Olympic speed skaters over 10 Olympiads. Methods: Olympic-medal-winning trainers/coaches and speed skaters were interviewed and their training programs were analyzed. Each program was qualified and quantified: workout type (specific and nonspecific) and training zones (zone 1 2 mMol/L lactate, zone 2 2-4 mMol/L lactate, zone 3 lactate >4 mMol/L). Net training times were calculated. Results: The relation between total training hours and time (successive Olympiads) was not progressive (r = .51, P > .5). A strong positive linear relation (r = .96, P < .01) was found between training distribution in zone 1 and time. Zones 2 and 3 both showed a strong negative linear relation to time (r = -.94, P < .01; r = -.97, P < .01). No significant relation was found between speed skating hours and time (r = -.11, P > .05). This was also the case for inline skating and time (r = -.86, P > .05). Conclusions: These data indicate that in speed skating there was a shift toward polarized training over the last 38 y. This shift seems to be the most important factor in the development of Olympic speed skaters. Surprisingly there was no relation found between training hours, skating hours, and time.
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International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 2014, 9, 93 -99
© 2014 Human Kinetics, Inc.
Thirty-Eight Years of Training Distribution
in Olympic Speed Skaters
Jac Orie, Nico Hofman, Jos J. de Koning, and Carl Foster
During the last decade discussion about training-intensity distribution has been an important issue in sports
science. Training-intensity distribution has not been adequately investigated in speed skating, a unique activity
requiring both high power and high endurance. Purpose: To quantify the training-intensity distribution and
training hours of successful Olympic speed skaters over 10 Olympiads. Methods: Olympic-medal-winning
trainers/coaches and speed skaters were interviewed and their training programs were analyzed. Each program
was qualied and quantied: workout type (specic and nonspecic) and training zones (zone 1 2 mMol/L
lactate, zone 2 2–4 mMol/L lactate, zone 3 lactate >4 mMol/L). Net training times were calculated. Results:
The relation between total training hours and time (successive Olympiads) was not progressive (r = .51, P >
.5). A strong positive linear relation (r = .96, P < .01) was found between training distribution in zone 1 and
time. Zones 2 and 3 both showed a strong negative linear relation to time (r = –.94, P < .01; r = –.97, P < .01).
No signicant relation was found between speed skating hours and time (r = –.11, P > .05). This was also the
case for inline skating and time (r = –.86, P > .05). Conclusions: These data indicate that in speed skating
there was a shift toward polarized training over the last 38 y. This shift seems to be the most important factor
in the development of Olympic speed skaters. Surprisingly there was no relation found between training hours,
skating hours, and time.
Keywords: polarized training, threshold training, progression
Orie, Hofman, and de Koning are with the MOVE Research
Inst, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Foster is with the Dept of Exercise and Sport Science, University
of Wisconsin–La Crosse, La Crosse, WI.
During the last half-century the quality of speed skat-
ing performance during international competitions such
as the Olympic Games and various world championships
has continued to improve. The simple fact that world
records continue to improve is evidence that sports
performance is progressing. Almost 50% of this improve-
ment can be explained by technological improvements
(indoor ovals, klapskates, high altitude, aerodynamic
suits, excellent ice preparation), and the other 50%, by
athletic improvement.1
With the introduction of refrigerated and covered
skating rinks, athletic improvement was expected because
there are more training facilities, training locations, and
training times available, so athletes are training more
hours under better conditions. During the last 25 years,
the availability of indoor rinks has allowed skaters to do
specic practice virtually year-round, whereas before
1987, the possibility of on-ice training was limited to ~4
mo/y. Furthermore, during the last 20 years the emer-
gence of professional speed skating teams has allowed
athletes to have longer careers and potentially enhanced
performance development.
If the possibility for increased specic training hours
is improved, another question is, has better access to
specic training resulted in a change in training pattern
and practice? One major element of the training pattern
is the training-intensity distribution. Training-intensity
distribution is generally recognized as a major compo-
nent of the development of elite athletes.2–6 Studies have
shown that athletes have 2 primary patterns of training-
intensity distribution. The 2 main training models are
the threshold and polarized training patterns.3 During the
last decade, the polarized-training model has appeared to
become more common in endurance athletes. However,
the threshold-training model is still an accepted type of
training. A number of studies have been published sug-
gesting the benet of polarized training on endurance
performance.2–6 Despite the fact that during competition
the intensity distribution is dominantly at higher intensi-
ties,4–6 endurance athletes appear to train surprisingly
little in the intensity range between the lactate threshold
and the intensity of the maximal lactate steady state.
One reason for this could be the demand on glycogen
as an energetic substrate during this type of training and
the restricted training time associated with the limited
glycogen stores.7 Speed skating is a unique sport, in that
competition is dominantly at high power but also requires
signicant endurance.8,9 Furthermore, the inherent physi-
ologic response during on-ice skating is very often above
the maximal lactate steady state.
94 Orie et al
Training-intensity-distribution studies have not been
widely done in ice speed skating.8 Speed skating is differ-
ent from other endurance sports. In particular, the small
angles in knee and hip in combination with a static body
position and a long duty cycle of the skating stroke (~55%
vs ~33% during cycling and ~10% during running)10,11
results in intermittent blood-ow restriction during parts of
the skating movement. Consequently, speed skating has the
tendency to a more anaerobic character, as demonstrated in
several studies based on blood lactate measurements10–12
and muscle O2 saturation.10–13 The question arises as to if
(and how) speed skating training has evolved, given the
physiological constraints that are inherent to speed skating.
To qualify and quantify the training programs used
during the last 10 Olympiads we needed an intensity-
quantifying distribution method to evaluate these
programs. Published studies reporting the training
characteristics of endurance athletes have employed
several methods of quantifying intensity distribution.2,3,5
We choose to follow the method used by Seiler and Kjer-
land,3 because this method makes it possible to qualify
and quantify the training programs (and lactate tests) we
retrieved based on interviews with trainers, athletes, and
coaches and their stored documentation. Accordingly, the
aim of this study was to investigate the total training hours
and pattern of training-intensity distribution in elite speed
skaters. Our hypotheses were to nd an increase in train-
ing hours over the last 38 years, with a more polarized
training-intensity distribution, and given the increased
possibility of on-ice training during the last 25 years, to
nd increases in on-ice training hours.
Materials and Methods
We interviewed trainers and coaches of Dutch Olympic
medal winners in speed skating, as well as the Olympic
medal winners, in long-track middle- and long-distance
events (1500-m, 5000-m, and 10,000-m, approximate
competitive duration 2–15 min). Our analysis was limited
to male athletes. We retrieved complete training programs
of 4 Olympic Seasons (1988, 1998, 2006, and 2010) and
2 almost complete training programs (1972, missing
maximally 2 wk in total, not more than 1 wk in a row,
and 1992, missing maximally 4 wk in total, not more than
2 wk in a row). The missing weeks were discussed with
the trainers/coaches and athletes, who suggested that the
missing weeks were almost equal to the former and later
training weeks, because they were in the same period of
the training year. The athletes who trained on the analyzed
training programs were members of the National Dutch
team or of one of the commercial speed skating teams.
In total, 19 of these athletes qualied for the Olympics
(1971, 4; 1988, 3; 1992, 4; 1998, 4; 2006, 1; and 2010, 3)
and won 8 gold, 5 silver, and 4 bronze Olympic medals.
The information from the interviews allowed us to
quantify the workout intensity of each training session.
There were also testing data available from several train-
ing forms in each year. We discussed the test result for
each type of workout with the trainers/coaches to have a
better understanding of the intensity. If there were doubts
about the training intensity of a specic workout, the
workout was mimicked in a contemporary group (6 men
and 5 women) of compatibly elite speed skaters. Halfway
through these workouts and 3 minutes afterward, comple-
tion lactate concentration was obtained to allow assign-
ment of the workout to a certain zone. Measurements
were made under eld conditions (–8°C to 20°C) using
the Lactate Pro LT-1710t (ArkRay Inc, Kyoto, Japan).
The simulated workouts consisted of circuit training,
extensive and intensive endurance training, and extensive
and intensive interval training.
For each year we qualied and/or quantied each
training session on the basis of
Training workout types: speed skating, inline skat-
ing, running, cycling, jumps, weight training, slide
Training-intensity zones: zone 1, lactate 2 mMol/L;
zone 2, lactate 2–4 mMol/L; zone 3, lactate > 4
mMol/L.4 It is difcult to distribute weight training
over these 3 training zones, so weight training was
excluded from the training distribution, but it counted
for the total training time.3
• Net training minutes: To calculate net training min-
utes we counted warm-up (5 min) + cooldown (5
min) + active training minutes (rest times within the
training were excluded). See example in Table 1.
Races were qualied as zone 3 activity, while race
preparation was rated in the zones described. For each year,
the analysis of the training program started with the rst
available training week (generally early May) and ended
on the day of the Olympic race (mid-February). The yearly
total hours were divided by the number of weeks of the
training season (40–43) to obtain training hours per week.
Table 1 Example of the Calculation of Gross and Net Training Time of 4 Different Workouts
Workout Gross Net (gross – rest)
2 h cycling 120120
Warm-up 5; interval 6 × (3—3 rest); 5 cooldown 4628
Warm-up 5; rest 3; interval 5 × (6–3 rest); 5335
Warm-up 10; interval 4 × (15–2 rest); rest 10; interval 6 × (10–2 rest) 4212
Training Distribution in Speed Skating 95
Relationship Between Training Hours
per Week and Time
There was not a progressive increase in total training
hours (expressed as net training hours per week) across
the period of analysis (Figure 1). By comparison, during
this period the world records for the men’s 1500-, 5000-,
and 10,000-m improved on average by 18%. Probably this
does not look dramatic, but expressed in power needed
to skate at these higher speeds the increase averages
an impressive 57%. Half of this improvement can be
explained by technological improvements, and the other
half, by athletic improvement.1 The relationship between
total training hours and time (successive Olympiads) was
not signicant (r = .51, P > .5).
Relationship Between Training
Distribution and Time
Figure 2 shows the distribution of the training hours
over the 3 zones. It is clearly visible that the contribu-
tion of zone 1 has increased at the expense of zones 2
and 3. The gure shows a signicant linear increase
for the contribution of zone 1 and a signicant linear
Figure 1 — Relationship between total net training hours per week and time. The analysis is done over a time period of 38 years.
Net training time is the total training minus all rest components of the training.
Figure 2 — Relationship between training intensity distribution and time. Training intensity is divided into 3 zones: zone 1 £ 2
mMol/L lactate, zone 2 2–4 mMol/L lactate, zone 3 lactate > 4 mMol/L.
96 Orie et al
decreasing contribution for zones 2 and 3 (r of, respec-
tively, .96, P < .01; –.94, P < 0.01; and –.97, P < .01).
The training-intensity distribution in 1972 was essentially
representative of a classic threshold pattern, whereas
the training-intensity-distribution pattern after that has
become increasingly polarized in character.
Relationship Between Total Hours
Skating per Season and Time
Further analysis of specic components of training shows
that there is no systematic trend in the total hours of
on-ice speed skating across time (r = –.11, P > .05; Figure
3). Specic summer training for speed skating is inline
skating. The hours of inline skating show a decreasing
trend over the years (r = –.86, P > .05 (Figure 4).
In the current study, we analyzed the training of 6
Olympic seasons over the last 38 years. For a proper
comparison of the different training years we calculated
the net training minutes, excluding the signicant recov-
ery time between repetitions during training sessions
that are often strongly interval in character. This was
done because in the rst decades of our analysis it was
precisely recorded which activities were done during
Figure 4 — Relationship between total net training hours inline skating per year and time.
Figure 3 — Relationship between total net training hours on-ice speed skating per year and time.
Training Distribution in Speed Skating 97
the training sessions, but no precise information was
retrievable about recovery times in training (example in
Table 1). For the later years we were able to retrieve this
information, and, for instance, the training logs of 2010
showed that net (actual) training time was about 60% of
gross (total) training time. We are aware of the fact that
training adaptation depends partly on proper recovery
time during a workout.14,15 However, it was not possible
to trace all the recovery times of the older training pro-
grams. These limitations are inherent to retrospective
data such as these, so we chose to report only the actual
time of effective training (net training). For comparison
of our calculated net training times with the literature,
this fraction (gross training time = ~1.67 × net training
time) needs to be taken into account. Still, the average
amount of training hours was small compared with other
endurance sports such as cycling, cross-country skiing,
swimming, and distance running. There is a strong varia-
tion in training hours within a speed skating season.16
In the winter, the speed skaters’ traveling program is
extensive. World Cup competitions and European and
World championships are organized around the world,
which is partly the reason for the low total seasonal train-
ing volume. Traveling, acclimatization to time zones and
altitude, and tapering are associated with a strong decline
in average training hours, which is partly the reason for
the low total training hours.
To explain the performance development over the
years, we rst hypothesized that the total amount of train-
ing hours would have been increased over the years. Our
analyses showed that this was not the case, although it
is well know that training volume is an important para-
meter for a training effect.17,18 One reason for the lack
of a signicant progression of training hours across time
could be the fact that specic speed skating workouts,
in crouched position as used during races, restrict blood
ow in the legs.9–13 Combined with the minimal speed
necessary for maintaining a proper technique, this could
be of such high intrinsic intensity that only a limited
volume can be tolerated, both in terms of momentary
metabolite burden and in terms of availability of glycogen
as an energetic substrate. In favor of specic adaptation,
workouts involving movements with small knee- and hip-
joint angles are important. There is evidence that muscle
load during weight-bearing activities with these small
joint angles causes blood-ow restriction. This restricted
blood ow causes an oxygen decit in the working muscle
bers, which results in a more anaerobic energy contri-
bution. This anaerobic character may explain why many
specic training hours are qualied in moderate or high
intensities (zones 2 and 3). Too much anaerobic training
might hinder endurance-capacity development.19 This is
in line with our current nding, namely, a lack of increase
in speed skating hours, a declining tendency of inline
training hours, and no increase in total training hours.
According to trainers and coaches, on-ice speed skating
training is an important factor in enhancing speed skat-
ing efciency. However, there was no increase in speed
skating hours, although there was a distinct change in
terms of spreading of the skating hours over the season.
Since the existence of covered speed skating ovals, speed
skating is possible during part of the summer. In the past,
speed skating was more concentrated during the winter
months. The spreading over the training season of the
specic training hours, which tend to be inherently high
intensity, might be an important factor in terms of allow-
ing the training distribution to evolve to a more polarized
character. Given the change in performance, this wider
distribution of skating hours appears to be benecial for
the development of athletes. Additional research is needed
to explore this process.
A remarkable result of our analysis was the obser-
vation of a dramatically changed distribution of training
hours over the different zones. There was an obvious
increase in the percentage of training hours spent in zone
1 (lactate 2 mMol/L) and a decrease in the percentage
of training hours in zones 2 and 3 over the years. The
observed increase in the percentage of low-intensity
training is also demonstrated in other studies of endur-
ance athletes in a variety of sports.2–6,8,20 In contrast to
our study, the study of Fiskerstrand and Seiler2 used a
2-intensity-zones model (low or high intensity). Further-
more, Seiler and Kjerland,3 Seiler,4 and Esteve-Lanao et
al5,6 (3-zone quantication model) and Yu et al8 showed,
as well, that a larger amount of low-intensity training
is effective in stimulating physiological adaptations.
Although different experimental research designs were
used (cross-sectional in Seiler and Kjerland3 and Esteve-
Lanao et al,5,6 quasi-experimental in Yu et al8), their
results demonstrate that a larger percentage of training
in zone 1 was benecial. Geijsel21 reported in 1979 that
marathon skaters who had formerly done a lot of skat-
ing simulations (high intensity) became better as they
added more cycling (lower intensity) to their training
program. In addition, Seiler and Kjerland3 and Yu et al8
reported that training at low intensities in combination
with a much smaller amount of training hours at moderate
intensity (zone 2) compared with high intensity (Zone 3)
is even more effective. This combination of low and high
intensities is called polarized training. Our data showed
that both moderate and high training zones declined over
time but the percentage of moderate training intensities
is still higher than the percentage at high training intensi-
ties. This is reasonably attributable to the inherently high
intensity of skating training, such that even the so-called
endurance sets cannot be accomplished in zone 1 and
became zone 2 activities.22
A potential limitation of the 3-intensity-zone quanti-
cation model used in the current study is the resolution
of the intensity zones. The division of the high-intensity
zone in only 1 zone with lactate >4 mMol/L is especially
open to discussion. In this relatively large zone many
different training intensities specic for the different
competitive race distances can be used. Stepto et al23
identied 5 intensity zones at 80%, 85%, 90%, 100%,
and 175% of the subjects’ maximal power output within
our zone 3. They showed a U-shaped relation between
physiological adaptation and training intensity. Because
98 Orie et al
of this U-shaped relation, the conclusion can be made
that zone 3 is polarized by itself. In that case it could
be more appropriate to speak about a 3-wave model. To
avoid the early mentioned limitation and to get a better
understanding of training-intensity distribution, in future
investigations a method with a better differentiation in
this zone could be benecial.
Our data indicate that for successful middle- and long-
distance speed skaters there was a shift toward polarized
training over the last 38 years. Surprisingly, there was no
increase in net training hours and hours of on-ice skating
over these years, while performance increased consider-
ably. The current ndings clearly show the importance
of training-intensity distribution.
Practical Application
Our ndings could be an important guide for trainers/
coaches to balance their training programs and to transfer
results from research in other sports to speed skating. On
the basis of the presented ndings it can be concluded
that changes in training-intensity distribution were an
important factor in the development of speed skating
during the last 38 years.
We would like to thank coaches, trainers, and athletes for their
time and willingness to cooperate in this research project.
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Training Distribution in Speed Skating 99
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... Sometimes, sport federations recommend a certain model, often involving 5 or 7 different zones of exercise intensity, in order to simplify the terminology employed in connection with coaching and assessment. As also illustrated in Figure 1, 3-, 5-and 7-zone models utilize numerous different parameters for categorization [39][40][41]. Figure 1. The classification of zones and associated physiological adaptations associated with a model that distinguishes between moderate, heavy, and very heavy exercise intensity [31,[42][43][44][45][46][47]. ...
... Heart rate HR-TiZ/SG Time [15,16,39] Session RPE Subjective sRPE Number of sessions [49] RPE time-in-zone Subjective RPE-TiZ Time [49] Extrinsic Velocity time-in-zone Velocity V-TiZ Time [12,17,21,22,25,26] Power time-in-zone Power PO-TiZ Time [20,24,55] Race pace time-in-zone Competitive performance RP-TiZ Time [21,22] Despite the validity of each individual method, empirical evidence demonstrates unequivocally that the TID obtained is heavily dependent on the method employed, as observed by researchers focusing on a variety of sports, including running [9,21,56], crosscountry skiing [40], cycling [14,[57][58][59], swimming [49], rowing [60] and kayaking [23]. ...
... TID values could be derived for tier 4 or 5 athletes competing in cycling (9 studies; [14,20,24,27,28,55,57,59,83]), rowing (7 studies; [10,17,41,60,79,82,84]), running (6 studies; [18,21,22,25,26,80]), cross-country skiing (7 studies; [15,16,19,53,54,81,85]), swimming (2 studies; [49,86]), the triathlon [69], ice speed skating [39], and the biathlon [13]). ...
... This position is needed for a proper skating technique with which a skater can produce a powerful extension of the legs to produce high velocities. However, this crouched position also results in higher blood lactate and heart rates at a given VȮ 2 than in other sports such as running or cycling (8,9,18). These physiologic reactions intrinsic to the speed skating movements may be of such intensity that only a limited volume can be tolerated (18). ...
... However, this crouched position also results in higher blood lactate and heart rates at a given VȮ 2 than in other sports such as running or cycling (8,9,18). These physiologic reactions intrinsic to the speed skating movements may be of such intensity that only a limited volume can be tolerated (18). Currently, knowledge is limited on how to quantify the distribution of training time at high intensity and time at middle-or lowintensity in training of speed skaters based on physiologic measures. ...
... for sprinters (24), male middle-and long-distance speed skating (18). It is difficult to make comparisons with these studies because they examined training distribution in 3 intensity zones, whereas we worked with 5 zones. ...
Roete, AJ, Stoter, IK, Lamberts, RP, Elferink-Gemser, MT, and Otter, RTA. Introducing a method to quantify the specificity of training for races in speed skating. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2022-The specificity of training for races is believed to be important for performance development. However, measuring specificity is challenging. This study aimed to develop a method to quantify the specificity of speed skating training for sprint races (i.e., 500 and 1,000 m), and explore the amount of training specificity with a pilot study. On-ice training and races of 10 subelite-to-elite speed skaters were analyzed during 1 season (i.e., 26 weeks). Intensity was mapped using 5 equal zones, between 4 m·s-1 to peak velocity and 50% to peak heart rate. Training specificity was defined as skating in the intensity zone most representative for the race for a similar period as during the race. During the season, eight 500 m races, seven 1,000 m races, and 509 training sessions were analyzed, of which 414 contained heart rate and 375 sessions contained velocity measures. Within-subject analyses were performed. During races, most time was spent in the highest intensity zone (Vz5 and HRz5). In training, the highest velocity zone Vz5 was reached 107 ± 28 times, with 9 ± 3 efforts (0.3 ± 0.1% training) long enough to be considered 500 m specific, 6 ± 5 efforts (0.3 ± 0.3% training) were considered 1,000 m specific. For heart rate, HRz5 was reached 151 ± 89 times in training, 43 ± 33 efforts (1.3 ± 0.9% training) were considered 500 m specific, and 36 ± 23 efforts (3.2 ± 1.7% training) were considered 1,000 m specific. This newly developed method enables the examination of training specificity so that coaches can control whether their intended specificity was reached. It also opens doors to further explore the impact of training specificity on performance development.
... High volume training (HVT) is characterized by long workouts at a very light intensity, whereas high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is characterized by interval workouts at a very hard ($17) pace on consecutive days in a row with few to no long slow distance workouts. Novel endurance training programs (known as polarized training) are characterized by an undulating nonlinear periodization model with nearly all the training time spent at a light (#13) and very hard ($17) pace with little to no training at hard (14)(15)(16) or race pace (6-20 RPE scale) (3,18,22). Additionally, the polarized training model has specific high-intensity workouts separated by one or more long slow distance workouts, with the exercise intensity tightly controlled. What defines these different CV training models is not the linear or nonlinear layout of the microcycle, although programs with interval training typically have undulating nonlinear aspects, but the total percent time (microcycle and/or mesocycle) spent in each of 3 CV endurance exercise intensity zones defined by blood lactate levels and/or ventilatory thresholds. ...
... There has been recent evidence of a growing trend in CV endurance exercise prescription indicating a switch from threshold to the polarized training model. Three studies have formally documented this (a) Orie et al. (18) reported a progressive change from a threshold periodized model in Olympic-level speed skaters in 1972 to polarized training in 2010. (b) Seiler et al. (22) in 2006 reported normative training volumes for 11 nationally competitive junior (17-18 years old) Norwegian cross country skiers in a tracking study that lasted 32 days and carefully collected data on 347 endurance training workouts. ...
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Hydren, JR and Cohen, BS. Current scientific evidence for a polarized cardiovascular endurance training model. J Strength Cond Res 29(12): 3523-3530, 2015-Recent publications have provided new scientific evidence for a modern aerobic or cardiovascular endurance exercise prescription that optimizes the periodization cycle and maximizes potential endurance performance gains in highly trained individuals. The traditional threshold, high volume, and high-intensity training models have displayed limited improvement in actual race pace in (highly) trained individuals while frequently resulting in overreaching or overtraining (physical injury and psychological burnout). A review of evidence for replacing these models with the proven polarized training model seems warranted. This review provides a short history of the training models, summarizes 5 key studies, and provides example training programs for both the pre-and in-season periods. A polarized training program is characterized by an undulating nonlinear periodization model with nearly all the training time spent at a "light" (#13) and "very hard" ($17) pace with very limited time at "hard" (14-16) or race pace (6-20 Rating of Perceived Exertion [RPE] scale). To accomplish this, the polarization training model has specific high-intensity workouts separated by one or more long slow distance workouts, with the exercise intensity remaining below ventilatory threshold (VT) 1 and/or blood lactate of less than 2 mM (A.K.A. below race pace). Effect sizes for increasing aerobic endurance performance for the polarized training model are consistently superior to that of the threshold training model. Performing a polarized training program may be best accomplished by: going easy on long slow distance work-outs, avoiding "race pace" and getting after it during interval workouts. KEY WORDS threshold, high-intensity interval training, high volume training, V _ O 2 max, blood lactate, periodization
... Work per rebound appeared relatively more important than frequency of rebounds, as faster and slower skaters differed mainly in rebound work but not rebound frequency. Although rebound frequency was not discriminating for performance, it primarily regulates skating speed (Orie, Hofman, De Konig, 2014). ...
Sleep is one of the main tools of regeneration, thanks to which physical and psychological parameters are restored and thus balances the negative impact of stress on the human body. The aim of the study is to analyze sleep quality and chronotype differences in correlation to the balance control in juvenile elite speed skaters. For the research survey it was selected 20 speed skaters (age average 17.6 years) from four elite Czech speed skating clubs. The following methods were used: content analysis, Life Rhythm and Sleep Questionnaire, University of Pittsburgh Questionnaire on Sleep Quality (PSQI), and a battery of functional balance tests. The measured data were analyzed by descriptive statistics using numerical and graphical methods, absolute and relative frequencies. The analysis of the results showed a positive correlation between the M-E score and the performance in the functional balance tests, and also showed a significant difference in the Bass test between men and women. Furthermore, it was found that men achieved a lower M-E score than women Deteriorated level of mental health was found in 10% of the examined speed skaters. The research survey thus showed that the global trend of today's society, which is a strong inclination to the evening typology, also applies to juvenile elite athletes, which is an undesirable phenomenon in terms of balance control and performance in speed skating. The results of the presented study may be useful for training focus of coaches or athletes.
... Therefore, cycling has become a fundamental part of energy system training for speed skating training [4,5]. The evaluation of aerobic capacity by incremental load experiment and anaerobic capacity by Wingate experiment has become an important means of training intensity development for athletes in speed skating over the years [6,7]. However, the flexion position of skating technical skills can obstruct blood flow to the lower extremities [8,9], affecting the athletes' aerobic capacity. ...
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Aerobic capacity is important for speed skaters to achieve good results in middle–long distance events. The technical characteristics of speed skating cause intermittent blood flow blockage in the lower limbs. Therefore, an athlete’s aerobic capacity on ice may differ from that measured by cycling or running. Now, the on-ice aerobic capacity lacks methods for conducting aerobic capacity tests on ice. Objective: The objective of this study was to develop a method for measuring on-ice aerobic capacity for young athletes and to compare it with the VO2max test on cycling. Methods: This study established a test method for the on-ice aerobic capacity of young, high-level speed skaters with incremental load (on-ice incremental skating test, OIST) through expert interviews and literature review. In the first part, OIST was used to test the aerobic abilities of 65 youth professional speed skaters (51 males and 14 females) on ice and to explore the correlation with their specific performance. The second part compares the relationship between aerobic capacity on ice and aerobic capacity on bicycle of 18 young high-level male athletes. The third part establishes the regression formula of ice ventilation threshold heart rate. The OIST established in this study can evaluate the on-ice aerobic capacity of athletes from National Level and Level 1&2 in China. The athletes’ on-ice aerobic capacity indicators were significantly lower than those of the cycling test. However, the values of absolute VO2max and absolute ventilatory threshold had a high correlation (R = 0.532, p < 0.05; R = 0.584, p < 0.05). The regression formula of ventilatory threshold heart rate on ice = 0.921 × HRmax (Cycling test) −9.243. The OIST established in this study meets the characteristics and requirements of the VO2max measurement method. The OIST seems to be able to better evaluate the aerobic capacity of athletes skating on ice. The indicators of maximum oxygen uptake and ventilation threshold in OIST were significantly lower than those in the aerobic cycling test, but there was a good correlation. The aerobic cycling test can be used as an important selection index of the ice aerobic capacity of speed skaters. The regression formula will provide an important basis for coaches to accurately monitor the intensity of ice training.
... Previous studies indicate that a high training volume is necessary for success in endurance performance. 29,43,44 However, the use of greater or lesser training volume will be affected by several factors (eg, training phases over a season, age, and athletes training status, etc), and for that reason, both volume and TID should be evaluated and understood in combination. 15 Finally, 2 BP interventions 28,37 used a pyramidal TID approach, while 2 studies 30,36 used a polarized TID approach. ...
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Unlabelled: A well-planned periodized approach endeavors to allow road cyclists to achieve peak performance when their most important competitions are held. Purpose: To identify the main characteristics of periodization models and physiological parameters of trained road cyclists as described by discernable training intensity distribution (TID), volume, and periodization models. Methods: The electronic databases Scopus, PubMed, and Web of Science were searched using a comprehensive list of relevant terms. Studies that investigated the effect of the periodization of training in cyclists and described training load (volume, TID) and periodization details were included in the systematic review. Results: Seven studies met the inclusion criteria. Block periodization (characterized by employment of highly concentrated training workload phases) ranged between 1- and 8-week blocks of high-, medium-, or low-intensity training. Training volume ranged from 8.75 to 11.68 h·wk-1 and both pyramidal and polarized TID were used. Traditional periodization (characterized by a first period of high-volume/low-intensity training, before reducing volume and increasing the proportion of high-intensity training) was characterized by a cyclic progressive increase in training load, the training volume ranged from 7.5 to 10.76 h·wk-1, and pyramidal TID was used. Block periodization improved maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max), peak aerobic power, lactate, and ventilatory thresholds, while traditional periodization improved VO2max, peak aerobic power, and lactate thresholds. In addition, a day-by-day programming approach improved VO2max and ventilatory thresholds. Conclusions: No evidence is currently available favoring a specific periodization model during 8 to 12 weeks in trained road cyclists. However, few studies have examined seasonal impact of different periodization models in a systematic way.
... Speed skating is a competitive sport in which a multidisciplinary training program is required for the athletes to perform well at the elite level. Training programs for speed skaters include aerobic-, anaerobic-, and strength training on ice, on the bike, and in the gym [1]. This emphasizes the need for speed skating coaches to find a good balance in their training programs so that the training volume and intensity can be managed by the athletes. ...
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The aim of this observational study was to examine the differences between training variables as intended by coaches and perceived by junior speed skaters and to explore how these relate to changes in stress and recovery. During a 4-week preparatory period, intended and perceived training intensity (RPE) and duration (min) were monitored for 2 coaches and their 23 speed skaters, respectively. The training load was calculated by multiplying RPE by duration. Changes in perceived stress and recovery were measured using RESTQ-sport questionnaires before and after 4 weeks. Results included 438 intended training sessions and 378 executed sessions of 14 speed skaters. A moderately higher intended (52:37 h) versus perceived duration (45:16 h) was found, as skaters performed fewer training sessions than anticipated (four sessions). Perceived training load was lower than intended for speed skating sessions (−532 ± 545 AU) and strength sessions (−1276 ± 530 AU) due to lower RPE scores for skating (−0.6 ± 0.7) or shorter and fewer training sessions for strength (−04:13 ± 02:06 hh:mm). All training and RESTQ-sport parameters showed large inter-individual variations. Differences between intended–perceived training variables showed large positive correlations with changes in RESTQ-sport, i.e., for the subscale’s success (r = 0.568), physical recovery (r = 0.575), self-regulation (r = 0.598), and personal accomplishment (r = 0.589). To conclude, speed skaters that approach or exceed the coach’s intended training variables demonstrated an increased perception of success, physical recovery, self-regulation, and personal accomplishment.
... Around the turn of the 21st century, taking advantage of improved methods of monitoring training, several observational reports emerged that elite endurance athletes, in a number of sporting disciplines, were apparently self-selecting for a TID dominated by a high (70%-90%) percentage of training below the lactate/ventilatory threshold (zone 1), a very low percentage (<10%) of training between the first and second lactate/ ventilatory thresholds (zone 2), and a limited amount (10%-20%) of training at intensities in excess of the second lactate/ ventilatory thresholds (zone 3) (3,4,6,8,9,(12)(13)(14)(15). Regardless of the specific details by different coaching groups, this organizational pattern can be understood in terms of three intensity zones anchored by the two thresholds. ...
... Dieser Trend lässt sich für viele Ausdauerdisziplinen auch im Längsschnitt nachweisen. Umfangreiche Langzeitstudien liegen derzeit beispielsweise für Eislauf (Orie, Hofman, Koning & Foster, 2014), Skilanglauf (Seiler & Kjerland, 2006), Radsport (Lucia et al., 2001) und Rudern (Fiskerstrand & Seiler, 2004) (Meyer, 2003). Diese Verteilung entspricht einem normalen Ruhewert (Kroidl, 2015). ...
Die Arbeit beleuchtet den Einsatz algorithmischer Datenbearbeitungen bei sportwissenschaftlichen Spiroergometrien aus praktischen und theoretischen Gesichtspunkten. Die aktuelle Verbreitung von algorithmischen Datenbearbeitungen aus Breath-by-Breath Untersuchungen wird über die Ergebnisse eines Fragebogens und einer systematischen Literaturübersicht dargestellt. Zudem erfolgt die Analyse der durch Algorithmen verursachten Messwertvarianzen der Sauerstoffaufnahme in diskontinuierlichen Belastungsuntersuchungen, bei Jugendlichen und im submaximalen Belastungsbereich.
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the acute physiological responses of interval protocols utilizing the minimal power output (MAP) that elicits peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) as exercise intensity and different durations of work intervals during intermittent cycling. In randomized order, thirteen well-trained male cyclists (VO2peak = 67 ± 6 ml·kg·min) performed three different interval protocols to exhaustion. Time to exhaustion and time ≥ 90% of VO2peak was measured with MAP as exercise intensity and work duration of the intervals equals either 80% of Tmax, 50% of Tmax, or 30 s with recovery period being 50% of the work duration at intensity equal to 50% of MAP. The major findings was that the interval protocol using 30 s work periods induced longer time ≥ 90% of VO2peak and longer work duration at MAP intensity than the interval protocols using work periods of 50% of Tmax or 80% of Tmax (p< 0.05). There was no difference between the protocols using work periods of 50% of Tmax or 80% of Tmax. In conclusion, the present study suggests that the 30 s work interval protocol acutely induces a larger exercise stimulus in well trained cyclists than the protocols using work periods of 50% of Tmax or 80% of Tmax. The practical application of the present findings is that fixed 30 s work intervals can be used to optimize training time at MAP and time ≥ 90% of VO2peak in well-trained cyclists utilizing MAP exercise intensity and a 2:1 work:recovery ratio.
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To examine the effectiveness of threshold and polarized models in the training organization of Chinese top-level sprint speed skaters using a 2-y quasi-experimental design. Two years (2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons) of the Chinese national speed-skating team's daily training load (N = 9; 5 men, 23.6 ± 1.7 y, weight 76.6 ± 4.1 kg, competitive experience 5.0 ± 0.8 y, 500-m time 35.45 ± 0.72 s, 1000-m time 71.18 ± 2.28 s; 4 women, 25.3 ± 6.8 y, 73.0 ± 8.5 kg, 6.3 ± 3.5 y, 37.81 ± 0.46 s, 75.70 ± 0.81 s) were collected and analyzed. Each season's training load included overall duration (calculated in min and km), frequency (calculated by overall sessions), and training intensity (measured by ear blood lactate or estimated by heart rate), Their performances at national, World Cup, and Olympic competitions during the 2 seasons (2004-06), as well as lactate data measured 15 and 30 min after these competitions, were also collected and analyzed. Based on the lactate data (<2, 2-4, >4 mmol/L), training zones were classified as low, moderate, and high intensity. The total durations and frequencies of the training load were similar across the seasons, but a threshold-training model distribution was used in 2004-05, and a polarized- raining-load organization in 2005-06. Under the polarized-training model, or load organization, all speed skaters' performance improved and their lactate after competition decreased considerably. Training-intensity distribution based on a polarized-training model led to the success in top Chinese sprint speed skaters in the 2005-06 season.
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Successful endurance training involves the manipulation of training intensity, duration, and frequency, with the implicit goals of maximizing performance, minimizing risk of negative training outcomes, and timing peak fitness and performances to be achieved when they matter most. Numerous descriptive studies of the training characteristics of nationally or internationally competitive endurance athletes training 10 to 13 times per week seem to converge on a typical intensity distribution in which about 80% of training sessions are performed at low intensity (2 mM blood lactate), with about 20% dominated by periods of high-intensity work, such as interval training at approx. 90% VO2max. Endurance athletes appear to self-organize toward a high-volume training approach with careful application of high-intensity training incorporated throughout the training cycle. Training intensification studies performed on already well-trained athletes do not provide any convincing evidence that a greater emphasis on high-intensity interval training in this highly trained athlete population gives long-term performance gains. The predominance of low-intensity, long-duration training, in combination with fewer, highly intensive bouts may be complementary in terms of optimizing adaptive signaling and technical mastery at an acceptable level of stress.
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The quality of performance during international competitions such as the Olympic Games and various world championships is often judged by the number of world records attained. The simple fact that world records continue to improve is evidence that sports performance is progressing. Does this also mean that athletes are improving? Is the continual progression of world-record performances evidence that contemporary athletes are superior to the athletes who performed in the past? Technological developments may obscure insight into the athletic enhancement made by athletes over the years. This commentary tries to separate technological and athletic enhancement in the progression of world records by the use of a power balance model.
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To describe the distribution of exercise types and rowing intensity in successful junior rowers and its relation to later senior success. 36 young German male rowers (31 international, 5 national junior finalists; 19.2 +/- 1.4 y; 10.9 +/- 1.6 training sessions per week) reported the volumes of defined exercise and intensity categories in a diary over 37 wk. Training categories were analyzed as aggregates over the whole season and also broken down into defined training periods. Training organization was compared between juniors who attained national and international senior success 3 y later. Total training time consisted of 52% rowing, 23% resistance exercise, 17% alternative training, and 8% warm-up programs. Based on heart rate control, 95% of total rowing was performed at intensities corresponding to <2 mmol x L(-1), 2% at 2 to 4 mmol x L(-1), and 3% at >4 mmol x L(-1) blood lactate. Low-intensity work remained widely unchanged at approximately 95% throughout the season. In the competition period, the athletes exhibited a shift within <2 mmol exercise toward lower intensity and within the remaining approximately 5% of total rowing toward more training near maximal oxygen consumption (VO(2max)) intensity. Retrospectively, among subjects going on to international success 3 y later had their training differed significantly from their peers only in slightly higher volumes at both margins of the intensity scope. The young world-class rowers monitored here exhibit a constant emphasis on low-intensity steady-state rowing exercise, and a progressive polarization in the competition period. Possible mechanisms underlying a potential association between intensity polarization and later success require further investigation.
Purpose: Training for improvement of oxidative capacity of muscle fibers may be attenuated when concurrently training for peak power. However, because of fiber type-specific recruitment, such attenuation may only account for high-oxidative muscle fibers. Here, we investigate the effects of concurrent training on oxidative capacity (as measured by succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) activity) by using task-specific recruitment of the high- and low-oxidative compartment of rat medial gastrocnemius muscle (GM). Methods: Forty rats were subjected to 6 wk of peak power training (PT, n = 10), endurance training (ET, n = 10), concurrent peak power and endurance training (PET, n = 10), or no training (control, n = 10). SDH activity, mRNA expression of SDH, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α), receptor-interacting protein 140, and BCL2/adenovirus E1B 19 kDa-interacting protein 3 as well as PGC-1α protein levels were analyzed in the low- and high-oxidative region of the GM. Results: In the low-oxidative compartment, PT and PET induced a 30% decrease in SDH activity of Type IIB fibers compared with controls and ET (P < 0.001) without changes in mRNA or protein levels. In the high-oxidative compartment, after ET, SDH mRNA levels were 42% higher and RIP140 mRNA levels 33% lower compared with controls, which did not result in changes in SDH activity. Conclusion: These results indicate that in compartmentalized rat GM, peak power on top of endurance training attenuated transcription of mRNA for mitochondrial proteins in high-oxidative muscle fibers. In low-oxidative Type IIB fibers, peak power training substantially decreased SDH activity, which was not related to lower SDH mRNA levels. It is concluded that PT and PET enhanced mitochondrial degradation in the low-oxidative compartment of rat GM.
Purpose: Previous work identified an asymmetry in tissue desaturation changes in the left and right quadriceps muscles during on-ice skating at maximal speed in males. The effect of changing race distance on the magnitude of desaturation or leg asymmetry is unknown. Methods: Six elite male skaters (age = 23 ± 1.8 yr, height = 1.8 ± 0.1 m, mass = 80.1 ± 5.7 kg, midthigh skinfold thickness = 7 ± 2 mm) and four elite female skaters (age = 21 ± 4 yr, height = 1.6 ± 0.1 m, mass = 65.2 ± 4.3 kg, midthigh skinfold thickness = 10 ± 1 mm) were studied. Subjects completed time trials over three race distances. Blood lactate concentration and O2 uptake measurements were combined with near-infrared spectroscopy measures of muscle oxygenation (TSI) and blood volume (tHb) in the right and left vastus lateralis. Results: Neither race distance nor gender had a significant effect on the magnitude of maximal muscle desaturation (ΔTSI(max)). Pattern of local changes in tHb during individual laps was dependent upon subtle differences in skating technique used for the different race distances. Linear regression analysis revealed asymmetry between the right and left leg desaturation in males during the final stages of each race distance, but not in females. At all race distances, local muscle desaturation reached maximal values much more quickly than global VO(2peak). Conclusion: The use of wearable near-infrared spectroscopy devices enabled measurement of muscle oxygenation during competitive race simulation, thus providing unique insight into the effects of velocity and technique changes on local muscle oxygenation. This may have implications for training and race pacing in speed skating.
Wearable, wireless near-infrared (NIR) spectrometers were used to compare changes in on-ice short-track skating race simulations over 1,500 m with a 3-min cycle ergometry test at constant power output (400 W). The subjects were six male elite short-track speed skaters. Both protocols elicited a rapid desaturation (∆TSI%) in the muscle during early stages (initial 20 s); however, asymmetry between right and left legs was seen in ΔTSI% for the skating protocol, but not for cycling. Individual differences between skaters were present in both protocols. Notably, one individual who showed a relatively small TSI% change (-10.7%, group mean = -26.1%) showed a similarly small change during the cycling protocol (-5.8%, group mean = -14.3%). We conclude that NIRS-detected leg asymmetry is due to the specific demands of short-track speed skating. However, heterogeneity between individuals is not specific to the mode of exercise. Whether this is a result of genuine differences in physiology or a reflection of differences in the optical properties of the leg remains to be determined.
A link between lactate and muscular exercise was seen already more than 200 years ago. The blood lactate concentration (BLC) is sensitive to changes in exercise intensity and duration. Multiple BLC threshold concepts define different points on the BLC power curve during various tests with increasing power (INCP). The INCP test results are affected by the increase in power over time. The maximal lactate steady state (MLSS) is measured during a series of prolonged constant power (CP) tests. It detects the highest aerobic power without metabolic energy from continuing net lactate production, which is usually sustainable for 30 to 60 min. BLC threshold and MLSS power are highly correlated with the maximum aerobic power and athletic endurance performance. The idea that training at threshold intensity is particularly effective has no evidence. Three BLC-orientated intensity domains have been established: (1) training up to an intensity at which the BLC clearly exceeds resting BLC, light- and moderate-intensity training focusing on active regeneration or high-volume endurance training (Intensity < Threshold); (2) heavy endurance training at work rates up to MLSS intensity (Threshold ≤ Intensity ≤ MLSS); and (3) severe exercise intensity training between MLSS and maximum oxygen uptake intensity mostly organized as interval and tempo work (Intensity > MLSS). High-performance endurance athletes combining very high training volume with high aerobic power dedicate 70 to 90% of their training to intensity domain 1 (Intensity < Threshold) in order to keep glycogen homeostasis within sustainable limits.
Previous longitudinal studies have shown that speed skaters always reach much better performances on bicycle ergometer at the end of speed skating season in March than at the end of pre-season training in October. In pre-season, training consisted only of running and doing several skating exercises and simulations. This type of training had no effect on endurance times on bicycle ergometer. In this study in 1975-1976 six well trained marathon speed skaters in pre-season mainly trained on racing cycles. As opposed to the same and other groups in previous years, who trained in the traditional way, endurance times at a continuous high load of 5.0 watt per kg. body weight increased significantly. So it could be stated that (racing) cycling is a more specific training for speed skaters than running.