In a short series of articles, FasterSkier will summarize the current discussion and research regarding the importance of oxygen uptake and anaerobic threshold for Cross-Country skiers.
Editor: Much of the material for this series of articles is based on articles in the Norwegian magazine SkiSport and in misc. Norwegian newspapers
A person’s maximal oxygen uptake (max VO2) is the best single indicator for predicting performance in Cross-Country skiing, and we find the highest max VO2 values among the best Cross-Country skiers. However, not much is separating the best skiers in the World. The best male Cross-Country skiers have values over 85 ml/kg/min, while the best female skiers have values above 70 ml/kg/min. There is a reason these athletes are best. To compete with lower oxygen uptake than your competitors is equal to driving a Volkswagen instead of a Mercedes. Luckily, it is fairly easy to become a Mercedes, as long as you train correctly. It is however also easy to spend lots of time training without getting close to converting your engine from a Volkswagen to a Mercedes.