Alaskan skier Anders Haugen did a MaxVO2 test using double-poling, skating and classic skiing in an uphill on rollerskis in Trondheim on Monday. Modern technology has now made it possible to do this testing outside of a lab environment, making it specific to the sport by using lightweight, high tech equipment and allowing athletes to do the test using terrain, techniques and equipment they normally use.
When testing to determine O2 capacity, max heart rate and lactate levels it makes sense for runners to run, for cyclists to bike, and for skiers to ski or rollerski. Lab testing is still important; however further important detailed information can be found when making the testing as specific as possible.
The advantage with field testing for skiers can be to determine differences in O2 capacity in diagonal versus skating and how much of your overall O2 capacity you can use while double-poling. Getting these answers can help skiers adjust their training.
A five to ten percent lower capacity in skating versus classic would mean that a skier who can finish in the lead group on the classic leg, could easily lose position on the skate leg of the race. A skier with these differences would need to adjust his/her training and improve their skate capacity max VO2 substantially.
Another example of training adjustments would be when a skier can â€œonlyâ€ utilize 85% of their O2 capacity while double poling. The best double polers can utilize 90-95% and that is of a very high O2 capacity. The answer to being able to double pole with the best when the pace is â€œall outâ€ at the end of a race is again an exceptional high O2 capacity and being able to utilize a very high percent of this capacity. Being â€œstrongerâ€ is only a small part of the answer while hard specific training is necessary and a must.
Anders Haugen was tested by Professor Jan Helgerud of the School of Medicine at the University of Trondheim. Helgerud and his colleagues are involved in the testing of the Norwegian women’s national team, male national team skiers and World class athletes from a number of other sports including alpine, orienteering and soccer. Helgerud tested among others, soccer super star Ronaldo earlier this summer. He also tested the 2005 US road racing cycling champion a little more than a week before the US Nationals in June.
The equipment Helgerud used is a Cortex Metamax metabolic system made in Leipzig, Germany.
Haugen was tested by Helgerud on-snow at altitude at Soldier Hollow, Utah in December 2004. The same protocol was used for both the December on-snow test and Monday’s rollerski test.
We tested Anders first in double poling, then skating followed by classic. Each test was done in an uphill. The grade for the double poling was gentler than what was used for skating and classic. Each test was an â€œall outâ€ time-trial that lasted 6 to 7 minutes. The recovery between each test was changing of equipment followed by a few minutes of easy skiing. Classic rollerskis and classic poles were used for the double pole test, skate skis and skate poles for the skating and classic skis and poles for the final classic test.
Anders O2 test showed a 4.5% improvement from December and equal values in skating and classic. His double poling capacity was good but he still needs to improve this.
He is now at a higher value than when he raced this winter and has an estimated 16% higher O2 capacity than when he arrived in Park City last fall.