Purpose: To compare the effects of a short specific and a long traditional warm-up on time-trial performance in cross-country skiing sprint using the skating style, as well as related differences in pacing strategy and physiological responses.
Methods: In total, 14 (8 men and 6 women) national-level Norwegian cross-country skiers (age 20.4 [3.1] y; VO2max 65.9 [5.7] mL/kg/min) performed 2 types of warm-up (short, 8 × 100 m with gradual increase from 60% to 95% of maximal speed with a 1-min rest between sprints, and long, ∼35 min at low intensity, including 5 min at moderate and 3 min at high intensity) in a randomized order with 1 hour and 40 minutes of rest between tests. Each warm-up was followed by a 1.3-km sprint time trial, with continuous measurements of speed and heart rate.
Results: No difference in total time for the time trial between the short and long warm-ups (199  vs 200  s; P = .952), or average speed and heart rate for the total course, or in the 6 terrain sections (all P < .41, η2 < .06) was found. There was an effect of order, with total time-trial time being shorter during test 2 than test 1 (197  vs 202  s; P = .004). No significant difference in blood lactate and rating of perceived exertion was found between the short versus long warm-ups or between test 1 and test 2 at any of the measurement points during the test day (P < .58, η2 > .01).
Conclusions: This study indicates that a short specific warm-up could be as effective as a long traditional warm-up during a sprint time trial in cross-country skiing.
Keywords: XC skiing; global navigation satellite system; pacing strategy; skating style.
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