Applied physiology in inline speed skating – cardiorespiratory demands, exercise testing and endurance training

Publication: Book/ReportDissertations


Physical activity and exercise improves function of the trained structures and causes a higher and more economic performance. Training is defined as a “systematic and targeted activation of the muscles with the objective to improve performance through morphological (structural) and functional adaptations” (Hollmann & Strüder, 2009) and aimed to reach and increase peak performance. The more intensive the demand placed on an organ – within its physiological limits – the stronger the adaptations to the strain. This results in a higher level of performance and resistance (Hollmann & Strüder, 2009).In sports with long traditions there already is a bright insight into sport-specific demands, performance diagnostics, technical and tactical influencing factors and exercise models are available. This knowledge enables athletes and coaches to develop a high level of performance with personal best based on 10 to 15 years of performance-minded training. Conversely, in young sports such as inline speed skating, there is still great potential to develop and expand peak performances of competing athletes. For this reason this cumulative thesis investigates the cardiorespiratory demands during an inline speed skating marathon road race; compares sport-specific and non-specific (running, cycling) exercise testing; and examines the effects of non-specific endurance training (running or cycling) on the specific endurance and sprint performance of inline speed skaters. The results serve to promote a greater understanding of the physiological demands of ISS and deliver essential information for professional training programs.Only highly trained athletes were included in the studies with one male athlete taking part in the first study (20 yrs, 73.4 kg, 178 cm), eight male athletes in the second study (30 ± 4 yrs, 71.6 ± 8.8 kg, 176.5 ± 5.4 cm) and eight male and female athletes each in the third study (24 ± 8 yrs, 67.5 ± 10.6 kg, 175.4 ± 9.7 cm). The obtained results revealed a very fluctuating racing pattern for the marathon, demanding both a high level of aerobic and anaerobic capacity. The second study proved that both a cycling and a running exercise tests can be considered as qualified alternatives for a challenging ISS test, but a sport-specific test should be conducted when a high level of precision is required. The applied non-specific cycling and running endurance training program within the third study was equally effective in improving inline speed skaters´ sport-specific aerobic capacity and sprint performance, as well as affecting a faster recovery. Moreover, athletes who trained in the running group showed a higher reliance on fat metabolism compared to the cycling group. While the running training program provides the more economical choice (~9 min/session), cycling imitates the specific HR regulation better than running. It can be suggested that cycling imitates the special movement pattern and muscle unit recruitment of inline speed skating better than running; however, the results of this thesis cannot claim this assumption is true. Contrary to this, running training revealed preferable adaptations for the specific sprint capacity and is less time consuming.Finally, it can be assumed that comparable results in non-specific exercise testing also induce comparable adaptations after non-specific endurance training. In conclusion, despite the different movement patterns including diverse muscle fiber recruitment, amount of activated muscle mass and type of contraction, physiological adaptations to endurance training generated similar results.The present thesis provides basic information about the cardiorespiratory competitive demand profile, as well as about exercise testing and training in inline speed skating that is essential to advance this young sport and enable a high level of performance. Based on these findings further research is required to gain a deeper understanding about the impacts of the unique movement pattern in inline speed skating. For this purpose it would prove useful to develop and analyze complex performance diagnostics including endurance, strength, swiftness and coordination tests. Optimally those investigations will be structured internationally in order to recruit an adequate amount of elite athletes.
Translated title of the contributionAngewandte Physiologie im Inline Speed Skating - kardiorespiratorische Anforderungen, Leistungsdiagnostik und Ausdauertraining
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationKöln
PublisherDeutsche Sporthochschule Köln
Number of pages164
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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