Thursday, July 2, 2009

It's Been a While

Admittedly, it's been quite a while since I've posted anything. Luckily it's summer time and there hasn't been much to report.

Here is a selection of what I've been thinking about:

1. Madeleine has joined the Alberta World Cup Academy for the 2009 - 2010 season. I've joined up too as part of the service team along with Mike Mappin and Jonathan Lamothe.

2. The Fischer f-series classic skis for this coming season are maybe the best ever produced.

3. Skiing performance ultimately depends on two things: 1) The ability to ski fast - neuromuscular input, muscle recruitment, maximum oxygen uptake, skiing technique and economy, aerobic and anaerobic energy production 2) The ability to resist fatigue - sustained neuromuscular recruitment, fractional utilization of MVO2, glycogen stores, and utilization of fats.

4. Skiers probably have enough muscle mass and maximal force strength but they may have limitations in fast force production and in the ability to keep up force production throughout the duration of a ski race. This means skiers should emphasize sport-specific, exploisve type strenth, spring, and muscular endurance training. Studies show that concurrent strength and endurance training can be used to improve force-velocity characteristics and fatigue resistance without decreasing aerobic performance.

5. In uphill skating poling contributes more than half of the propulsive force.

6. Force applied to the ski by the foot should be perpendicular to the ski surface. Pushing backward will only serve to decrease the ski's glide speed and will not increase propulsive force applied to the skier.

7. Despite what many people think, a 5% change in ski speed (ie better glide, which would be imperceptible by most people) could save up to a full minute over 10km. Test those top coats!

8. Little metabolic and velocity difference has been found between the three skating techniques - with the exception of uphills. Basically, it doesn't matter which technique you choose until the grade is in excess of +6%. At that point offset becomes faster.

9. Specificity of training means that only those characteristics in only those muscles, tissues, and organs that are overloaded/stressed during training will be improved. All that bike racing you're doing this summer? It's not going to make you a faster skier.

10. Skiing specific muscles must be used when training for improving fractional utilization of MVO2. Whole body MVO2 training requires that great muscle mass is activated; optimal summer training modes are ski-specific including ski-walking/ski-striding and rollerskiing.

11. Research indicates that consuming sport drink has a performance enhancing effect during prolonged (>60 minutes) of exercise. The same studies also indicate that it doesn't make a bit of difference which sport drink you consume. They all work equally well and the most important thing is to find one that is palatable.

12. We made some final grind decisions on Madeleine's skis today.

13. It's only July and I'm already super excited for the season. I think I may have a condition.

14. There may only be five or six people that can actually understand most of the things that come out of Zach Caldwell’s mouth when he’s waxing poetic on ski polemic. I'm working very hard to be one of those five or six people... frighteningly, sometimes with success.

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