Comparison between the physiological response to roller skiing and in-line skating in biathletes

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Roller skiing is frequently used in Nordic disciplines during the off-season periods. Recently, in-line skating has become a potential alternative. In the present study, the responses of heart rate, oxygen uptake, respiratory exchange ratio, and lactic acid concentration to roller skiing and in-line skating were compared in competitive biathletes.


Eight male subjects performed three tests with both devices on a hilly outdoor track. They were requested to adjust their speed in such a way that the following criteria were met: intensity 1, lactate concentration about 2 mmol·L−1; intensity 2, lactate concentration about 4 mmol·L−1; AND intensity 3, maximal speed.


Though the subjects were not experienced in-line skaters, all managed to adjust the required intensities. This was achieved through increased velocities during in-line skating. Independent of the exercise intensity the differences in speed ranged between 1.0 and 1.4 m·s−1. The relationships between lactic acid concentration, oxygen uptake, respiratory exchange ratio, and heart rate were not influenced by the test device. The respiratory exchange ratio amounted to 0.88, 0.95, and 1.02 for intensities 1 to 3, respectively.


These results show that in-line skating can be regarded as an alternative to roller skiing for off-seasonal training in Nordic disciplines. A potential advantage of in-line skating is that aerobic training intensities can be obtained at competitive velocities.

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