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GAZZETTA MEDICA ITALIANA ARCHIVIO PER LE SCIENZE MEDICHE

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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2007 October;166(5):169-79

language: English

Physiological profile of Czech elite summer biathletes of both sexes

Psotta R. 1, Bunc V. 2, Tenney D. 3, Sveráková D. 1, Hrásky P. 2, Seflová I. 2

1 Instructional and Training Technology Laboratory, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic;
2 Sport Research Laboratory, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic;
3 Department of Exercise, Fitness and Human Performance, George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, USA


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Aim. No data on physiological demands of summer biathlon exists. Therefore the study was aimed to identification of the physiological profile of the Czech elite summer biathletes.
Methods. Well trained male adult and adolescent cross-country running summer biathletes of both sexes were tested for maximal oxygen uptake (V.O2max), oxygen uptake at the ventilatory threshold (V.O2VT), maximal running speed (V.max) and running speed at the VT (V.VT). The bioimpedance method was used for assessment of the body fat, body cell mass (BCM) and extracellular mass (ECM).
Results. V.O2max·kg-1 and V.max of adolescent male biathletes were significantly higher than that of adolescent female biathletes (effect size ES=1.5). The higher VVT of male adolescent biathletes in comparison to female counterparts (ES=2.2) was associated with higher V.O2VT (ES=1.2) while the coefficient of energy cost of running (C) was not different. The significantly lower V.O2max related to the fat free mass (FFM) in female adolescent biathletes (ES=0.9) could be associated with the higher ECM/BCM ratio (0.89 vs 0.73, ES=1.5). Although no large differences of V.O2max·kg-1, V.O2max.kg-1FFM, V.O2VT and C between adolescent and adult male biathletes were found, V.max and V.VT of the adult biathletes were significantly higher (ES= 1.1 and ES=1.0, respectively).
Conclusions. A relatively more important component of physical performance of summer biathletes seems to be maximal aerobic power and neuromuscular predispositions for running at higher speeds rather than the aerobic capacity. The data presented in this study can serve as the standards for performance-related physiological assessment of summer biathletes.

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