Seasonal and annual changes in physical performance capacity of elite athletes
Seasonal and annual changes in physical performance characteristics of 10 female and 28 male cross-country skiers, 5 male nordic combination skiers and 7 male skijumpers were studied. Following parameters were investigated on most of the athletes: maximal oxygen uptake (maxVo₂) in leg and arm work, vertical running velocity (Vv), total isometric leg force (TLF), percentage of slow twitch muscle fibers (%ST fibers) and succinate dehydrogenase activity (SDH) in m. vastus lateralis. The measurements were made between the spring of 1973 and winter of 1976. The yearly measurement times were spring (the beginning of the basic training period), autumn (a change from the basic training period to special training period of each event) and winter (competitive season). The maxVo₂ of the cross-country skier groups increased by 4,7 - 9.9 % from spring to winter and by 3.1 - 4.6 % annually. In arm work maxVo₂ of the same subjects increased by 5.6 - 13.8 % from spring to winter and by 4.2 - 5.9 % annually. The nordic combination skiers increased annually their maxVo₂ in leg by 1.7 % and in arm work by 5.7 %. The SDH activity of the male and female skiers increased by 32.7 % and 40.3 % from spring to winter and the annual increases were 29.8 % and 16.2 %, respectively. The nordic combination skiers increased their SDH activity by 42.5 % annually. The TLF of the nordic combination skiers and ski4umners increased annually by 24.8 % and 29.1 % and the annual increases in Vv were 16.1 % and 8.3 %, respectively. Annual increases in maxVo2, SDH activity, Vv and TLF were not related to the initial level in each parameter. The %ST fibers of no groups changed during the investigation period. Instead, the annual increases in maxVo₂ were positively related to %ST fibers. ...
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