Post Number: 1044
|Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 05:50 am: |
In the increased use of double poling in sprint races but in any classical technique race there is more and more indications, that the combination of actual motions with teh respiration rate may have to be re- evaluated, as double pole motions in frequencies of up to 80 and 90 motions per minute combined with the same RR can show a drammatical decrease in SpO2 due to hyper ventilation on teh one side and and increase in hypoxia on the other side.
Specific respiratory workouts seem to be needed , but interestingly enough very little is done from coaches and athelets in that directions
The high cardio ( HR ) work of up to 190 beats per minute with the extreme high respiration rate will potential reduce the diffusion ( contact time ) to an extreme low level with the dramatically drop in SpO2 due the low and short transient time.
The hyperventilation , which will reduce the pCO2 and therefor to a certain extend avoids an increase in H+ ( Respiratory acidosis ) will work negatively towards a inhibition of the O2 Diss. curve towards the right, which would be needed to extract the O2 better from the blood.
This could be all adressed by including some new ideas and techniques in respiratory workouts combined with skiing or in cold weahther inside pulmonary training to avoid the high numbers of "exercised induced " asthma in cross country skiers.
Just some thoughts.
Institute of Physiology, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Novosibirsk, 630117, Russia
Received: 16 May 2007 Published online: 4 May 2008
Abstract As part of a study on the resistance of subjects adapted to aerobic physical activity to hypoxia, the ventilatory response of trained skiers whose regular physical training is associated with hyperventilation to intermittent normobaric hypoxia has been analyzed. A test session consisted of three cycles of breathing alternately a hypoxic gas mixture (10 vol % O2) for 5 min and normal air for 5 min. The skiers have a lower oxygen consumption rate as compared with untrained subjects, i.e., a reduced resistance to hypoxia. Therefore, the efficiency of respiration during hypoxia is lower in atheltes, which is caused by a rapid decrease in blood oxygenation, whereas during breathing normal atmospheric air, the efficiency of respiration is lower in untrained subjects.
Original Russian Text © V.E. Divert, S.N. Vodyanitski, S.G. Krivoschekov, 2008, published in Fiziologiya Cheloveka, 2008, Vol. 34, No. 2, pp. 71–76.
Post Number: 1046
|Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 09:29 am: |
If we look at the simple Interval idea on the thread "do we understand interval" than we may see a connection with the incredible breathing frequency in sport like kajaking , rowing and corss country skiing , where the motion may dictated the respiration frequency , instead the athletes controlles the respiration frequency . Here an interesting abstaract by Dempsey et all.
Update in the Understanding of Respiratory Limitations to Exercise Performance in Fit, Active Adults
Jerome A. Dempsey, PhD*; Donald C. McKenzie, MD, PhD; Hans C. Haverkamp, PhD and Marlowe W. Eldridge, MD
*From the University of Wisconsin (Drs. Dempsey and Eldridge), Madison, WI; the University of British Columbia (Dr. McKenzie), Vancouver, BC, Canada; and Johnson State College (Dr. Haverkamp), Johnson, Vermont.
Correspondence to: Jerome A. Dempsey, PhD, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 4245 MSC, 1300 University Ave, Madison, WI 53706; e-mail: email@example.com
This review addresses three types of causes of respiratory system limitations to O2 transport and exercise performance that are experienced by significant numbers of active, highly fit younger and older adults. First, flow limitation in intrathoracic airways may occur during exercise because of narrowed, hyperactive airways or secondary to excessive ventilatory demands superimposed on a normal maximum flow-volume envelope. Narrowing of the extrathoracic, upper airway also occurs in some athletes at very high flow rates during heavy exercise. Examination of the breath-by-breath tidal flow-volume loop during exercise is key to a noninvasive diagnosis of flow limitation and to differentiation between intrathoracic and extrathoracic airway narrowing. Second exercise-induced arterial hypoxemia occurs secondary to an excessively widened alveolar-arterial oxygen pressure difference. This inefficient gas exchange may be attributable in part to small intracardiac or intrapulmonary shunts of deoxygenated mixed venous blood during exercise. The existence of these shunts at rest and during exercise may be determined by using saline solution contrast echocardiography. Finally, fatigue of the respiratory muscles resulting from sustained, high-intensity exercise and the resultant vasoconstrictor effects on limb muscle vasculature will also compromise O2 transport and performance. Exercise in the hypoxic environments of even moderately high alitudes will greatly exacerbate the negative influences of these respiratory system limitations to exercise performance, especially in highly fit individuals.
Post Number: 1047
|Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 10:12 am: |
And here another point of view :
Statement of the Topic
The limitation to VO2 max is central!
Affirmative Argument by Alison Low
V02 max is traditionally defined as the maximal rate at which the body consumes oxygen during each minute of exercise (Basset and Howley 1997, Seiler 1996). As oxygen consumption is linearly related to energy expenditure it is therefore an indirect calculation of an individuals' maximal ability to work aerobically (Seiler 1996). High level aerobic capacity or endurance is a product of three physiological factors; a high VO2 max, a high lactate threshold and the efficient use of the three energy systems. Consequently as athletes strive to push endurance to its limits there has been a great body of research performed into what limits VO2 max and how it can be improved.
VO2 max is determined by incremental exercise testing, and is the point at which oxygen uptake reaches a peak and additional power production fails to elicit further gains in VO2 (Lindstedt et al 1988). The concept of VO2 max can be attributed to Archibald Vivian Hill who won a Nobel Prize in 1922 for his work in the area. After conducting, in his own words, "many careful and elegant experiments on exercising man" he concluded that VO2 max was limited by the capacity of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems to transport oxygen (Basset and Howley 1997). This is exactly the viewpoint of the debate today, that the limitation to VO2 max is central and the negative speaker is challenged to dispute the findings of a Nobel Prize winner!
There are several elements in the oxygen transport pathway from mouth to mitochondria that have the individual potential to limit oxygen supply and therefore VO2 max (Wagner 1995). These structures (in order) are pulmonary diffusion capacity, cardiac output and therefore muscle blood flow, haemoglobin concentration and diffusional transport of oxygen between muscle microcirculatory red cells and mitochondria (Wagner 1995). For the purposes of this debate all structure and functions that occur outside the perimysium will be considered as driven by central mechanisms, as maximal VO2 and blood flow are inextricably linked (Cain 1995). Each of these structures will now be examined separately and it will be proved that the limitation to VO2 max is centrally driven.
The lung can increase pulmonary surface area (and hence diffusing capacity for oxygen) in response to an increase in oxygen demand. This has been determined in the laboratory with the increase in demand for oxygen created artificially in animals through genetics, drugs and manipulation of temperature. Similarly it has been demonstrated that humans who are native to the Andes have relatively large lungs (Lindstedt et al 1988). These observations demonstrate a consistent response of an increase in diffusing capacity for oxygen to a chronic reduction in oxygen supply. If the lung does not limit VO2 max (i.e. there is already more lung structure than is necessary to meet demand), it is valid to ask why does the diffusing capacity for oxygen increase in response to oxygen demand?Therefore available lung structure has been postulated to limit VO2 max, however in reality this is most likely to only occur at altitude.
There have been a number of studies that have measured the response of VO2 max to hyperoxic and hypoxic situations. It would appear that the reduction in VO2 max in response to hypoxia is much more significant than the increase demonstrated in hyperoxia (Basset and Howley 1997,Wagner 1995). These effects closely mimic the oxygen-haemoglobin dissociation curve (fig 1). During high PO2 there are only moderate increases in haemoglobin saturation as haemoglobin are close to maximal capacity (flat part of the curve), whereas during low PO2 there are sharp decreases in heamoglobin saturation in response to lower levels of inspired oxygen (steep part of the curve).
Fig 1 (from McArdle, Katch and Katch 1986)
The exception to this situation has been demonstrated by Powers et al (cited in Wagner 1995) who increased inspired PO2 in elite endurance athletes. In this group of subjects VO2 max was increased by breathing higher levels of oxygen, as this corrected an arterial hypoxaemia induced by intense exercise. The phenomenon of arterial hypoxaemia was seen in the 70-80 ml/min/kg VO2 max range, which according to Frontera and Adams (1986) places an individual in a 'world class runner' category. Consequently the results of this study were very impressive as already high VO2 max values were pushed even higher. It is postulated that this phenomenon occurs because of the decreased transit time of the RBC's in the pulmonary capillaries of elite athletes resulting in a pulmonary diffusion limitation (Basset and Howley 1997, Frontera and Adams 1988). This provides greater evidence that pulmonary diffusing capacity can limit VO2 max, particularly in the elite athlete.
Lastly it has been proposed by Wagner (cited in Ranson 1997) that the pulmonary system may limit the VO2 max of elite athletes by way of CO2 poisoning. In the average person PCO2 fall toward VO2 max suggesting that there are expiratory flow limitations. However in elite athletes CO2 levels actually rise as VO2 reaches its maximum secondary to their greater capacity to utilise oxygen, and potentially CO2 may limit VO2 max.
Post Number: 1048
|Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 10:16 am: |
This last summary would support our ideas:
1. You can "manipulate the O2 intake with specific respiratory techniques, as well you can "manipulate " the CO2 out put .
This will either avoid hypoxia or hypercapnia , depending at what stage in a race you are.
To be able to control that you need to wokr on this ideas and techniques, as you may work on different techniques with your ski ing or biking or other sports.
You only can choose a technique in a race if it is more efficient.
Example: Many cyclist choose to go out of the saddle in a desperate situation , very stepp or clsoing to a group and son on.
My question is:
Are you sure you are more effcient than in the saddle.
If not you may be able to go for a short moment harder but may have to pay the price immediatly after that inefficient effort .
How many times do you practice out of saddle riding .?
Post Number: 11
|Posted on Monday, December 22, 2008 - 03:43 pm: |
This is a very interesting thread as Andrew and I have been talking about this topic quite extensively lately.
Earlier this month I raced the classic sprint at the NorAm in Silver Star. Everyone who qualified in the top 30 double poled the entire course, myself included.
Off the start I always breathe every 2nd pole, but once I get into the course (after about 20s) I start to breathe every pole, exhaling every push.
When I'm poling at 90rpm i'd be breathing pretty quick... We thought this rate would be too high and inefficient since I couldn't possibly breathe a normal volume.
We devised a test to do on the spirotiger. Tough to totally analyze the results though, cause I was moving air so quickly that when I inhaled I would breathe air through the valve as opposed to from the bag and that's what made me quit the tests. I could breathe 55 resps/min with a 3L bag and 42 resps/min with the 4L. I would argue that I could go faster, the design of the Spirotiger was just limiting me.
The results from this test would be roughly indicative of being able to breathe 2L/breathe at 90 resps/min. I would think the poling action (lifting shoulders/arms) would help pull air in and an even higher volume could be achieved. But still, I don't know if such fast/large breathing is totally necessary... It would be interesting to do some testing of this next season on the rollerski treadmill in Calgary.
Post Number: 1071
|Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2008 - 01:05 am: |
2 L /breath may be perhaps 30 % of your VC , as I assume you have at least a 6 L VC or bigger.
Now from this 2 L air you actually move somewhere of 250 - 350 ml is dead space air , meaning air from the motuth to the gas exchange area. so you actually move app. 1.7 liter of air in and out of a bag of 6 liter.
If you imagine a ballon of 6 liter and you give 1.7 L air in you have a very small air pressure in that ballon.
What seems to happen is what we tested before the Calgary games is: The body tries mainly to get ride of CO2 with this actions as CO2 move much easier than O2 and the CO2 release is one or the fastest way as a buffer system together with red blood cells . ( tahs way epo or Cera are so succesfull in cross country skiing and by increasing the plasma volume ( plasma expansder ) as they do in Cross country you can " suck a lot of O2 out from the blood without getting to much in with breathing.
One of the latter ideas is to use 100 % O2 prior and see whether that incrases performance ina sprint event. The advantage is as well , that it is "legal " and can't be if not legal be tested.
There are now different O2 sparyes circulating and you combine this with Suildenafil , which is easily available you have a new generation of performance booster, used but never talk about.
For us more interesting than spending time on this is the question , on how we can improve extraction of O2 by naturally moving the O2 disc. curve to the right.
We work on different breathing ideas, as they use in long time diving and see whether that works by testing SpO2 after the breathing and after an intenses session like a sprint could be.
The uquestion here really is:
How good are the core muscles integrated in teh work motion , and how good can the body extract O2 from the Hb so it still can deliver O2 as a part of the energy production . How good is the MCT1 system and how good is the MCT1 part as well on how to prepare best for the race. Pulmonary preparation or metabolic preparation.
or coordination or in what combination.
Just some thought out from the cold .
Post Number: 1072
|Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2008 - 06:33 am: |
One of many discussion in any endurance sport is the idea of STF and FTF fiber involvement, respectively the RER (RQ) situation.
This leads to the often big and heated discussion on the idea of LSD workouts as of little or no values . The fact may be, that under race speed conditions it is not a question orf STF or FTF or oxygen independent , as it is rather a "Time " question on who can deliver the ATP fastest for the current demand.
So all of the metabolic system will work full steam , but some are just simply too "slow for an immediate ATP delivery , but still work on the ATP prodcution to be delivered as soon it is produced.
I have this relative stupid and unscientific idea of:
Fibers who work as: twitch now produce later or pay later. FTF oxygen independent.
Fibers twitch now produce now FTF a
and fibers Produce now twitch later . STF
So in a race situation they work as a team , some twitch now but pay later, some just pay cash and some are so nivce, thet prodcue steady and may trwitch later.
Here an interesting finding m, which may support some of this basic ideas.
Blood lactate and respiratory variables in elite cross-country skiing at racing speeds
E. Mygind 1 , L. B. Andersen 1 , B. Rasmussen 2
1 Danish State Institute of Physical Education, Copenhagen, Denmark 2 August Krogh Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark
Correspondence to Erik Mygind, M. Sc., Danish State Institute of Physical Education, Nerre Alle 51, DK-2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark
Copyright 1994 Munksgaard
simulated race • elite skier • blood lactate • heart rate • oxygen uptake
The purpose of this study was to examine energy metabolism during two simulated races (skating and classical) in cross-country skiing. In each race 15 elite subjects skied a 2.75-km track 5 times. In laps 2 and 4, the skiers were told to skate without poles in the skating race and without the diagonal stride in the classical race. The total exercise time was between 42 and 50 min in the 2 races. The oxygen uptake was measured on flat and uphill terrain during each lap and blood lactate after each lap. The relative mean oxygen uptake for classical skiing was 88% (82-96) for level and 93% (87-97) for uphill terrain. The respective means for skating were 91% (85-96) for level and 91% (81-97) for uphill terrain. The mean values and range for blood lactate at race speeds were 10.6 mM (7.1-18.1) and 9.2 mM (4.8-18.8) for skating and classical, respectively. A relative steady state was achieved after the first lap, although a slight but significant blood lactate accumulation took place until finish (0.04-0.06 mM min−1). The respiratory exchange ratio in both skiing styles varied between 0.88-0.90 and 0.92-0.93 for flat and uphill terrain, respectively, indicating a large lipid oxidation at these very high exercise intensities."
Post Number: 1073
|Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2008 - 07:27 am: |
I got a nice email, for my "pessimistic" view on doping in cross country skiing ort sport in general.
I am not pessimistic but just simply realistic. Where ever there is fame and money involved we have people , who will try to get there easier thna just with work.
Same is true for sport medical doctors as well as coaches.
It is much easier to play with phatmacoilogical ideas , than with physiological limitations.
So nothing negative about that but a reality check.
In a big study done in Switzerland in a popular race ( Jungfrau marathon ) a random testsing on the people showed a 35 % involement of pharmaceutical hel P ( drugs who would be banned for top athletes. ) same amount of Drug abuse is in any big companie if we would test workes very regular.
So it is simply a reflection of our time.
People with different problems look for a fast fix. ( Back problems as one example ) and they prefer to take a medication, rather than doing any type of exercies. Diabetix II people with sluighlty sysmptoms and over weoght rather takle a medication , than change life style. and so on. ) It is reality and must be a severe head ache for any family doctor or specialist , who can see, the potential of help if they change life style but must get very frustrated , if the simply change the doctore to get a prescription for a medication , as the prescription walk more eat less is one people don't like to get.
So here a very brief summary of the history of doping in cross country skiing.
The new chapter on hwat will come next is not written jet.
" Doping in Cross Country Skiing Dec 4th, 2008
By Roddy Ward
The practice of using artificial substances or methods to enhance athletic performance is called doping. Athletes face enormous pressure to excel in competition. They also know that winning can not only earn them a gold medal, but earn them a lot of money and fame. Athletes know that training is the best path to victory, but they also know that some drugs and other practices can boost their efforts, giving them a shortcut. Athletes may have several reasons for using performance-enhancing drugs. Doping with different performance enhancing drugs can build mass and strength of muscles and/or bones, increase delivery of oxygen to exercising tissues, mask pain, stimulate the body, relax, reduce weight and hide use of other drugs (Freudenrich, 2008). Doping in cross country skiing is a big problem as doping scandals have plagued the sport. It is important that doping is stopped before sport and the ethics it promotes are lost forever.
Doping or the use of performance enhancing drugs has a long history, pre-dating the ancient Greek Olympiads (Burns, 2006). In the early era of modern sport, doping was mostly associated with professional cycling. Although some cyclists died from the intake of performance enhancing drugs in the late nineteenth and early part of the twentieth century, sports authorities did not take action. It was not until a Danish cyclist died during the 1960 Olympic road race in Rome that action was taken. In 1967, the International Cycling Union (UCI) began to develop a set of rules and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) created a medical commission (IOC-MC) to fight misuse of drugs in Olympic sports. Since 1967, anti-doping efforts have intensified and they have slowly started to catch up with the dopers (Catlin et al. 2008).
The use of doping substances in many sports has become a major public health issue all over the world. The global characteristics of doping led to the formation of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in 1999. WADA was founded with equal partnership between public authorities and Olympic sport. Thus, the fight against doping has evolved from the singled-handed effort of the IOC and sport federations to one that now also involves international government and politics (Catlin et al. 2008).
In the last 40 years, remarkable advances in analytical chemistry have allowed the IOC and sport federations and more recently WADA, the capacity to identify and sanction athletes who have misused a wide range of pharmaceutical products, the vast majority of these produces were developed to treat diseases but now involve drugs developed specifically for athlete performance enhancement (Catlin et al. 2008).
Anti-doping efforts are important not only for health concerns but for the spirit of fair play in sport. Cheating is wrong. Athletes who cheat destroy the whole purpose of sport- to see how far their natural talents, honed by training to improve their skills and fitness- can take them. Cheaters not only cheat themselves, but also other athletes they compete against (Pound, 2006).
Doping history in cross country skiing:
Over 50 years ago Pace and colleagues (1947) reported that hypoxia tolerance can be increased by blood transfusions, also called blood doping. Since then several studies have demonstrated the beneficial effect of increased red blood cell volume on aerobic performance. Rumors about the use of blood doping have been circulating since the 1960s but in only a few cases official evidence documents its use in ski sports (Videman, 2000).
Today there is widespread public concern about fairness in most sports, including cross country skiing. Blood doping undermines fairness and places athletes' health at risk (Videman, 2000). Data from a Stray-Gundersen (2003) study suggests that blood doping is both prevalent and effective in cross-country ski racing, and the current testing programs for blood doping are ineffective. The study suggests it is unlikely that blood doping is less common in other endurance sports and that the ramifications of doping affect not only elite athletes who may feel compelled to risk their health but also the general population, particularly young people.
In 1988, the FIS decided to begin testing for blood doping. This commenced at the 1989 World Ski Championships. This initiative gave the FIS an opportunity to start to follow the hemoglobin concentrations in elite cross-country skiers. In 1996, with this information, the FIS issued a new regulation that skiers would not be allowed to compete if their hemoglobin values exceeded the mean values. To avoid the effect of altitude of the competition site local reference values, usually from the closest university hospital, would be used. Athletes whose hemoglobin concentration exceeded the acceptable limit would be excluded from competition but would not receive any further sanctions. Skiers with excessively elevated hemoglobin values would be advised to seek treatment since the elevated levels could pose serious health risks (Videman, T. 2000).
The side effects of blood transfusions or blood doping are many. An athlete can experience allergic reactions ranging from a rash or fever to kidney damage, they have an increased risk of contracting infectious diseases, such as HIV and are in danger of heart attacks, bloods clots and stokes (Pound, 2006).
Recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO) has been in clinical use for over a decade and is a leading drug used in Cross Country Skiing. It has similar effects as blood doping and can increase the red blood cell mass, hemoglobin concentration, and endurance capacity in athletes. In cross country skiing, these are all successful markers of an elite skier. For many years no methods were available to confirm its use, today there are direct detection methods available (Videman, T. 2000). The side effects of EPO are dangerous, they include thickening blood, increased risk of blood clots, strokes and heart attacks and a risk of contracting infectious diseases from non-sterile injection techniques and sharing contaminated needles (Pound, 2006).
Widespread use of inhalers by cross country skiers was a topic of interest in the early 2000's with many questioning whether the athletes truly needed them. Inhaled β2-agonists had been subject to restrictions due to a fear of possible improvement in endurance performance (Carlsen et al. 2001). Recently however, inhaled salmeterol (Sue-chu, 1999), salbutamol and terbutaline have been permitted in sport, with the proper therapeutic use documentation, as they have been found to not enhance performance of non-asthmatic athletes. Formoterol has also been found not to improve endurance performance (Carlsen et al. 2001). Asthma, asthma-like symptoms, and bronchial hyper responsiveness has been found to be much more common in cross country skiers than in the general population. The reason is strenuous exercise at low temperatures while breathing large volumes of cold air causes increased probability of asthma for skiers. (Larsson et al. 1993). It appears the high use of inhaled β2-agonists is warranted.
Further drug use has been reported in Cross Country Skiing including Testosterone, Human Growth Hormone, masking agents and many others.
Cross country skiing doping scandals:
2002 Olympic scandal:
At the 2002 Olympics, Canadian skier Becky Scott won a bronze medal in the pursuit race. It was quickly upgraded to silver after an athlete was found guilty of taking EPO. In the next race, the gold medalist from the pursuit tested positive for doping and was subsequently disqualified. The medal from that race was immediately taken away but it was decided that she would keep the medals won in previous races. Becky and the Canadian Olympic Committee went after that decision, trying to get the medals awards earlier taken away. They eventually won the decision but not until 2 years later. Becky finally received her gold medal in the end (CBC, 2003). On the men's side another similar doping story was evolving. Johann Muhlegg had been dominating the Olympics when he tested positive for EPO. His medals were also taken away, however, in the 30km the two athletes who moved up to grab the gold and silver were under a cloud of suspicion of their own. These two athletes were Christian Hoffman and Mikhail Botvinov of the Austrian ski team (ESPN, 2004).
The Austrian cross country and biathlon teams have made there own doping history in the last 6 years, starting at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City as previously mentioned. At the 2002 games, a maid was cleaning the Austrian team's condominium when she found a needle poking out a trash bag. She opened it and found used blood transfusion bags, syringes and more needles (Mark Zeigler, 2006). The head coach of the Austrian team, Walter Meyer, was given an 8 years ban for his role in the scandal (Newsweek, 2006). Since then, they had been targeting the Austrians on suspicions of illicit blood doping to boost endurance. At the 2006 games in Turin, a huge doping scandal hit cross country skiing involving the Austrians once again. Italian police received a tip from the IOC and raided the Austrians residence the night before the 4x10km relay. Athletes were asked to lie on the floor with their hands behind their head while the residence was searched thoroughly. Afterwards, 10 athletes were hauled away for urine tests and were up most of the night. In the relay race the bleary-eyed Austrians finished last among 16 nations, even enduring the embarrassment of being lapped (Mark Zeigler, 2006). The tip that the IOC passed onto the Italian authorities is that Meyers was spotted in the small alpine town of Sestriere. In an odd twist, before the raid Meyer tried to flee Italy, smashed is car into a police blockade and ended up spending time in a psychiatric hospital (Newsweek, 2006).
Present issues in doping:
While great progress has been made to catch up with the dopers and their rogue scientific advisors, many challenges remain in the future, not the least of which will be the necessity to prevent gene doping from damaging sport (Catlin et al. 2008). Gene doping is the non-therapeutic use of cells, genes, genetic elements or the modulation of gene expression. It has the ability to enhance athletic performance. Gene doping technologies are still in the experimental phase so the full range of side effects are unknown. However, from early experiments we know they can lead to development of cancer, allergies and death (Pound, 2006).
Some suggest that anti-doping is going too far and everyone is quick to aster size an athlete before proven guilty. At the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin, Canadian cross country skier Sean Crooks tested for high hemoglobin levels. At the time 12 athletes were found to have elevated hemoglobin levels. This sparks controversial comments from Dick Pound, head of WADA, calling it "a strange coincidence" that 12 cross-country showed elevated levels of hemoglobin. He continued to suggest they may be dealing with doping. Crooks, the Canadian Olympic Team and Cross Country Canada were outraged that Pound was implying that all 12 athletes were doping, including Crooks, especially since Crooks has documentation from his doctors that he has naturally high hemoglobin levels (CBC website, 2006). Sport authorities need to be very careful with this issue, athletes should not be presumed guilty until proven guilty. This could create many disgruntles athletes, who are clean and fighting for clean sport, to give up hope or live in fear of anti-doping.
Dealing with doping:
Although doping control started due to the health risks it imposes on an athlete its important to note that doping is firstly an ethical issue; the act of doping itself is cheating. To fully understand the issue of doping we must look outside North America, to other global cultures. The reason we should not cheat in sport is the value of "Fair play". Morgan (2007) explains that in North America, and most English speaking countries, fair play is a social practice that we get our first lessons with early on in our sporting lives. We continue to be guided by these lessons into our adult sporting lives. However, outside of American and the English world, when the notion of fair play makes its way into the moral vocabularies of non-English cultures (French, German, Russian) it is accounted as "Untranslatable American idea" (Morgan, 2007). Even with the notion of fair play in North America we still turn up a very high percentage of doping offenses. Clearly, at the present time, "Fair play" has little impact on an athlete's decision to dope or not dope.
Since doping is a global problem, we must consider cultural differences. Since doping is an ethical issue at its roots, we must develop a global anti-doping culture. With the increase of globalization in the forms of international organizations, media, cultural exchanges, travel etc. we have the opportunity to develop this culture.
A global anti-doping culture won't happen over night, in fact, it won't happen for decades at best, maybe generations! Let's be optimistic. It's a better outlook then Jacques Rogge's, IOC President, comments in 2003 "Doping is a battle that can never be won". That is an opinion the IOC can not afford to have.
WADA must lead the way of the anti-doping culture, as they are the global body. This will be a slow, culturally sensitive, process of bringing all countries sporting leaders on board, to connect the dots with respect to ‘cheating yourself and others' and have these leaders implement education to athletes, coaches and sporting officials back home. Progress has been made on this front by WADA with the adoption of values adapted from the world anti-doping code, including ethics, fair play, respect, health and honesty (Pound, 2006). These values have reflected the combined views of the IOC, all international Olympic federations, all the other non-Olympic federations, 202 national Olympic committees, the IOC athlete's commission and the 191 governments that adopted the 2005 UNESO International Convention against Doping (Pound, 2006). These values must now be held to a high esteem and the next generation of athletes needs to be educated by them.
However, it would be naive to think that without some penalty for a doping violation that this would happen. Although it is important that an anti-doping culture is developed in the long run, we need strict punishments in the short term to help develop this culture; this is where WADA should continue its work. WADA produces a banned substances list yearly so athletes are aware of what they can or can't take (http://www.cces.ca/pdfs/WADA-PUB-Prohibi tedList-E.pdf). Therapeutic use exemption forms (TUE) have been implemented so athletes can use some substances with doctor's permission and with the appropriate documentation (http://www.cces.ca/pdfs/CCES-FORM-Abbrev iatedTUE-E.pdf). WADA continues to develop better testing, update their prohibited and non-prohibited lists, and debate philosophical issues, such as out of competition testing that walk the fine line between athlete rights and catching the cheaters. Athlete's health, both young and old, is on the line. Sport and the values it can develop, such as fair play, honesty, and respect, needs to be saved. At a time when the corporate and political world seems to be pushing their ethical boundaries (or completely ignoring them) it's important that sport does not continue to follow suit. The work needed in the fight against doping will not be easy, but it is very important.
Burns, C.N. (2006). Doping in sports. New York, New York: Nova Science Publishers.
Catlin, D.H., Fitch, K.D. & Ljungqvist, A. (2008). Medicine and science in the fight against doping in sport. Journal of Internal Medicine, Volume 264, 2, 99-114.
Carlsen, K.H., Hem, E., Stensrud, T., Held, T. Herland, K. (2001). Can asthma treatment in sports be doping? The effect of the rapid onset, long-acting inhaledβ2 -agonist formoterol upon endurance performance in healthy well-trained athletes. Respiratory Medicine, 95, 7, 571 - 576.
CBC news. (2003). Scott awarded gold by IOC. Retrieved August 4th, 2008, from http://www.geocities.com/jaredperi/olymp ics/beckie/scott.htm.
CBC news. (2006). Anti-drug chief suspects12 skiers of doping. Retrieved August 1st, 2008, from http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/st ory/CTVNews/20060216/dope_ski_dick_06021 6/20060216?s_name=torino2006.
ESPN (2004). Muhlegg has now lost all three golds. Retrieved August 3rd, 2008, from http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/news/story ?id=1746641.
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Post Number: 162
|Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2008 - 02:32 pm: |
I love how Juerg takes the conversation between a coach (me) who is just learning the challenges of cross country skiing, with a young athlete willing to listen and try some crazy ideas (Thomsen), and then takes the conversation in three different directions, adding both his own experiential insight, and his own lab experience to the mix.
During the two week-ends of Nor-Am racing at Sovereign Lake a few weeks ago, we watched as each sprint was won by the athlete with the fastest turnover combined with the most efficient technique. Looked a lot like the best swimmers in the world when we reviewed video clips from the 1992 Olympics a few years back.
The interesting thing to note was that the top skiers were all double poling at 90RPM, which they sustained for about 30 seconds at the start, and for three other short bursts, between the downhill portions, where they spent their time recovering from the incredible effort of the hills.
From what we could see, each skier employed the same technique of exhaling with every pole stroke, meaning they were either trying to breathe at 90 resps/minute, or were not inhaling with every breath.
Thomsen and I are trying to work on a new breathing pattern, based on what he is able to reasonably sustain during practice with the Spiro-Tiger, while also trying to minimize the very high dead space involved with a breathing pattern of 90 RPM (18 litres/minute as a low end estimate).
We will let you know how it goes, but I agree with Juerg that one of the keys to Thomsen's success will be a continued focus on his STF and MCT1 systems. The nice thing for him to remember, is that he has 6 years to work on these ideas...did you hear that Thomsen... you better get started.
Post Number: 1077
|Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2008 - 06:31 am: |
Here another interesting info, which would lead to some different thoughts on the change we may have to do in the way we tran upper boy muscles in cross country skier. :
" Fiber Type Composition
What about how they look under their skin? Type I muscle fibers are predominate in the leg muscles of elite skiers, but there is considerable variability even among the elite. In the normal population the fiber composition in the vastus lateralis (a thigh muscle that is often biopsied in athletes) will approximate a 50-50 ratio between fast and slow fiber types. The fast fibers will be made up of a mixture of type II a and II b fibers. In elite skiers the percentages are more like 66% (62-75% in different studies) slow and the remainder type II a. The "pure" fast fiber, the type II b subtype, is practically non-existent in well trained skiers (and other endurance athletes). This is due to type II b to II a conversion (II a fibers are still "fast", but with much greater fatigue resistance). Now, in comparison, biopsy studies on elite distance runners suggest a slightly higher slow twitch percentage among the elite runners (78-79%). Perhaps it is adaptive for skiers to possess a higher type II a percentage, due to the varying terrain and non steady-state conditions that comprise XC racing.
Unlike running and cycling, XC is a whole body sport. Major endurance demands are also placed on the upper body musculature, including the latissimus dorsi, deltoids, and triceps groups. Surprisingly, there has been far less work done to determine upper body fiber composition in elite skiers. From what we know, the average population has more fast twitch fibers in upper body musculature compared to lower. The triceps for example is about 65-70% fast in untrained people. Consequently, the XC skier must work deligently to maximize the endurance capacity of these normally under- utilized upper body muscles. Even in elite skiers, triceps fiber composition is less slow-twitch dominated than the lower body, about 50-50 in one major study. Some investigators have suggested that in specific muscles like the triceps, it is advantageous to have more fast twitch fibers due to the high movement velocity of the distal arm during the "push" phase of the double poling movement.
Post Number: 163
|Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2008 - 07:09 am: |
I find it interesting to read reviews that still consider STF fibers as contracting slowly, when we have known for years that STF fibers can contract with a speed far faster than ever needed for any sport specific movement pattern.
However, I do recognize the value of the training of upper body muscles for skiers, especially with the move to more double-poling in the sprint events. Swimming becomes the perfect cross-training sport for skiers, as it will allow for the long-term development of the structures required for building endurance.
Post Number: 9
|Posted on Friday, December 26, 2008 - 04:05 am: |
any updates on enzyme differentiation between oxygen dependent and oxygen independent metabolism?
order of firing between STF and FTF (if it exists) and if it is load dependent, is it not that which is developing the triceps in xc skiers, not the velocity of the contraction?