European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 118, Issue 11, pp 2385–2392 | Cite as

The effect of exhaustive exercise on the choice of technique and physiological response in classical roller skiing

  • Gertjan EttemaEmail author
  • Magne Øksnes
  • Espen Kveli
  • Øyvind Sandbakk
Original Article



The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of exhaustive exercise on technique preference and the accompanying physiological response during classic skiing at constant workload, but with varying incline–speed combinations.


Seven male competitive cross-country skiers performed four tests, each lasting 23 min, at constant 200 W workload roller skiing on a treadmill using classic style, three in unfatigued state, and one after exhaustion. The incline and speed combination (that determined the 200 W) were altered each minute during the tests. The athletes were allowed to change sub-technique at free will. Physiological variables and cycle rate were recorded continuously as well as the incline–speed combinations at which the sub-technique was changed.


Exhaustive exercise did not (or hardly) affect cycle rate and choice of technique. The physiological response was most prominent in slight incline—high speed conditions, independent of exercise duration. Exhaustive exercise affected the physiological response in a differentiated manner. HR and RER remained, respectively, higher and lower after fatigue, while \(\dot {V}{{\text{O}}_2}\) (and thereby GE) were affected only during approximately the first 8 min of post-exhaustion exercise.


Exhaustive exercise has a minimal effect on choice of technique in classic cross-country skiing with free choice of sub-technique, even though physiological stress is increased.


Fatigue Cross-country skiing Technique 



Cycle rate


Double poling with kick


Double poling


Diagonal stride


Excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption


Gross efficiency


Heart rate


Target power


Respiratory exchange ratio

\(\dot {V}{{\text{O}}_2}\)

Oxygen uptake

\(\dot {V}{{\text{O}}_{2\hbox{max} }}\)

Maximal oxygen uptake


Author contributions

GE, ØS formulated the first concepts for the study. GE, MØ, EK, ØS designed the experimental protocol. MØ, EK conducted the experiments. GE, MØ, EK conducted data and statistical analysis. MØ, EK wrote first draft of the manuscript. GE, ØS wrote the final version of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Elite Sports Research, Department of Neuromedicine and Movement Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway

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