Determinants of performance and mechanical efficiency of effort have been made on a group of ten male nordic skiers, all participants in the University of Toronto ski-team. The oxygen intake at the maximum attainable speed of skiing on a level course averaged 89.6 percent of the maximum oxygen intake observed during uphill treadmill running; the latter (average 63.9 ml.kg-1 min-1) may be compared with values greater than 80 ml.kg1 min-1 for international competitors. Maximum heart rates and respiratory gas exchange ratios were generally lower during skiing than running, and it is suggested that the maximum oxygen intake attained during skiing is limited by the individual's skill. In support of this the more experienced skiers were able to reach close to 100 percent of the treadmill maximum oxygen intake during level skiing. A multiple regression analysis indicated that the skiing speed sustained over a one-hour period was related to experience of skiing, maximum oxygen intake, and the percentage of body fat. Assuming a dynamic friction coefficient of 0.075, a drag area of 0.7 m2 and a drag coefficient of 1.0, the gross mechanical efficiency of the university-class skier averaged a little under 20 percent, with a net efficiency of 21.3 percent.
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