AIS Testing Camp

Last weekend the Cross Country National Team completed a testing camp at the Australian Institute of Sport. Fourteen team members took part in the three days of testing, which included VO2 max tests on a treadmill, upper body power tests, and a biomechanical analysis of double poling technique.

2010 Winter Olympians Ben Sim and Esther Bottomley showed that a bit of time off after the Olympics hasn’t done their aerobic system any harm, with Sim equalling his record on the treadmill, and Bottomley bettering her previous best time by 30 seconds. However the most impressive improvement came from Callum Watson, who improved his time on the treadmill by one minute to equal Sim’s record time of 35 minutes. Only one other team member, Andrew Mock, has ever been past 34 minutes in 15 years of testing on this protocol. Watson’s VO2 max was just short of 80 ml/kg, which is an impressive result for a test at 600m over sea level.

The aim of the double pole biomechanical analysis was done to get a comparison between skiing technique and the new Concept II SkiErg , which is replacing the old modified rowing ergometer that has been used at the AIS for double pole power testing for the past 15 years. All athletes agreed that the feel of the SkiErg was much better than the old machine, however there were still a few key differences between the body position on the SkiErg compared to roller-skiing and skiing. It is impossible to get the same forward body position on a stationary machine that you can on skis – though an attempt was made to allow for this by putting the SkiErg on rowing machine rollers.

None of the guys came close to the 1000m SkiErg Australian record of 3:14.5 that was set by Andrew Kovacs in May, although it was noted that all testing at the AIS was done with a fixed drag setting and the athletes weren’t allowed to increase the resistance. Sim had the fastest time of the camp in 3:32.6. Lucy Glanville set a new female record of 4:05.4, closely followed by Bottomley on 4:05.8. Sprinters Mark van der Ploeg and Bottomley scored the highest peak power of 561W and 361W respectively.

The next National Team training camp begins at Falls Creek this coming Sunday June 27.

Darlo on Ski Erg

Chris Darlington testing on the Ski Erg at the AIS


One Response

  1. Can anyone tell me how to modify a Concept II rower to be used as a ski poling ergometer? Thanks!

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