Purpose. Recreational cross-country skiers can benefit from a performance diagnostic when planning a training program. The aim of this study was to establish a simple test protocol to measure endurance capacity and provide training recommendations. Methods. The relationship between endurance performance and cross-country skiing technique was assessed using two tests. First, a lactate threshold test whereby running speed was determined on a treadmill at 4 mmol/l blood lactate concentration. Second, participants completed a variation of the Cooper test using skating technique on flat terrain to determine the distance covered in 12 min and maximum heart rate. Results. There was a correlative (r = 0.18 respectivelly R2 = 0.43) relationship of between the distance covered in the Cooper test and treadmill running speed at 4 mmol/l blood lactate concentration. Conclusions. The two tests allow recreational athletes to rank themselves with regards to their endurance capacity within a population. The relationship between distance covered and maximum heart rate can indicate whether future training should focus on technical or physical improvement.
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