An international joint research project is currently underway at Sports Tech Research Centre, studying drafting, an unexplored research area. The project aims to study the effects of air drag and drafting in double poling cross-country skiing by examining how much force and energy cross-country skiers can save by skiing behind the front skier.
The research group consists of Mats Ainegren, researcher at Sports Tech Research Centre, Vesa Linnamo from the University of Jyväskylä and Stefan Lindinger, University of Salzburg.
We talk to our partners in the project - Vesa and Stefan, to hear what they have to say about the research and collaboration.
What are your research background and what expertise do you bring to this project?
Vesa - My research background is in motor control and neuromuscular adaptation along with sports biomechanics, especially in Nordic winter sports. My expertise is related to measurement technologies for skiing biomechanics, which includes for example synchronized force data collection from skis and poles.
Stefan – I have wide experience in using methods in biomechanics, physiology and diagnostics in general, special competences in methods for complex biomechanical-physiological field measurements (e.g. Alpine and Nordic skiing on snow).
What positive effects do you see with joint initiatives like this project?
Vesa - International collaboration enables to combine the latest technologies and expertise of each partner to achieve wider perspective to the research problems.
Stefan - Joint projects between countries are the most important motor in innovative research. International projects bundling the best forces together can only give best result.
What are your expectations for the project?
Vesa - I expect that the project will lead to both scientific publications and practical knowledge that can be used for coaching purposes.
Stefan - We will get first insights in the effects of air drag on physiological loads and on the necessary adaptations in the movement patterns (biomechanical aspects like frequency, cycle length, body angles [kinematics]) that are forced by skiing in front or skiing behind a skiers (“wind shadow”). Based on those results about the effect during double poling we will expand to other techniques.
What happens next in the project?
Stefan - Project measurements for double poling will be done in the end of May 2017 with about 16 skiers. The tests will be carried out in the wind tunnel at Sports Tech Research Centre.