Cruise control strategies in cross-country skiing

In all endurance sports, the choice of cruise control strategy is an important component of optimal performance where time gains can be achieved if the speed is adapted to terrain, wind resistance and the individual's physiological and biomechanical ability.


In general, it can be said that an optimized cruise control strategy in an endurance sport is about the athlete performing optimally based on his or her own physiological ability.

The project is based on several sub-studies which include skiing in fields on snow and roller skiing in the test lab. Broadly speaking, it is about performing performance analyzes in competition situations and evaluating the physiological potential of athletes in the test lab where more specific tests are performed to identify specific performance factors.

Empirical data should then be used to develop a numerical model on how cruise control can be optimized. The idea is that the model should be used as a tool to study the effect of different strategies in individual ski competitions and to optimize tactical components in, for example, mass start races involving climbing.

Practical utility

The purpose of the project is to describe and evaluate how efficiently elite cross-country skiers adapt the speed in cross-country skiing's various disciplines, which is directly valuable for athletes' performance development.

Financing and cooperation

The project has received an award from the Rolf and Gunilla Enström Foundation and has been partly carried out in collaboration with the Swedish Ski Association.

Published articles within the project:

Andersson, E.P., Govus, A.D., Shannon, O.M., and McGawley, K. (2019). Sex differences in performance and pacing strategies during sprint skiing. Front. Physiol. 10, 295. Sundström, D., Carlsson, P., and Andersson, E. (2018). Comparison of power output estimates in treadmill roller skiing. Proceedings of the 12th conference of the International Sports Engineering Association. 2 (6), 312.