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Russian Scientists Found a Way to Forecast Results in Skiing

Scientists at South Ural State University invented a technique to forecast performance of racing skiers. The technique is to allow monitoring the physical condition of an athlete at the preparatory stage and rationally adjust the training process. The method brought together parameters of biochemical blood analysis of athletes as well as their performance in competitions over the previous season.

The victory of an athlete depends on the amount of oxygen in one's organism

The new method of correcting and forecasting the athletes' results takes into account not only the previous accomplishments of the athletes but also specificities of functioning of each systems in a human body: respiratory, cardiovascular, neuromuscular, etc. All parameters of the body operation get integrated with the results of one's performance in sports. In the end, scientists obtain maximally reliable information regarding the potential of a certain athlete at the moment. Results of the research have been published in a journal entitled "Theory and Practice of Physical Education", indexed in Scopus and Web of Science databases.

"A mandatory condition for high performance in ski races for both a long-distance skier or a sprinter is the ability of an athlete's body to produce energy in the aerobic mode. The main source of power supply for the heart muscle is lipids (fatty acids). If the training process is arranged irrationally and causes an increased heart rate, there occurs metabolism's switching from oxidizing fatty acids to glucose oxidizing. As a result, at a prolonged exposure to such a training regime, an abundance of fatty acids gets formed in the blood, which leads to narrowing of the lumen of vessels and causes the factors of risk of cardiovascular diseases. By understanding the pattern of biological processes, we can provide a coach with certain recommendations and describe the current condition of an athlete," says Candidate of Sciences (Biology), Associate Professor at the SUSU Department of Sport Excellence, Anastasiia Bakhareva.

A program that forecasts performance of an athlete has been developed

Lipids are the most crucial source of an organism's energy storage. Fats are contained in all cellular structures; they perform the function of a natural barrier, limit the property of cells' penetrability, and are included in the composition of hormones. At that, lipid exchange regulation depends on carbohydrate exchange, and the capacity of muscle's operation under oxidation of fats is less for approximately 15% if compared to oxidation of carbohydrates. However, oxidation of free fatty acids, which get delivered to muscles with the blood flow, enhances endurance of an athlete. In other words, the energy obtained at oxidation of fats is enough for a longer period of time.

"By the dynamics of lipid exchange within the training period, the efficiency of the training process design and the organism's adaptation to muscle loading can get determined. If oxidation of lipids in the vessels of muscle tissue before the start at a competition is enhanced, we can speak about a boost in physical condition of an athlete. We use lipid exchange indicators which allow determining the physical condition of an athlete and forecasting one's performance. These indicators are among the most reliable ones in the human body," notes Anastasiia Bakhareva.

Having obtained the parameters of an athlete's lipid exchange, scientists help coaches to adjust workout sessions of athletes and provides an assessment of the cardiovascular system's operation. The research assumes an analysis of data regarding the correlation of proteins, fats and carbohydrates in the energy exchange of a man, as well as an overall analysis of all body systems. Moreover, sport performance over the last season also gets taken into account.

Mathematical model which allows determining the level of physical condition and the potential of any athlete has been developed upon results of the research. The model automatically calculates the index of performance (an integral rating indicator) upon mathematical formulas and saves data about the athletes who have already underwent testing. The program identifies athletes upon 4 cluster of sport performance. An important detail of the research is the fact that the developed classification functions can perform forecasting of performance by any physiological parameters which a researcher has at one's disposal.

Provided by South Ural State University