Rational training. Scientific methods of exercise in cross country skiing

This project will investigate the history of cross country skiing training, mainly in Sweden, during the period 1940-1970. Meetings and conflicts between experiential and scientific knowledge in cross country skiing will be in focus. The aim is to study the ways in which scientific training methods have been created and motivated and what impact these methods have had among the athletes and coaches in elite cross country skiing. Today, the role of science in athletic exercise and performance is obvious. However, this has not always been the case and there is still a lively debate about scientific training methods within the cross country skiing society. One of the main centers for physiological research about exercise has been the Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics (GCI) in Stockholm. GCI have made important and globally recognized contributions to physiology. Some of these results have been important for sports, not least cross country skiing. Within the project we will try to answer the following questions: when, where and how were scientific training methods introduced? What purpose did the researchers have to pursue this direction of research? How did the scientific results affect the practice of elite cross country skiers and coaches? How did scientists and practitioners follow up and secure the results of scientific training?

Project leader: Sverker Sörlin

Participants at the Division: Daniel Svensson

Funding agency: Swedish National Centre for Research in Sports

Duration: 2011-2016

Page responsible:Sofia Jonsson
Belongs to: Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment
Last changed: Nov 10, 2016