Peculiarities of Adaptation to Training Loads in Paralympian Cross-country Skiers with Visual Impairment versus Able-bodied Athletes based on Analysis of Heart Rate Variability Data

Alexander Bolotin, Vladislav Bakayev

Abstract

An increasing number of people with impaired vision who engage in skiing sports dictates a pressing need to study the athlete’s physiologic functioning in conditions of sensory insufficiency. In the course of the adaptation to training and competition conditions, unlike able-bodied athletes, blind and visually impaired people use compensatory mechanisms to replace the lost visual function. This fact contributes to the development of the structural trace of adaptation to loads and has to be considered in training of this category of athletes. The study involved 42 skiers. The experimental group (EG) comprised Paralympians with visual organ impairment (n=23), whereas the control group (EG) comprised athletes from the Russian Federation national cross-country skiing team (n=19). The research included an examination of the heart rate variability using Kardiometr-MT computer analyzer by TOO Mikard Lana at rest, immediately following the training, and before competition, and an examination using FirstBeat SPORT computer system for determining the training effect and overnight recovery on a daily basis during 7 days of the training camp. The obtained results are indicative of higher “price” of adaptation to the conditions of sports practice in Paralympic skiers with visual function impairment versus able-bodied athletes.

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