Norseman: Endurance Science Seminar - Norseman

Norseman: Endurance Science Seminar

Monday November 2nd, we´re bringing together scientists from all over the world to help you become a better and safer athlete. The seminar is presented by Zalaris & Aker BioMarine.

Published: 27.Oct.2020

Below you will find a short introduction to the subjects our very knowledgable sports scientist will be discussing during the seminar. The seminar is free and open for all. Click here to sign up.

Time (CET)SubjectPresenter
20:00Seminar introduction and some cold water swimming.Jørgen Melau
20:23Swimming in warm water: Core temperature consequences of wearing a wetsuit.John Mercer
20:45How can long-distance triathlon affect lung function?Julie Sørbø Stang
21:06Extreme races – The search for superlatives. About the development in triathlon.Yonca Krahn
21:20Optimizing exercise performance in the heat.Thijs Eijsvogels
21:42Effects of krill oil and race distance on serum choline and choline metabolites in triathletesAndreas Berg Storsve
22:06Biochemical markers after the Norseman Xtreme TriathlonChristoffer Nyborg

All the seminar lectures are individually available here. Or click the upper right corner in the video window below to find the full playlist from the seminar.

Dr. Mercer will discuss the results of an experiment investigating the influence of wearing a wetsuit on core temperature during a 1000 m swim in 25.5 C water as compared to not wearing a wetsuit. Using a telemetry core temperature system, it was determined that there was no influence of wearing a wetsuit on average core temperature, change in core temperature, or rate of change of core temperature. Subjects (n=5) all swam faster with the wetsuit but used the same stroke rate as compared to swimming without a wetsuit.

Exercise induced asthma is more common in endurance athletes than the regular population, in particular in swimmers and winter sport athletes. During Norseman Xtreme Triathlon, we measured lung function in participants on three occasions: the day before the race, immediately after the race and 12-18 hours after finishing. In this talk, I will present the results from this study, as well as explain our theories of the physiological mechanisms: what happens in the lungs after such an extreme exposure.

In public perception, triathlon is associated with extreme physical performance. Within the scene, the tendency of getting more attached and committed to the sport can be observed, developing to a more extreme level, nowadays often resulting in the participation of so-called Xtreme Triathlons. This development shows aspects of distinction from other long distance races by adding significant elevation to the tracks, limited slots which are given out in a raffle and special self-organized support. These aspects trigger the exclusiveness of triathlon not only in terms of physical performance, but also by the whole setup of the competition. The trend to compete in (ever) more extreme events also shows a need. While extreme triathlons and the participating athletes mutually drive the development of the field, unintended influences of more mainstream triathlon can be identified.

Dr. Eijsvogels will explain the principles of human thermophysiology and will discuss how exercise affects health and performance, especially under hot and humid conditions. In the second part of his talk, he will provide recommendations on how to beat the heat. Practical advices on heat acclimation/acclimatization, assessing heat stress levels, adopting cooling strategies and hydration prior to and during exercise will be given. This way, you can boost your performance during your next race in the heat!

Choline is an essential nutrient that has been implicated in sports performance due to its role in ensuring optimal muscle functioning. In this field study, we investigated for the first time the effects of supplementation with krill oil, a rich source of phosphatidylcholine, on serum levels of choline and its metabolites in athletes competing in triathlons of varying distances, including the Norseman Xtreme triathlon. Our results suggest that the magnitude of reduction in choline is dependent on race distance and that consumption of krill oil prior to endurance competitions may increase levels of circulating choline in athletes.

In extreme exercise, the physiology of the human body is pushed to the extreme. During Norseman Xtreme Triathlon we have studied changes in the blood. We have measured clinical biomarkers used by doctors in the emergency room and at medical checkups.

We find that most of the biomarkers are changed after the race and some are changed to the extreme – to levels associated with serious disease under normal circumstances. We find increased biomarkers associated with cell damage (CK, AST), inflammation (WBC, CRP), and heart failure (NtproBNP). This is vital information for doctors treating athletes from extreme exercise events in cases of accidents or other illnesses. And it gives us important knowledge of the extremes the human body can endure.

Jørgen Melau will tell how the Norseman research group started their research at Norseman and how it progressed into a large research project with multiple sub-projects. He will give an overview of what is going on in the research group.

He will also give a brief summary of his research on Cold Water Swimming and temperature physiology.

© Lars-Erik Blenne Lien /

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The race is not for everyone. It's for the determined, the persistent, the stubborn, the lucky 290 people selected every year from the thousands and thousands of hopeful applicants. But. Norseman Sustain IS for you. It’s for the communities we work with, our team, our volunteers, the people around the world who follow us and support what we do.

We have linked this work to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
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