Stenerson, L. R., & Mazzeo, R. S. (2001). Physiological and immunological alterations over the course of a Nordic ski season. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 33(5), Supplement abstract 54.

The interactions of overtraining in cross-country skiing with interleukin-6 (IL-6) and stress hormones were investigated. Elite college skiers (N = 9) were tested in October, January, and March, appropriate times before, during, and after the ski season. Some psychological and anthropometrical factors were also measured.

Two skiers were classified as overtrained and nine were not. Cortisol increased in the overtrained skiers and decreased in the others as the season progressed. Epinephrine and IL-6 levels were significantly elevated at rest in the overtrained skiers. Most physiological measures were similar between both sets of athletes.

It was concluded that impairments of the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems are associated with overtraining. Other studies have not found this and so replication of this investigation is warranted.

Implication. IL-6 and cortisol are elevated with overtraining in cross-country skiers.

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