Preparing for the Biathlon: 4 Things You Need to Know

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Are you new to the world of biathlons? Biathlon is no easy feat, and completing one let alone two sports is something to celebrate. It takes more than just determination and a strong mindset; it also takes a lot of training and preparation so that you’re ready for such a grueling event. The good news is that many tips will help you to get into peak form physically and mentally, and ensure that you’re ready. Here are four things you need to know when preparing for the biathlon.

Understand What Will Be Required

Before you start any training you need to know what you’re training for – what is the biathlon? The biathlon is a winter sport that features two disciplines: rifle shooting and cross-country skiing. You need to be well-rounded in terms of physical abilities since each of these sports requires precision and skill. Add to this the fact it is a race, and suddenly the pressure is on.

As a racer, you’ll need to be fast and fit so you can keep up with the pack. One of the toughest parts about the race is the rifle range, where racers need to slow down, focus, and get their body and heart to relax and stop racing. This is the only way you’ll be able to accurately shoot the targets.

Rifle Practice Will Be Necessary

Excelling in the biathlon is more than just being fast on your skies, you also need to know how to properly load, hold, aim, and shoot your rifle. This can only be achieved through practice with the right gear. You will use a .22 caliber rifle and ammo during the race, so you want to be sure this is the one you train and practice with at all times. The rifle needs to become an extension of you, with a steady stance and the ability to hit the target each time.

Target shooting needs to combine accuracy with speed, so focus on these two factors.

Endurance Training Is Often the Best Choice

In terms of training and exercise leading up to the biathlon, experts suggest you focus on endurance training. This means you need to build your cardio and tolerance so that the race doesn’t exhaust you before you complete it.

As well as skiing, some great examples of endurance training include:

  • Running/jogging
  • Walking at a brisk pace
  • Cycling at a brisk pace
  • Skipping
  • Dancing
  • Swimming
  • High-intensity lifting

Because you will be carrying your rifle on your back while skiing, you also need to get used to that feeling and the extra weight. Depending on where you live, you may not be able to train outdoors with a rifle on your back. Instead, use a backpack with a 5lb weight in it to mimic the feeling.

How Can You Practice Cross-Country Skiing in the Summer Months?

One question you may have is how you can train for skiing in the summer months. Roller skis can be a great option and will help you to work on your technique, form, and endurance. As soon as the weather allows and the trails are open, you can get back to cross-country skiing.

Experts often suggest taking a cross-country skiing course if you are new to the event. This is a good way to build the foundations correctly, making sure you’re doing the sport safely and properly. You’ll learn how to ski on flat terrain as well as up and downhill.

It Will Be a Process

Training for a biathlon isn’t something you can accomplish in a few weeks; it takes months if not a year or more to fully prepare. Just think how much more satisfying all that hard work will be after completing your first major event.