Minnesota Biathlon 2017/2018 Winter Biathlon Schedule



Zero, start times and formats will be announced by the organizers of the events as the details emerge.

Sun 10 Dec—MNCup  #1  Mt Itasca

Fri- Tues 15-19 Dec—IBU Trials  Mt Itasca
Sat 16 Dec – MNCup #2 Mt Itasca
Sun 17 Dec- MN Cup #3 Mt Itasca

Thurs- Sun- 28th-31st Dec YJr Trials Mt Itasca
Fri 29 Dec MN Cup #4 Mt Itasca
Sat 30 Dec MNCup #5 Mt Itasca
Sun 31 Dec MNCup #6 Mt Itasca

Sun 14 Jan ‘18  MN Cup #7 Snowflake
Sat 27 Jan  MN Cup #8 Nisswa [LJJ Nordic race Sun 28th BRD]

High School Section meets Tues-Thurs 6th-8th Feb various locations
High School State Meet Thurs 15 Feb Giants Ridge
JNQ Meets 17/18 Feb Mt Itasca
Sun 25 Feb MN Cup #9 Woodland Trails, Elk River

26th Feb- 04 Mar YJr Worlds Estonia
[race days- travel will be earlier

Sat 10 Mar MN Cup #10 Mt Itasca

US Nationals/NorAm Championships
29-31 Mar, Soldier Hollow, Utah

Training Zones – determination

        Activity                                        WO Zone                Heartrate
    Dist, Tech,&recovery         BE    1    easy talking        25-50 hb below LT
    Early dist, runs, combos    DE    2    ok talking        10-25 beats below
    Blk wo, spec strength        TH    3    short of breath        0-10 beats below LT
        arms only    TH                10-20 beats below– [less muscle mass]
    Leg Spds, Hills & Race        RP    4    gasping               0-+10 above LT
    Race uphill                        MAX    5    gasping and losing it        > +10 beats
Strength= weight room, power work, plyos, calisthenics
LT= lactate threshold

Hi Everyone-
In our biathlon training we talk a lot about workout zones. Above are some rough estimates of zones that I have used for a number of years, based primarily on breathing levels and better, the heartrates [HRs] based off of your current Lactate Threshold.

Obviously if you are going to use the more accurate method of zone control with heartrates you need an easy way to determine your present heartrate as you are working out. Most serious athletes use a heartrate monitor. Polar is a good brand. Lasts pretty well. The more inexpensive models give you your current heartrate accurate enough so even the Human Performance Lab at St Cloud State used them during the physiological tests they ran for us.

More expensive models will allow the training zones to be inputted and will keep track of the amount of time in each workout spent in each zone. Nice feature. The most expensive ones allow interface with a computer, graphing the workout etc. I find those to be highly useful for a couple of weeks until you get tired of looking at the graphs. I am sure with  daily coaching at a super high level it is great to do that.

The next problem is that your actual heartrate [HR] at the lactate threshold [normally about 4 mmoles of lactate in the blood] will vary a lot depending on a] the individual b] the level of training c] the type of training and other factors. The type of training question is insidious as too much middle to high intensity training will cause the body to burn carbos more than desirable, which produces more lactate than normal and thus the lactate threshold will be at a lower HR than normal. That is undesirable!  Difficult to ski well and definitely difficult to shoot well with high lactates!!

So in any case, the underlying problem is determining your lactate threshold accurately. The most direct way is a lactate profile –normally running on a treadmill that is periodically sped up, with blood drawn from a finger prick and tested with each stage. This will yield a profile and the appropriate lactate level can be picked off and related to a corresponding HR. The test is normally expensive. It is also really not specific to skiing as you are using only your legs unless you can ski on the treadmill. There are a few of those around in the US.

Another approximate method is to go out and  ski as hard as you can for an hour, and  average out your heartrate. That is specific as to being on skis, but the determination of the avg HR is problematic with hills etc thrown in. Of course the best method is a ski capable treadmill in a lab setting using the blood sampling method. That is accurate!

Another method that is approximate, but specific, is to go out on a very flat trail and ski behind a bike. The biker records the speed and holds the pace steady for say 1/4 mile and gets a HR from the skier at the end. [actually 2 readings near the end—say 0.2 and 0.25 mi for each increment works better]. Then the speed is increase by 1 mph. and this continues to refusal by the skier to go faster. I like then to reverse the course to average out the grades and wind and do it again. Armed with these figures, the coach can look at the curve produced which normally rises in a straight line [aerobic response] up to a point where it then curves over to the right [anaerobic response] . The point of curvature is called the Conconi point and is pretty close to the HR at the lactate threshold. It can be hard to pick out, however. Some curves are pretty gradual in change at the breakpoint.

There are other similar running tests on a track—which are good except they again are using only the legs.

Lacking any of the above, here is a chart from USBA’s log form that works off of the max HR. While I like this for the lower levels, unless as above, the athlete has trained properly and the LT is at a good normal level, the lactates in Level 2, 3 and 4 will be too high for any given HR. So if you have no other information to go by, and your max HR is 210, your level 1 should be between 126 and 151 heartrate. But at the assumed LT, the HR would be at 184. In reality that might be too high for you until you turn your body into a fat burning machine with low intensity training—a lot of low intensity training!! Plus a good diet, good hydration and good sleep every night.

If you have that problem and are using carbos too early in the intensity curve, and you do too much level 2 work using this graph, you actually will be at a much higher lactate level than desirable and will be increasing the problem long term by encouraging the usage of carbos by the body instead of the more desirable fats. Fat burns clean..no lactates.

Intensity Scale          
(VO2 Max and max pulse go in the yellow boxes)    
  % of VO2 max: ? % of HR max: ? Lactate
Lev 1 40   ### 60   ###  
65   ### 72   ### 1.5
Lev 2 65   ### 72.5   ### 1.6
80   ### 82.5   ### 2.4
Lev 3 80   ### 82.5   ### 2.5
87   ### 87.5   ### 3.9
Lev 4 87   ### 87.5   ### 4
94   ### 92.5   ### 5.9
Lev 5 94   ### 92   ### 6
100   ### 97   ### 10
Keep also in mind that the current HR you read off of your monitor might be affected by your hydration level, your previous couple of days of training and other factors like illness etc. So go by body feedback along with the monitor once you have established the right zones for yourself.
Hope that helps!
Bill Meyer, Coach
Nisswa NW Biathlon

Shooting camp results past 3 years

MN Biathlon Shooting Camp results, times, scores 2016

If you find your name you can scroll across and see old results and this years for comparison. The camp format changes somewhat each year, but the hill climb, time trials, etc are all on the same courses as previous years. This year I think the wind was up more days and stronger/fluctuating more.

Any questions or corrections, please let me know.

Bill Meyer, Coach

Midwest Regional Biathlon Development Camp Mt Itasca – June 2017

Midwest Regional Biathlon Development Camp – Mt Itasca

14th Of June To The 24th Of June, 2017

The June Shooting Camp was held during the past two weeks at Mt Itasca and also using facilities in Grand Rapids and the nearby Mesabi State Trail. Participants ranged from age 13 to 23 with the younger athletes mostly participating through the race event on Sunday the 18th.

Most from out of town camped at Mt Itasca using the Chalet building for meals and showers. A nearby beach in Coleraine also saw some use. The weather cooperated nicely with the random showers missing the scheduled workouts, and temps ranging from the 40’s at night to maybe 70’s on the warmer days. It was windy every day, which affected the shooting more than in some previous years.

The camp started with 18 athletes mostly from MN, but also WI, CO, and CA. Coaches were Vlad Cervenka, Petra Cervenka, Eric Watson, Jeff Bosek, Mark Torresani, and myself, Bill Meyer.

The first week emphasis was on shooting skills working on range procedure, accuracy, and shooting speed and using the normal tests including the 20 shot and French tests. Physical tests included the Mt Itasca hill climb [3 or 4 times running] a bike time trial, and a summer cross race on Sunday am.

The following week saw a shift in emphasis to more physical activities, w/ a lot of additional shooting. On Monday, there was a 5/7.5 km running test on hilly ski trails in Grand Rapids at the high school, followed by roller skiing on the state trail. Tues saw a 11.5km roller ski time trial on the state trail, with some Nordic Combined athletes jumping in.

Wed morning as combo shooting and for some, in the pm they did another 20 shot test. Thursday began the harder workouts of the week with a hard hill bounding/strength workout in the am on Mt Itasca, followed by some easy combos in the pm.


Friday morning was the century bike ride, with most of the men and some women doing 100 miles and the other women going 100 km. It was a very windy ride with steady winds of 16 mph and gusts close to 30.

Saturday saw the conclusion with some fun shooting races including a single leg relay followed by a reverse pursuit with the relay finishers saddled with a 10 sec per place handicap.

All in all it was a successful camp with all the athletes gaining skills, improving their fitness, and learning to cope with camp life.

All results will be posted on the Minnesota Biathlon webpage as soon as I get them tabulated.

Bill Meyer

26 June 2017

June and Vermont Camps General Information

Hi Everyone-

A number of questions have come up regarding the June Camp at Mt Itasca [ June 14th-24th] and the Vermont Camp [August 6th-13th].

The June camp at Mt Itasca is appropriate for pretty much anyone 14 or older, or younger with some experience on roller skis and shooting. We will move on from what we did this past weekend at Mt Itasca. Normally the younger athletes will stay through the first weekend and get in the summer running race, while the older athletes should plan on the entire time. We will have an invitation out shortly on that. The first week is weighted towards shooting skills with a lot of other physical activity, and the second week is weighted toward harder physical activity with a lot of shooting.

The Vermont camp is much larger and ends with the North American Rollerski Biathlon Championships on Sat/Sun. Below is a webpage that indicates who participated in those events last year.


Again age 14 and up is appropriate, with skill on roller skis and good shooting ability. The roller loops are dedicated to skiing—no vehicle traffic. They were recently repaved 2 years ago and are really hilly and fun to ski. The range sits in a saddle between two low eastern mountains and the trails all go down from the range [and back up before you shoot].

The classes last year placed 14-16 yr olds in a Boys/Girls category and 17-18 yr olds in a Youth category. For purposes of the Youth and Junior Trials/Championships next winter, an athlete who turns 15-18 [inclusive] during 2017 is eligible for the Worlds events as a Youth. 19-20 are Juniors. Last year a 14 yr old girl from California qualified but was denied due to her age by the IBU. Those trials were held in Vermont on the same trails as the Summer Championships. This year the YJr Trials will be at Mt Itasca between Christmas and New Years. Anyone eligible by age should participate for the experience at least. Classes will be available for seniors, masters and Boys/Girls as well. At Trials and Worlds Youth and Juniors as aged above all need to carry their rifles.

We rarely, very rarely, see a first year participant in the Trials qualify for the Worlds Team. So normally the first year is for the experience!!

Hope this helps!
Bill Meyer, Coach

Midwest Regional Biathlon Development Camp June 14-24, 2017 Mt. Itasca/ Grand Rapids MN

Midwest Regional Biathlon Development Camp
June 14-24, 2017
Mt. Itasca/ Grand Rapids MN

This camp will focus on developing biathlon shooting skills- position, accuracy drills, and combo training for athletes that have varying experience in biathlon . Volume training, rollerskiing, running, biking, as well as strength and technique work.

June Midwest Regional Camp 2017 Waiver (1)


1) new athletes: 14 years and older must be a good skier – perfect camp, if you are serious about biathlon. Shooting (including rifle set up) focused on accuracy, practicing both positions – prone and standing, developing good position and range procedure, accuracy shooting, combo shooting.

For new and younger athletes I would recommend to stay just for the 1st week. (6.14-6.18)

2) experienced athletes – great camp to improve your biathlon skills: shooting – check position – make adjustments, focused accuracy  and  combo shooting, rollerski technique, strength,  plus several butt kicking workouts…

Daily schedule: first week – shooting twice a day with 1 or 2 physical workout as well;
second week – combo shooting with more biathlon specific training (rollerskiing, running, biking, strength) with few epic workouts!!!

Sunday 6.18th – Summer Biathlon Race ( Running)

Dates: Wednesday, June 14 at 10 AM meeting at Mt. Itasca – Saturday, June 24 at Noon

Cost : includes use of venue, coaching, housing, food, transport
1 week   – $250 (6.14. – 6.18.)
2 weeks – $500 (6.14.- 6.24.)

What to bring:
We will be camping at Mt. Itasca therefore  you will need a camping gear tent, mat /air mattress, sleeping bag, pillow. Option is also sleeping in the wax room.
You will need  rifle, 2 brick of ammo (some ammo will be available to buy at the camp), running shoes, and several sets of training clothing. Also, skate rollerski equipment, road bike helmet, water bottle carrier. Bring some rain gear and also a pair of thin ski gloves for shooting.   Bug spray may be a good idea as well.

For new and younger athletes I would recommend to stay just for the 1st week. (6.15-6.19) On Sunday 6.19 there will be a Summer Biathlon Race ( running)

If you plan to come, let me know ASAP, please. Specify also,  if you are coming for 1 or 2 week !!!
Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have question,

Vlad Cervenka
cell: 218 256 8323 , cervenkv@gmail.com or Bill Meyer  wmeyer@nisswa.net