2017 North American Rollerski Biathlon Championships

After a week of training at the venue including an early morning run up the hill to the range, 100 pushups and a lot of combination training [skiing/shooting] , on Saturday and Sunday, the US Biathlon Association held the annual NorAm Rollerski Biathlon Championships at the challenging venue in Jericho Center, Vermont. Minnesota was represented by 18 Biathletes, 15 who traveled from MN plus Raleigh Goessling, currently in Maine,formerly from Esko; Leif Nordgren, with the US Team formerly from Marine on the St Croix and Jake Brown, with the US X Team formerly from the Twin Cities. Paul Schommer and Bill Bowler from Wisconsin also participated.

Results are online at http://www.eabiathlon.org/

On Saturday all classes did a Sprint Race followed on Sunday by a Mass Start for the Senior Women and Junior/Senior Men. For the other classes on Sunday was a Pursuit race with 5 sec interval starts based on the previous days finish.

Participating from MN:
Senior Men and finish places
Leif Nordgren             5th in Sprint, 7th in Mass Start
Paul Schommer         7th & 4th
Jakob Ellingson,         10th & 12th
Vasek Cervenka         11th &  11th-[Note: Vasek is a Youth racing up to Seniors]
Bill Bowler                 13th & 15th
Jake Brown                14th & 16th
Raleigh Goessling     16th & 17th
Senior Women
Siena Ellingson         7th & 10th
Junior Men
Cam Christiansen     1st in  Jr Sprint, 18th in Mass Start [Cam raced up to Seniors in Mass Start]
Junior Women
Halcyon Brown        3rd in Sprint and 3rd in Pursuit on Sunday
Youth Men
Garrett Beckrich        9th & 2nd
Youth Women
Emma Stertz            2nd & 2nd
Boys
Sam Stertz             6th & 8th
Matej Cervenka     8th & 11th
Frank Gangi           11th & 9th
Girls
Lucia Wyland         2nd & 4th
Kaisa Bosek            3rd & 2nd
Stormy Hegg           5th & 5th
Annika Viren          6th & 6th
Elsa Viren               7th & 10th

Note in the US podium picture [no Canadian]-all MN Girls—lr Lucia Wyland, Kaisa Bosek, Stormy Hegg

Bill Meyer, MNBiathlon Coach

Training Zones – determination

        Activity                                        WO Zone                Heartrate
                Level
    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

Midwest Biathlon Altitude Camp

Vasek Cervenka, Jakob Ellingson, and Cam Christiansen crossing the Trail Ridge pass in Rocky Mountain National Park for the second time today. The crew rode up the west side of the park, over the 11796 foot pass and down into Estes Park on the East side, then decided to see the scenery from the other direction and reversed course back home crossing the pass again.

125 miles of riding..and a few feet of climb..

Cam reported, “I don’t know whether I am dead or just dying.”

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

Cleanup day at Elk River – June 4th at Noon

Good Morning Everyone,

On Sunday, June 4th [next Sunday] at noon, we will have a cleanup/maintenance day at Elk River. The venue was the target [again] of vandals a few weeks ago. From that perspective we will no longer store any target paint in the building.

We will meet in the parking lot and figure out transportation to the venue from there. Lynda/Chad/Dave perhaps we could get vehicle passes for the main equipment/supplies vehicle?
You should come prepared to get dirty with paint clothes and old shoes. Paint brushes, rollers etc would be useful. Gloves for sure.

After the work party we will have a roller ski/combo practice to take advantage of the trip to the venue.

If you can’t make it, I would suggest each outlying venue hold its own work party and clean up your own range. Mowing, cleaning target boards, repairing anything and everything..lot of things can be accomplished if many hands pitch in.

For Elk River I have the following indicate intentions of participation:
Guthries –Hanne, Elizabeth and ?/
Bouley’s—5 or 6
Bosek—Jeff, Kaisa, Ryker
Alex—perhaps some others [Reineke, Hegg etc.]
Bill

Hope that helps with planning. On supplies, Dave Anderson, can you provide what we need? Lynda has the list.

Thanks all,
Bill Meyer