May shooting camp at Mt Itasca – Cancelled

For anyone with an interest in the May shooting camp at Mt Itasca, I wanted to be sure you got the information regarding cancelling until we find out more about the virus spread and get further guidelines from the Governor. At that camp we spend a lot of time in close contact with the athletes while fitting rifles and adjusting shooting positions, so ‘social distancing’ would not work.

My hope is to be able to somehow combine that with our June shooting camps—but time only will tell.

Bill Meyer, Coach
MNBiathlon

Strength Test: “The hand release pushup”

For the strength test below—please use the ‘hand release’ version of pushups as shown above. I think when I sent this around late last week the above link to an example didn’t attach.
When you are done with the test, please send me your result—exercise by exercise. I am building a file!
Got some awesome results in so far!! Both men and women!
Bill Meyer, Coach
MNBiathlon

1] Number of pushups in two minutes. Each pushup starts high and drops to the floor—lift your hands off the floor—then push back up. Rest only on top. –each counts 2 points
2] Number of body weight squats to quads parallel with the ground in two min. No resting—each counts 1 point
3] Number of pullups [hands facing away from you] in two min, can rest hanging. –each counts 3 points
4] Number of dips on a chair [against a wall] in two min with upper arms parallel with the ground at the bottom. Feet on floor- straight legs – each counts 2 points
5] Number of situps in 2 min with legs bent 90 deg but elbows touching knees at top—each counts 2 points. Can hook feet under a couch or have someone hold them down.

There is a lot of focus here on tricep strength as I see a lot of athletes who can’t straighten out their arms when poling… in fact they just let them collapse and then sit back on the poles.

Description of how to do Pushups for the PT Test

Audrey found this info online! Here is the pushup style for the physical fitness test. Send me your results!!

So the new strength test I am making up will be like this:

  1. Number of pushups in two minutes. Each pushup starts high and drops to the floor—lift your hands off the floor—then push back up. Rest only on top. –each counts 2 points
  2. Number of body weight squats to quads parallel with the ground in two min. No resting—each counts 1 point
  3. Number of pullups [hands facing away from you] in two min, can rest hanging. –each counts 3 points
  4. Number of dips on a chair [against a wall] in two min with upper arms parallel with the ground at the bottom. Feet on floor- straight legs – each counts 2 points
  5. Number of situps in 2 min with legs bent 90 deg but elbows touching knees at top—each counts 2 points. Can hook feet under a couch or have someone hold them down.

Bill Meyer, Coach

Training Safely

Good Morning!

Strange times are upon us! While most on this email list are from MN where a ‘stay at home’ order is in effect, we are all trying to get out the door and get in some exercise….training, in other words. I encourage that. We are in the process of sending out some MN Biathlon training plans at present and the training year 2020/2021 starts on Monday.

But all sorts of concerns arise. 34,000 new infections were tabulated yesterday in the US, though only 85 were noted in MN, probably from lack of testing as the death rate in MN is over 3%. So whatever you do—keep your distance from others not in your normal household. And remember, heavy breathing from exercise causes a lot of lingering virus hanging in the air—so really spread out on trails when others are around.

The other factor is your immune system as the above article addresses. Our plans are for fairly light hours of intensity this time of year, focusing primarily on building endurance with overdistance work and strength. Keep the intensity sessions short and recover well before going hard again.

Good coaches have recognized for years that after a hard workout or race, the athletes’ immune systems are depressed for a period of time. That is the worst time to be social and to stand around coughing on each other. Keep that firmly in mind when you are out on your daily workout!!

Stay safe, be careful!
Bill Meyer, Coach

Equipment Maintenance, Training Plans and Scheduling

Good Morning!

I hope each of you and your families are well and safe! Strange times are upon us! The good news is there will be an end out ahead of us- sooner or later- where we get back to a more normal life!!

One of the things on your job list each spring should be equipment maintenance. Good time to get cracking….
– Skis—check them over, clean up any nicks on the edges, brush them out really well and put a protective layer of a med hard non-fluoro wax on them for the summer. Swix purple, Toko red, Start Purple all work good. Then next winter you normally can scrape it off and get out on the snow. If the ski bottoms look really dry, or turned gray after a half hour of skiing this past winter, or if they are chewed up from bad conditions, or if the grind is really coarse like most factory grinds, you should get them reground before next winter. Put some wax on them for now anyway. If the bottoms are really dirty, take a layer of hot wax off with a scraper while still melted, then cool, scrape again and put on your summer storage wax. On classicals, I like to put a Swix extra blue layer in the kick zone just to keep that area from drying out..
Poles—check them over, shafts, grips and straps. Length- I am seeing a lot of poles that are too long for skating. When standing on the floor with shoes on the pole strap where it comes out of the shaft should not be above your upper lip. 90% of your height in cm’s is a good check. If your poles are too long chances are you are not getting over your poles and simply sagging back behind them, even when you do plant them with a proper back angle. For classical I like mid shoulder..for flatter courses that are mostly double pole a bit longer is ok, but for hilly courses you still need to learn to stride up the hills instead of herringboning every little bump. Shorter poles help on uphills. Long poles can be cut down by removing the grips, cutting and replacing with hot glue. See below.
For most it is time to put on your summer ferrules with carbide tips for roller skiing. Use a heat gun or boiling water to get the winter baskets off, and apply some hot glue to the end of the shaft—heat it up a bit—then force the ferrule onto it with the point facing forward—away from the strap.
Boots—check them over—look for worn zippers etc, or loose soles. You might want to use them for roller skiing this summer and purchase some new when the sales are up. Last years models are just fine!!
Roller skis should be checked. Make sure the bindings are functional, that the wheels are not worn badly or unevenly, and replace as needed. Be sure to switch sides on the skis either half way around your workout or every other time you put them on. Occasionally switching wheels from front to back will help maintain life longer also. Do not try to work on technique on roller skis with squirrely wheels!!! They need to track in a straight line when gliding on one foot.
Rifles—either your own or a leased rifle you have in your possession. Clean it really well. Use the brass bore brush extensively. Take the action off the stock and tighten up the two screws that hold on the trigger group. Tighten the front sight barrel. Put a good coat of gun oil with a preservative on all metal parts. Then start dryfiring—100 shots a day!! Mix of prone and standing—get into a perfect position over and over..And wipe down the rifle with an oily cloth each time you dryfire! Our rifles are showing a lot of pitting on the exterior of the barrels.
If you have a leased rifle in your possession, as soon as the stay home order is lifted, you need to get it to one of the coaches.
I am putting together training plans for the older athletes [2nd or 3rd yr in biathlon]. If you need a plan, let me know along with how many hours you trained last training year. Our MN Biathlon training plan starts on Monday, 13 April. Between now and then you can start biking, roller skiing, running, doing some body strength and of course, dry-firing. Keep firmly in mind that biathlon and xc skiing, for that matter, are individual sports and you do not need organized practices all the time to train. You need to learn to do much of your training on your own…so now is a great time to learn that. You should have some dumbbells, maybe some strong bungees and a pull-up bar at home to help with strength workouts when we get started on the 13th. Scope out some good pavement for roller skiing, and safe routes to run and bike. Be sure to wear a helmet when you ski or bike!! Gloves will also help preserve the skin on your hands while roller skiing if you take a tumble. Don’t be bashful about wearing knee or elbow protection until you feel comfortable on roller skis..and you might want to consider a face mask if you are on a busy trail.

Our planned Spring Summer Fall schedule is posted on our webpage. That said, it is very likely, looking at the statistics and watching the news, that we will need to modify that in some way or another. I will try to keep you posted via this email list..so keep an eye on your email.

For now, get out the door at least once a day, watch some world cup races on the IBU webpage to get good mental images of good ski technique, and keep an eye on your email.

Enjoy the Journey—it is not always what you expect!
Bill Meyer, Coach
MNBiathlon