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 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

Race Reminder and Schedule Change for March

First, please note that #7 at Mt Itasca has been moved to Saturday the 21st of March to allow those racing in Europe in March and those doing XC Nationals in California time to return.

Secondly, the conditions at Elk River are described as of yesterday as firm but good skiing. We will be watching this closely during the early part of the week, and we have an alternative site in mind, if conditions deteriorate.

Thirdly, if you have done a novice event in the past year, and would like to try a full biathlon race [but not carry and shoot prone only] please contact me asap. I have 2 rifles available yet.

And finally, if you plan to attend the ER event this coming Saturday, please let me know by mid week.


Enjoy the Journey!!
Bill Meyer, Coach

Training Article

Hi All,
Here is an older article that has some good solid general training information based on scientific physiology studies.
A] really good background info
B] I think the point about intensity of intervals to increase your speed is right on…just a little over your current race pace. If you are looking at 50 km’s that will basically be at about your lactate threshold. If you are training for 5-10km races you need to figure out how fast you have been skiing—then increase that slightly for your speed training. Simultaneously you need to keep improving your efficiency on skis –your technique. That is a never ending process!!

Bill Meyer, Coach

MNCUP #4B – (changed to) SUNDAY, 16 FEB, 2020 – RESULTS

  MNCup 4B 3.3km Sprint – Nisswa

Zean Baker SM 00:20.0 2 1
12:19.0 11m 59s 1
Jackson  Grant YM 00:00.0 3 2
12:58.0 12m 58s 2
Kaisa Bosek YW 00:40.0 0 1
14:08.0 13m 28s 3
Saylor Landrum YW 02:00.0 1 1
16:09.0 14m 9s 4
Ryker Bosek B 01:20.0 1 1
15:58.0 14m 38s 5
Connor Grant B 01:00.0 3 2
15:50.0 14m 50s 6
Cormac Shanoff B N 03:20.0 5 5
19:46.0 16m 26s 7
Bennet Capella B N 02:20.0 1 5
19:22.0 17m 2s 8
Angus Rustad B N 03:00.0 2 5
20:54.0 17m 54s 9
Liz Axberg JW N 02:40.0 2 3
21:42.0 19m 2s 10
Tim Saxton SM 03:40.0 0 3
22:50.0 19m 10s 11
Braden Capella B N 01:40.0 4 5
23:11.0 21m 31s 12
Note: All Novices [N] shot prone on standing without support. Most used sling and cuff if rifle fit fairly well. 

We still have snow!! Another inch last night. Paul, my groomer, broke up the crust from Sunday’s melt and left the trails in really good shape!

The high school State meet is NOW MOVED TO FRIDAY THE 14TH, which is the end of that season. With all that in mind Boseks, Grants and I decided to add another race to our MNBiathlon schedule, but no lunch this time!! Welcome to come over here, eat your lunch, change or whatever before or after the races. 6054 Shady Acres Ct, Nisswa.

: SUNDAY 16 FEB, 2020
TIME: zero at 10:00 am, races begin when all are zeroed—10:45- 11:00
WHERE: Nisswa range. 24757 Charmin Ave, Nisswa. Lower Roy Lake Rd, Nisswa. Next to the Nisswa Wastewater Treatment Plant/Nisswa Maintenance Facility. Note: there are no bathroom facilities available at the range.
WHAT: Two races are planned, both short and fast! A 3.15 km sprint [2 shooting stages] followed by a single mixed [matched] relay with teams based on finish in the sprint [3 km and 2 shooting stages each w/ relay rounds x 2 plus an extra 1.5km for the last leg]. So first skier will end up skiing 6.0 km total and second 7.5 km in the relay.
CLASSES: There will be no age classes per say. Experienced athletes will carry and shoot normal p,s targets. Younger experienced athletes will do the same but not carry. Anyone who is just advancing from a Novice race will not carry and will shoot prone on standing.

WHO: Any athlete who has been taught biathlon safety and who has shot on their home range is eligible to participate. All will zero at 10:00 am. All participants will use their own slings/cuffs, except Novices will shoot free position unless they provide a rest for the rifle. Those without their own rifle can use a club rifle but no support will be provided unless they bring something. Up to 4- possibly 5 Novices advancing from a Novice event this year or last can apply. [Based on my rifle availability]. If you would like to try biathlon for the first time, contact me or Jeff Bosek. You might have to come early for some indoctrination.

WEATHER: We have snow. A lot of snow. A whole lot of snow!! Temps look good for the next 10 days at least.

COST: There is no cost.

SIGNUP: Please let me know by Thursday, Feb 13th, if you plan to attend the races. For Novices I suggest letting me know this weekend. There is a Subway between the range and my house if you would like to grab a sandwich and bring it or your own lunch over after we are done racing!!

Bill Meyer, Coach

Last update on YJr World Championships Pursuit races

All 4 races are available to watch online at very unusual to have the Youth races video taped! You can spot our team members here and there in the video feeds.

Note: All racers start the Pursuit with their finish interval behind from the Sprint race, behind the winner of the Sprint. They do not get their start time back.

In the Youth Men’s 10km Pursuit:
Place Bib [start position] Name Shooting time or time behind
1st 4 [Norwegian] 1000 26:28:00
27th 9 Bjorne Westervelt 2214 +3:37
32nd 3 Maxime Germain 3421 + 3:57
44th 21 Sam Stertz 0043 +5:08

In the Youth Women’s 7.5km Pursuit
1st 4 [Austrian] 0010 22:01
51st 58 Helen Wilson 1201 +5:01
56th 53 Kaisa Bosek 1111 +6:18

In the Junior Men’s 12.5km Pursuit
1st 7 [German] 1020 35:34.2
2nd 5 [Russian] 1211 +0.6
3rd** 11 Alex Cizar, Slovenia 1000 +1.2 [** Alex spent a month or so at Mt Itasca a couple of years back]
32nd 38 Garrett Beckrich 1101 +2:37.6
45th 32 Lars Leopold 2212 + 4:41
49th 53 Vasek Cervenka 2013 +5:05

In the Junior Woman’s 10 km Pursuit
1st 1 [Russian] 0000 30:45
24th 28 Chloe Levin 0011 +3:08
55th 52 Emma Stertz 0102 +8:42

Names in Bold are from MN.

Our congrats to all from the US!! And welcome back tonight for those coming home!
Our take away from the above is the Europeans are both skiing and shooting very fast—and in the case of the winners, shooting very well!! Keep in mind the ‘race’ times include shooting time in the shooting points 4 times plus 150 meters extra skiing for each miss in the range!! Some are getting into position, loading the rifle, shooting 5 shots, putting the rifle on their backs and getting out of position on the range in around 35 sec in prone and 25 sec in standing.

That is the essence of Biathlon!!

Enjoy the Journey!
Bill Meyer, Coach