Now that summer is officially with us we need to set some time aside for training. Biathlon is a sport that requires you to be physically fit as well as a good shot. We will shoot throughout the summer, but you also need to be doing some sort of physical exercise to keep your body in shape. For those of us that want to do sport specific exercise there is rollerskiing. This will work both your legs and arms and also keep your muscles in shape for skiing. If you have rollerblades, they are a good alternative to rollerskis, but you need to be careful that you don’t swing your legs in a circular motion while moving from foot to foot. If you are into running, that is a good alternative. Biking is also a good way to keep fit for summer. The key to whatever you want to do is making it fun. Don’t do daily hard workouts no matter what you decide for your exercise of choice. A combination of things, running and biking, roller skiing and biking, swimming, kayaking are a few different things that are good for you. This is called cross training.
As I said earlier, make sure that your workouts are fun and that you don’t over do your workouts. Consistency is also important. You can’t do a weeks workouts and then feel that you are set. If you are just starting out or recovering from an injury try to do 20 minutes a day for three or four days per week. The key is to do this throughout the summer and to give your body a rest between workouts. Our goal for the summer is to build a base of endurance for the fall. So longer and slower paced exercise is good. Some speed work is good, but it is not the goal for the summer. As you get closer to your season, i.e., skiing or soccer or whatever, then more speed work should be done.
For now, just get out and do something several days per week. Your goal should be to build to 30 minutes a day, three or four days per week. Be sure to vary your exercise so that you don’t get “burned out” with what you are doing. If it gets to be something you are dreading, then you are trying to do too much and are not changing it up enough. Remember hiking is a great alternative for you! A long hike builds endurance and is fun besides. Take the family with you! An important addition is to keep a log of your activity. This will help you keep going and also will give you an idea of what you have done once the summer is over.
More as the summer progresses and I hope that you will be able to shoot with us during our summer sessions. See you at the range!