How to Train for a Biathlon

How to Train for a Biathlon
The biathlon is a winter competition that includes cross-country skiing and rifle target shooting. Some modern biathlon events are a combination of running and swimming, but the focus is on the traditional winter competition. The biathlon requires endurance and advanced shooting skills. To be competitive, you must train for both events and perform well in a consistent manner. The event requires you to ski a variable distance with stops for target shooting. The event was traditionally used as a winter training exercise for military troops.


Difficulty: Challenging

Cross-Country Skiing

Things You’ll Need:
  • Cross-country skis
  • Poles
  • Boots
  • Ski suit
  • .22-caliber bolt or lever action rifle
  • Rifle sling
Step 1
Do a 40-minute weight training routine twice each week. Do squats, lunges, leg curls, box jumps, and calf raises.
Step 2
Sprint 400- and 800-meter distances to help build strength and cardiovascular endurance. Do this two times each week and push your body through the short distances at full speed. Rest for two to three minutes between each sprint to recover.
Step 3
Run, ski, or roller-ski long distances in a single outing to build endurance. Go 5 miles at a reasonable pace and focus on breathing deep and slow.
Step 4
Perform 30 200-meter sprints up a steep incline. Take one-minute rests between each sprint.

Rifle Shooting

Step 1
Practice rifle shooting with an elevated heart rate.
Step 2
Practice holding and loading the rifle at home. Find your most comfortable shooting position and practice setting up for the shot. Once set, use the bolt to load and dry-fire the rifle, mimicking the real situation. Practice the routine until you can execute with precision.
Step 3
Run, bike or ski between shooting sessions to elevate your heart rate. Use a stationary bike at the shooting range and ride 10 minutes for every three minutes of shooting.

Tips & Warnings

When training for the biathlon, it is important to know how to handle your weapon. Use extreme safety and consider taking a hunting education course to learn how to maneuver in different shooting situations.

Article Written By Zach Lazzari

Zach Lazzari is an outdoor writing specialist. He has experience in website writing as well as standard newspaper writing. He wrote an outdoor column for the Silver World in Lake City, Colo., and articles for Lazzari is currently completing his bachelor's degree online through Arizona State University and lives in southwest Montana.

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