New Gloucester, ME May 8. The US Biathlon Team is in the midst of their first training camp of the year this week in Colorado Springs.
Under the guidance of Coaches Per Nilsson and Mikael Lofgren, four men and three women started the build-up to the season opening World Cup next November 29 in Kontiolahti, Finland. This will be the first full season of training for the US Biathlon Team under the two coaches, who did not begin working with the team until July 2006, after training was well under way. Despite the late start, the new staff led the US men to their best season ever, with Tim Burke hitting an all-time US high, ranking 25th in the overall World Cup and the men’s team hitting an all-time high of 10th in the Nations Cup rankings.
The team has spent the past week at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, making use of the extensive facilities, including the indoor shooting range and gym/weight areas. On the shooting range, the coaches worked with each athlete on basic shooting skills in an environment unhindered by the weather. Just after the team finished its final shooting workout of the camp on Tuesday, Lofgren commented that everything went, “perfectly.”
As part of the training camp, both the athletes and coaches spent time learning the nuances of their new Polar RS 800™ Running Computer watches, which records a wide range of training data. This data is transferred to a PC using the Polar ProTrainer 5™ software. Using this system, the athletes will send detailed training data electronically to the coaches on a daily basis. After just a few days use, both coaches expressed that the system worked flawlessly and would be a huge asset to the team.
Even with last season’s success, the coaches promised, “to raise the bar” in terms of training and goals, as the team builds towards the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. Accordingly, over the past week, the team went through new running, hill bounding, and gym workouts, which will be implemented this season. Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, NY) summed up with, “We did a lot of new, different workouts. It was fun doing new things and working in a group again.”
After a week of mostly indoor specific training, the team now moves back into nature with several days of spring skiing and base training in high altitude Durango, Colorado. These will be the athlete’s final days on skis until their August training camp in Sweden.
With this jumpstart to the training season, the athletes will spend the next 6 weeks training at home, before the monthly camps begin in late June. The United States Biathlon Association is the National Governing Body for the sport of biathlon in the United States as recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the International Biathlon Union. The US Biathlon Association supports the US Biathlon Team and development of the sport on all levels within the United States.
TD Banknorth is the title sponsor of the US Biathlon Team. Lapua, adidas®, the Hilton Family of Hotels and Exel Ski Poles are supporting sponsors of the US Biathlon Team.