POWERbreathe and Herbalife 24 Biathlon Team

Herbalife 24 Biathlon Team, the first professional biathlon team that works between Norway and Sweden, have begun using POWERbreathe as part of their training.

Biathlon as a sport has its roots within the Norwegian army and top biathletes are apparently among the fittest athletes on the planet and are famed for controlling their heart rates by breathing correctly so that they’re able to compose themselves between the skiing and shooting phases.

In Biathlon, the biathlete skis distances around a cross-country track that can vary from 6 to 20km. They then stop at a shooting range to shoot two or four times (half in a prone position and half standing), with the skiing distance and number of bouts of shooting depending on the type of competition.

For biathlon, each member of the Herbalife 24 Biathlon Team needs a combination of strength, physical fitness and endurance. This is where POWERbreathe breathing training will help, helping them to control their breathing, make the most of their vital capacity, improving endurance and helping them to recover quickly enough from their skiing in order to control their shooting.

Marie Alkire, shooting coach for the US biathlon team paints a wonderful picture of this very challenge when she says, “Try sprinting full out around the neighborhood track, then stopping to thread a needle.” Your breathing needs to be controlled and not laboured, you need to be able to take a controlled deep breath, exhale slowly – and then shoot.

POWERbreathe breathing training should help the team improve their breathing strength and stamina while skiing, so that they arrive at the range ready to shoot.

Breathing is such an important part of biathlon training. Cross country skiing is an intense aerobic activity requiring both upper and lower body strength as well as cardiovascular stamina, and the biggest challenge in biathlon is going from a state of high adrenergic stimulation with rapid breathing and elevated heart rate to a condition of calm. The key to making this transition is the ability to control breathing.

Each Herbalife 24 Biathlon Team member has been provided with a POWERbreathe Plus and the team will be utilising a POWERbreathe K5 with Breathe-Link software for:

  • Real-time breathing measurement and analysis
  • Import and export of .bre files (breathing file extension) for data sharing
  • Real-time, live test feedback graphical display with enhanced visual feedback
  • Detailed, simultaneous plotting and analysis of data
  • Detailed high resolution records of each session
  • Creation of personalised breathing training sessions
  • Automatic warm-up
  • Automatic cool-down

Each member will use their POWERbreathe Plus before the biathlon to warm up the inspiratory muscles, alleviating the feeling of breathlessness from the start, and again at the end of the biathlon to help speed lactate clearance and aid recovery.

We hope to keep you updated with the Herbalife 24 Biathlon Team’s progress throughout 2013, so please keep visiting the POWERbreathe blog for more information.

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