So far my summer training season has been filled with adventure and wonderful moments spent with my fiancé and her family. I have been based in northern Minnesota, where I have enjoyed exploring the numerous bike and roller ski trails, as well as the roads and lakes! Highlights have included long roller skis on the Mesabi Trail as well as hours of mountain biking in the Tioga Recreation Area, where they have many miles of brand new single track. Though I miss spending training camp period with the National Team, Ihave embraced additional time with family - a difficult thing to come by for winter endurance athletes!In addition to time spent training in the Midwest, my teammate Paul Schommer and I have embarked on several training camp adventures in the Rocky Mountains, visiting Casper, Wyoming and Soldier Hollow, Utah. During these blocks we have enjoyed camping, which has allowed us to achieve great training, while also having fun living out of a tent! During my most recent trip to Soldier Hollow, I had the pleasure of working with my club team Crosscut Elite Team, based out of Bozeman, Montana. Our group had a lot of fun pushing each other on the trails, range, and even the soccer field. I am hopeful that we will find a safe way to proceed as the summer turns to fall and that solutions can be found for the upcoming racing season!
1. What advice would you give an adult nordic skier who is not
competitive, but would like to try biathlon? It seems like there is a
high barrier for entry, from getting the shooting equipment, are
recreational biathlon ranges even a thing in the United States? Please
elaborate for the average master skier.
I would absolutely urge anyone of any ability to try biathlon - it is a lot of fun! There are many recreational biathlon/ shooting facilities all over the country that offer introductory experiences. The easiest way to find the one nearest you is to check out USBA's list of regional biathlon directors, which can be found on Team USA's website. Getting in touch with a regional director, will ensure that anyone can find their nearest biathlon facility. Many of those biathlon areas offer rifles, ammo, and other equipment for beginners to use!
2. On the other side of the spectrum, what advice or what resources are
out there for young people who may already be involved in a nordic club
that does not have biathlon, but are interested in trying it out any
maybe becoming competitive?
Similarly, I would advise any younger athletes, or their parents, to get in touch with their region's biathlon director. That contact will have the information needed. To younger athletes who are interested, I would simply say - give it a try and have fun! Biathlon is a difficult sport, requiring years in order to reach basic proficiency. However, anyone with a biathlon rifle can develop their skills either at a local gun club, biathlon facility, or anywhere that target shooting can be done safely and legally.
3. What do you do in the summer to stay sharp with your shooting skills?
To put it simply - we shoot...A LOT! In addition, to live fire, we spend a tremendous amount of time dryfiring (practicing without live rounds) and completing other shooting drills. Biathletes spend hundreds of hours a year shooting, and last year alone I shot roughly 16,000 rounds. Just as we develop our aerobic engines throughout the year, we put a tremendous amount of base training into our shooting over the summer months!
4. What do you think about classic skiing