Men's Fitness takes on Biathlon

Videos Joel Snape
14 Feb 2012

Biathlon is the ultimate test of co-ordination under pressure. MF tried it out.

Pop quiz: which sport produces athletes with the highest VO2 max? Cycling? Swimming? Running? Wrong. 

With athletes regularly testing in the 90s (a 100m sprinter might clock 50), cross-country skiing is the toughest test of lung power in sport. Twin it with shooting at tiny targets against a clock, and you've got biathlon - a sport that tests your fitness, accuracy and grace under pressure.
 
MF went to try it in Bessans, a traditional Alpine village in the Haute Maurienne Valley that has 80km of marked tracks for cross-country skiing. It's also one of the only resorts in Europe to have an international stadium, where the world’s best biathletes come to train. The ESF (French Ski School) offers cross-country skiing and skating lessons for all levels, as well as an introduction to biathlon.

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