Int J Sports Med 1992; 13(5): 390-394
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-1021286
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Characterization of the Heart Rate Response during Biathlon

M. D. Hoffman1 , G. M. Street2
  • 1Sports Performance and Technology Laboratory and Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, The Medical College of Wisconsin and VA Medical Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53295 U. S. A.
  • 2Human Performance Laboratory, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota 56301 U. S. A.
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
14 March 2008 (online)


Continuous heart rate recordings were obtained on elite American biathletes during competitions to provide a better understanding of the physiological demands of biathlon and the strategies used in approaching the shooting range. The findings demonstrate that the average heart rate during skiing was approximately 90% of maximum heart rate. Heart rates decreased 10-12 bpm over a time period of approximately 50-60 sec during the approach to the firing line. At arrival to the firing line, heart rates were similar for prone and standing shooting averaging 85-87% of maximum heart rate. Mean minimum heart rates while at the firing line dropped to 61-73% of maximum heart rate and averaged approximately 20 bpm lower for prone shooting. The lower minimum heart rates during prone shooting were accounted for by the biathletes spending a longer time at the firing line and having a more rapid decrease in heart rate while in the prone position.