Olympic biathletes are better than you at breathing

Popular Science | 2/12/2018 | Staff
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In fact, Studebaker-Hall doesn’t want her heart rate to drop too much. If your heart is going fast enough, she explains, it’s pumping so quickly that you don’t really notice, and equally when it’s going slowly you aren’t conscious of it beating, she explains. But when you’re just above normal, you’re hyper-aware of every beat. That pounding can be felt in your grip on the rifle. “You don’t want to dip down into that region,” she says. “That’s one of the reasons you end up shooting so fast.”

Which is not to say that heart rates don’t drop at all. The few studies done on changes in heart rates during biathlons suggest that athletes drop their rates to about 60 to 70 percent of their max, versus 90 percent during the race. Most normal exercise happens in the 70-85 percent range, for reference. Their heart rates drop less when shooting upright as opposed to lying on their stomachs, but that’s still a significant drop considering it happens in less than a minute. They’re actively slowing down their own pulse through breathing and concentration, not just letting their heart slow on its own.

Heart - Rate - Game - Heart - Beats

You also can’t keep your heart rate up too high, because shooting is as much a mental game as it is a physical one. If your heart is going all-out, you may not notice the beats but you’ll have a...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Popular Science
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