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CRSS 453: Altitude Training in Endurance Athletes

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Elizabeth Campbell

on 3 October 2016

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Transcript of CRSS 453: Altitude Training in Endurance Athletes

High Altitude + Elite Runners
How do we know we got there?
So how do we start?
Elizabeth Campbell
...and not end up like this.
Because we want more of this...
to make this...
so we can have more of this...
so we can do this!...
1. Become an elite runner
2. Live at <1000m and compete in two national track championships
3. Live on a mountain for 27 days following a HiHiLo training program
Live Hi (2500m)
Train Hi (low intensity, 2000-2800m)
Train Lo (high intensity-high velocity, 1250m)
[red blood cell]
How does it work?
Reduced 3000m time-trial time by 5.8s or 1.1%
Significant increase in VO2max by 3%
No significant change in maximal HR and time to exhaustion
Hb and hematocrit increased on ascent, and remained elevated on return to sea level
Ferritin was unchanged
EPO and transferrin increased on ascent and decreased on return to sea level
You may notice a few changes to your body and performance...
Red blood cells
Oxygen delivery
Ideal Protocol:
Optimal altitude: Living at 2200-2500m
Optimal duration: 4 weeks to induce accelerated erythropoiesis
Optimal dosage: 20-22h/day of altitude; travel down for training only
Food for thought...
Should "Artificial" high altitude environments be considered doping?
Are simulated altitude environments performance enhancing?
Are simulated altitude environments safe?
Do simulated altitude environments violate the "spirit of sport"?
Criteria for WADA's prohibition list:
1. Scientific evidence of enhancement
2. Health risk
3. Violates "spirit of sport"
Other points:
economic and environmental costs
Improvement is due to:
an increase in RBC mass as an adaptation to moderate altitude, which increasesVO2
maintenance of sea level oxygen flux/delivery during low-altitude training, which preserves skeletal muscle structure and function and facilitates improvement in running performance at sea level
Stimulation of erythrpoiesis leads to an increase in oxygen delivery to peripheral tissues
The percent improvement as a fraction of variation was 0.58, which falls in the range for a “worthwhile” performance enhancement.
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