High Altitude Training

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High Altitude Training

Postby mikesbytes » Thu May 12, 2011 10:58 am

In my days as a competitive runner, there was always a lot of talk about high altitude training. Many top runners would go to the US to train at altitude. However you don't seem to hear the same conversations in the cycling world.

Now to make it just a bit more interesting, there's a mob in Sydney offering simulated high altitude training

http://www.sydneyaltitudetraining.com

I haven't checked the price but I understand its not cheap, but I'd bet that the infrastructure required to simulate high altitude's is pretty dam expensive.
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by BNA » Thu May 12, 2011 11:10 am

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Re: High Altitude Training

Postby sogood » Thu May 12, 2011 11:10 am

It's not that expensive as it can be simulated in an air sealed compartment with the correct gas mixes (low oxygen partial pressure). You can even buy these "tents" over the net. However, for a business I'd say there's some significant risk liabilities that has to be priced in. Further, they'll sure jazz it up and price it up to attract hapless customers.

Otherwise I'd say it's useless and a gimmic to do these short expensive sessions. If you really want proper effect, you'll need to go high and live and train there for a while. The aim is for the body to adapt ie. Increase haematocrit (EPO effect). Doing short sessions just won't achieve the same.
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Re: High Altitude Training

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Thu May 12, 2011 3:46 pm

mikesbytes wrote:In my days as a competitive runner, there was always a lot of talk about high altitude training. Many top runners would go to the US to train at altitude. However you don't seem to hear the same conversations in the cycling world.

It has been used and studied extensively in the performance of cyclists. In fact probably more research has been done on cycling performance since the precise performance (wattage) is more readily measured on bicycles and ergometers.

sogood wrote:Otherwise I'd say it's useless and a gimmic to do these short expensive sessions. If you really want proper effect, you'll need to go high and live and train there for a while. The aim is for the body to adapt ie. Increase haematocrit (EPO effect). Doing short sessions just won't achieve the same.

+1

See here for some sound advice on altitude training for cyclists:
http://www.turbostudio.com.au/faq_altitude_training.pdf

Really, the only sensible reason to train at altitude is to prepare for training/racing at altitude. And it require 8-12 hours per day of hypoxic exposure for many weeks in order for benefits to kick in. Occasional shorts sessions don't cut it, the evidence does not support it's efficacy, and indeed all it serves to do is reduce the quality of a given training session since it has an acute negative impact on ability to produce power.
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High Altitude Training

Postby Dr_Mutley » Thu May 12, 2011 4:02 pm

Collingwood believe in it, and at a significant expense. They send their list to arizona each year for preseason training...

Does it have an effect? Scientific evidence would say no, but some argue that their results would maybe suggest otherwise?
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Re: High Altitude Training

Postby hannos » Thu May 12, 2011 4:17 pm

Dr_Mutley wrote:Collingwood believe in it, and at a significant expense. They send their list to arizona each year for preseason training...

Does it have an effect? Scientific evidence would say no, but some argue that their results would maybe suggest otherwise?


A psychological effect as opposed to a physical?
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Re: High Altitude Training

Postby toolonglegs » Thu May 12, 2011 4:35 pm

Living at altitude is probably important if you want to race at altitude...plenty of big races in the US mtb scene at high altitude.But for the big road races you are probably on a pretty level playing field...except maybe the likes of Mexico or Columbia.
But in the past IMO altitude training was a cover for cheating..."yes of course my hematocrit have gone through the roof...I have been training at altitude!".
Altitude tents are illegal in Italy :lol: .
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Re: High Altitude Training

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Thu May 12, 2011 6:36 pm

toolonglegs wrote:Altitude tents are illegal in Italy :lol: .

Yeah, but really makes no sense. May as well bans heaters and air conditioning, windows, electric lights and roofs over our heads since they are all artificially changing the environment too.
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Re: High Altitude Training

Postby sogood » Thu May 12, 2011 6:47 pm

Dr_Mutley wrote:Collingwood believe in it, and at a significant expense. They send their list to arizona each year for preseason training...
Does it have an effect? Scientific evidence would say no, but some argue that their results would maybe suggest otherwise?

I'd confidently say it "works". By throwing a bundle of money and living it up in Arizona on ignorant players, many of them will think it works and perform. Perfect placebo effect! :mrgreen:
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Re: High Altitude Training

Postby trailgumby » Thu May 12, 2011 9:13 pm

Dr_Mutley wrote:Collingwood believe in it, and at a significant expense. They send their list to arizona each year for preseason training...

Does it have an effect? Scientific evidence would say no, but some argue that their results would maybe suggest otherwise?

Goes to show that you don't have to be very smart to be an effective AFL player. If I recall correctly, quite a few were enthusiasts of those hologram wristbands as well.

Exactly how long does Collingwood management think the effect lasts? The reality is, a week or maybe two at best.

The main downside of the altitude training fad compared to the wristbads is it's not as easy to identify stupid people any more. Those wristbands were such a gift in that regard. :lol:
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Re: High Altitude Training

Postby mikesbytes » Thu May 12, 2011 9:20 pm

So what I am seeing here is that its a waste of time doing less than 8 hours per day for a month and realistically more is needed. And whether that is of benefit depends entirely on what events you are targeting.

So in a nutshell, go live somewhere high or don't bother at all
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Re: High Altitude Training

Postby toolonglegs » Thu May 12, 2011 9:23 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
toolonglegs wrote:Altitude tents are illegal in Italy :lol: .

Yeah, but really makes no sense. May as well bans heaters and air conditioning, windows, electric lights and roofs over our heads since they are all artificially changing the environment too.

Yup,isn't anything that artificially improves performance is banned?... a hell of a lot of things would be covered by that.

You will have to get your lego out to get any altitude in Oz Mike :P .
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Re: High Altitude Training

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Fri May 13, 2011 11:55 am

toolonglegs wrote:Yup,isn't anything that artificially improves performance is banned?... a hell of a lot of things would be covered by that.

Exactly. Like eating pre-prepared foods, sleeping under blankets, training on an ergo bike. What's not "artificial"?
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Re: High Altitude Training

Postby jules21 » Fri May 13, 2011 1:02 pm

trailgumby wrote:The main downside of the altitude training fad compared to the wristbads is it's not as easy to identify stupid people any more. Those wristbands were such a gift in that regard. :lol:

don't be so sure - they were probably paid to wear them.

spending a couple of weeks at high altitude walking in nepal in 2009, it definitely throws your body around. i had a couple of periods where i felt like my core temperature dropped suddenly (feverish) and had to wrap myself up in all my thermal gear and sleeping bag for an hour or so. and i had days when i could barely muster the energy to walk 500m. no idea if it improved my physical condition.
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Re: High Altitude Training

Postby foo on patrol » Sat May 14, 2011 7:35 pm

Why wouldn't you concentrate on just expanding lung capacity, through weight training with bench presses and associated exercises, or am I missing something here? :?
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Re: High Altitude Training

Postby sogood » Sat May 14, 2011 11:55 pm

foo on patrol wrote:Why wouldn't you concentrate on just expanding lung capacity, through weight training with bench presses and associated exercises, or am I missing something here? :?

I understand you won't get very far with that objective. :roll:
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