Altitude training has always been something that endurance athletes and ultra runners have done to prepare themselves for the grueling challenges they put their bodies through. But in recent years it’s become a training tool that athletes of all kinds use to improve their performance and increase their fitness. But does it work? Is it
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While it has proven to be effective to help gain an edge in long distance races, it has also left many questions in its wake. What is the exact effects of altitude training? Is it worth it, even for short term gains? What is the ideal time of the year to train at altitude? Let’s explore some of these questions and more as we examine altitude training for short term gains.
How much is my performance affected by altitude training?
First, let’s address the question of exactly how much your performance is effected by altitude training. There are countless studies that have been done and countless athletes that have been in long distance races at different altitudes. Each of these studies has some degree of variance on their results, but the average response for the overall group has been that at higher altitudes athletes experience higher levels of oxygen starvation. This isn’t to say that all of your cells aren’t working as well in a hypoxic atmosphere, but it does mean that the cells are working harder, which can increase the energy expenditure on top of the already elevated oxygen depletion that comes with training at higher altitudes.
That being said, altitude training has proven to be a big advantage to athletes in endurance sports. The biggest reason for this is because you can go to the same relative altitude and go from 7,500 meters or more in some cases, to 2,500 meters or less. This makes the time you spend training in altitude feel much shorter than it would be at sea level.
The other important thing is that altitude training can provide an athlete with a performance advantage. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that training at altitude is an effective way to improve performance and gain an advantage in endurance events. This is usually measured in the hours and days leading up to a race and it typically ranges from a 2-10% improvement in performance, depending on the altitude you train at and the level of hypoxia (oxygen depletion) the athlete experiences while training.
In regards to training at sea level for a race at altitude, it is important to understand that you will need to reduce the intensity of the workout that you would normally do at sea level to accommodate for the reduced oxygen. This is especially true if you plan on finishing in the top 10 or top 20, because even a small reduction in intensity can have a negative effect on your race performance.
To get the most from your training, you must understand how your body responds to the varying levels of hypoxia that will be experienced and you must have a plan in place on what you are going to do to manage the situation. This includes when you will rest, and when you will repeat your exercise workload and make it harder, or lighter. You also need to learn to live with the fact that you may experience less oxygen in your body for your workouts, and accept that you have to work harder to get a better result.
Hypoxia is one of the factors that causes muscle damage and the process of recovery is not an easy one. In short, when you first complete an intense workout with an elevated heart rate and a higher metabolism, a lot of the damage to your muscles occurs to the first 5-10% of your heart, which is what is commonly referred to as the first “metabolic burst.”
What does this mean?
After a severe workout, your heart is beating fast, in an effort to supply the energy that is needed to supply your muscles with the oxygen needed to sustain their working ability. Your heart is also breathing harder to provide more oxygen to the lungs, but because you have to supply your muscles with oxygen, your lungs are not getting as much oxygen as usual.
The next time you perform a hard workout, your heart and your lungs are working overtime to supply the energy and oxygen that are needed, but the rest of your body has not yet had the chance to recover enough to start to repair the damage that your heart and lungs did. If you are unable to recover from your workouts, you will burn out your heart muscle, or even rupture your heart.
Why is this important to understand?
When you first learn to live with a heart that is more efficient, you will enjoy your workouts more, which means that you will be more likely to stick to them. When you work out really hard at the first, your heart will have a higher efficiency than it normally does, and it will therefore be able to supply you with the energy and oxygen that you need to sustain your workout. Your blood will have more oxygen and be able to flow more efficiently through the different organs of your body.
If your heart is working really hard for your workout, the muscles are getting enough oxygen, and there are fewer problems in the post workout period. This means that when you return home and begin to train your next workout, you are going to be a little more rested, and therefore a little better prepared for the workout. It also means that you will be able to do a little more of your workouts, so you will be getting even more health benefits.
So, remember to keep your heart in shape by eating your vegetables and keeping your body in balance. Also try to keep your body in good shape, and you can do that by engaging in some of the cardiovascular workouts on the DVD set or by using the various exercise machines in the gym. With a good routine and some dedication, you will be able to do what ever you want in life, and you will certainly be able to live a long life of health and fitness.
You are the best one to judge how well you are keeping your heart and lungs in shape. Use these exercises as a baseline measurement of your heart function, and you will know how well you are doing. However, your doctor or cardiologist is the best one to assess your heart health, and you can depend on him to advise you on what kind of exercise program you need to put together.