Improved Race Performance in Elite Middle-Distance Runners After Cumulative Altitude Exposure

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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We quantified the effect of an extended live high-train low (LHTL) simulated altitude exposure followed by a series of training camps at natural moderate altitude on competitive performance in seven elite middle-distance runners (Vo2max 71.4 ± 3.4 mL·min−1·kg−1, mean ± SD). Runners spent 44 ± 7 nights (mean ± SD) at a simulated altitude of 2846 ± 32 m, and a further 4 X 7- to 10-d training at natural moderate altitude (1700–2200 m) before racing. The combination of simulated LHTL and natural altitude training improved competitive performance by 1.9% (90% confidence limits, 1.3-2.5%). Middle-distance runners can confidently use a combination of simulated and natural altitude to stimulate adaptations responsible for improving performance.

Saunders, Pyne, Gore, and Hahn are with the Department of Physiology, Australian Institute of Sport, Belconnen, ACT, Australia; Telford and Pyne are with the Medical School, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia; and Gore is with the School of Education, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA, Australia.