What do coaches and athletes think about altitude training?
In some cases, when we hear about elite athletes heading off to altitude training camps or working hard in their hypoxic chambers, it gives us motivation to train hard ourselves. We know that for them, this is the norm: training regularly at a hard intensity in different environments. But what do they, and their coaches, actually think about altitude and hypoxic training?
This question was recently asked by a group of researchers to British elite endurance runners and coaches. The main findings of this study are summarised below:
– 98% of athletes had used altitude/hypoxic training.
– 95% of coaches had used altitude/hypoxic training with their athletes.
– 75% of athletes believed altitude/hypoxic training to be a very important factor of their training.
– 50% of coaches believed altitude/hypoxic training to be a very important factor of their athlete’s training.
– All athletes and coaches agreed with the current research-informed nature of altitude/hypoxic training.
Initially, it seems that both athletes and coaches are extremely in support of the implementation of use of altitude/hypoxic training. It is likely that this is due to the well-known performance benefits that occur following an altitude training camp or regular training in a hypoxic chamber.
Interestingly, 50% of coaches believed altitude/hypoxic training to be of importance. Given that in today’s world of elite sport there are an abundance of training, competing and recovery inputs from multiple coaches – this is a great deal of support! Essentially, it shows that altitude/hypoxic training is held in high respect to obtain performance benefits.
In summary, when you take your next trip to altitude for training or competition, or head in to our chamber for a tough HIIT session – you can rest assured that what you’re doing is backed by the world’s best!
Turner et al. (2018). Altitude training in endurance running: Perceptions of elite athletes and support staff. Journal of Sports Sciences, 1-10.