However, athletes mostly compete at low altitudes with only rare competition events at higher altitudes. In such matters, the preparation period for the altitude competition depends on the time interval between competitions, the importance of the altitude competition, and prior individual experiences and may vary between some hours and about 2 weeks.
In more recent time, coaches and athletes are also faced with the opportunity to use artificial altitude normobaric hypoxia chambers for preparation purposes offering multiple combinations of artificial and real altitude exposures with and without training. Coaches learned that the training camp should take place at the same altitude but in a different place than the planned competition. The reasons for training at a different place than the competition site are the same as at low altitudes: limiting the stay at the site of the competition. Even just the nomination for elite competitions, and especially the stay at its site, generally have considerably stressful effects on athletes.
On approximately the fifth day it is necessary to redefine the current individual values of load intensity, which differ markedly from those used at normoxia. In order to accelerate the regeneration processes at altitude, inhalation of oxygen of lowland concentration can be used via a mask or tent Wilber, ; Chapman et al.
It is also important for successful handling of altitude for athletes to be mentally prepared for the fact that training at higher altitude will be much more demanding compared to low altitudes. Importantly, training intensity must be modified with regard for the given environment. The athlete should understand the essence of adaptation to an environment of hypoxia and the logic of modifying the training program.
From the 7th to 12th day the load can gradually be increased, but the rising intensity must be carefully monitored. If the athlete manages the first 14 days of the sojourn according to the plan, it is possible to gradually start shifting to the training customary at low altitudes starting with the third weekly microcycle, including segments at racing pace. The reasons for shorter sojourns are not merely socioeconomic but are also based on empirical experiences of the coaches and physiological responses discussed above. If only very short periods are available before the altitude competition it may be recommended to arrive on the day before the competition just to check out the course, then sleep at low altitude and return to altitude the next day for the competition itself Wilber, ; Foss et al.
From the presented findings of various aspects of an optimal preparation for endurance competition at altitude, it may be concluded that the acclimatization process and performance recovery nearly reach a plateau after about 2 weeks at altitudes up to 4, m. Individual psychological conditions and appropriate diet and training are important modifiers of the preparation progress and related competition success. However, in reality preparation regimens may largely deviate from the optimum for logistical, individual and other reasons. Profound knowledge of individual physiological and psychological responses to the sojourn and training at altitude, the optimisation of diet and the consideration of individual differences will be helpful for coaches, team doctors and athletes.
All authors listed have made substantial, direct, and intellectual contribution to the work and approved it for publication. The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.
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Care 19, 55— Stray-Gundersen, J. Failure of red cell volume to increase to altitude exposure in iron deficient runners. The 5K is the most commonly raced distance out there. There are countless possible race strategies floating around. Some runners love to go out hard and hang on. Others like to sit back and kick at the end. We are all different; therefore, we have different strengths that we can use on race day.
An even split race means that your aim is to run the whole race at relatively the same speed from start to finish. This is a great foundational strategy that will set you up physiologically for success. It also allows for easy tweaking should a situation good or bad arise. Why do I espouse even splitting?
If you want to get the best possible gas mileage while driving your car on the highway, you set the car on cruise control, right? This minimizes the number of times you have to hit the gas or brakes. Unlike the car, as we increase our speed, our fuel demands change in a couple of different ways.
We know that as our efforts increase above our lactate threshold, blood lactate production increases exponentially. This means that a brief period of high intensity effort costs us a lot more than it benefits us. As our bodies go anaerobic, our body produces a free hydrogen ion that causes the cell pH to become acidic which inhibits cell respiration performance. The excess acidity accumulated during a short burst cannot be eliminated without slowing down considerably. The loss in speed while our bodies recover is more significant than any gains we tried to make by going too fast.
In fact, studies suggest that for each second going faster than optimal pace in the first half of a race, you will run two seconds slower on the second half because of premature fatigue. That being said, even pacing does not mean a nice, relaxing, sub-maximal run. It simply means you are distributing your efforts and energies over the 5K to run out of gas exactly as you cross the finish line. Be an Adrenaline Junkie I typically tell my athletes not to put any effort into the first couple of minutes of a race.
The excitement and energy of race day tends to have everyone all revved up and ready to blast off at the start line. Mix one part race effort with two parts pre-race nerves and excitement, and you've got a recipe for a scorching first half-mile and a miserable middle mile. Let adrenaline take you through the first couple of minutes. By holding back and just letting the excitement of the moment take care of the time, your pace will be in good shape.
Which leads us us to the next point.