ALTITUDE TENTS IMPROVED RUNNING PERFORMANCE
Hinckson, E. A., & Hopkins, W. G. (2005). Changes in running performance following intermittent altitude exposure simulated with tents. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 37(5), Supplement abstract 262.
Male runners and triathletes (N = 11) participated in a cross-over study of usual training or usual training with a simulated altitude treatment (25 days of sleeping in altitude tents for eight hours per day). Altitude was simulated between 2,500-3,500 m. A four-week wash-out period was allowed between treatments.
Performances were improved for 800 m (1%), 1,500 m (1.4%), and 3,000 m (1.8%). Effects were unrelated to the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. [It is possible that a placebo effect was produced by sleeping in the tents. In such experiments, usual training should also be accompanied by sleeping in tents with a gradual reduction to no-simulation of altitude to remove the placebo effect.]
Implication. Sleeping in simulated altitude tents improved performances but not because of any changes in blood characteristics.
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