Martin, D. T., Quod, M., Garvican, L. A., Etxebarrial, N., Stephens, B., Impellizzeri, F. M., Rampinini, E., Sassi, A., & Gore, C. J. (2008). Cycling economy following a 3-wk natural altitude training camp (~2700) in nationally competitive cyclists. ACSM 55th Annual Meeting Indianapolis, Presentation Number, 1265.

red line

"The effects of altitude training on submaximal oxygen uptake (VO2) at sea level are equivocal." This study evaluated the effects of a three-week natural altitude training camp on submaximal VO2 in nationally competitive male cyclists (N = 9) preparing for the World Championships. Ss completed a submaximal cycle ergometer test at ~300-600m, twice before and once following the training camp. Five Ss lived and slept at 2,760 m for 21 nights while four lived and slept at ~600m for 28 nights. Both groups completed a high volume, low intensity training program including frequent hill climbing.

Sea level training did not noticeably influence submaximal VO2 or respiratory exchange ratio among other measures. Altitude training was associated with a "likely" increase in VO2 and respiratory exchange ratio. Respiratory exchange ratio after altitude training was “unlikely” different from baseline values due to similar increases in VO2 and VCO2 after altitude training.

Implication. "An increase in submaximal VO2 (1-10%) occurred in all cyclists following altitude training. The increase in VO2 can almost fully be attributed to the 5-10% increase in VE. These changes in economy may be explained by the unique timing and training content of the altitude camp or methodological limitations associated with assessing VO2."

Return to Table of Contents for this issue.

red line