D'Acquisto, L. J., Tran, Z. V., Jackson, C. G. R., & Troup, J. P (1996). Energy release during altitude and acute simulated sea level exposure in altitude acclimatized/trained swimmers. In J. P. Troup, A. P. Hollander, D. Strasse, S. W. Trappe, J. M. Cappaert, & T. A. Trappe (Eds.), Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming VII (pp. 140-145). London: E & FN Spon.

Ss (N = 10) who resided and trained at altitude were measured for aerobic and anaerobic energy release while swimming at altitude and simulated sea level. All tests were conducted in an environmental chamber. A maximal and five submaximal swims were performed to determine VO2peak. Anaerobic energy release was derived by calculating the accumulated oxygen deficit (AOD).

In sea level conditions:

  1. peak energy delivery was increased due to increased availability of oxygen and increased HRmax;
  2. peak anaerobic energy release was independent of altitude condition; and
  3. relative demand for submaximal swimming was lower than at altitude, suggesting that at sea level swimmers can increase speed at a given percent of VO2peak.

Implication. Swimmers who live and train at altitude improve performances when they descend and compete at sea level. This does not mean that sea level athletes will improve sea level performances if they have a short-term exposure to altitude training.

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