ALTITUDE TRAINING BIASESFrom Neil Ryan, 22 October, 1995 [Reworded by Brent Rushall].
At a recent meeting of the Sports Science Committee of Australian Swimming Inc. (4 September, 1995), an evaluation was made of the effect of its altitude camp, held prior to the 1995 Pan Pacific Championships, on the performances of Australian Team swimmers. Statistical analyses showed no significant benefits from the experience. Although the discussion group was largely supportive of the altitude training concept, swimmer's performances did not reveal objective conclusions other than no effect. Despite this, there still were persistent attempts to imply some benefits from the experience. Such denials of objective analysis results are common amongst altitude training proponents. In the confounded circumstances of national team training camps, explanations for improvements such as, reduced daily stresses (the "camp effect"), good or poor training programs, and the opposite for degraded performances are common. The persistent denial of coaches to accept objective assessments of field-gathered data is itself a research topic worthy of investigation.
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