MODERATE ALTITUDE TRAINING IS SIMILAR IN EFFECT TO SEA LEVEL TRAINING WHEN TRAINING CONTENT AND INTENSITIES ARE CONTROLLED
Niess, A. M., Fehrenbach, E., Buergler, J., Fuss, S., Lehmann, R., Roecker, K., Baumann, I., Passek, F., & Dickhuth, H.-H. (2001). Metabolic and hormonal response to interval training at sea level and moderate altitude. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 33(5), Supplement abstract 1640.
Runners (N = 12) performed extensive interval training with similar (La) values at sea level (350 m) and moderate altitude (1800 m). Running velocities were reduced at altitude to realize La levels equal to those exhibited at sea level. Training program content (10 x 1000m, 2 min rest) was standardized between the two environments. Measurements were taken at altitude after seven days of acclimatization.
Training in both conditions yielded similar increases in free fatty acids, cortisol, and growth hormone. Plasma glucose increased after interval training at altitude. Insulin-like growth factor-I declined after 24 hours of sea level training.
The behavior of plasma glucose suggests a higher rate of carbohydrate oxidation during altitude training.
Implication. When interval training of equivalent metabolic intensity is performed at sea level and after adaptation to altitude, physiological changes are largely similar.
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