Witkowski, S., Karlsen, T., Resaland, G., Sivieri, M., Yates, R., Harber, M., Ge, R. L., Stray-Gundersen, J., & Levine, B. D. (2001). Optimal altitude for "Living high-Training low". Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 33(5), Supplement abstract 1642.

Competitive runners (M = 32; F = 16) participated in the following: a) a four-week seal level training camp, b) four weeks of a "high-high-low" training camp where groups lived at 1,780, 2,085, 2,454 or 2,805 m and trained together at low to moderate altitude (high intensity training at 1,250- 1,780 m; base-training at 1,700-3,000m), and c) two weeks of sea level training. Ss were matched for gender, pre-altitude performance, and percent increase in erythropoietin after 24 hours of exposure to a simulated altitude of 2,454 m. VO2max and a 3,000 m time trial were the primary measures of effect.

[In this investigation, too many variables were modified, and groups were used as their own controls. Individual variations in response were not reported. Only work was monitored. Restorative rest and recovery is more important for performance improvement. To not measure and monitor those factors, means that significant factors that could affect performance were not controlled. ed]

There were no differences among groups for either total training distance or number of hard interval sessions. VO2max increased only after four weeks at the three highest altitudes. Time trial performance improved in the 2,085 and 2,454 altitude groups but did not at the highest or lowest altitudes.

Implication. It was advocated that living altitudes for various forms of the HiLo training protocol is between 1,800 and 2,800 m.

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