This study used two groups of six "B" level swimmers, one training at altitude, the other at sea-level, for 30 days. Because of these small group numbers, it is hard to be conclusive about the findings. There were a number of factors that should be considered.
Sea-level swimmers were able to accomplish greater workloads at a higher intensity on a more regular basis than those at altitude. [If swimmers go to altitude "tired" and spend less than a month on a reduced workload, then a forced taper is actually experienced. When those swimmers return to sea-level they may perform as well as or even slightly better than sea-level swimmers, not because of the effects of altitude, but because they are more rested.]
It was concluded:
. . it is difficult, based on these findings, to say that altitude training alone is responsible for changes in performance of any great magnitude . . . altitude training does not result in negative changes in performance or training capacity. (p. 82)
Implications. There were a number of findings that have practical implications for altitude training.
Fast performances can be achieved either within the first four days of sea-level reexposure or after 14 days. Racing in the first four days at sea-level requires that a taper be done at altitude. Racing after 14 days allows for a sea-level taper. (p. 83)
Return to Table of Contents for ICAR 1989-90 Report.