a man runs in the mountains

The Beginners Guide to High Altitude Training

If you’re prepping for a race or just trying to improve your running, high altitude training could be beneficial. The idea behind it is that spending time at higher elevations forces your body to adjust to the lower oxygen levels present there.

Studies have demonstrated that training at altitude can improve oxygen delivery and increase maximal oxygen intake (VO2 max) during exercise. Furthermore, it helps you recover more quickly from workouts.

Running Easy

Running Easy is an ideal starting point for high altitude training. It teaches your body how to adjust in extreme conditions by giving it time to adapt before any serious effects take hold.

At higher elevations, the low air pressure reduces oxygen in your blood, forcing muscles to work harder. This increases heart rate and spurs production of red blood cells – responsible for transporting oxygen – in your body.

Elite athletes often utilize altitude training as a method to increase their endurance. It may also prove beneficial for runners visiting mountainous regions regularly or planning races at higher elevations.

Running Threshold

Running at high altitude presents a major adjustment to your body. As air pressure decreases, oxygen diffuses more slowly into red blood cells, leading to an overall reduction in VO2 max (the amount of oxygen absorbed).

Elite runners often travel to high-altitude training destinations like Flagstaff or Denver for their workouts, but casual runners who take vacations at higher elevations and want to run some races will also find this information beneficial.

At altitudes between 6,000-9,000 feet above sea level, power at lactate threshold drops by 10% and recovery is impaired. Although this transition can be challenging for many athletes, with the right approach and some preparation, it can be successfully navigated.

Hill Training

Hill training can have numerous advantages for runners. It builds strength, enhances speed, and even increases endurance and stamina levels.

It is essential to remember, however, that running uphill requires a great deal of practice and strength in order to become proficient. You need strong glutes, hamstrings and quads as well as an impressive core for this task.

Beginners may want to start with a straightforward hill workout to become acquainted with the sensation of climbing and descending. Once you feel confident with this exercise, gradually increase the steepness of your hills until they become easier for you.

Aerobic Activities

Aerobic exercise (commonly referred to as “cardio”) is a prolonged physical activity that elevates your heart rate and breathing rate in order to deliver oxygen-rich blood to working muscles. Not only does this improve fitness levels, lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, and reduce inflammation within the body – these types of exercises also aid in increasing mental clarity and decreasing stress levels.

Aerobic activity helps you burn calories, and the more active you are, the greater your calorie burn will be. Incorporating aerobic activities into your diet such as walking or swimming can also aid weight loss by burning off extra energy stores.

Yogic Breathing

Breathing exercises (pranayama) can be a calming and invigorating way to de-stress during a trek. They may also prevent panic attacks or shortness of breath.

Breathing is one of the most fundamental and yet profound yogic practices. Proper breathing in and out of your nose ensures warm, fresh air reaches your lungs, giving you control over how quickly and deeply you inhale.

Yoga breathing techniques provide long, slow breaths to increase the surface area of your lungs available for gas exchange, leading to improved oxygen supply. Dead space ventilation (air movement between trachea and lungs that does not participate in gas exchange) is also reduced, improving respiration efficiency overall.






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