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A Guide To High Altitude Training

Books to Improve your Running

Training at a high altitude can be a unique challenge for most runners; however, there are also benefits to this type of training. Runners who live at a higher elevation are likely already used to training at this elevation and have usually already made the necessary modifications to their training plan to ensure they will avoid many of the dangers often associated with physical exertion at a high altitude. This article will examine some of the advantages of training at a high altitude and will also offer advice for runners who are training at a high altitude for the first time.

Training at a high altitude gives runners a competitive edge over those who train at sea level when placed in direct competition. Whether the high altitude dweller goes down to sea level to compete in a race or his counterpart at sea level comes to a higher elevation to race, the runner who lives and trains at a high elevation will likely have a distinct advantage. This advantage is likely to come in the form of an increased red blood count which enables the body to carry oxygen more efficiently and more quickly through the body. Runners who live and train at a higher elevation typically have elevated red blood cell counts because there is less oxygen available at these higher altitudes. Therefore the runnerís body generates more red blood cells in an effort to make the runner more efficient at circulating oxygen. This elevated number of red blood cells remains for several days after the runner has left the high altitude location. Therefore the runner may travel to a race at sea level and enjoy the benefits of his increased red blood cell count for a number of days.

While training at a high altitude does have some obvious advantages, there are also some precautions which runners must take when training at a higher elevation. This is especially true for runners who have only recently arrived at the higher elevation and are not yet acclimated. These runners are advised to keep their training relatively light for at least the first couple of days until their body has had the opportunity to adjust to the lower levels of oxygen available.

Runners who are new to training at altitude should also take specially care to ensure they are properly hydrated while running. This is important because runners may be more susceptible to dehydration at higher altitudes. Additionally, adequate fluid intake can also be beneficial for helping the runner to adjust to the higher altitude. Runners may initially notice their heart rate for certain levels of exertion are typically higher until they properly adjust to the new elevation. This is normal and once the runner becomes acclimated to the altitude his heart rates should be similar to the heart rates he experienced while at sea level.

Finally, runners who are training at altitude should be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness and should stop running and seek medical attention if they experience symptoms such as lightheadedness and nausea. While these symptoms may subside shortly after the runner stops running, lingering symptoms may be a sign of a more serious condition and should be examined immediately.


The video clip above is from my DVD about running stetches and other running related information. Click on the DVD case below to find out more.

Running Stretches and Running Tips

Click Here to view the DVD.

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