Altitude Training for the OAR

Preparation for an endurance event such as the Olympic Atlantic Row begins many months beforehand. Watch Andrew Morris in action as he begins a programme of altitude training to get him fit to face the Atlantic. As expert Ian Andrews explains, the science behind altitude training is what makes it so attractive to the world’s top athletes.

” A specially designed generator lowers the level of Oxygen that Andrew breaths in, which is similar to him training high in the mountains where the air is thinner and simple tasks like walking to get a paper seem twice as hard as normal. His body now has to survive on lower levels of oxygen than it is normally used to. In order to do this the body has to be as efficient as possible. So every cell that is not performing at a 100% will be replaced. This is especially true in respect of the mitachondria which are the cells power plants. Because the body now requires more energy, it works to produces many more of these new cells.

In order to fuel the necessary changes, the body prefers to use fat stores in preference to carbohydrates. This helps to burn off extra body fat whilst the release of human growth hormone stimulates the production of new capillaries to carry the extra red blood cells that deliver oxygen around the body and extra muscle tissue to make the body more efficient.

After about 15 sessions on the altitude machine, the body adapts and is able to work as normal at high altitudes. Andrew’s heart and lunges are stronger than ever and he can work for much longer at higher intensities. This is due to more oxygen being made available to bigger, more toned muscles. Crucially, he will also be able to recover much faster which will be vital given the demands of the Olympic Atlantic Row.”

Ian Andrews





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