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Altitude Thoughts For The Age Group Athlete

by Steve Macklin
  • A block of altitude training can be beneficial for “most” athletes/triathletes 
  • Think about the “why” for the camp and what you wish to achieve 
  • To gain benefits from exposure to altitude you need to be aerobically fit, ensure blood work is in a positive place and be healthy & injury free
  • We can all respond to a suitable altitude (1600-2500m) if the training prescribed matches our current fitness & altitude location (height, hilly etc) 
  • Monitor each day your resting HR, HRV and SPO2 levels and how your body feels in general and make decisions accordingly 
  • Sleep may be disrupted in the first few days but should improve after this point 
  • Ensure you hydrate well with electrolytes as well as water and eat, eat, eat to fuel the work being done
  • Have a plan in place for the training structure for the camp and a firm rationale around each day but make changes as you go 
  • Maintain strength work in gym and “alactic” speed work throughout the camp 
  • Runners don’t be afraid to use a walk/run protocol especially in the first week 
  • Get the first week at altitude right in terms of training volume & intensity. What happens in this week sets up the rest of the camp
  • Take advantage of the new surroundings, the lower stress environment and extra time to recover 
  • Soak up the psychological benefits of being in a new training location often surrounded my incredible beauty 
  • If in doubt start at a lower altitude such as St Moritz or Font Romeu, before progressing to higher locations 
  • Be smart, each day is important at altitude and the aim is to get a solid consistent block of work done and return home healthy & injury free 
  • The camp is not the end of your season! The work continues when you return home. The aim is to gain some nice physiological adaptations and motivation, return home and continue on the path of consistency!

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1 comment

Steve October 24, 2023 - 6:22 am

Hi Chris,

It is always recommended to do a minimum of 2 weeks at altitude but ideally 3-4 weeks gives the best return. Hope that helps.



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