High Altitude Training

This is a guest page by Tuppence Maranovna.

It’s no surprise that Bolivia is one of the most difficult football teams to play at home at the Estadio Hernando Siles in La Plaz, sitting at a whopping 3,657 meters above sea level. At that altitude the level of oxygen in the air is much lower than at lower climbs making it much more difficult to train or keep fit.

However, as has been seen with many professional sports teams, training at high altitudes can have a big boost on your fitness levels because it pushes your respiratory system to the extremes. This means that when you return to lower altitudes you’re fitness levels with higher oxygen levels in the air are much improved, often giving a much needed boost in advance of a race or tournament.


When training at high altitudes it’s important to start off gently and build up your pace over a week to give your lungs and respiratory system the time it needs to adapt to metabolising energy under low oxygen circumstances. It’s also important to ensure that you have good fluid intake, as the additional strain of metabolising energy under this situation can dehydrate the body quickly.

Having recently trained up in the mountains in Northern Nevada, my lung capacity and breathing while running has been improved significantly, so high altitude training could be a great way to give yourself a boost of fitness at a crucial time in your training cycle. You’ll definitely feel the difference when you return to an altitude closer to sea level.

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