Train High Live Low

I want to briefly talk about a study I found for a little bit of content for my newsletter.

This is about flipping the recommendation to live high and trained low, where you’ll often see that people that have the means (typically elites) will live at elevation but for their key-workouts, they’ll drive down to a lower elevation. The theory is that you live at elevation but you do your good workouts at a low elevation because if you were to do your good workouts at a high elevation you’d be sacrificing some of the quality of this session. At elevation you can’t run it as fast.

Obviously, if you were born in elevation it doesn’t really matter… you just live it elevation… but this study looked at switching that around and having people who live at a low elevation go up to a high elevation for short bouts of exercise over an eight-week period.

They found that obviously, this is kind of like a “duh” study that they had increased performance measures from short exercise bouts at elevation versus those in the control group who didn’t get to go to elevation for training. So it turns out that bumping up to elevation once in a while while, it sacrifices your ability to run really at the time, but does stimulate some adaptation so it could be worth it if you have a race at elevation.

Hitting up some elevation training a few times over the coming months before the race isn’t a bad idea but just go with what you have. Most people won’t be able to do that and if that is you don’t worry about it! You have to work with what you have. If you have the means to go up to elevation once a week for a workout for four weeks before your race, then you don’t and there is no point in stressing about it!

Live at a low elevation? Will a stint at high elevation help for a race? →

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Kyle is a running coach who works with people all over the world to help them run more consistently & be resilient to injury.

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