Training at altitude is thought to benefit endurance runners through an adaptation process via acclimatization in hypoxic conditions with significant results in blood oxygen saturation increase via release of a hormone called erythroprotein which stimulates an increase in red blood cell (RBC) production (Garrettl & Kirkendal, 2000). Acute exposure to changes in altitude causes a reduction in the arteriole and alveolar oxygen partial pressure causing a relative change in the potential exercise intensity (Kuno et al 1994).
Research conducted by Millet et al, (2010) found that optimal duration at altitude appears to be 4 weeks to induce accelerated erythropoiesis. Furthermore Burglund, (1992) suggested that at moderate altitudes of 2500m for 3 weeks resulted in an increase of 1-4% in haemoglobin (Hb) concentration in non-elite athletes suggesting an improvement in oxy haemoglobin carrying potential. Although this research provides evidence that altitude training increased the oxygen carrying capacity this research was conducted over more than 3 weeks and there is little research on the immediate effect of acclimatization at moderate altitude training environments which athletes actually train. According to Mooren & Völker, (2005) this is 1800m. However Gore et al, (1997) found that there was no increase in Hb mass and V02 max results in 3 different training programmes at moderate altitude (1740m). Thus concluding, the 3 training programmes were ineffective at increasing V02 max because trained athletes experience erythrocythemic hypervolemia, limiting capability to further increase their total red cell volume or Hb mass. This study is very reliable to due to the high number of participants and results can also be extrapolated and applied to both genders. A major factor concerned with the rate that the increased oxyhaemoglobin saturation in the blood plasma can be transported and delivered to muscles for prolonged exercise is primarily based upon the efficiency...
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